By Briana Seftel
Famous as the birthplace of The Beatles, Liverpool is quickly becoming Northern England’s go-to city. Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of the Fab Four, there’s still plenty to see and do in this historic port city. From England’s most revered soccer team to multicultural cuisine, Liverpool has gone from an industrial city to one of Britain’s hottest destinations.
What to Know
Located where the River Mersey meets the Irish Sea in northwest England, Liverpool was once one of the most important port cities in the world. Not only was it a major import and export hub, it also was the point from which people traveled to the “New World,” aka the United States. Because of its maritime history, several areas in the historic center and docklands in Liverpool were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
Only two hours by train from London and 45 minutes from Manchester, Liverpool has transformed into a tourist hotspot with world class museums, legendary nightlife and welcoming locals. Still today, Liverpool’s biggest draw is The Beatles. From Penny Lane to Strawberry Field, Beatles fans will delight in visiting sites and monuments that helped shaped the most famous band in the world.
When to Go
The best time to visit Liverpool is from May to September, when the weather is pleasantly warm and plenty of festivals are on offer like International Beatle Week, Liverpool Biennial and the Liverpool International Music Festival.
How to Get Around
Walking is easily the best way to get around Liverpool. Visitors to Liverpool can walk from one side of the city to another in about 20 minutes. You can also get around by subway, with four city center stations operated by Merseyrail. In the summer, biking is a great way to get around - just rent a bike from one of the many CityBike street stations. Need to get somewhere in a hurry? Taxis and Uber are also readily available.
Where to Eat
Sure, you can get a solid fish and chips in Liverpool, but the city is host to so many different cuisines and restaurants that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just British fare. For guaranteed good eats, take a stroll down Bold Street or Castle Street. Don’t leave without trying scouse, a local delicacy that gave Scousers their name!
- The Blackburne Pub & Eatery 24 Catharine St Phone: +44 151 709 9159
- Caffe Cream 1 Marine Point, Wallasey Phone: +44 151 538 9469
- The Roscoe Head 24 Roscoe St Phone: +44 151 709 4365
- Camp and Furnace 67 Greenland St Phone: +44 151 708 2890
- 60 Hope Street 60 Hope St Phone: +44 151 707 6060
- Mowgli 3 Water St Phone: +44 151 236 6366
- Etsu 25 The Strand Phone: +44 151 236 7530
- Doctor Duncan's St Johns Lane, City Centre Phone: +44 151 709 5100
- The Dovey 60 Penny Ln Phone: +44 151 733 2611
What to See
The Beatles Story
Any Beatles fan worth their weight in gold will make a beeline for The Beatles Story, the world's largest permanent exhibition devoted to the Fab Four. Memorabilia including the band’s original instruments, photography, lyrics, costumes and more are all beautifully displayed at this immersive museum. Fans can also take the two-hour Magical Mystery Tour, taking you to all the places associated with the Beatles including their childhood homes.
The Albert Dock
Located right on the waterfront, Albert Dock is one of the most popular attractions in England. Home to The Beatles Story, Tate Liverpool, the Merseyside Maritime Museum and more, Albert Dock is a great place to stroll around, have a great meal or immerse yourself in the city’s fascinating maritime history.
The largest cathedral in the U.K., Liverpool Cathedral is simply astounding in its size. Completed in 1978, the cathedral isn’t just a place to worship but a place to enjoy events and even dining. Purchase a ticket to climb the tower and take in the incredible views of the city. On a clear day, you might even spot Wales!
Take the world famous “Ferry Cross the Mersey,” which has been crossing the Wirral Peninsula since the 1200s. Board the 50-minute ferry at Pier Head Ferry Terminal and enjoy views of Liverpool’s waterfront while listening to on-board commentary. Visit the quaint Port Sunlight Village and Lady Lever Art Gallery, or take one of the themed cruises like the U-boat Story, where you can see a real German WWII submarine.
British Music Experience
If you’re a fan of British music in general, you won’t want to miss the British Music Experience located in the historic Cunard Building. The museum tells the story of British music through costumes, instruments and memorabilia, as well as interactive exhibits. Learn how to vogue, try your hand at drums, or sing your heart out at a vocal booth.
Tips and Tricks
Liverpool gets most of its visitors on the weekends. If you can, travel from Sunday to Thursday to avoid the crowds, long lines and higher room rates.
Most museums in Liverpool are free with the exception of Tate Liverpool.
Liverpool’s nightlife is legendary. Head to Seel, Hardman or Mathew streets for some of the city’s best bars, pubs and clubs. The Beatles’ favorite hangout, The Cavern Club, is still a great place to have a drink and catch live music.
Scousers love their beloved soccer teams, Everton F.C. and Liverpool F.C. If you really want to get to the heart of the city, try to catch a game!
Hop on a 1 hour 30 minute train or drive to the beautiful Lake District. From lake cruises to mountain walks, there is plenty to do when it comes to nature, but the real draw is the region's literary history. Pay a visit to Dove Cottage, home of William Wordsworth, or explore Hill top, the 17th-century cottage once home to Beatrix Potter.
Just a 45-minute journey by train or by road, the walled city of Chester makes a wonderful day trip. Meander along the banks of the River Dee, stroll the historic center and gaze upon the city’s ancient walls, which are the most complete city walls in Britain.
With Liverpool’s proximity to Wales, it’s not unheard of to travel to another country on a day trip. Travel back in time at Princely Castle, ogle at the beauty and breadth of Snowdonia National Park or take a causual stroll on one of the many fine sandy beaches.