Top things to see at National Museums Liverpool

From stepping off the train at Lime Street Station to wandering down to the docks and over the water to the Wirral, let's plan your visit for a great day of art and culture in Merseyside

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National Museums Liverpool is home to seven incredible museums and galleries across the Liverpool City Region, making us a pretty good host for your visit. From Renaissance art and ancient Greek sculpture, to ships, steam engines, science and the stars, let us be your guide as you explore the wonderful land (and water) of Liverpool.

In the city centre

Walker Art Gallery

Arriving at Lime Street Station we’re guessing you’ll be in search of coffee and a calming introduction to the day. Step into Walker Art Gallery for beautiful paintings, sculpture and decorative art from the 13th century to the present day. As you come out of the station, take a short 5 minute walk to the right, past St. Georges Hall and you can’t miss us.

Home to the renowned John Moores Painting Prize, the gallery is no stranger to contemporary art and in 2023 you can also enjoy photography exhibition, Photie Man: 50 Years of Tom Wood. Best known for his images of Liverpool life from 1978 to 2001, a stop at this exhibition will leave you officially introduced to the city.  

Tom Wood photo


World Museum

You’ll find World Museum just down the road on William Brown Street, past The Central Library (pop in if you want to see the 'Beauty and the Beast style' Picton Reading Room).

There is so much to do at this museum especially if you’re with the family, from the Planetarium to the Aquarium, Ancient Egypt to dinosaurs, but if you’re looking for the highlights the Return of the Gods exhibition is where to spend your time. Featuring an impressive collection of over 100 sculptures, this exhibition really packs a punch as it explores the great loves and feuds of ancient Greek and Roman mythology. 

Another highlight in the museum is the poetic, digital display I, too, am a Survivor. The room envelopes you in the imagined thoughts of Chinese ceramics as they journeyed across the world to Liverpool, questioning our understanding of dislocation, resilience and belonging.

Mother and son silhouette on purple blue sparkly horse digital display

On the Waterfront

Museum of Liverpool

By now you’re peckish and wondering if this should actually be over two days (don’t worry, me too). Grab some lunch at the Museum of Liverpool (watch out for seagulls) before heading up to the Wondrous Place gallery on the top floor, where you’ll really get your fix for Scouse culture. It’s a newly refurbished gallery, dedicated to the city’s internationally recognised achievements in film, TV, music and of course, sport and football. 

Go beyond LFC and The Beatles to learn what makes this city tick. Liverpool keeps winning, from boxing and Olympic champions, Natasha Jonas and Katarina Johnson-Thompson to its thriving film industry, serving as a set for films like Harry Potter and The Batman. You may have even head of the recent phenomenon known as Jodie Comer.  

If the city’s development is more your thing, make sure to check out The Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery, which tells the remarkable story of the first electric elevated railway in the world. 

Pete Burns artwork on black wall, Creative City title

Maritime Museum 

We’ll soon be nipping across the Mersey, so it’s only right to learn a bit about it, here at Maritime Museum. Liverpool’s success is largely down to what was the world’s first commercial enclosed wet dock. Constructed in 1715 it converted the mouth of the ‘Pool’ into a dock with quaysides and a river gate, making it possible for ships to load and unload whatever the state of the tide. You can learn all about this revolutionary facility and its impact on trade in the Old Dock Tour (be sure to check for dates and times). 

You can also imagine what life was like at sea, at the Life on Board gallery, or learn about the real-life tragedies of the Lusitania and the Titanic, beyond Rose and Jack. 

Mother and daughter looking at Titanic life jacket

International Slavery Museum

A must see for any visitors to the Albert Dock, the International Slavery Museum houses exhibits on historical and contemporary slavery. It tells the untold stories of enslaved people and reveals Liverpool’s role in the trade. 

The museum is also home to a collection of powerful artworks, created in response to the history of transatlantic slavery, its legacies, and contemporary forms of slavery.

Look out for updates on the major Waterfront Transformation Project which is set to reimagine Liverpool's iconic waterfront.

Over the water

Lady Lever Art Gallery

You can head over to the Wirral by ferry or the local train, picking up the line at James Street and heading over to Bebington station. You’ll find the beautiful Lady Lever Art Gallery in the charming and quaint Port Sunlight village.

Home to one of the UK's top collections of fine and decorative art, the gallery's Main Hall alone includes works by Millais, Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Leighton. The building also houses William Lever’s collection of Chinese pottery and porcelain and a fine Wedgwood collection.

Next April we are opening our new exhibition Another View, exploring and celebrating the history of landscapes by women artists.

Main hall


Outside the city centre

Sudley House

If you’re staying for a longer visit, perhaps even in leafy South Liverpool, you’ll enjoy a visit to our idyllic Sudley House, in Mossley Hill. Nestled in a favourite spot for dog walkers, the merchant home features some of the best paintings in British art.

You’re bound to visit some of the bars and restaurants on Bold Street during your visit, but can you imagine when it was bustling with market stalls, horses and carriages? Take a look at what Liverpool was like in the 19th century in our Home and Away exhibition, where local scenes sit alongside paintings of faraway places, collected by the home’s merchant owner, George Holt. 

Mother and daughter