Here is a perfect plan for one day in Liverpool with lots of options depending on what YOU want from a day in Liverpool!
A day trip to Liverpool is a great idea because the city centre is pretty compact and connected well by public transport. Plus, Liverpool is so iconic you only need to see a few of the top places to visit in Liverpool to feel like you’ve truly seen this famous city!
I visit Liverpool quite often from Manchester as it’s one of the great day trips from Manchester and other cities in Northern England (and Wales!).
In this Liverpool travel blog, I’m going to give you the best way to spend a day in Liverpool with lots of options as some people will come to Liverpool for The Beatles, others for Football and some for Shopping and Docks.
One Day in Liverpool
I’ll give you more Liverpool itinerary options below with lots more detail but in case you’re in a rush, here is what my perfect day in Liverpool would look like:
- Breakfast / Brunch at Bold Street Coffee
- See a view of Liverpool from the top of St Johns Beacons Tower
- Walk via Queen Avenue to the Docks
- Museum of Liverpool
- Lunch at Royal Albert Docks
- Walk around Royal Albert Docks
- Take the 50-minute Mersey Ferry Sightseeing Cruise
- Have a look around the shops at Liverpool One
- Dinner on Bold Street
- Evening Drink at the 360 Sky Bar
Related post: How to spend a weekend in Liverpool!
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Getting to Liverpool
Liverpool is really well connected by road, train, bus and air,
Driving into Liverpool
Liverpool is easily accessed from all around the country via the M6. As you get close to Liverpool, be sure to take the Mersey Flow Liverpool Toll Bridge to help make your entry into Liverpool quicker, just don’t forget to pay online afterwards.
There are plenty of car parks in Liverpool, especially Q Parks so you’ll find somewhere central to park in the city no problem, just note that the city centre parking isn’t cheap!
Train into Liverpool
Liverpool has 2 central train stations – Liverpool Central and Liverpool Lime Street. Getting the train will help you start your Liverpool city break with ease as you’ll arrive right in the city centre.
I always use The Train Line to check train timetables and make my bookings.
Flying into Liverpool
Liverpool also has an airport. It’s not as big as nearby Manchester Airport but many European flights do land here and it’s just 30 minutes from the city centre with a regular Airport to City bus schedule.
If you are visiting Liverpool from overseas, instead of looking into flying into London and then travelling up to Liverpool, I suggest checking flights into Liverpool, or Manchester!
Getting Around Liverpool
Liverpool is a very compact and walkable city so for your day trip to Liverpool you will be fine walking everywhere and won’t need to work out any public transport once in the city centre.
Liverpool Sightseeing Bus
If you have difficulties walking far, or your time in Liverpool is very limited, I do suggest booking a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour.
I saw many of these buses driving around on my day in Liverpool recently and they are a great way to see the top Liverpool attractions whilst taking it easy and not needing to walk far.
This Beatles sightseeing bus is particularly popular too!
A Day in Liverpool
Ok now let’s get into ways to spend a day in Liverpool and how to visit Liverpool in one day.
Remember, I’m going to give you a few different options as you can’t do everything in Liverpool in 1 day so you can decide what attracts you most to Liverpool, whether it be the football, music, shopping, the docks and focus your Liverpool one day itinerary around this.
One Day Liverpool Itinerary
As with all day trips, the earlier you get to Liverpool the better so you can spend a full one day there!
Morning – Breakfast in a cool cafe
There are so many places to get a great breakfast or brunch in Liverpool and don’t think of this as wasting part of your day in Liverpool because going to one of these cafes or restaurants is bound to give you a good feel for the city.
I went to Bold Street Coffee on Bold Street for my recent breakfast in Liverpool and I loved the vibe, especially on a weekday.
Morning – Start with a Football Tour
If you’re coming to Liverpool for football, you can book a tour of Anfield Stadium and they start at 10:00 am so visiting as you arrive in Liverpool is a great idea (especially if you are driving to Liverpool).
As with all football stadium tours, they have to work around the matches so check in advance if the day you plan to travel to Liverpool has football stadium tours and availability.
All Anfield Stadium Tours and activities:
If you’re not into football or not a Liverpool fan, I did a tour of Old Trafford stadium tour in Manchester and even though I’m not a big football fan, it was really great to see the stadium with no one else there and access parts you can only visit on a tour like the changing rooms!
Mid-morning – Royal Albert Docks
The benefit of visiting a city like Liverpool for one day over a city like Manchester is that you can go to the Liverpool Docks, see the iconic red brick and red pillar buildings and straight away feel like you’ve been to Liverpool and this place is so famous!
The first place I recommend you visit in Liverpool is the Royal Albert Docks. There are plenty of places to get coffee and food here as well so you could start your day in Liverpool here.
Rough Hand Made is a bakery I recommend, they make fresh pastries and bread onsite on the day and are right on the water. It is best to go early to get more options.
Museums in Royal Albert Dock
There are a number of great museums in Liverpool to visit and many are just a few minutes from each other around Albert Docks:
- Museum of Liverpool
- Maritime Museum
- Tate Liverpool
- The Beatles Story Exhibition / Museum
- British Museum Experience
Mid-Morning – Mersey Ferry Boat Cruise
Going on a Mersey Ferry Cruise is one of the best things to do in Liverpool and it makes sense to go during your one day in Liverpool whilst you are exploring the docks as this is where it departs from.
The terminal is located next to the Museum of Liverpool and ferries run pretty much every hour on the hour.
I do recommend booking a ticket in advance, especially on the weekend and you can buy tickets online here for the same price as in the terminal. You don’t pre-book a set time either, just a ticket to use any time that day.
I recommend getting to the terminal 20 minutes before the next scheduled departure because it does get busy and it’s first come first on the next ferry departure.
The River Cruise is 50 minutes, it takes you over to the Seacombe ferry terminal first which is the side of the Wirral and you can disembark here for a bit if you want.
If you are on looking for things to do in Liverpool with children, Eureka Science Museum aimed at children is next to Seacombe Port and a good place to visit whilst on your day trip to Liverpool with kids.
But, with just 1 day in Liverpool, it might be best to stay onboard and enjoy the views of the River Mersey and Liverpool City for 50 minutes.
The easiest way to book your Liverpool sightseeing tickets in advance:
Lunch Option – On the Docks
There are lots of places to get lunch at the Royal Albert Docks, there are food vans and cafes attached to the museums and the river ferry port for a quick and easy lunch.
Lunch Option – Duke Street Food Market
But, if you can wait, after the Docks, head into Liverpool One a few minutes walk away and go to Duke Street Food Market.
There are a few street food markets in Liverpool, Baltic Market is another popular one but Baltic Market is a bit further out of the city centre and only open in the evenings so it doesn’t work well for a day trip to Manchester, hence my recommendation for Duke Street Food Market.
Duke Street Food Market offers 6-7 restaurants of different cuisines to order from but everyone sits together in the middle.
Lunch Option – Water Street
Another option for lunch in Liverpool is on Water Street which is also close to the Docks. Water Street is one of the famous streets in Liverpool for films being shot here.
There are many places to eat in Liverpool on Water Street, mainly chain restaurants and the ones I recommend are Mowgli Street Food and Rudy’s Pizza.
After visiting Water Street, don’t leave without finding Queens Ave on the attached street. This is a small arcade which is beautiful and easily one of the hidden gems in Liverpool!
Mid Afternoon – Shopping in Liverpool One
Liverpool is known for its shopping and I must say, I prefer the shopping here to Manchester.
Liverpool has so many sides and the Liverpool One shopping district really reflects this. Some shopping streets are older and not so nice to walk along but if you seek out John Lewis, Harvey Nichlos and Peters Lane shopping street you’ll find some nice areas and more upmarket shops to browse.
Mid Afternoon – St Johns Beacon Tower
Radio Tower can be seen all over Liverpool City and going to the top is one of the top things to do in Liverpool and top Liverpool attractions!
Whilst many locals will call it Radio Tower, the viewing platform is called St Johns Beacon where an elevator will take you all the way to the top for a 360 view of the city which I recommend on your one day in. Liverpool! You can buy tickets online or once you arrive.
Mid Afternoon – Churches & Cathedrals
Liverpool has 2 impressive cathedrals and an impressive Church all within walking distance from one another and you don’t have to be religious to appreciate them.
Liverpool Cathedral is the big red Cathedral you’ll see perched up high on the hill whilst walking around Liverpool, you can enter for free and go up to the tower for £6.00,
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is a modern and unique-looking building and very cool to visit, you can go inside for £5.00 pp.
The Bombed Out Cathedral is only open for events and is not a working cathedral but located at the top of Bold Street, it’s worth having a look in through the fence to see this historic building which was bombed in World War 2 and now acts as an open-air venue in Liverpool.
Evening – Dinner on Bold Street
Bold Street is a great place to go for dinner in Liverpool, especially if you are finishing your day in Liverpool by getting the train from Liverpool Central Station as Bold Street is just next door.
Bold Street is a street full of restaurants offering fairly casual dining with cuisines around the world from Greek, Persian, Arab, Indian and more.
If you are looking for halal food in Liverpool, Bold Street is where you’ll find it!
Evening – Fancy Dinner in Liverpool
If you are looking for a more fancy dinner in Liverpool to end your day in Liverpool on a high, here are my recommendations:
- The London Carriage Works
- San Carlo
- Marco Pierre White Steakhouse
- Gino D’Acampo
Late Evening – Drinks at Gino D’Acampo Sky Bar 360
After dinner, we went to watch the sunset here and it was such a great way to end our day in Liverpool so I really recommend checking out the 360 Sky Bar Liverpool too!
Late Evening – Theatre and Shows
Liverpool is known for its theatres and shows so if you are looking for things to do in Liverpool at night, check out what the Liverpool Theatres have on offer!
Best Hotels in Liverpool
If you’re staying for 24 hours in Liverpool and need a hotel rather than doing a day trip to Liverpool, I recommend staying central within the city.
On my recent visit to Liverpool I stayed at School Lane Hotel which I really recommend for a Liverpool city break. This is a brand new hotel in Liverpool One which is the very centre of Liverpool and the only independent hotel in Liverpool One.
This means School Lane Hotel has an amazing central location, less than a 5-minute walk from Liverpool Central Station and with shops and cafes directly outside of the hotel but, inside the hotel feels peaceful and modern and a great base to see the city from, especially with limited time.
Other city centre hotels in Liverpool I recommend are:
- Holiday Inn Liverpool City Centre – $$
- Novotel Liverpool Centre – $$
- Quest Liverpool City Centre – $$$
- INNSiDE by Meliá Liverpool – $$$
- Crowne Plaza Liverpool City Centre – $$$
- Hilton Liverpool City Centre – $$$
- The Municipal Hotel Liverpool – MGallery – $$$$
Liverpool One Day FAQ
Here are answers to frequently answered questions about visiting Liverpool:
Can you do Liverpool in one day?
Yes! Liverpool is a fairly compact city and therefore very easy to walk around and see a lot of in one day. Plus, many of the top places to see in Liverpool are around the waterfront and easy to see in a short time.
How do you spend the day in Liverpool?
Start your day in the Royal Albert Docks and on Liverpool Waterfront taking in the architecture, River Mersey and Museums and then go out on a River Mersey Cruise. Head into Liverpool one for some shopping and go to the top of St Johns Beacon to see a 360 view over Liverpool.
How long should I spend in Liverpool?
A weekend in Liverpool or 2 days in Liverpool is a good amount of time, however you can certainly visit Liverpool for 1 day and see a lot.
Is Liverpool worth visiting for one day?
Yes! Liverpool is a great city for a day trip and to spend 1 day in. Liverpool is a compact city and very walkable so you can see a lot of the top Liverpool attractions in a few hours.
I hope this has helped your plan your one day in Liverpool and your Liverpool one day itinerary!
- For more of my posts see:
- How to spend a weekend in Liverpool!
- PERFECT One Day in Manchester Itinerary
- 23+ Fun Family Days Out NEAR Manchester
- 22+ GREAT Day Trips From Manchester
- 30 BEST Places to Visit in North Wales & North Wales Attractions!
- Full Lake District Day Trip! How to Spend 1 Day in the Lake District!