48 Hours in Liverpool
Updated: Nov 3, 2021
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So much to do, so little time! Liverpool is one of those cities that's bursting with places to visit, things to do and restaurants to try out. It's probably best known as the birthplace of The Beatles, as well as for its iconic waterfront. I do love the Beatles, but I tried to make the trip less about them and more about other unique things to do within the city.
However, if you love the Beatles and British music, make sure you check out the statue of the band at the Pier Head, stop in at The Cavern Club, and take a look at The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock. You can even visit the British Music Experience if you have time! Everything is within walking distance of one another as long as you don't mind a few hills. There are a lot of fun things to do in Liverpool, and I managed to see most of the main attractions during my 2 days here. I probably spent too much time along the waterfront in all honesty, but hey, it's stunning so why not! Here's what I got up to during my 48 hours in Liverpool:
What To Do in Liverpool
If you go anywhere in Liverpool, make sure it's the heart of its waterfront, the Albert Dock. For those of you who are music fans, this is where The Beatles Story can be found too. The Royal Albert Dock originally opened in 1846, and was the most secure dock in the city, meaning that a lot of valuable cargo was stored here. Today, it's one of the most popular places to visit in Liverpool, and is filled with unique shops and restaurants. This area is a must-visit during a 2 day stay in Liverpool.
Was this the highlight of my trip? Probably. The Royal Albert Dock also hosts Puffle Waffle, where you can get the cutest desserts. I chose to get the unicorn special, because it sounded fantastic and was the largest, most over the top waffle on offer. They're very reasonably priced too so stopping here will definitely fit in with your budget. If you don't have time to sit in, you can always take your waffle on the go with you as you make your way around Liverpool.
As you make your way along the Pier Head, you’ll come across one of the most iconic skylines in the world. The Three Graces are a set of three historical buildings that line the Pier Head, and consist of the Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building, and the Port of Liverpool Building. The first of these buildings to be constructed was the Port of Liverpool Building in 1907 and was used as the headquarters of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. It’s one of the most beautiful attractions in Liverpool to visit, and makes for a great photo too!
The most well-known landmark in Liverpool is the Royal Liver Building. It opened in 1911, and is dotted with Liver birds, which tell the story of the city’s maritime heritage. At the time of its construction, it was Europe’s first skyscraper and one of the first buildings in the world to be built using reinforced concrete. Today it still functions as offices, but it’s now open to the public and you can not only get a tour of some of its rooms, but you can also treat yourself to an audio visual experience in the clock tower. If you only have 48 hours in Liverpool, don’t miss out on this important attraction. You can also check out the Titanic Memorial which is only a short walk from the Royal Liver Building.
If you’re interested in visiting art galleries, Tate Liverpool is one of the most popular art galleries in England, and sits right in the heart of the Royal Albert Dock. Visiting Liverpool on a budget? This art gallery is completely free to enter, with a small fee imposed if you want to see specific exhibitions. If you don’t have time to go inside of the art gallery, there is a very colourful installation outside of it called Liverpool Mountain, which is the first of its kind in Europe. Tate Liverpool is definitely worth a quick visit, especially if you’re only in Liverpool for 2 days!
It's a bit of a trek, but if you have time you should definitely go and take a look at Liverpool Cathedral - the interior is stunning. This is a free attraction in Liverpool, and is the 5th largest cathedral in Europe as well. It was constructed between 1904 and 1978, and its total external length makes it the longest cathedral in Europe. Not only that, but it’s considered to be one of the tallest non-spired church buildings in the world too! This is one of Liverpool's main attractions so really shouldn't be missed.
Just in front of the cathedral is Liverpool's Chinatown. This area is amazing to walk around, and if you have time you should stop in at one of its many restaurants. It's home to one of the largest and oldest Chinese communities in the whole of Europe too. Apart from its restaurants, one thing that really stands out in Liverpool’s Chinatown is the traditional Chinese arch that greets you, which was built to celebrate the twinning of Liverpool and Shanghai.
Liverpool is known for its shopping, among other things. There are a lot of day trips that come to Liverpool strictly so people can visit the city's shops. I didn't end up going shopping, but I would recommend walking around the streets in the city centre - you never know what you'll come across! Liverpool ONE is the city’s main shopping centre, and is quite unique as it’s open-air and has been named one of Europe’s leading retail and leisure destinations.
At the top of one of the main shopping streets is the bombed out church. It was hollowed out during the blitz of 1941, and is used for a number of outdoor activities now. There is a WWI statue sitting just outside of it which I think is worth visiting. It's a great spot to add to your itinerary if you want to visit hidden gems in Liverpool.
Church Alley is one of the more colourful streets in Liverpool to visit, as it’s been decorated with hanging umbrellas. It’s located just off of one of the city’s main shopping streets, so you should have no problems finding it. If you’re looking for Instagrammable places in Liverpool, Church Alley is hard to beat.
Liverpool’s waterfront is my favourite part of the city to walk around, and it’s home to the Museum of Liverpool. It’s the world’s first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city, and is also the largest newly-built national museum in the UK for more than 100 years. It was opened in 2011 with the aim of telling the story of Liverpool and its people. It’s a very popular tourist attraction in Liverpool, and its central location makes it easy to add to your itinerary if you’re only able to spend 48 hours in Liverpool.
One of my favourite buildings that wasn’t along the waterfront in Liverpool was the Liverpool Town Hall. This Grade I listed building was completed in 1754, and is one of the best surviving 18th century town halls in England still standing. The city council still meets here every seven weeks, and on certain days the building is open to the public for tours. It may not be the most popular attraction in Liverpool, but it’s definitely a beautiful spot for a photo!
Sitting between the Pier Head and the Royal Albert Dock are a number of interesting and picturesque spots where you can stop to take photos. We spent most of our time in this area of the city since there’s so much to see and do here, so if you only have 48 hours in Liverpool to spare, I would recommend spending a good portion of your itinerary along the waterfront. If you’re visiting with your spouse or partner you can add a love lock to one of the railings here and pretend you’re in Paris!
Breakout Liverpool offers a variety of different breakout rooms to choose from, all of varying difficulties, with a great selection of unique themes as well. We chose The Heist, which gives you 60 minutes to try and break out of a bank with all of the gold. Unfortunately we found it a little too difficult with just the two of us, so we didn’t make it out, even with all of the helpful clues. Breakout rooms are a great activity to do in Liverpool when it’s raining, and are a lot of fun too - even if you don’t make it out in time! Breakout Liverpool is located in the city centre, so it’s very easy to find and add into your schedule. What room will you choose?
Have you ever been axe throwing? It had been on my bucket list for a long time, so I was really pleased to come across TimberJacks in Liverpool! It’s a little bit out of the city centre, so I would recommend driving to it or taking public transportation, but it’s definitely worth the trip. If you’ve never thrown an axe before, it does take a bit of time to get used to, but the staff are very helpful and take you through the different throwing techniques in stages.
You can choose from a variety of different targets too, from apples to giant posters. They also play some great music to get you more pumped to hurl the axe through the air, and have snacks and drinks to purchase at the main desk. Don’t worry - you’re completely caged in from other axe throwers so it’s totally safe. It’s a really fun activity in Liverpool to take part in, whether you’re travelling as a couple, a family, or with a group of friends. I would say by the time we left, at least 50% of my axe throws stayed in the target. Axe throwing in Liverpool at TimberJacks is a must-try!
Where To Eat in Liverpool
Although Silk Road Tapas is a modern restaurant, it ties its food and drinks to the spices and aromas that were found along the ancient Silk Road trading route. If you love travelling and trying out new flavours, Silk Road Tapas will be the perfect restaurant in Liverpool for you to visit. All of their dishes are served tapas style, so they recommend 3-4 options per person. It’s actually very difficult to choose only a few dishes to try, which is why tapas is so great!
You could tell that the food was all freshly prepared, with just the right amount of seasoning added to them. They also have a very unique cocktail menu which I would highly recommend choosing from. Again, these tie into the flavours found along the Silk Road so you may be pleasantly surprised by the taste! Silk Road Tapas is located only a short walk from both the waterfront and the popular shopping areas of the city, making it an ideal stop during your trip.
If you love street food as much as I do, then you’re going to want to check out Maggie Fu, located only a few steps away from the city’s main shopping centre. This family-owned Asian restaurant serves authentic Chinese food, and has a very big menu to choose from. The atmosphere here is very relaxed, so it’s perfect if you just want to have a chilled lunch or a quick bite to eat with your friends. I had their salt & pepper chicken and was blown away by the amount of flavours that were in one dish. Maggie Fu’s is doing a great job of bringing Chinese street food to Liverpool!
There are many rooftop bars in Liverpool to choose from, but not many have a view quite like the one at Liberté! We visited this unique restaurant in Liverpool in the evening, and loved the party-like atmosphere of it. It’s certainly a very Instagrammable location in Liverpool. The restaurant boasts a Pan Asian style menu which is bursting with flavour, and their cocktail menu is just as unique. Unfortunately the rooftop bar at Liberté was closed when we visited, but it was recently voted as the top rooftop bar in the UK so it’s worth visiting, if not for the cocktails then definitely for the panoramic views of Liverpool. If you’re wanting a unique dining experience in Liverpool, Liberté is the perfect choice.
If you’re looking for Italian restaurants in Liverpool, look no further than Casa Italia. In 2019 it won an award for being the best restaurant in the city, and it still seemed to be extremely popular when we visited. They serve authentic Italian food which is made to order, and have a great selection of pastas and pizzas to choose from. The pizza looked amazing, but we opted for two of their tortellini dishes, which come in two different sizes depending on how hungry you are. If you opt for the larger pasta dish, make sure you don’t fill up on garlic dough balls beforehand like I did! The atmosphere in Casa Italia was great, and I loved how traditional the interior was. It’s situated right in the heart of the city too, so it’s a good choice if you fancy some Italian food in Liverpool!
Uniquely themed restaurants in Liverpool don’t come much better than Yard & Coop. If you like chicken, you will fall in love with this restaurant in Liverpool. The seating booths are built to represent a chicken coop, and the entire menu is chicken based. You can either choose from one of their chicken dishes, or build your own. If you’re coming here for lunch, make sure you show up on an empty stomach, because the build your own fried chicken plate is huge - especially if you upgrade the sides!
They pride themselves on the freshness of their food and their own secret recipe for their buttermilk fried chicken, which I have to say is pretty tasty! There are a couple of vegan options on the menu as well, which is great if you still want to experience the uniqueness of this restaurant’s interior but don't eat meat. Overall, this is a fantastic restaurant in Liverpool to stop in at as you make your way through the city!
There are plenty of brunch spots in Liverpool to choose from, but we chose to stop at The Brunch Club as it seemed to have a lot of positive reviews online. It boasts a very unique interior, and the menu had everything from classic brunch dishes to vegetarian and vegan brunch options. I went for their Brunch Veggie Burger which was made up of a giant flat mushroom and halloumi - it was delicious! It also looked like they had a great drinks menu and a bottomless brunch option too. Check them out if you’re looking for somewhere to have brunch in Liverpool!
Where To Stay in Liverpool
Liverpool is a huge city, so there are countless hotels to choose from. This time, we opted to stay at Aloft Liverpool, which is situated within a Grade II listed Royal Insurance Building, meaning you’re surrounded by history but at the same time have all of the amenities you would expect from a modern hotel. This boutique hotel in Liverpool is perfectly located to give you access to the most popular clubs in Liverpool, as well as the city’s main attractions. Inside of the hotel you’ll find a gorgeous bar area complete with a pool table, as well as the very popular NYL Restaurant. As soon as you walk through the doors of the hotel you get the "wow factor" with its high ceilings, marble pillars, and the very modern reception and bar area on full display.
Breakfast at Aloft Liverpool is served in the main restaurant, and has a good mixture of continental options and hot food. We arrived at breakfast when it was quite busy, but there was never any shortage of food and the staff were very quick to replace things and clear the tables. I would recommend adding their breakfast to your booking!
Our room was located on the sixth floor of the hotel, and was absolutely incredible, with stunning views of Liverpool. We stayed in their Savvy Guest Room with a king sized bed and city views. The room was very spacious, and included a lovely gift basket with chocolate, crisps, and drinks, as well as a handwritten welcome card. The bed was very comfortable, and was positioned facing the large window so you could watch the sunset from the bed which was beautiful.
Our room even had fresh dressing gowns and slippers to use which was a nice added touch. The walk-in shower was very spacious and there were plenty of luxury toiletries dotted around the bathroom to use as well. We loved our stay here and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is planning a trip to Liverpool and wants a relaxing hotel to come back to.
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Liverpool is a great city to visit in England, whether you want to explore the city's vast history, or simply want a chilled weekend away with your friends. There are a lot of things to see in Liverpool, and certainly a lot of places to eat in Liverpool as well, so it's one city you won't get bored of. Even if you're only visiting for 48 hours like we did, you'll have more than enough time to see its main attractions.
Thinking of visiting Manchester? Check out my blog post covering what to do in the city and what to eat as well. It's a great option for a day trip from Liverpool, as it's only an hour away. I would also recommend taking a short drive to visit Blackpool, Burnley, or the Forest of Bowland if you're looking for unique places to visit in England. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for more travel photos and tips!