Image courtesy of Visit Britain

Things to Do in Liverpool

Creative Tourist

Liverpool exploded into life in the 18th century, rapidly turning from a small town into one of the world’s most important port cities. For 200 years, it eclipsed most of Europe in the trading stakes – nationally and internationally, Liverpool was where it was at. What does that mean for the visitor today?

You’ve only to look up: a skyline that’s part of a World Heritage Site, a waterfront that never fails to impress, and Georgian streets that are as graceful as they are grand. It is these architectural cheekbones that, along with the grand sweep of the River Mersey, make Liverpool such a visual treat. Sure, the city was for years on its uppers, its post-industrial decline as swift as it was comprehensive. But Liverpool has reinvented itself, as the UK Capital of Culture in 2008, as the home of the leading visual arts event Liverpool Biennial, as the place where artists make work and where a new, creative future is being written.

It is this combination of grace and ambition, wit and occasional decay that it typical of Liverpool; all this and the fact that it is one of the friendliest cities we know. Like the Liver Birds sitting atop the city’s most famous building, one turned to the sea, one turned to home, Liverpool is a city with a world view, yet a place with a personal, personable one too.

Discover our top picks

Festivals 25 May–16 June 2017,

Liverpool presents Sgt Pepper at 50

It was 50 years ago this year that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play. And now, Liverpool is presenting a series of events to celebrate this landmark occasion – from mass-participation free music events to dance exclusives, plus exhibitions, brass bands and more.

Music 25 May 2017, from £45.00

The Human League at Liverpool Sound City 2017

Sheffield’s legendary synthpop group The Human League celebrate their 40th year by headlining the opening night of Liverpool Sound City 2017 – which is itself marking its 10th outing. With seminal electronic band Art of Noise and former Factory Records group A Certain Ratio joining them, Clarence Dock hosts this extra special opening show.

Families 10–11 June 2017, FREE

Rita Riot / Rita Dreaming / Rita Requiem at Hope Street, The Oratory and Liverpool Cathedrals

Change the way you feel about traffic wardens forever. Join over 300 brass musicans and parking attendants kicking off a weekend of riotous street performance and events by international performer Meow Meow. Experience the song Lovely Rita through new eyes as part of Liverpool’s Sgt Pepper at 50 celebrations.

Music 28 July 2017, from £55.00

Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds at 50 Summers of Love

To mark 50 years since the Summer of Love, Liverpool welcomes the producer of one of the period’s most influential albums, Pet Sounds. Brian Wilson performs the psychedelic pop masterpiece, as well as rare cuts and other Beach Boys hits, for one of the very last times.

Exhibitions 3 April–29 May 2017, FREE

Ellsworth Kelly at Tate Liverpool

Presenting 11 paintings, prints and reliefs, this exhibition spans more than six decades of Ellsworth Kelly’s career.

Exhibitions 16 September 2016–3 September 2017, FREE

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus

An exhibition focusing on the work of Tracey Emin and William Blake to reveal surprising links between the two artists.

Exhibitions 23 June–15 October 2017, from £6.00

Portraying a Nation: Germany 1919-1933 at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool’s upcoming exhibition Portraying a Nation documents the glamour and misery of the Weimar Republic through the work of painter Otto Dix and photographer August Sander.

Exhibitions 3 April 2017–2 September 2018, FREE

Constellations: Refiguring American Abstraction at Tate Liverpool

A free new display made up of works by towering post-war American artists including Mark Rothko, Hedda Sterne and Andy Warhol.

Exhibitions 22 June–1 October 2017, FREE

The New Observatory at FACT

This exhibition sees Liverpool’s FACT transformed into an observatory for the 21st century, with a 40ft watchtower in the main atrium alongside a diverse range of works by international artists.

Music 11 June 2017, from £10.00

The Beatles Ragafest & Indian Festival Village at St. George’s Hall

It’s the sort of culture clash that this city embraces as it can only lead to great things – so expect nothing less when Neoclassical comes up close and personal to traditional and modern Asia.

Liverpool District Guides

Lark Lane, Liverpool

A little way out of Liverpool City Centre, and a short and leafy walk from…

Photo of Southport Pier

Southport

Southport is a large seaside town in the county of Merseyside, which also takes in…

William Brown Street, Liverpool

As city centre districts go, this one is relatively small: a cluster of buildings along…

The ship in Liverpool Sound City

Waterfront, Liverpool

The waterfront, which takes in the Albert Dock and the Pier Head, is an integral…

Ropewalks and Chinatown, Liverpool

The Ropewalks is a part of Liverpool that combines old and new. Once crowded with…

Hope Street, Liverpool

One of Liverpool’s most graceful quarters can be found along Hope Street. Named after the…