The world’s most flamboyant and feel-good song contest returns with flying colors in 2023. And where better than Liverpool to host this year’s edition? After all, this is the city that gave the world The Beatles, as well as iconic acts like Echo & the Bunnymen, The La’s, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, A Flock Of Seagulls, The Zutons, Atomic Kitten, and countless more. When it comes to pop music heritage, few cities have more to offer.
But it isn’t just music that Liverpool is famous for; it’s a vibrant and modern city steeped in centuries of history. Named the European Capital of Culture in 2008 for its rich maritime history, creative culture, and arts heritage, Liverpool has earned a reputation as one of the UK’s must-visit destinations and currently ranks as the fifth-most visited city in the United Kingdom for international travelers.
So, if you’re planning to trip the light fantastic at Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool this year, here’s a handy guide to the city’s must-see attractions to keep you entertained before and after the curtain is raised on this year’s musical showpiece. First off, some need-to-know information about Eurovision 2023.
📍 When do Eurovision 2023 tickets go on sale?
Tickets for Eurovision 2023 are expected to go on general sale in late January 2023.
📍 When is Eurovision 2023?
The live TV recording of Eurovision 2023 takes place over three days:
🎥 First Semi-Final: Tuesday 9 May
🎥 Second Semi-Final: Thursday 11 May
🎥 Grand Final: Saturday 13 May
📍 How much are Eurovision 2023 tickets?
Eurovision tickets vary greatly in price, depending on which show you wish to attend, and on what seat types you wish to select. It’s important to note that once the tickets are put on general release, there are actually nine shows for which you can book tickets.
In addition to the live TV recordings, which, understandably tend to be the most expensive, you can also book tickets for two types of rehearsal shows for each live tv event, the jury show, and the family show.
🎥 The Jury Show is a full run-through of the show that takes place the night before the televised version. It’s when the international juries cast their votes for the participants. Audiences can stay for a randomized version of the qualifier/points reveals, as the presenters practice for different scenarios.
🎥 The Family Show is a full run-through of the show that takes place earlier in the day of the Live TV Show; it serves as one final rehearsal for the artists and crew, and as the name suggests, it’s much more convenient for those who wish to bring younger Eurovision fans. The Family Show also features a randomly generated presentation of the qualifiers and points.
🎥 The Live TV Show does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s the real deal with real voting, performances, and live tv coverage.
📍 Where in Liverpool is Eurovision 2023?
Eurovision 2023 will take place at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena
Between belting out power ballads at Eurovision 2023, you can keep that warm, fuzzy Eurovision feeling alive by treating yourself to some of Liverpool’s smorgasbord of awesome cultural offerings. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Liverpool during Eurovision 2023.
1. The Liverpool Beatles Museum
You can’t visit Liverpool for a song contest and not check out the museum dedicated to the city’s – if not the world’s – most iconic pop music act. Located within a Grade II-listed building in the heart of Liverpool, (yards away from the iconic Cavern Club!) the Liverpool Beatles Museum houses one of the largest collections of Beatles memorabilia in the world, featuring over 1,000 authentic items across three floors.
Combining an immersive audio-visual experience with a huge collection of authentic artifacts and instruments used by the “Fab Four”, the Liverpool Beatles Museum will inspire thousands of Beatles fans looking to learn even more about the planet’s biggest-ever pop group…right where it all started!
Witness John Lennon’s Sergeant Pepper medals and Paul McCartney’s bass amp. See the cello from I Am the Walrus, George Harrison’s guitar, Pete Best’s Premier drum kit (circa 1960–1962), and Ringo’s Ludwig snare drum and stool. Also on display are hundreds of other personal items, including never-before-seen letters, exclusive interviews with the band members, and previously unseen footage of the Beatles.
The Liverpool Beatles Museum is one of the essential places to visit in Liverpool.
2. The Beatles Story
If you’re Beatlemania is still going strong after visiting the Liverpool Beatles, grab your Beatles Story tickets and journey through The Beatles’ history in this more immersive Fab Four experience.
Stuffed to the rafters with Beatles-themed attractions and exhibits that conjure up the feverish peak of Beatlemania in the 1960s, The Beatles Story lets you explore a replica of the famous Cavern Club, Abbey Road Studios, and even a Yellow Submarine! There are also extensive Beatles memorabilia, photographs, and exciting stories to discover with the ‘Living History’ audio guide.
3. Magical Mystery Tour & Cavern Club
Nothing lets you Get Back to the glory days of Beatlemania, like an actual Magical Mystery Tour around Liverpool. Not everyone gets to do Carpool Karaoke with Sir Paul McCartney, but the Magical Mystery Tour bus is the next best thing! Hop aboard and explore Liverpool’s rich pop music heritage.
With classic Beatles tunes crooning out the sound system, an encyclopedic tour guide will provide fun insightful commentary as you visit the homes of John, Paul, George and Ringo, as well as other key locations where The Beatles legend was written.
Then, head back to the world-famous Cavern Club. Here you can sip a drink while you Twist and Shout to live music from the Cavern’s resident musicians. This is where the Beatles honed their craft and skyrocketed to British stardom. See each of the band members’ childhood homes, as well as the places that inspired the hits, like Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane.
4. The British Music Experience
Melody receptors still not satisfied? Stave off your cravings for a sonic tonic at the British Music Experience! This awesome interactive attraction will appeal just as much to musicians as pop music fans.
The British Music Experience is filled with exhibits and musical memorabilia that tell the story of British pop and rock music from the heyday of Beatlemania to the New Wave synth-pop and hair metal of the 80s to the Britpop of the 90s, and the Indie revival of the mid-2000s.
See costumes, iconic instruments, and memorabilia from world-famous artists, from The Beatles to David Bowie, Adele, and Oasis as you walk through eight themed zones jam-packed with musical greatness.
Musicians of all skill levels (including none!) will get a big kick out of the Gibson Interactive Studio, where you can indulge your musical fantasies by rocking out on iconic instruments like Les Paul guitars, Roland synthesizers, and professional vocal booths. Who knows; maybe someday your mellifluous noodling will be honored in the museum too!
5. Strawberry Field
Okay, okay, just one more Beatles-themed attraction! Less of a music-themed attraction, and more in the cultural hidden gem category, Strawberry Fields is no less steeped in formative Beatles history and is one of the top places to visit in Liverpool.
Before he was a world-famous songwriter, pop icon, and bed-in peace advocate, John Lennon was a curious young boy who liked to play in the garden of the nearby Strawberry Field children’s home run by the Salvation Army. He liked it so much, in fact, he later wrote a sleepy psychedelic song about it called Strawberry Fields Forever. It’s rather good!
On this self-guided tour, you’ll explore this little corner of cultural history, and learn about the place that inspired one of the brightest young artists of the 20th century, as well as countless more disadvantaged kids who lived and played here.
Use a handy multimedia guide to explore archival footage and admire photographs that document the history of the facility and its most famous young visitor. Strawberry Field is also home to the ‘Imagine More’ Café, where you can enjoy delicious locally sourced breakfast, afternoon tea, Sunday lunch, hot drinks, and more, in warm, welcoming indoor and outdoor seating areas. If you’re looking for a soulful place to chill and recuperate after the loud, proud glitz and glamour of Eurovision 2023, Strawberry Fields is it.
6. Liverpool FC Stadium Tour + Audio Guide
When you think about it, there really isn’t that much difference between Eurovision and professional football. Both involve legions of fanatical fans singing their lungs out to support prima donna entertainers in colorful uniforms, and a lot of grown men crying. When you strip it all back to the fundamentals, football and Eurovision are basically the same!
With that in mind, no visit to Liverpool for Eurovision 2023 would complete with stopping by the UK’s most successful football club on the European stage. Anfield has seen its fair share of legendary European football occasions, and consistently ranks as one of the best stadiums in world football in terms of pure atmosphere. But you don’t need match tickets to enjoy everything Anfield has to offer.
Treat yourself to the Liverpool FC Stadium Tour + Audio Guide, where the thrilling match-day atmosphere is only matched by the personality and unstoppable Scouse accents of the tour guides! With this guided audio tour, you’ll get to explore the dressing rooms, join in on a press conference, and learn the secrets of Liverpool FC’s storied past. Plus, a swanky multimedia handset will give you exclusive footage, interviews, and other bonus content.
Finally, head to the museum for a trophy-filled exhibition of the Reds’ history, as well as an array of interactive exhibits to show off the club’s amazing heritage.
7. Liverpool River Cruise & Sightseeing Bus Tour
One of the smartest moves you can make if you’re visiting Liverpool for Eurovision 2023 is to book a sightseeing bus tour. Designed to drop you at the door of every major sightseeing attraction and cultural landmark, these tours take all the heavy lifting out of getting from A to B while exploring the city.
Unlock the secrets of Liverpool and join the City Explorer Tour! Climb aboard the iconic open-top tour bus, and explore the city’s culture and history with a live guide at each of the 14 iconic stops. From Anfield to The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock; you’ll get carted around in comfort, so you can save your legs for exploring the good stuff.
Once you’ve filled up on all the fascinating facts, you can take to the water with the Mersey Ferry. Catch a glimpse of Liverpool from a completely different angle as you cruise the peaceful River Mersey – you might even catch a glimpse of a few famous landmarks! So, what are you waiting for? Join the City Explorer Tour and get exploring!
Pro Tip! Get the Liverpool Explorer Pass and you can combine many of the above attractions (River Explorer Cruise, Strawberry Field, British Music Experience, Liverpool Football Club, City Explorer Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour) all in one convenient 1- or 2-day pass.
8. Royal Liver Building 360
The Grade I listed Royal Liver Building might look more like something you’d find on the corner of a Manhattan boulevard, but it’s one of the most emblematic symbols of Liverpool’s history, and its people. Standing majestically on the historic waterfront, it serves as a perfect starting point for any visitor to the city, and boasts a welcoming and engaging visitor center that offers fascinating facts and insights into the building’s backstory and its unique place in Liverpool’s skyline.
For example, did you know that The Royal Liver Building has the largest clock face in the UK? Yep, even bigger than London’s Big Ben. It was also the UK’s tallest building from the time it was built in 1911 until 1961. It has since been out-tall’d by more modern highrise projects around the country, but the Royal Liver Building has something no other can boast: two regal liver bird statues who sit atop the roof and keep watch over the city and protect it from danger.
Once you’ve filled up on liver birds facts and Liverpool architectural heritage, why not join a guided tour up to the 10th and 15th floors? Here, you’ll be able to enjoy the most spectacular 360° views of the Liverpool skyline. And if that wasn’t enough, a state-of-the-art projection inside the historic clock tower will definitely take your breath away. It’s one of the most spectacular places to see in Liverpool.
9. Western Approaches Museum
Let’s be honest, if the Nazis had won World War II, in all likelihood, neither The Beatles nor Eurovision would ever have existed. Or maybe they would have, but in some nightmarish alternative history versions that don’t bear thinking about. So it’s always good to remember and honor the heroic efforts of British men and women who helped to defeat the Axis powers and pave the latter half of the 20th century with things like Human Rights and pop music. And it wasn’t all bombs and bullets that won the war; good old-fashioned craftiness played a huge part too.
Tucked away beneath a grand Art Deco building in Liverpool’s historic dockland district, The Western Approaches HQ is a place of immense importance in British history. It was here that the Navy and RAF coordinated the protection of transatlantic supply routes from German U-bombers during World War II, and it is not an exaggeration to say this humble bunker played a massive role in the success of the Allied Forces.
Nowadays, all that is needed to gain entry is a ticket and respect for historic relics; and when you do, you will encounter a truly one-of-a-kind experience that will lend a profundity to any visit to Liverpool. The museum was the recipient of Tiqets’ Best Onsite Experience award in 2022. So you know it’s gotta be good!
Inside, the bunker has been preserved as it was during the 1940s, with original documents, tools, and maps used to analyze German movements and positions. You can even view one of two surviving phones with a direct line to Churchill’s War Rooms.
10. Liverpool City Centre Walking Tour
Feeling active? Discover the best places to see in Liverpool on foot. Join a Liverpool City Centre Walking tour and discover the hidden history of Liverpool with a knowledgeable local guide leading the way. Journey through time in 90 minutes and explore the city’s turbulent past, discovering how it has evolved into the vibrant cultural hub it is today.
You’ll be awed by the sights and sounds of the city, including the Pier Head, the Albert Docks, the Three Graces, the Cavern Club, and more! Plus, you’ll get to learn about the city’s trading history and iconic figures of Liverpool’s cultural history, like the Beatles and the Titanic.