When I first told people I was going to Liverpool with my dad, they asked: Why Liverpool? What are the things to do in Liverpool? In all honesty: I didn’t know it either. After the news of the Brexit I decided a trip to the United Kingdom would be the perfect birthday gift to my father. As it was quite spontaneous, I needed to find as many free things to do in Liverpool as possible.
As I found some cheap tickets to either Manchester or Liverpool, I did a quick google image search. Liverpool came out on top and the decision was made: we would go to Liverpool for a short weekend-get-away.
Are you looking for a quick weekend-get-away in the UK? Read my guide with a recap of our 30 hours urban exploration in Liverpool and 4 Fabulous Free Things to do in Liverpool on a short weekend break, and Liverpool might be your next destination!
Things to do in Liverpool in 30 hours
We only had a short weekend and I want to show you how we explored the city of Liverpool in only 30 hours. We did a lot of things and saw many of the highlights of the city.
I break down our activities on a time line and at the end, I’ll provide you with a recap of the 4 fabulous free things to do in Liverpool. This shows you, you can travel quick and see a lot of things, without going broke.
10.00-11.00 am Ride the double-decker bus into Liverpool
Oh what a joy! The bus from the airport to the centre of Liverpool was a double-decker bus! Of course we went to the top level and enjoyed the views of the streets of Liverpool as we were driving into the city. We got off at Liverpool One Bus Station and walked from there into town.
11.00-12.00 am Enjoy your English breakfast
Our trip to Liverpool was a gift to my dad. When I revealed to him we were going to Liverpool, his first reaction was: Will we have an English breakfast? You might say this was actually our only plan: go to Liverpool and enjoy a full English breakfast.
This breakfast options were also the only thing I did research before we left. I made a selection of places we could go to and checked their opening times. We had a delicious English Breakfast at Tabac on Bold Street, which serves breakfast until 5.00 pm!
My dad had the big English breakfast and I took the small one. I was especially delighted with the tasteful warm bread. What a treat!
12.00- 1.30 pm Visit Cathedral of Liverpool
From the breakfast table we could look outside to the streets of Liverpool and we noticed a sign that directed us to the Cathedral of Liverpool. Neat little detail, this is the longest cathedral of Europe! Read more about the Cathedral of Liverpool and the Lady Chapel on my blog post.
1.30- 2.00 pm Climb to the tower
We could have hiked up a hill or zoom to the top of the Radio City Tower for views of the city, but we opted for the cheaper option and a visit of the Tower of the Cathedral of Liverpool. After a comfortable elevator ride and 100 steps, the tower treated us with 360 degrees views of Liverpool and river Mersey. What a striking sight! I absolutely recommend this as one of the top things to do in Liverpool. We only had to pay GBP 5,50.
2.00 – 3.00 pm Stoll through Hope Street
From the tower we could see the other Cathedral of Liverpool and we decided to head there next. The signposts in Liverpool directed us via Hope Street. Here we found some interesting landmarks, local owned shops and lovely houses. For more info on Hope Street, check my story about finding Hope in the middle of the Street.
At the end of Hope Street, you’ll find the Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool and you can check out this modernist place of worship. Learn about the history of the build and check the colourful glass stained windows. Now you’ve seen both Cathedrals of Liverpool!
3.00- 5.00 pm Afternoon tea in the centre
Head to the centre next because by now, you can use some refreshment. We went to the general shopping area around Church Street and browsed some shops. Of course you can go Lambanana and go for a real shopping spree if that is one of the things to do in Liverpool for you!
We settles into a nice sweet little café, the Rococo Coffee House and enjoyed some afternoon tea. Or in our case, coffee and cake.
5.00- 7.00 pm Albert Dock and the Waterfront
Leave the big shopping street of Liverpool and you’ll arrive at the waterfront. Magnificent buildings of the start of the 20th century welcome all visitors to Liverpool. There is plenty to see and do. For the children, there is a marry-go-round in summer, there are food stalls and some lounge areas.
Walk around the Liverpool museum along the waterfront and find the old little harbours. Great for photo options, contrasting views of the city of Liverpool and there is also the Liverpool ferries wheel. Would you dare to take a ride?
Albert Dock in Liverpool
Walk around the Albert Dock area and pick a place for drinks or early diner. The Albert Dock used to be an old warehouse area, but now has been spruced up and is the hip and happing place to be in Liverpool!
You’ll also find many museums here, like the slavery museum and Tate Museum. There is enough to see and do around the waterfront of Liverpool. Watch the ferry to Isle of Man or cruise ships dock or depart. You can take a boat ride along the river Mersey or just enjoy the fresh breeze of air coming from the water.
8.00 – 10.00 pm Diner in the centre
After we checked into our hotel at the waterfront, we changed our clothes and took a little rest before going back into town for diner again. By now we were already getting pretty tired so we made a mistake by settling for an over expensive, non-quality burger in the first place we could find. We should have walked further into the area around Bold Street, Hanover St. or Fleet St. to enjoy some proper pub grub or at least have a decent priced meal.
10.00 pm- until you drop – Paint the town red
After diner you can head to the bustling streets around Mathew St. for some dancing, live music at Cavern Club, where the Beatles started or just a pint in a pub. Depending on how tired you are, you can continue until the wee hours of the night. It’s Saturday after all. Don’t know where to go? Join a Pub Crawl Tour in Liverpool.
Free Things to do in Liverpool on Sunday
If you only have a short weekend trip, the time passes very quickly! It was already Sunday and today we already had to fly home again. It felt like we only just arrived! Luckily we still had plenty of time before going to the airport.
9.30-10.30 am Breakfast at the Albert Dock
Unlike our city trip to Rome, we took our time this morning. We slept in for a bit and slowly strolled along the dock, looking for a quirky little place to have breakfast. Spoiled by our first experience with an English breakfast, we couldn’t find a place as good as the first one, so we decided to take something completely different.
We went to a Breton (=French) place, called La Crepe Rit (=the laughing crèpe) where we had a lovely croissant with some English tea. Fusion breakfast baby!
10.30 am- noon Visit Liverpool Museum
The Liverpool Museum was a big surprise for me and I really enjoyed it. Read all about why you should visit the Liverpool Museum, but I can spoil something already: it is FREE! Hurray! And you learn plenty about the history and culture of Liverpool and it is old fashion fun! I think this is one of the top things to do in Liverpool for families with children. Learn, play and be amazed!
12.00- 2.00 pm Visit Liverpool Central Library
We didn’t really know what to do next. Should we take a boat tour or take the Beatles Experience? We wanted to keep things low budget, so opted for the free Liverpool Central Library instead. We walked across town and enjoyed some of its green park. Like the St. John’s Gardens behind St. George’s Hall.
We arrived at the Liverpool Central Library which is open 7 days a week. We went to the top level to have a look at the view but this wasn’t as spectacular as the one from the tower of the Cathedral of Liverpool. After this, we went back down again and took in the eccentric interior design of the wood and glass construction.
I marvelled at the old books in the Hornby Library and Oak Room and wandered around the Picton Reading Room. Nothing but books, books, and more books! This makes me very happy and reminded me of Trinity Library in Dublin, Ireland.
2.00- 4.00 pm Have Sunday Roast Lunch
By now, I was too tired to walk anymore and after our light breakfast, we wanted to have one last chance for some proper English food. We settled on the terrace of a pub near Wood Street and opted for the Sunday Roast Lunch!
We don’t have this style of food at home so we enjoyed our Sunday lunch with some beers at the pub and just watched Liverpudlians go about their Sunday business.
After this, we headed back to the Liverpool One bus station and took the bus back to John Lennon Liverpool Airport.
4 Fabulous Free Things to do in Liverpool
As mentioned, we were on a budget trip. So I was happy to find 4 Fabulous Free Things to do in Liverpool.
- Visit the Cathedrals of Liverpool. Unusual architecture and linked to the history of the city.
- Visit the Liverpool Waterfront with its 20th century buildings, modern architecture and old harbour charm.
- Explore Liverpool Museum, learn about what makes Liverpool so unqiue.
- Pop into the Central Library of Liverpool. Great architecture, great rooms and a lot of books.
More things to do in Liverpool
Here I list other (not free) things to do in Liverpool. If you click on the links you go to the websites for more information and details.
- River Mersey Ferry cruise, boat ride on the river Mersey
- Beatles Story, learn all about the Fab 4
- Mersey Tunnel Tour, what is underneath Liverpool?
- Visit Liverpool Stadium, visit Anfield or attend a soccer match
- Walking Tour, take a guided walking tour of Liverpool
- Radio City Tower viewing deck, for views of the city of Liverpool
As you can see, you don’t need a lot of time to explore the city and get a good taste of the things to do in Liverpool. I hope I showed you, that even with only 30 hours you can experience Liverpool and have a good weekend. Have you ever been? What are your favourite things to do in Liverpool?
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