The Best Things to Do in Liverpool, UK

The Royal Liver Building and Albert Dock make up part of the Unesco-list waterfront in Liverpool
The Royal Liver Building and Albert Dock make up part of the Unesco-list waterfront in Liverpool | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Cities don’t earn the title of European Capital of Culture for no good reason – and the historic port city of Liverpool is one of the United Kingdom’s crown jewels. Home to the Beatles, Liverpool FC and the Mersey ferry – what more could you want?

You could spend days or even weeks bouncing across Liverpool and never fall short of things to do, so here is a list that aims to provide a sample of the available options.

Radio City Tower

Radio City revolving tower Liverpool UK. Image shot 2010. Exact date unknown.
© GeoPic / Alamy Stock Photo
There’s no better place to start a tour of Liverpool than at Radio City Tower, aka St John’s Beacon. Built in 1969, it’s one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks and it’s conveniently located in the middle of the city, next to Lime Street station. Anyone can visit the top of the 453ft (138m) tower where you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the entire city. Visitors can spend as long as they want in the viewing gallery; entry is £6.50 (US$8).
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Mersey Ferries

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark

There are few better ways to experience Liverpool (thanks in part to Gerry and the Pacemakers) than the Mersey Ferries. Once a transportation necessity, the brightly painted Dazzle Ferry now provides a comprehensive tour, with stop-offs including the Royal Liver Building and the U-Boat Story. Catch the ferry from the Woodside Ferry Village on the Birkenhead side of the river, and there are many places to eat once you disembark.

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Architectural Landmark
China Town gate in Liverpool, England.
© Rory Prior / Alamy Stock Photo

While London’s Chinatown might be more famous, Liverpool houses the oldest Chinese community in Europe, and the huge Chinatown gate that marks the entrance is the largest outside China. The lanterned streets are filled with amazing restaurants and shops, and if you happen to be here at Chinese New Year, you’re in for a treat, where crowds gather to see fireworks and dragon dances. It’s just 10 minutes from the centre on foot.

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The Beatles Walk

Museum, Architectural Landmark

The Beatles are the best-known band in Liverpudlian history and there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in Beatlemania. But what a better way than to walk in their footsteps? Starting at Canada Boulevard, an experienced guide takes you across the city, stopping off at famous Beatles-related landmarks, including the Eleanor Rigby statue, and finishing at the Cavern Club, where the band played 292 times.

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International Slavery Museum

Museum, Theater
International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, UK
© Ed Rooney / Alamy Stock Photo
There are dozens of museums in Liverpool, but for hard facts, the International Slavery Museum, on Albert Dock, gives a detailed, brutally honest account of the history of slave trading. There are audio tours, artefacts and reconstructions to demonstrate what life was like for slaves, mere yards from where slave ships were repaired. It’s just a 10-minute walk from the city centre.
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‘Another Place’ at Crosby Beach

Crosby Beach itself is worth a visit, but the Another Place installation makes it doubly so. You need to drive about 20 minutes north to get here, but it’s worth it when you’re met with the sight of 100 life-size iron men gazing out to sea. It’s the creation of Antony Gormley, who also sculpted the Angel of the North.

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These recommendations were updated on July 23, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.