Many tourists are drawn to the attractions of London and the South, but one thing I’ve learned from my travels across the UK is that the North of England offers just as many sights and sounds — without the swarms of tourists. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the City of Liverpool. Boasting charming coastal scenery, historic streets, lovely people, and great food, this city on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary offers an authentic British experience.
Liverpool’s history as a major port makes it not only a hub for culture and diversity, but also a great start-off point for visitors looking to discover the rest of Northern England. So if you’re unsure about adventuring further up North, then Liverpool is a good place to start. Here are 10 best places to visit in Liverpool. A visit to this bustling city will introduce you to the North of England.
Liverpool, England – Aerial view of port area
Any list of best places to visit in Liverpool won’t be complete without the Pier Head, a riverside location near the city center. Take a walk along the waterfront to take in the city skyline and the ferry. Alternatively, the Liverpool Echo also recommends heading over to Pier Head Village for food, live music, vintage stalls, lots of activities, and even a bar on the man-made beach. I went in June and made the rookie mistake of forgetting my umbrella, so be sure to prepare for rain, even during the summer months!
2. The Beatles Story Museum
My list of 10 best places to visit in Liverpool continues with The Beatles. They are, of course, a huge part of British culture, with Liverpool being nearly synonymous with the fab four. From the Pier Head, pay a visit to this well-loved museum for £16.95 (roughly $22) and see historical Beatles items and interactive recreations of Abbey Road Studios and The Cavern Club, among others.
3. Strawberry Field
Hardcore fans of The Beatles would definitely need to book a side trip to this former Salvation Army children’s home in Woolton. I did — and although there’s not much to see at the moment and most visitors just stop for a picture at the gates, I had to suppress a few tears for my departed hero. It was here that John Lennon used to escape to in his childhood, and plenty of fans have since come and paid their respects. Last I heard, there are plans of opening the area as a training center for young people with special needs, as well as an exhibition for Beatles fans.
4. Anfield Stadium
Perhaps the only thing that can rival The Beatles in popularity, football (soccer) is a well-loved sport in Liverpool and the rest of the UK. In truth, the city has nearly a dozen football clubs, with Anfield Stadium being the current home of the famous Liverpool FC. The stadium has over 50,000 seats, and has been around since 1892. It’s also pretty accessible, and hungry football fans can enjoy a variety of food kiosks throughout the area. If you’re feeling a little fancy, the Boot Room Sports Café offers great gourmet food that even casual fans can definitely savor.
5. Walker Art Gallery
If you’re looking to get a dose of local culture and art, then a free trip to the Walker Art Gallery along William St. is a good choice. The artworks here date back to the 14th century, but The Guardian notes that the highlight of the gallery is its exhibits on the pre-Raphaelites. These are the Liverpool-based brotherhood of artists that defined art in Northern England and the UK as a whole in the 19th century.
Liverpool, England – Constellations
A former recycling yard in the Baltic Triangle (which itself is a former industrial area turned arts district), this events venue is a great courtyard bar to catch live performances, art events, and workshops. I had gone on a random free evening during my trip and found myself in the middle of one of their live music Thursdays — a treat to enjoy on top of my delicious food.
7. The Monro
Liverpool, England – The Monro
A lot of gastropubs will promise you the best pub food of your life and sadly, many disappoint. The Monro isn’t one of those places. I’d recommend what I had — a delightful Sunday roast, with crayfish and avocado starter — but the staff had said that the menu is constantly changing. Be sure to ask what the chef recommends for the day, sit back, and enjoy your meal.
8. Peter Kavanagh’s
Liverpool, England – Peter Kavanagh’s pub
Author: Paul Holloway
Small but filled to the brim with character, this eccentric pub easily stands out in a city full of great pubs. Decorated with dangling jars, chamber pots, violins, wireless sets, and even a witch on a broomstick, Peter Kavanagh’s along Egerton Street is a must-see.
Liverpool, England – Outhouse
Author: Gerry in Art
Tucked among surrounding woodlands along Menlove Avenue, Outhouse is a public artwork designed by Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier in 2005. The structure itself can be entered and used for community activities, but even empty it stands as a stunning piece of public art. Unlike a normal house, the walls of the enclosure are made of transparent glass and the “windows” are opaque. At night, the structure is lit underneath by neon red light.
10. Radio City Tower
Liverpool, England – Radio City Tower
Author: Mike Peel
Last but not least is the Radio City Tower, a defining building in the Liverpool skyline and a fantastic place to see all of Liverpool from 400 feet above ground. From that dizzying height, I could see North Wales, Merseyside, and even as far as the Cumbrian Hills — making the trip well worth the £5 (roughly $6.51) ticket.
Is it worth visiting Liverpool?
Although football and Beatles fans like me often think it unnecessary to ask, the question of whether it is worth visiting Liverpool is a valid one. It is, after all, a little far from most people’s bucket-list attractions towards the south near London — four hours by car or two hours via express train. However, the tourist draws, sans the hordes of tourists every year, are very much worth the travel time and effort, as is the insights into the rest of northern England.
The best time to visit is during the summer months of June, July, and August. I traveled to Liverpool in June and while the aforementioned rain was an issue during the day, the weather was generally pleasant. Autumns are also known to be mild and a good time to visit.
Meanwhile, those travelling with family will also find that it’s an excellent place for a break, as I saw a lot of family-friendly activities during my trip. Liverpool is said to have more parks than Paris, and most attractions are, as aforementioned, family-friendly and come with areas that are designed for young ones. Family ferries and zoos are also great places to spend an entire day with family.
Resources for planning your trip to Liverpool
Find budget hotels in Liverpool. With over 400 properties available you are certain to find a great deal and maximize your budget.
Take a local Beatles tour or river tour. Look for museum discounts and skip the line tickets to most Liverpool attractions.
Save 30% on rental cars in the UK. Saving on a rental car helps your travel budget tremendously.
About the author: Mary Rosie is a Cardiff-based marketing consultant with a passion for travelling and discovering the wonderful in the seemingly mundane. She loves writing about the different and fascinating areas to visit in the UK. And when she’s not working or on the road, she enjoys baking and reading.