At some point, every Beatles fan must make a pilgrimage to the most famous sites associated with the band. “The Long and Winding Road” begins in Liverpool, England, but it includes destinations in London, India, the United States, and the Netherlands as well. If you love the Beatles, grab your “Ticket to Ride” and get started on this ultimate Beatles bucket list -- these are 12 places no true fan should miss.
Start your Beatles tour where it all began -- in the northwestern English city of Liverpool, a must-visit for any Beatles fan. All four band members were born and raised there, and it’s where the group first met and performed together. Here are some great Beatles spots in the Capital City of Pop, which is a now a UNESCO City of Music.
1. Birthplaces And Childhood Homes
John Lennon was born at the now-shuttered Liverpool Maternity Hospital on Oxford Street. While the inside can’t be toured, fans can still see the exterior of the abandoned building; it’s right next door to the University of Liverpool. Lennon’s childhood home, however, is available to tour, since it is owned by the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.
George Harrison’s birthplace and childhood home are one and the same -- he was born at home at 12 Arnold Grove in Liverpool. Visitors can take pictures of the outside of the home.
Paul McCartney was born at Walton Hospital, since his mother was a maternity nurse there. His childhood home, like Lennon’s, now belongs to the National Trust, so it is available to tour.
Like Harrison, Ringo Starr was born at home, at 9 Madryn Street in Liverpool’s Dingle neighborhood. The home narrowly avoided the wrecking ball in 2012. Fans can only see this residence from the outside, since it is now privately owned.
2. The Cavern Club
Located at 10 Mathew Street in Liverpool, the Cavern Club has been called “the most famous club in the world.” It was at this historic venue that the Beatles performed their first gigs together. The club is open for numerous tours and is also part of the Magical Mystery Tour.
3. Saint Peter’s Church
This South Liverpool Anglican parish played a vital role in the formation of the Beatles. It was at a festival on its grounds that Lennon and McCartney met for the very first time in 1957. Inside the church cemetery, fans can locate the headstone of Eleanor Rigby.
4. Waterfront Statues
The statues of the Fab Four that are situated on Liverpool’s riverfront have been charming visitors since their 2015 installation. According to the Liverpool tourism board, the statues are the most popular selfie spot in town.
5. Yellow Submarine
For a quirkier Beatles experience, consider a stay on the Yellow Submarine. It’s docked in the River Mersey in Liverpool and can be booked overnight. The sub is painted like the album cover, so it provides a cool backdrop for photos even if you have other hotel plans. You can find it just off the Royal Albert Dock.
6. The Beatles Story
Another great Liverpool stop for Beatles fanatics is the museum that explores the mythical rise of the band. The exhibit there is the largest Beatles exhibit in the world -- it even includes a special section on the group’s historic trip to India in 1968. The Beatles Story is an absolute must for fans.
Another must-stop spot for Beatles fans is the capital of the UK. Fans will find plenty to love in this area.
7. Abbey Road
Perhaps the most iconic image of the Beatles is on the cover of the album Abbey Road. The image shows the band members striding across the crosswalk near the recording studio of the same name. Nowadays, fans can expect to wait in line to recreate the photo. Visitors should also check out the gate outside the studio -- it’s covered in graffiti by other Beatles devotees and features song lyrics and more. Since Abbey Road Studios is still in operation, don’t expect to get inside. However, a small gift shop on the property is home to a variety of Beatles souvenirs and a large wall covered with the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.
8. The British Library
The British Library is the largest library in the UK and houses some really cool Beatles memorabilia. Fans can view napkins with song lyrics on them from the early days when McCartney, Harrison, and Lennon would scribble ideas down on just about anything. There’s even an original Beatles fan club membership card. Admission to the library is free.
New York City, New York, United States
9. Strawberry Fields
Located in New York City’s famous Central Park, Strawberry Fields is one of the more somber stops on a Beatles tour. Named for the group's popular song, this 2.5-acre garden serves as a memorial to Lennon. It is internationally recognized as a garden of peace.
10. The Dakota
Many Beatles lovers will recognize the name of the apartment building that Lennon and Yoko Ono were living in at the time of Lennon’s murder. In fact, Lennon was shot just outside the building in New York City’s Upper West Side. Today, visitors can see the exterior of the building. The Dakota, conveniently located near the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, can be found at 1 West 72nd Street.
11. Chaurasi Kutia Ashram
In 1968, the Fab Four embarked on a meditation-focused trip to an ashram in northern India. The trip sparked international fervor and was widely covered by the press. McCartney and Starr didn’t stay long, but Harrison and Lennon called the ashram home for many weeks. The ashram will eventually be converted into a museum that commemorates the time the band spent there. Until then, fans can hire a local guide to escort them to the property. Inside awaits some beautiful murals and graffiti dedicated to the band. Visitors can also view the meditation huts and infrastructure of the now-unused ashram.
12. Hilton Amsterdam
This hotel gained international recognition due to a unique 1969 event. That year, following their wedding, Lennon and Ono spent their honeymoon in bed in the hotel to raise awareness for world peace and protest the Vietnam War. It became known as a “bed-in,” similar to the “sit-ins” of the Civil Rights Movement. Visitors can now stay in the same suite the couple did (room 702).
There’s so much around the world for Beatles fans to experience. From the moving memorial in New York to the famous ashram in India, these sites won’t disappoint.