A city best known for its musical contributions to the world—namely the Beatles—Liverpool is also famous for its football. Yet, with the exception of a few streets, the city doesn’t actually feel like a tourist hub—it feels like a living, breathing remnant of an industrial hub, a port that connects England to the world. Don’t worry—you can easily spend a full day here and find plenty to do and see. The city isn’t just a vestige of the past; lively streets of restaurants, shops, and bars are home to a flourishing culture. People come from all over the world to visit and live in Liverpool, as seen by the different types of food dotting the sidewalks of Bold Street. The carnival-like Albert Docks and museums embody the different features of the city. Often overlooked in favor of bigger cities like London and Manchester, those who skip this gem are missing out. Although Brits may not be known for their friendliness, Scousers might just change your mind. Come for the music and the sports. Stay for the city itself. If you have 24 hours to spend in Liverpool, this itinerary can help you get the most out of your stay.
Morning: Visit The Beatles Story
In case you couldn’t already tell from the thousands of references to the Fab 4 all over the city, the Beatles originated in Liverpool. You can check out their stories at this museum. Inside, after a slightly hefty admission fee, you can follow their trajectory, passing through detailed replicas of significant locations like Casbah Coffee Club, The Cavern Club, Nems Record Shop, and their recording studios. Step into the set of the music video for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and explore the Yellow Submarine. The audio guide helps lead you through the museum, and even if you’re not a Beatles fan (unclear why you’re in Liverpool then but ok, sure), you’ll learn about the Beatles, their rise to fame, and their eventual separation.
Lunchtime: Grab a bite on Bold Street
Coffee bars, brunch spots, and restaurants line this famously bohemian street in Liverpool. No matter what you’re craving, you’ll find it here (with a little local twist, of course). Find a spot with sidewalk seating, snag a seat, and rest your feet as you eat and people watch.
Afternoon: Take a 2-hour river cruise and a bus tour of Liverpool
There’s no better way to see the sights than from the water (just our humble opinion). You’ll see all the top tourist attractions of Liverpool, including Royal Albert Dock Liverpool , St. George’s Hall, Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Liverpool, Bombed Out Church, Mersey Ferries, and Mathew Street. Grab a combo ticket and spend your afternoon sightseeing like a true tourist.
Late afternoon: See where John Lennon wrote his songs at Mendips and go to Penny Lane
Imagine the room where John Lennon wrote his first songs—and then imagine the kitchen, dining room, and rehearsal room. From the outside, you can view the building’s façade and a commemorative plaque. To get the full experience, tickets are available via the National Trust, and they include both John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes, as well as the original windows (yeah, we know that’s what you came for) and multiple stories about their childhoods. View the houses the way they were in the 50s—it’s like entering a photograph. But no matter how much you love the Beatles, the tour guides ask that you do not steal things from the houses (for real, people do that) and just Let It Be. Okay, we’ll show ourselves out now.
Make sure to save a little time for a stroll down Penny Lane, too. A barbershop still exists here, one of many shops to capitalize on the Beatles’ famous song. Penny Lane Wine Bar, Penny Lane Surgery, Penny Lane Hotel: you get the picture. And if you’re looking for a picture of the sign, check out the corner of Penny Lane and Elm Street, or walk down the lane to get to the Penny Lane Development Trust for a colorful Beatles mural and the classic sign. The 86, 80, and 75 buses all take you to nearby stop Plattsville Road, but to be honest, there isn’t all that much to see on Penny Lane (other than the sign). It’s just another pretty brick street. Definitely stroll along, listening to the song, pretending you’re with your mates Paul and John. A guided walking tour is also a great way to explore the city with a local expert narrating.
Evening: Dine in the oldest Chinese community in Europe
Betcha didn’t know that, did you? That’s right—Liverpool is home to Europe’s oldest Chinatown. Just south of the city centre, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants serving up all of your favorites. In our opinion, it doesn’t matter where you are—Chinese food is delicious, and if you have the chance to eat it in a community that’s been around since the mid-1800s, we say do it.
Late night: Hit up the Cavern Club on Mathew Street
This Liverpool gem is where the Beatles played in their early years, before they were famous. Originally a jazz club, it became the city’s rock and roll hot spot. If you’re here, you must come for at least a drink (or two). After all, when will you ever have the chance to say you hung out at a legendary night club again? Clink your glass and cheers yourself to a day well spent in the city.