What’s better than a real Christmassy city break?

The romance of Christmas Markets, the smell and wonder of Christmas trees, the satisfying warmth of Hot Mulled Wine or spiced cider… Well, we knew you were coming this year and Liverpool is poised and ready for its’ transition into Magical Winter Wonderland. 

If you’re ambitious, you might attempt to squeeze in every little last bit of magic in just one day, but for those who want to really make a stay of it, there’s a few of our favourite places that we highly recommend spending a night or two, check out our accommodation recommendations at the end of this piece. 

Getting Around

Once you’re in Liverpool, everything is in walking distance! Liverpool is a compact city, aided by the underground Merseyrail Service, taking you from Lime Street right to the waterfront in minutes. Liverpool is 2 hours from London with Virgin Trains, and 1 hour from Manchester with Northern Rail, tickets with TransPennine Express start from £3.50 We’ve even set up a special family ticket offer from Stafford with Virgin Trains, book now.

Easy to drive to, through our famous Mersey Tunnel and the city’s very own airport. What more do you need? 

Onto the magic…

DreamWorks Lights

It’s a total Dream… It’s going to be ‘Shrektacular’, it will light up your life. Ok we’ll stop. Shrek, Alex, Po and friends are heading for St George’s Hall for DreamWorks Lights - an illuminating lantern experience that will feature over 100 figures and 25 memorable scenes from three major DreamWorks films, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. 

St George’s Hall is one of the finest neo-classical buildings in the world, so it’s some venue! When you go inside, before embarking on your DreamWorks journey, look up at the ceiling it is phenomenal. It’s 169ft long and 74ft wide and the largest of its kind in Europe. It’s Grade I listed and has to been seen to be appreciated. 

The experience opens on Saturday November 26 until Sunday January 15. Get tickets fast!

The Christmas Markets  

Just a doorway’s distance from DreamWorks Lights, this Christmas St George’s Hall Plateau will come alive with sights, sounds and smells of this year’s traditional Christmas Market. It’s previously been the scene of celebrations of footballing prowess such as LFC’s triumphant Champions League win in 2005 that saw 250,000 head to the Plateau for the victory parade and other GIANT city events… such as the Giants Spectacular that put on a show for 1million people. Liverpool really knows how to do events.

Could there be a more picturesque or iconic location? We can just see the Instagram pictures now… There’ll be hot mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, gingerbread and over 40 stalls selling food, arts and crafts from four continents. 

What’s even better, is that if you’re only visiting on a day trip you’ve not far to go to catch your train home, with Lime Street Station across the road!

Follow the Snowflake Trail 

Snow will fall on Liverpool and leave a trail of dazzling lights, swirling soundscapes and interactive illustrations just in time for December 1st when the Liverpool Snowflake Trail begins. As you walk through Liverpool, spot the snowflakes, carefully positioned on a trail of local landmarks. 

The snowflakes themselves are decorated by some of Liverpool's most exciting artists! If there was a competition for the funkiest snowflake, we'd definitely be up there. Pick up a trail map, solve the clues and win prizes! You can't go wrong. 

Across in the Georgian Quarter of the city, is the perfect place to remember why we celebrate too at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Another one of Liverpool’s beautiful structures comes in the form of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. As the largest in Britain and of breath-taking beauty, it completes the Liverpool skyline. 

Inside, be amazed by the wide gothic arches, the beauty of the Great West Window and inspiring Tracey Emin sculpture, but also by the sound of the UK’s largest and most magnificent organ. A Carol Service here is something visitors must experience and is extra special at Christmas time…. Prepare to be blown away! 

On Saturday December 3rd, Liverpool’s beloved independents will fill the Cathedral for the annual Winter Arts Market. If you’re looking to buy a gift for someone, (or yourself) that really is unique, this is the place to go. The market features work from over 200 artists, designers and makers. 

Also in the Cathedral, the Lady Chapel is a place to pause, reflect and pray at Christmas time.  

On a lighter note, but keeping it on the large scale...

Super huge Christmas tree at Liverpool ONE 

It’s 30 metres tall, it’s covered in 280 lights and you can sit inside it sipping fizz listening to your favourite Christmas songs, after watching a magical light show! If you’re brave enough, or plucked up some gluhwein courage, you might even fancy trying out some carol-oke in the Apres ski huttes. Its right in the middle of the largest open-air retail and leisure destination in the UK - Liverpool ONE - so, if you do remember to do some Christmas shopping it’s all on your doorstep.  Shopping until late is all sorted with Liverpool ONE’s late night shopping until 9PM.. or early morning shopping at 8AM!

You can Meet Santa! At a brand new amazing venue called Garden of Eden 

Signature's Grotto is located at the Garden of Eden, that just happens to be on the ROOF of the Shankly Hotel. Despite there being some crazy amazing views of this magical city at Christmas, kids (and big kids) can meet Santa. REAL children can even leave with a gift from the big man and a framed photograph to remind you of your magical trip to Liverpool. 

On ground level, The Shankly Hotel houses the Bastion Bar and Restaurant. Here you'll be tempted by festive afternoon tea including mini yule logs and the classic turkey and cranberry sandwiches, mince pies, Christmas pudding.... do we need to continue here? 

The waterfront is magical… 

Over at the Pier Head this year’s Ice Festival will feature the romantic backdrop of Liverpool’s iconic Three Graces. What’s a festive break without a loop around the ice rink? Slip down the ice slide and enjoy an ice cold shot… literally (the shot glass is made out of ice!), just don’t forget your hat and mittens! We can’t wait to see some glittering ice shots all over Instagram. Tag yours with #OneMagicalCity so we can see. Once you’ve frolicked in the land of frozen...

There’s literally nowhere more romantic than the Albert Dock 

It’s true in all seasons, but Albert Dock just seems to look that extra special at Christmas with the twinkly light festoon, glittering water and tall ships. It’s a hive of restaurants and bars and can be perfect for a romantic meal, Christmas night out with friends or a family day out!

From 3 December, see this iconic landmark completely transformed during the hours of darkness into a canvas for some pretty spectacular 4D projection mapping!

Look out for the lovelocks, attached to the quayside chains that run along the waterfront. A love lock is a padlock that couples lock to a bridge, fence, gate etc. to symbolise their love and apparently they date back at least 100 years! Sometimes it’s nice to read them, just don’t get too enthralled as you could be here a lot longer than a weekend!

Pantomime at Echo Arena

Just over the bridge from the Albert Dock, the laughs are kept flowing at Echo Arena, there’ll always be plenty of laughs in the city with the local humour, but who doesn’t love a traditional pantomime to keep the spirits high? Sit back and laugh your mittens off at this year’s ‘Panto’, Cinderella

And that’s not all folks… this is only a snippet of the magic sprinkling itself over Liverpool. For more, visit our especially created website that’s all about Christmas!

Where to stay?

DoubleTree by Hilton

Indulge in a luxury hotel like DoubleTree by Hilton, right in the centre of the city, the DoubleTree is a hotel with the most beautiful Victorian grandeur and lavish interior decoration. Outside, see if you can spot the Liver Birds that adorn the stained glass windows.

The Shankly Hotel

Luxury comes in a different form at The Shankly Hotel, whether you’re a Liverpool Football Club fan or not, this hotel will amaze you. It’s a tribute to a man considered the most successful LFC coach to date, Bill Shankly. Throughout the hotel you’ll find memorabilia including hand-written match notes, stories, scarves and even the original contract signed by Shankly. Rooms are kitted out to the highest standard with super huge beds, flat screen TVs, Jacuzzi style baths and there’s even a rooftop bar… you might not actually want to leave your hotel here.

If you’d prefer to spend more time following the seasonal fun then we’ve plenty of more options to choose from, from Bridgestreet Serviced Apartments in the city centre or Holiday Inn City Centre.



Merseyrail train stations are conveniently situated throughout the region with four in Liverpool city centre, perfectly located for getting around the city.

St George's Hall
Historic House/Palace
A large neo-classical structure. There are around 12 pillars visible at the top of sand coloured steps. The building is surrounded by cobbles and it i

The Grade I listed St George’s Hall sits within the heart of Liverpool in more ways than one; it is a place of congregation and celebration, offering a central location and a true sense of the city amidst incomparable surroundings.

The Royal Albert Dock
Heritage/Visitor Centre
A daytime shot of the Royal Albert Dock. The shot shows the original warehouse buildings with the iconic red pillars.

Located on Liverpool’s incredible World Heritage Site waterfront, the Albert Dock structure features the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in the whole country.

Liverpool Cathedral
Inside the cathedral showing the impressive vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is Britain's biggest Cathedral and the 5th largest in Europe

Liverpool ONE
Shop/Shopping Centre
Liverpool ONE

Offers more than 170 famous high street stores, fashion brands, cool independent boutiques, cafés and restaurants to the city centre.

The Royal Albert Dock
Heritage/Visitor Centre
A daytime shot of the Royal Albert Dock. The shot shows the original warehouse buildings with the iconic red pillars.

Located on Liverpool’s incredible World Heritage Site waterfront, the Albert Dock structure features the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in the whole country.

The Shankly Hotel
The rooms at the Shankly Hotel all come equipped with flat-screen TVs, private bathrooms and a kettle

A modern apart-hotel boasting roof top facilities, restaurant & bar.