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, from £10.00

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.

Author Paula Hawkins © Alisa Connan.
Literature 3 May 2017, from £7.00

An evening with Paula Hawkins at Oh Me Oh My, Liverpool

The Girl On The Train author Paula Hawkins reads from her latest novel and chats to Simon Savidge about her meteoric rise to getting on the bestsellers’ list. Support reading from Sarah Schmidt.

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 1 April–1 May 2017, FREE

O.K. The Musical at Tate Liverpool

Visitors to Tate Liverpool will have the unique opportunity to witness the entire production of a musical unfold live in the gallery over the space of four weeks, culminating in three special performances.

Exhibitions 7 April–14 May 2017, FREE

LOOK/17 Liverpool International Photography Festival

LOOK/17, the largest photography festival in the North, returns in its 10th year to explore Cities of exchange – themes of urbanism, social housing, architecture and commerce – through new works from artists based in the UK and Hong Kong.

The exterior of Liverpool Everyman
Families 13–29 April 2017, from £10.00

The Story Giant at Liverpool Everyman

A spellbinding new adaptation of the tale of four children from across the globe who meet at dreamtime by Mersey poet Brian Patten as part of the Everyman Company’s exciting new season and Liverpool’s Summer of Love.

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 2 March–21 May 2017, FREE

How much of this is fiction at FACT

A new exhibition of artists as tricksters, whose work involves the direct use of deception, hoaxes and hacks. These politically inspired media artists exploit the shifting boundaries between fiction and reality in a world of post-truth politics.

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…

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink