The revitalised Liverpool Docks, a place of unique beauty offering fun activities with historic architecture in the backdrop

18 Fun Things to do in Liverpool

Everything that’s worth doing that you won’t find at the top of TripAdvisor

By Paul, Treasure Hunt Liverpool.
Updated March 2024

Liverpool isn’t just Paul, John, George and Ringo. There’s so much to do it’s easy to miss the hidden gems and get swept away in a storm of tourist marketing, chains and ads.

What’s right for a couple on a weekend away won’t suit a hen party or a corporate away day.

Never fear! I’m Paul, co-founder of Treasure Hunt Liverpool and a proud resident of this standout city for nearly a decade. My personally curated guides will make sure you see the best bits of the city that are right for you.

Sip a cocktail in the ruins of WWII bombed out church, soak up the sunset alongside the three Graces and take a leak – or just a peek – in pub toilets that rival Gianni Versace’s swimming pool.

If you want local insights and the kind of insider knowledge you won’t get from Google, I’ve got you covered. This, imho, is everything in Liverpool that’s worth doing.

There are no ads, affiliate links or kickbacks – I just love Liverpool and I want you to love it too.

Here’s a taste of the things that you won’t find at the top of Tripadvisor.

A group of friends having fun with a spirited card game at The Oracle Bar, a unique venue in Liverpool

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Conjure up a magical night at The Oracle Bar

The door to 83 Seel Street looks like any other Georgian townhouse but that’s where the similarities end. Behind the plain exterior is a bar offering mind-bending cocktails and a side of close-up magic.

The dark interior makes for an intimate vibe and the magicians come to your table, leaving you to sit back, relax and question everything you ever thought was true. It’s the ideal place for an interesting date.

The drinks are delicious and the tricks are genuinely good – as a former member of the Junior Magic Circle I speak with some authority! ;)

Although it’s cheaper if you get lucky as a walk-in, I recommend booking, especially if you’re with a large party. Tables are one third of the price on Thursdays and Sundays if you can handle school-night shenanigans.

Hen parties take note: if you want to shower a little magic on your party, you can hire the magicians to come to you.

Bistro Noir in Liverpool, a cosy and inviting world cuisine restaurant offering a unique dining experience

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Live like a local on Lark Lane

Lark Lane is the place to come for some respite from the city centre’s weekend party crowds. Whereas the city centre is fun - and lovely outside of the weekends - Lark Lane is nice and chilled out. You won’t find offers on 2-4-1 shots here, if you get my drift.

It’s host to plenty of small – not to mention delicious – independent businesses so come with an empty stomach and be ready to browse. Try Hafla Hafla, Pippin’s Corner or Bistro Noir for some savoury and move on to Doogles Doughnuts for a sweet treat.

Save a bit of space in your itinerary to browse the great selection of vintage clothes and furniture and all aspiring crazy cat people will appreciate their time at the wonderful and unique Amorous Cat Gallery.

I love the DIY vibe and sense of activism you get “on the Lane” as we locals say. The old police station is now a thriving community centre, which really tells you everything you need to know.

The Palm House in Sefton Park, Liverpool, a unique glass-domed conservatory offering a fun and serene escape

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Spend a Sunday in Sefton Park

Combine your visit to Lark Lane with a trip to the massively overlooked Sefton Park. It’s easily reachable from the centre on the 82 bus or to St Michaels Merseyrail stop.

The park was designed by the fantastically named Liverpudlian Lewis Hornblower and the “exuberant” Parisian landscape designer Édouard André who filled it with statues, decorative gates, bridges and exotic lodges.

The archery and croquet field may be a thing of the past, but the stunning glass Palm House, the fairy glen, grotto and modern playground more than compensate for that.

Make a pilgrimage to the famous Peter Pan statue then enjoy stretches of spring daffodils or crisp autumn leaves. The cafe’s ok, but I’d save myself for one of the eateries on nearby Lark Lane.

Skaters enjoy a fun evening at the Rollerdrome, with vibrant lights creating a unique atmosphere in Liverpool

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Ride a ro-ro-roller disco at the Invisible Wind Factory

Is it a club…? Is it a gallery…? Is it a microbrewery…? Is it a venue…? Is it a cafe…? Is it a bar…?

Yes to all of the above AND it’s a rollerdome where you can dance yourself clean on eight wheels. With daytime and evening sessions there’s no excuse for not hiring some skates and throwing some shapes.

This is a great group activity for winter, when you don’t want to take chances with Liverpool’s windy weather, and a good place to go if you want to mingle.

The calendar changes all the time, so it’s best to check a month in advance. If you don’t want to take any chances you can book the whole venue for your own private disco.

A group of people enjoying a fun treasure hunt game near a large, unique sculpture in Liverpool.

Channel your inner pirate with Treasure Hunt Liverpool

Ok, I’m biased. But I’d be lying if I didn’t think Treasure Hunt Liverpool was one of the most fun ways to spend your time here.

With clues and maps sent straight to your phones, you get to see the best parts of Liverpool at your own pace. You’ll discover hidden histories of the city and notice bits that you’d normally walk straight past.

Part escape room, part walking tour, you can play on your own or compete in groups, guided by pirate queen Captain Bess of the Black Pearl.

With no set start and finish times, it’s the most flexible way to see the city and allows for diving into shops, sights or an extended afternoon guzzling grog.

Patrons enjoying a sunny day at the unique outdoor seating area of the Bombed Out Church in Liverpool, a fun and historical city landmark.

Sip amid the ruins at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church

There’s something deeply romantic about drinking in the grounds of this roofless church. It was firebombed in World War II and has stood derelict for sixty years.

For the past three, the gardens have opened as a bar on certain days during the summer. I love coming here with my family. Kids can play in the enclosed gardens while their (not so) responsible adults enjoy a daytime drink.

When dusk falls you can while away an evening surrounded by the hauntingly beautiful masonry, blooming gardens and glowing festoon lights. Bonus points for coming in blitz-themed fancy dress – the only bombing happening these days is on Instagram.

An energetic host at Bongo's Bingo in Liverpool, radiating fun in a vibrant, unique, and playful atmosphere

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Play and party at the original Bongo’s Bingo

If dancing on tables and pints of prosecco is what you’re looking for, this anarchic mash-up of game-show, dance-off and I-don’t-know-what bingo won’t disappoint.

It’s not for the faint-hearted. You’ll encounter netball teams on their nights out, big-number birthday parties and more stag- and hen-dos than you can shake a stick at. This is great fun for big groups and bigger personalities.

“The mums are mad for it,” as one good friend said and it’s got the stamp of approval from Shagged, Married, Annoyed podcaster Rosie Ramsey.

Bongo’s Bingo is now a global phenomenon, but Liverpool is where Northern Irishman Jonny Bongo perfected the formula for this raucous night and this is definitely a case of original = best.

You can probably tell it’s not really my cup of tea but I’ve had it described to me as “the most fun thing ever” and, sure, there’s got to be a place for a night where you can dance ‘til your stilettos snap and walk away with a hot pink Henry Hoover (iykyk!).

Duke Street Market, a spacious and stylish venue offering a unique culinary experience in Liverpool

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Eat at Duke Street Market

There are food halls and there are food halls. On the one hand you’ve got a rag tag assemblage of ill-thought out concepts offering overpriced odd combos at cheap tables and on the other, you’ve got Duke Street.

Duke Street is a high-end dining with choice. Six establishments offer consistently great food, from tapas through ramen, steak and good ol’ – okay exceptional – fish and chips.

The industrial decor is polished, adding to the classy vibe. Food is served on ceramic plates and wine comes in proper glasses – you won’t find a plastic fork or soggy paper tray here!

It’s great for groups as you don’t have to all order the same thing. The food is delivered quickly and there’s no wrestling with a shared bill at the end. There’s even a small playspace to keep little ones entertained, or out of the way, depending on your point of view.

The luxurious Pins Social Club in Liverpool, offering unique bowling experiences with an upscale ambience

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Strike out with bowling at PINS

I wish all bowling alleys were like PINS Social Club. More mid-century modern than middle-America, this is what bowling alleys would look like if Hans Wenger did, well, bowling.

The equipment works, the drinks come to you and my favourite thing about this place is that there’s a huge roof terrace with loads of space.

If bowling’s not your thing, there’s pool, ping pong, beer pong and table tennis. And if your thing is sinking into a comfy leather chesterfield while your friends fight it out over a table game, there are plenty of those throughout the building.

It gets pretty vibey of an evening, so it’s a fun place to come even if you’re not planning to show those pins a thing or two.

A serene sunset view over the historic docks of Liverpool, reflecting the city's unique charm and inviting fun exploration

Watch the sun set on the waterfront

The Royal Albert Dock may have been stripped of its World Heritage status (massive facepalm) but it’s still beautiful and I love being near the water and bobbing houseboats.

The dock has actively replaced boring chains with some great restaurants. Try Maray, Lunya or Rosa’s Thai.

Just along from the dock, the waterfront is the bit in front of the Royal Liver Building, the Port of Liverpool Building and the Cunard building, a stunning trio of landmarks known as ‘The Three Graces’.

It’s a huge open space with no cars and lots of stone seating. This is where the 2023 Eurovision village was based.

There’s nowhere better to watch the sunset reflected on the water and white stone of the buildings. Get a take away from one of the restaurants I mentioned or bring a picnic and settle into a spot for a spectacle in pink.

The grand interior of the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool, a unique and opulent setting for fun and socialising.

Take a leak in the Philharmonic’s lavish lavs

There’s more than just beers on tap at the Philharmonic Dining Rooms. This pub on beautiful Hope Street in Liverpool’s (mainly) Georgian quarter is an example of late-Victorian maximalism in free flow.

Dripping in dark wood and pink marble, there are gables, turrets and ogee domes, not to mention the balustraded parapet and two-storey oriel window. And the best bit – it’s just a pub that anyone can walk into and enjoy.

If you go, don’t miss the chance to take a look at the marble urinals in the men’s toilets – that goes for the ladies in the group too! I guarantee this over-the-top toilet stop won’t be one you forget quickly, though I challenge any gents not to get stage fright, either from the sheer overwhelm of it all, or the steady stream of heads popping around the door.

While you’re there, take a walk down Hope Street. It’s the nicest bit of the Georgian Quarter, which, after the waterfront, is the second grandest part of the city. It’s where all the money was during Liverpol’s boom times and the buildings are lush, with nice restaurants and cafes.

If you’re a sucker for a church visit, it boasts not one but two cathedrals, bookending each end of the road.

Berry & Rye, a hidden speakeasy bar in Liverpool, providing a unique and fun ambiance with its vintage decor

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Slip into “secret” speakeasy Berry & Rye

It’s not so secret now, and the concept is not uncommon any more, but the first time I visited it blew my mind. There was nothing to indicate this was a bar. You literally had to get verbal instructions “knock on the black window between number x and y”… and hope you were in the right place!

The essence is very much alive still. The menus are hidden in books. The decor is carefully designed to mimic a prohibition-era living room. The cocktails are great (only Berry & Rye can get me drinking absinthe with their Corpse Reviver, and not just one sometimes…)

It’s really, really small and they only take bookings for tables of six or more, so it’s highly likely you won’t get in. That makes it feel really special when you do, especially as you get a waiter practically to yourself. It’s expensive and that feels just fine.

A visitor captures the stunning cityscape of Liverpool on their phone from the clock tower, showcasing a unique and fun perspective

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“Climb” the Cathedral Clock Tower

I say “climb” because after going up 14 floors in a lift, you’re only expected to traipse up 100 steps to reach the top of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. The view when you get there is spectacular. On a clear day you can see across to Snowdon.

The cathedral is the UK’s largest and was only finished in 1978, blending the contradictory styles of gothic and modernist architecture.

The architect who designed it beat the likes of Charles Rene Mackintosh to win the commission, despite having just a pipe rack in his portfolio. Even more controversially, he was a Roman Catholic!

Might it have had something to do with the fact his father and grandfather (who designed Manchester’s Midland Grand Hotel and St Pancras Station in London) were both architects? Nepo-baby or not, he went on to design London’s Battersea Power Station and the once-ubiquitous red telephone box.

There’s also a very surprising sunken garden behind the cathedral, St James Garden. It used to be a quarry, hence why it’s in such a big hole in the ground. But it’s been a graveyard / garden for decades so it has lovely mature trees, loads of wildlife, a natural freshwater spring and plenty of grass and seating.

The iconic Superlambanana sculpture, a fun and unique landmark in Liverpool

Photo by Phil Nash from Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Spot the SuperLambananas

Scattered across the city is a strange creature. Part-lamb, part-banana (see what they did there?) there are over 80 of these mythical beasts in different and often shifting locations, from Bootle to Runcorn and Birkenhead.

Designed by artist Taro Chiezo, they represent two common historic cargo that would have been found in the ships arriving at Liverpool docks, and bleat (baa!) a playful warning to the future about genetically modified foods.

Most are concentrated around the city centre and there’s a helpful googlemap of their exact locations if you want to try to catch them all.

The exterior of Cain's Brewery Village in Liverpool, a unique heritage site transformed into a bustling social venue for fun activities

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Visit Cain’s Brewery in the Baltic Triangle

As well as Bongo’s Bingo, a load of other fun pubs and bars have popped up in the former brewery complex in the Baltic Triangle. It’s a good place for a bar crawl as there are so many different types of bar.

We like to go to one bar, then ask the staff to recommend the next place. That always leads to a night of surprises!

It’s not the most authentic Liverpool spot, with some slightly weird pubs like the Peaky Blinders bar attracting lots of tourists, but it’s a good laugh and it beats Concert Square.

The Mersey Ferry, a unique and fun way to explore Liverpool, cruising on the river

Photo by Tim Dutton from Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0

Take a ferry across the Mersey

It’s an oldie but a goodie and it would be remiss of me not to include this simple and yet surprisingly enjoyable journey on the water.

You can relive Liverpool’s ocean-going heyday while spotting all of the landmarks that make the city what it is today. There’s something special about arriving in a city by water, even if you’ve only been away for 50 minutes!

The round trip starts and ends at Pier Head on the waterfront. You can get off on the other side at Seacombe Terminal where the younger science-fans amongst us (that’s under 14 years old) might want to spend some time at the Eureka! Science + Discovery centre. I’m gutted the U-Boat story, which used to be a stop, is currently closed indefinitely. It was a great example of a sunken German submarine, complete with a code-making Enigma machine, that was sunk by a depth charge and preserved by the silt off the coast of Norway. Check if it’s reopened as it’s well worth a quick visit!

Inside Golf Fang, a vibrant and unique venue in Liverpool for fun and entertainment with a graffiti-themed decor

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Get a hole in one at Golf Fang

Golf Fang is crazy golf for grown-ups. That is, grown-ups who are looking for a psychedelic, neon-graffitied, creepy stuffed-toy, hell-raiser of a good time. It’s the closest you can get to a risk-free legal high and the most fun you can have while in charge of a golf club.

I don’t know who designed the themes of the different holes but I wouldn’t want to meet them in a dark alley. From old boats and bath tubs to supersized toys from Amsterdam and a wall of the kind of TV sets your gran used to own, it would be a nightmare if it wasn’t so fun.

There are drinks, street food stalls and pumping music. Oh, and eighteen holes of really crazy golf. You’re not in Kansas any more….

A person selecting a board game from a shelf, enjoying the fun and unique things to do at Sugar and Dice in Liverpool

Photo from Sugar and Dice

Roll with it at Sugar & Dice boardgame cafe

Sugar & Dice is where I go when I need a bit of escapism. It’s warm, welcoming and thoroughly wholesome. There are craft beers and cakes – the perfect antidote for a windy day – and a selection of games that will keep even the most avid followers of Spiel des Jahres happy.

If you’re not a tabletop aficionado, never fear! The Sugar & Dice team can recommend a game to suit your tastes and ability. And they’ll show you how to play it – you don’t even need to read the instructions!

They do private events and team building days, so it’s a great group activity if you’re that way inclined.

And if you’re in search of a particular game, you can check out their up-to-date collection in this google doc. There were 510 games last time I checked - nice!

Helpful? There’s more where that came from. From my favourite independent coffee shops, to a suggested itinerary for a hen (okay, hag-) do and office away days that don’t suck, I’d love to share more of what Liverpool has to offer with you.

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