Edited by Matthew Wears
Over the years I’ve seen Liverpool go from being a very industrial landscape, to becoming one of the most exciting places in the UK. Back in 2008, we were lucky enough to win the European Capital of culture, catapulting us into the global eye as a fun and vibrant city with lots going on. These days, we’re still continuing on that path and adding to our already huge repertoire of things to see and do. There’s now not really a best time to visit Liverpool, there’s so much going on all year round all across the city.
For my Liverpool one-day itinerary, I’ve tried to condense all of this as best I can to fit in one little twenty-four-hour bundle. I’ll try to get you to see as much of the city as you can – from the famous docks all the way up to our impressive cathedrals in the north of the city and everything in between. There’ll be bars, restaurants and lots of must-see sites that you can’t afford to miss. So, if you’ve ever thought about how to spend a day in Liverpool, then this one’s for you.
Before we start off your one-day itinerary in Liverpool, the first thing I will say is that there are lots of hotel options for tourists coming to Merseyside these days. You really shouldn’t have any trouble finding a hotel that will cover all of your needs – at any price or style.
Then, depending on where you’re staying or how you’re arriving in the city, I’d say the perfect place to start your one day in Liverpool would have to be the Pier Head. This as central as it gets for most people, although if you’re coming in by train then you might want to start with William Brown Street which I’ve mentioned down below.
Getting here couldn’t be easier – there are so many busses that come through this way from pretty much anywhere in the city and it’s within walking distance from most places too.
The pier head is the part of Liverpool that most people are familiar with. I always think it’s interesting to imagine this area full of factories and docklands long ago because these days there’s been so much redevelopment you would hardly recognize it!
It’s the right place to start your one day in Liverpool because there are so many must-see attractions around here that you have to see. The Liver Building for example overlooks this pretty area. I’d say it’s our most famous building, although I probably wouldn’t go in there if you’re on a tight schedule. Instead, I’d spend some time along at the Royal Albert Docks which is right next to Pier Head.
There's lots to see and do here, but if you’ve not already had breakfast this is a good place for that. With just twenty-four hours in Liverpool, you won’t have time to cram everything in here – so just take your time and enjoy it.
From the Docks, head back over to the Pier Head for a Mersey boat trip. These days, it’s quite popular for people to take ferries out onto the river and see the city that way. It only takes about fifty minutes or an hour but it’s a good way of seeing things like the Pier Head or the Docks from a different perspective.
There’s also a running commentary which is handy if you want to learn more about the various sights that you can see along the river Mersey. From here I’d recommend stopping for lunch because you probably won’t have too much time later on in the day.
I always find that one of the best things to do in Liverpool when you need some quick food is to go to Liverpool One Shopping Centre. You’ll find some familiar restaurants in this state-of-the-art shopping center as well as some unusual ones too. It’s always good to come somewhere with lots of choices, and nowhere has more than here.
In the afternoon, the first thing that you really should see is Liverpool’s famous cathedrals. The only thing is that they’re a little bit further out of town, so for one day it’s probably best that you skip the walk because it’ll just be a bit too much really. I’d recommend you get a day pass for the hop-on hop-off tourist bus that stops at both of the cathedrals – it’ll save you a lot of time.
Liverpool Cathedral is probably the one that you’ll be most familiar with and for very good reason – it’s Britain’s largest cathedral. It’s one of the most impressive Liverpool attractions and if you go to the top of the tower, you’ll get some really top views out over Merseyside.
The other cathedral is the Metropolitan, or as we call it, Paddys Wigwam. It gets this name for very obvious reasons; you just have to take one look at it really and you’ll see why! This is quite clearly much more modern, but I think it’s really interesting to see the two cathedrals in the same afternoon.
From here, you should be able to get back on the bus back into the city centre. For a lot of people, one of the most interesting Liverpool attractions is that it’s a UNESCO world heritage site. There are three main areas dotted all across the city that are very important to Liverpool’s maritime history, and one is in the centre of town.
Up by the Lime Street Station area is William Brown Street, which is known as the cultural quarter of Liverpool. It’s got some really beautiful architecture such as the Great North Western Hotel and St. Georges Hall, so it’s a must for fans of lavish buildings and amazing exteriors. If you get the chance, the Walker Art Gallery and the Liverpool Library can be interesting if you’ve got a little bit of spare time.
In the evening, there’s a couple of different options for you to try. For food, I would definitely go to the Baltic Triangle area of town. This part of town was once very industrial, but these days it’s transforming itself to become the coolest part of the whole city.
If you do find yourself with more than one day in Liverpool, it’s well worth having a little look around the galleries and event spaces here. There’s plenty going on at night as well though – bars and restaurants included. Somewhere that’s really quite interesting is the and a bit of a gem is Cains Brewery.
This used to be a huge industrial site but it’s now quickly becoming the best place in Liverpool to get some really unusual foods. There’s a kind of food market with lots of little stalls here as well as lots of great restaurants to try here too. Afterwards, go for cocktail in Birdy’s bar, or a refreshing craft beer at the Craft Minded.
I could write loads on what to do in Liverpool in a day, but I could write just as much if not more on what to do here at night! Liverpool’s nightlife is known all over the world – whether it’s for the vibrant bar culture or our legendary music scene.
To get a proper feel for it in just one night is difficult, but I don’t think anywhere sums it up better than the Cavern Quarter. This is home to the famous Cavern Club, which is where The Beatles started out playing their first gigs. Drink at the same bar as the Fab Four once did, or head to another bar nearby – there’s enough to choose from!
I don’t think you’ll have time to fit this in to your twenty-four hours in Liverpool, but if you’re interested in the Beatles then you can take part in a Beatles tour around the city on your next trip!
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