Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles, was once an industrial hub and has since become a cultural haven. Small and large art galleries are scattered about the city and you can’t rock up to a pub without seeing some great live music. The city continues to update itself, most notably with the Old Docks, which have been transformed into a vibrant waterfront full of bustling cafes, bars and independent stores. With world-class architecture and cultural events, Liverpool is made for experiencing an exciting mix of both old and new.
10.00 Discover Liverpool’s maritime past
Start your day by delving into Liverpool’s rich naval history at the Merseyside Maritime Museum in the Royal Albert Dock, home to an eclectic mix of objects that reflect the social and commercial history of the city’s port. Alongside ship models and maritime paintings are full-sized vessels and several incredible exhibitions, including Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, which reopens on 28 March 2020 and explores Liverpool’s role in the Titanic story. Alternatively, delve into the lives of Liverpool’s seafarers at the new Life on Board Gallery, which opens in spring 2020, or discover the secrets of The Border Force’s National Museum at Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered.
12.00 Take to the Mersey to see the sights
What better way to see the city’s main sights than from the Mersey River Ferry? Journey along the river as part of a 50-minute cruise to see Liverpool’s spectacular skyline in all its glory. With commentary revealing the captivating history of the UNESCO World Heritage waterfront, you can also access the U-boat story at Woodside to find out what life was like for a submariner during the Second World War.
13.00 Tuck into brunch before sampling the city’s incredible bakeries
Enjoy a delightful brunch at tea shop, bar and arts venue LEAF, where you can tuck into delicious locally-sourced food amid stunning art deco surroundings. Afterwards, venture down Bold Street to discover baked delights at either Artisane or the Italian Club Bakery, the latter of which features a delectable handmade bread selection that varies every day of the week.
14.00 Bask in the glory of Liverpool’s magnificent buildings
Discover more about architecture at RIBA North, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ national architecture centre on Liverpool’s Waterfront. Having opened its doors in 2017, the centre is the place for historical and contemporary award-winning design and is home to numerous exhibitions, talks and tours.
RIBA has a range of architectural walking tours that chart more than 300 years of the city’s development, taking in Georgian terraces, historic docks and grandiose civic monuments, as well as an array of other landmarks. Departing from RIBA North at different times on Wednesday through to Saturday, discover how architecture has changed to create the modern and vibrant Liverpool of today.
Alternatively, you could also take in spectacular views of Liverpool from the top floors of the Liver Building, which is now open for guided tours. Beginning in a new lower ground floor visitor centre, step inside the famous clock towers before gazing out across 360-degree views of Liverpool from the tenth and fifteenth floors.
17.30 Get a taste for local ales
Sample ales and bar snacks on the waterfront at The Pumphouse, a cosy traditional tavern in the Albert Dock’s Grade II listed former pump house that serves an array of craft beers and ales. Alternatively, enjoy a pint in the beer gardens at Yard, Constellations or Dockleaf.
For something on the quirky side, go in search of absinthe bar Some Place, a hidden basement cocktail den on Seel Street identified by a glowing green light above its doorway.
19.00 Taste exceptional British cooking from a MasterChef winner
Sit down for dinner at Roski and sample divine British cooking from MasterChef: The Professionals 2012 winner and Michelin-starred chef, Anton Piotrowski. With a menu that makes the most of fresh local ingredients, expect some exciting twists on British classics.
You could also indulge at award-winning fine dining restaurant The Art School in the heart of the city. Here, chef Paul Askew serves up culinary delights in the stunning former lantern room at the Victorian 1888 Home for Destitute Children building, on Sugnall Street.
21.00 Return to the origins of The Beatles
Round off your day with a visit to the birthplace of Beatles music, the infamous Cavern Club. Here you can enjoy live music, food and drinks while perusing an explosion of Beatles memorabilia. If you’re a fan of classical music, you can indulge in the sounds of Britain’s oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
You could also share a joke with some of the comedy circuit’s best at the Hot Water Comedy Club, before heading to El Bandito, a basement tequila haven hidden under the streets of Liverpool City Centre.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the city for the annual LightNight Liverpool event – taking place on 15 May in 2020 – you'll discover a city transformed for one evening as part of a free arts festival. Museums and galleries hold special events all night long, ranging from short-term art installations to live music, theatre performances and stand-up comedy.
10.00 Investigate Liverpool’s diverse music scene
Start your second day with a visit to the award-winning The Beatles Story to journey through the band’s history, from their humble beginnings to their tumultuous split. The world’s largest exhibition dedicated to the Fab Four takes visitors on an atmospheric trip through the lives, times, culture and music of the band. International Beatle Week is held every August and you’ll find an abundance of Beatle-themed events all over Liverpool, with some of the most popular found at the Cavern Club.
Alternatively, broaden your musical horizons by exploring the British Music Experience, the UK’s only museum dedicated to pop music, which tells the story of British sounds through memorabilia, costumes and performances from some of the music world’s best-known faces, including The Beatles, David Bowie, Oasis and Adele.
11.30 Paint yourself a picture of Liverpool’s artistic heritage
Art lovers can explore The Tate Liverpool Gallery to cast their eye over brilliant exhibitions from some of the world’s best known artists. Op Art in Focus runs until mid-2020 and features works from pioneering artists from the 1960s right up until the present day. The gallery will also host parts of the Liverpool Biennial from early July to late October. As the largest festival of contemporary visual art in the UK, a range of free exhibitions and events will be hosted in the city’s public spaces, galleries and museums.
The Walker Art Gallery is also home to a lot more than just visual art, with music, dance, literature and live art a common occurrence. It’s here that you’ll find collections spanning from the Renaissance to the present day, including masterpieces by Rembrandt and J.M.W Turner, and Impressionist works by Claude Monet and Edgar Degas.
13.00 Explore the Baltic Triangle
Liverpool’s creative and digital quarter has attracted plenty of independent stores, unique restaurants and bars, community spaces and live music venues, making it an idyllic spot to grab some lunch. The street food haven Baltic Market is home to numerous traders selling everything from twists on American classics to mezze platters, Neapolitan pizzas and award-winning British pies.
15.00 Experience incredible nature in unique surroundings
Learn a bit about horticulture at the Liverpool Botanical Collection in the Victorian Palm House before relaxing with an afternoon walk around Sefton Park. Founded in 1802, it’s one of the oldest horticultural collections in Britain and each season brings new delights to discover, while the spectacular nature of the Grade II listed glass structure means that every visit is different.
Alternatively, return to the city’s waterfront to explore its diverse history at the Museum of Liverpool, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of exhibitions on everything from city life during the Blitz to Liverpool’s transport history.
16.30 Sit back and relax with afternoon coffee
Across Liverpool you’ll find a host of coffee shops with speciality offerings that are not be missed. 92 Degrees Coffee is the city’s first combined Roastery and Coffee shop and has an array of coffee beans to pick from, while Root Coffee focuses on providing an abundance of taste experiences with brewing recipes that vary with every pack of coffee beans.
For more practical information on Liverpool, visit our Liverpool destination page.