Aerial View of Liverpool city centre at night, taken from Royal Liver Building, Liverpool

Liverpool Cruise Port: DIY Guide From Ship to City Centre Adventures

Calling all DIY cruisers! Liverpool is a city brimming with history, music, and culture, all within easy reach of the cruise terminal. Let this guide be your compass as you chart your own course through this fascinating port of call.

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Liverpool Cruise Port: Is a DIY Excursion Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Easy Peasy)

Liverpool cruise dock, with views of the city centre, Liverpool, UK
See how close the Liverpool cruise dock is to the city centre! | Photo by Mylo Kaye

Liverpool is an absolute dream for independent explorers! And it earns a perfect ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž in my books! Here’s why:

  • City Centre at Your Doorstep: Step off the ship, and you’re practically in the heart of Liverpool. Major attractions like the Royal Albert Dock, the Beatles Story, and the Museum of Liverpool are all within a leisurely 15-minute walk.
  • Free Museums Galore: Many of Liverpool’s best museums, especially those at the Royal Albert Dock, offer free admission. This eliminates the need for pre-booking and allows for spontaneous exploration.
  • Stellar Public Transportation: Good bus & rail network means you can venture further if you like. I’ve done a day trip to Chester while the ship was docked in Liverpool cruise port!

Liverpool Cruise Port Essentials: All You Need to Know

Anthem of the Seas, docked at Liverpool cruise port, Liverpool
Anthem of the Seas at Liverpool Cruise Dock

Liverpool Cruise Port Address: Cruise Terminal. Gate, 2 Princes Parade, Liverpool L3 1DL – See it marked on my map below ๐Ÿ‘‡

  • Currency: British Pounds (GBP)
  • Official Websites: Liverpool Cruise Port schedules, Visit Liverpool is the official tourism website
  • Recommended Transport App: Use Google Maps for general navigation & walking directions but I prefer Citymapper for bus routes around Liverpool
  • eSIM Roaming in UK: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout
  • My Liverpool Cruise Port Map: ๐Ÿ‘‡ Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version of the map. Use buttons on bottom left to zoom in/out. If map is not loading, click here to see it directly on Google Maps.

Liverpool Must-See Attractions Near Cruise Port

1. Royal Albert Dock

Beatles statue in Liverpool Albert Dock area
You’ll walk past the Fab 4 from Liverpool Cruise Port on the way to Royal Albert Dock

The Royal Albert Dock is a complex of beautifully restored warehouses, now home to an array of museums, galleries, shops, restaurants and bars. It’s been UNESCO World Heritage listed since 2004, as a key part of Liverpool’s Maritime history.

Liverpool played a pivotal role in the development of maritime trade and commerce from 18th to early 20th centuries. The docks were a major hub for trade and transport during the British Empire’s peak. The Royal Albert Dock itself is the world’s first non-combustible dock system, built using cast iron, brick and stone to minimise the risk of fire.

There’s heaps to do here, so pick one or two that interests you:

  • Museum of Liverpool: It’s a fantastic museum located right on the waterfront and is the first one you’ll see if you walk from the cruise terminal towards Royal Albert Dock. The museum tells the story of Liverpool’s history from its early origins as a small fishing village to its rise as a global port during the Industrial Age. Very kids-friendly and a personal favourite on this list! Free entry, too!
    • Opening Hours: Closed Mondays. Open 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday
  • Tate Liverpool: A cousin of the Tate Galleries in London, the Tate Liverpool showcases modern and contemporary art, in temporary exhibitions. The Tate Liverpool is significantly smaller than its London cousins and you can easily breeze through the few floors in an hour or less. There’s a cafe with good views, too. Free entry, but sometimes special exhibitions attract a fee.
  • Merseyside Maritime Museum: This museum celebrates Liverpool’s rich maritime history, from its role as a major port to its connection to the Titanic. We all know that the Titanic sailed out of Southampton on her maiden voyage but did you know that White Star Line’s HQ, the owner of Titanic, is (still) nearby at the corner of James Street and the Strand? So there’s a special exhibit on the Titanic here too. Kids-friendly and free entry.
    • Opening Hours: Closed Mondays. Open 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
  • International Slavery Museum: This museum explores the history of the transatlantic slave trade and its enduring legacy. The exhibits are thought provoking, with galleries dedicated to the lives of enslaved people, racism and discrimination. I really enjoyed my visit here. It’s kids friendly too, though of course this is a difficult topic and perhaps less suitable for very young kids. Free entry.
    • Opening Hours: Closed Mondays. Open 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Apart from the museums, there’s lots of unique shops and boutiques, as well as cafes and restaurants with waterfront views when you need a break.

2. The Beatles Story

Entrance to the Beatles Story museum, Liverpool
Photo courtesy of the Beatles Story

The Beatles Story is an immersive museum on the lives, times and extraordinary music of the Fab Four – probably the most famous Scousers (those from Liverpool, named after “Scouse”, a type of popular stew) ever! While it’s part of the Royal Albert Dock complex, I’ve highlighted it separately as this is supposedly Liverpool’s most popular attraction! (Don’t confuse this with the Beatles Museum in Liverpool – that’s a different museum altogether!)

You’ll see authentic memorabilia, including their instruments, clothing and personal items. Interactive exhibits chart their rise to fame from humble Liverpool beginnings to global superstardom. There’s even a replica of the Cavern Club and Abbey Road Studios!

  • How To Get There: 15 minutes walk from cruise terminal; you’ll walk past all the museums I mentioned above to the end of the “square” shape in the Royal Albert Docks. It’s well sign posted.
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 6:30pm (last entry 5pm) from March to September. Closes earlier with last entry at 4pm during winter months.
  • Tickets: ยฃ20 adults, ยฃ16 seniors & students, ยฃ11 for kids aged 5-15. Ticket includes an audio guide. Purchase online to skip the line!

3. Cavern Club

Cavern Club Beatles Set, Liverpool
Image courtesy of the Cavern Club

The Cavern Club is the legendary venue that launched the Beatles into superstardom. The Beatles played an astonishing 292 gigs at the Cavern Club in 1961-63. So it remains a pilgrimage site for Beatles fans around the world. Although the original club closed in 1973, it was rebuilt in the 1980s using many of the original bricks and retaining the iconic arched ceiling.

  • Opening Hours: Open daily from 11am till late, with live music every day.
  • Tickets: ยฃ5 adults, ยฃ2.50 kids aged 12-17. Free for kids under 12 accompanied by adults, but only still 8pm. Pay at the door.
  • Magical Mystery Tours: Interested to take a tour of all the important Beatles sites in Liverpool? You’ll see the Beatles’ childhood homes, schools and get up close to places that inspired some of their most memorable songs โ€“ Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. Tours leave a few minutes’ walk from the cruise terminal – pre-book online needed. Note: This is not a walking tour; you’ll be on a coach and dropped off at several locations.
  • Tip: The Cavern pub is located across the street from the Cavern Club. No, the Beatles didn’t play their gigs at the pub but if you’re looking for a tourist friendly pub as a rest stop, there’s live music from 11am daily. Free entry.

4. Liverpool Cathedral

Inside Liverpool Cathedral with the altar centrepiece, Liverpool
Inside Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the UK and the longest cathedral in the world, measuring 189 metres (~620 feet). It’s relatively “young” by cathedral standards but its construction took 75 years and finally consecrated in 1978.

The central tower stands at 331 feet (101 meters) tall and houses the world’s highest and heaviest peal of bells! The cathedral is free to enter but there’s an admission charge for the tower.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 6pm. Tower typically shuts earlier at 5pm. Double-check opening hours here before you visit.
  • Tickets: For the Tower only – ยฃ7 adults, ยฃ6 kids and ยฃ20 for family (2 adults and up to 3 kids). Tickets are dated but not timed, so be prepared for queues. There are lifts but the last stretch to the top involves 108 steps!

5. Royal Liver Building

The Three Graces at nighttime, Liverpool
The Three Graces at Night

Standing tall at Pier Head, the Royal Liver Building is one of the “Three Graces,” a trio of iconic buildings that define Liverpool’s skyline. Completed in 1911, it was originally the headquarters of the Royal Liver Assurance group, a local insurance company. (If you’ve just been to the Museum of Liverpool, you would have learnt all about these buildings).

The building’s most distinctive features are its two clock towers, each adored with a mythical Liver Bird. These copper sculptures stand over 18 feet tall. Legend has it that if the birds were to “fly away”, Liverpool would cease to exist. This building is one of the first “skyscrapers” in Europe. The building is on your way back to the cruise terminal.

  • How to Get There: 10 minutes from the cruise terminal on the Liverpool waterfront
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9am – closing times vary.
  • Tickets: ยฃ16 adults, ยฃ12 kids under 15. You’ll need to pre-book a time slot as the tours are guided.
  • Note: There’s 124 steps to the top of the observation balcony on the 15th floor. Not suitable for those with limited mobility.

6. Western Approaches

A must for WWII buffs! Buried beneath the city streets, the Western Approaches served as the secret command centre for the Battle of the Atlantic. It was from this underground bunker that the Allies orchestrated the defense of vital shipping convoys against German U-boat attacks.

The Western Approaches has been meticulously preserved. You’ll see the original maps, charts, and communication equipment used. The Operations Room, the heart of the bunker, remains frozen in time. The large map table, plotting tools, and teleprinters are all still there.

There’s lots to see and it will take you about 1.5 hours to go through the self guided tour.

7. Liverpool Football Club at Anfield Stadium

Entrance to Anfield Stadium, home of the Liverpool Football Club, Liverpool, UK
Entrance to Anfield Stadium | Photo by Tembela Bohle

Liverpool is a city that lives and breathes football, and if you’re a fan of the beautiful game, a stadium tour of Liverpool Football Club is an absolute must. Anfield Stadium has been the home of Liverpool Football Club since 1892. If you’re a fan of Liverpool, a visit to the stadium and museum is a must!

  • How to Get There: Many bus routes will take you to Anfield. Easiest though is Bus #26, from outside James Street Station, a 5-10 minute walk from the cruise terminal. This bus runs every 10-15 minutes & stops outside the stadium. See the stop marked on my map above. One-day bus ticket costs ยฃ5.50 and the journey will take about 30 mins. Check Google Maps or Citymapper for live departures & other options.
  • Tickets: There’s a few options depending on how long you want to stay or how big a Liverpool fan you are!
    • Museum only: Interactive museum – you’ll see all the trophies, silverware and iconic jerseys. Adults ยฃ13, Seniors 65+ & students ยฃ10, Kids (5-15) ยฃ8 and free for kids under 5.
    • Guided Tour: Self guided visit to the museum PLUS guided stadium tour including behind the scenes access including the player’s tunnel, the dressing rooms and the press rooms. (Note: there is no access to the pitch). Pre-book online here.
    • Abseiling Down the Stadium: For those truly adventurous, why not abseil down the main stand? ยฃ45 adults, ยฃ38 kids – minimum age 10. This must be pre-booked as early as possible as it often gets sold out. If slots are not available, keep checking as cancellation slots open up.

Featured Photo by Horison Imaging

I hope this DIY guide helped you plan for a fantastic shore excursion at Liverpool! If you found this post useful, please share it with fellow cruisers in your roll call groups. Please let me know about your favourite Liverpool discoveries in the comments below! Safe travels and happy cruising!

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