20 Must-Visit Attractions in Liverpool, UK

Royal Iris of the Mersey, Pier Head, Liverpool | © Tim Dutton / Flickr
Royal Iris of the Mersey, Pier Head, Liverpool | © Tim Dutton / Flickr
Photo of Richard Franks
Freelance Travel & Music Writer3 July 2017

Stunning architecture, insightful museums and a buzzing live music scene make Liverpool the ideal tourist destination. Keep reading to make sure you don’t miss out on these must-see attractions.

Tate Liverpool

Situated on the city’s famous Albert Dock, the Tate Liverpool houses an impressive collection of British and international modern and contemporary art. Currently on show is the exhibit “Tracy Emin and William Blake in focus”, which examines the parallels between the two artists. Visitors can also admire Judy Chicago’s Beatles-inspired mural, “Fixing a Hole”.

Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock | © Tate Liverpool/Facebook

Merseyside Maritime Museum

Also on the Albert Dock is the Merseyside Maritime Museum, which houses a variety of objects associated with the social and commercial history of the port of Liverpool. The exhibition “Titanic and Liverpool: The Untold Story” features artifacts from the famous ship, and tells the story of its links to the city. Like the rest of the exhibits at the museum, entry to this is completely free.

Merseyside Maritime Museum | © Jennifer Boyer/Flickr

Walker Art Gallery

The Walker Art Gallery has been an important part of the Liverpool culture scene for over 130 years, and is home to a huge collection of renaissance masterpieces, Tudor portraits and Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art, as well as contemporary works by artists such as David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Bridget Riley.

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool | © Smith & Brown/Flickr

Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral is a building of superlatives; it is Britain’s largest cathedral and features the world’s highest and widest Gothic arches, highest and heaviest peal of bells and the UK’s highest cathedral tower and largest organ. Visitors can enjoy live music, have a bite to eat in Welsford Porch with views across St James Garden to Hope Street, or try their hand at bell ringing.

Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral | © Dan Ciminera / Flickr

Cavern Club

Live music starts at 12pm every day at the Cavern Club, and goes on well into the night. Considered by many as the home of The Beatles, the club offers guided “magical mystery tours” of the city in a custom tour bus, as well as regular shows from resident tribute act “The Cavern Club Beatles”. Budding musicians can even sign up for lessons at the Cavern Rock School, with the chance to take part in a yearly showcase on the famous stage of the Cavern Club itself.

The Cavern Club, Mathew Street | © James West/Flickr

The Beatles Story

Next stop for Beatles buffs has to be The Beatles Story on the Albert Dock. Here fans can learn how four lads from Liverpool became the biggest band of all time. The award winning exhibition features a behind the scenes look at Abbey Road Studios and a trip on the Yellow Submarine. The museum also holds stage shows and storytelling workshops focusing on the lives of the fab four.

The Beatles Story, Albert Docks | © Jennifer Boyer/Flickr

Love Thy Neighbour

For the best avocado toast outside of LA, visitors should head to Love Thy Neighbour. Okay, so it’s not strictly an ‘attraction’, but this trendy Bistro on Bold Street offers flatbreads, Cali toasts and Buddha bowls in a setting designed to look perfect on your Instagram feed. With its distinctive “Avocado Is Bae” mural on the outside of the building, this is a hipster haven. With ample vegan options and a range of hot and cold cocktails, this is the perfect place to refuel.

Regram from our favourite blogger @hannahbullen_ #eatwhatyoulove #boldstreet #boldst #avocadoisbae

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Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library houses over 15,000 rare books in its Hornby Library and Oak Room. The completely remodeled building contains the Picton Reading Room, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful library rooms in the world. Younger visitors can explore the children’s discovery area, where regular storytelling events and theme days are hosted. The library even has its own iPads and Xbox 360.

Liverpool Central Library | © Michael D Beckwith/Flickr

Casbah Coffee Club

“The holy grail of the Beatles trail”, the historic Casbah Club can be found in the West Derby Village. This was the venue for some of The Beatles’s earliest performances, and now visitors can tour the venue to check out rare Beatles memorabilia and take in some live music.

Casbah Coffee Club | © vgm8383/Flickr

Lush Spa Liverpool

Lush Spa Liverpool offers visitors the chance to spend a few hours away from the bustle of Whitechapel. One of eight locations across Britain, the spa is tucked away above the shop and fitted out like a cosy farmhouse. Treatments range from the “Validation” facial to the full body signature “Synaesthesia” treatment. There is even the option to have a “Hard Day’s Night”, a Beatles themed passive stretching treatment developed in collaboration with the Hard Day’s Night hotel.

St John’s Beacon

Known locally as the Radio City tower, St John’s Beacon is over 400 ft tall. The viewing gallery at the top offers 360 views over Merseyside, Wirral, North Wales and sometimes as far as the Lake District. The Radio City Tower still houses several award winning radio stations, so visitors to the gallery can still see the presenters and producers at work.

Radio City Tower, Liverpool | © Bob Edwards/Flickr

Speke Hall

Speke Hall is a beautiful National Trust property on the banks of the river Mersey, complete with its own garden and estate. The timber-framed Tudor façade hides a fully restored Victorian Arts and Crafts interior. The Home Farm restaurant on site serves freshly cooked local produce, and there’s a second hand bookshop on site if you want something to read while you relax in the grounds.

Speke Hall & Gardens | © Andrew Smith / Flickr

International Slavery Museum

Part of the National Museums Liverpool group, the International Slavery Museum explores the historical and contemporary aspects of slavery. Situated on the third floor of the National Maritime Museum on the Albert Dock, the museum is made of three main galleries. They tell the story of life in West Africa, the suffering of enslaved Africans on the Middle Passage and the Plantations in America, and the continuing fight for freedom and equality.

International Slavery Museum | © ISM/Facebook

Hard Day’s Night Hotel

This Beatles-themed hotel in the city centre is a must for fans. For the ultimate visit, guests can book into the Lennon or McCartney suites and enjoy the use of a private balcony exclusive artwork. In the Lennon suite, there is a baby grand piano. The hotel has four restaurants and bars which host live music at weekends, which guests can enjoy over a “Long and Winding Ice Tea” or a “Daq In The U.S.S.R.”

Paul McCartney statue on the Hard Day's Night Hotel | © Ed VIII/Flickr

Mathew Street

Home to the famous Cavern Club, Mathew Street connects Rainford Gardens to North John Street. Visitors are greeted by the iconic John Lennon statue, and can explore various puns once frequented by The Beatles. Plenty of gift shops make this the perfect chance to pick up a Beatles fan club badge to remember your trip.

Mathew Street, Liverpool | © Christopher Brown/Flickr

Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre

The Williamson Tunnels Heritage centre offers visitors the chance to explore the underground network of tunnels created by Victorian industrialist Joseph Williamson, in the early 19th century. While his motivations for the work still aren’t fully understood, guided tours of the tunnel system give visitors plenty of food for thought. By night, raves are even held in the versatile space.

The Bluecoat

As Liverpool’s centre for contemporary arts, the Bluecoat showcases a range of visual art, music, dance, performance art and theatre. A heritage exhibition focuses on the building’s architecture, while Dot Art artist workshops give the public a chance to develop their skills in areas such as acrylic painting, jewellery making and photography.

The Bluecoat Chambers | © Beverley Goodwin / Flickr

Everyman Theatre

Founded in 1964, the Everyman Theatre has been bringing groundbreaking talent to Hope Street for over half a decade. The stage for early performances from Julie Walters, Bill Nighy and Bernard Hill, this venue is steeped in history – the building itself won the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture. Showing a range of plays from classic Shakespeare to brand new material, a show at the Everyman is not to be missed.

Everyman Theatre, with Metropolitan Catherdral in the background | © Smith & Brown / Flickr

Pier Head

Liverpool’s picturesque Pier Head is a part of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Providing views onto the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building, the Port of Liverpool Building and the Anglican cathedral, the Pier Head itself is home to the Titanic memorial, the Cunard War Memorial, the Alfred Lewis Jones memorial and the Merchant Navy war memorial.

Royal Iris of the Mersey, Pier Head, Liverpool | © Tim Dutton / Flickr

20 Forthlin Road & The Mendips

20 Forthlin Road is the house in which Paul McCartney lived for several years before he rose to fame with the Beatles. This National Trust Property in Allerton has been restored to its 1950s glory. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about Paul’s life before the Beatles, as well as visiting John Lennon’s childhood home, The Mendips (pictured).

Mendips, John Lennon's original home | © Joanne C Sullivan/Flickr

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