Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles, was once an industrial hub and has since become a cultural haven. Small and large art galleries are scattered about the city and you can’t rock up to a pub without seeing some great live music. The city continues to update itself, most notably with the Old Docks which have been transformed into a vibrant waterfront full of bustling cafes, bars and independent stores. With world-class architecture and cultural events, Liverpool is made for experiencing an exciting mix of both old and new.
Liverpool is a city in the north-west of England. Only two hours and 15 minutes from London by train, with access from both the International John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport, the city is also served by ferry services from Belfast and Dublin.
Time to check in
A brilliant option for budget travellers is Hatter Hostel Liverpool, located in the Georgian Quarter. Take your pick of private suites and small or large dormitory rooms, all set within the stunning historic Victorian building.
Another budget option is the Holiday Inn on Lime Street – having opened in 2018, it is perfectly situated for a handful of the city’s top attractions, including the Echo Arena.
Seel Street opened in late 2018 and is a stylish boutique hotel that combines modern luxury with city centre living. Each of its 128 rooms are beautifully furnished while the exterior was carefully designed to fit in with the neighbouring Georgian buildings.
10.00 Discover Liverpool’s maritime past
Start your day by delving into Liverpool’s rich naval history at the Merseyside Maritime Museum in the Royal Albert Dock, home to an eclectic mix of objects that reflect the social and commercial history of the city’s port. Alongside ship models and maritime paintings are full-sized vessels and several delightful exhibitions, including Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, which explores Liverpool’s role in the Titanic story and Seized! The Border and Customs uncovered, The Border Force’s National Museum.
12.00 Take to the Mersey to see the sights
What better way to see the city’s main sights than from the Mersey River Ferry? Journey along the river as part of a 50-minute cruise to see Liverpool’s spectacular skyline in all its glory. With commentary revealing the captivating history of the UNESCO World Heritage waterfront, visitors can also access the U-boat story at Woodside to find out what life was like for a submariner during the Second World War.
13.00 Tuck into brunch before sampling the city’s incredible bakeries
Enjoy a delightful brunch at tea shop, bar and arts venue LEAF, where you can tuck into delicious locally-sourced food amid stunning art deco surroundings before venturing down Bold Street to discover baked delights at either Artisane or the Italian Club Bakery, the latter of which features a delectable handmade bread selection that varies every day of the week.
14.00 Bask in the glory of Liverpool’s magnificent buildings
Discover more about architecture at RIBA North, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ national architecture centre on Liverpool’s Waterfront. Having opened its doors in 2017, the centre is the place for historical and contemporary award-winning design and is home to numerous exhibitions, talks and tours.
RIBA has a range of architectural walking tours that chart more than 300 years of the city’s development, taking in Georgian terraces, historic docks and grandiose civic monuments, as well as an array of other landmarks. Departing from RIBA North at different times on Wednesday through to Saturday, discover how architecture has changed to create the modern and vibrant Liverpool of today.
From spring 2019, discover spectacular views of Liverpool from the top floors of the Liver Building, which will be open for guided tours. Beginning in a new lower ground floor visitor centre, step inside the famous clock towers before gazing out across 360 degree views of Liverpool from the tenth and fifteenth floors.
17.30 Get a taste for local ales
Sample ales and bar snacks on the waterfront at The Pumphouse, a cosy traditional tavern in the Albert Dock’s Grade II listed former pump house that serves an array of craft beers and ales. Alternatively, enjoy a pint in the beer gardens at Yard, Constellations or Dockleaf.
For something on the quirky side, go in search of absinthe bar Some Place, a hidden basement cocktail bar on Seel Street identified by a glowing green light above its doorway.
19.00 Taste exceptional British cooking from a MasterChef winner
Sit down for dinner at Roski and sample divine British cooking from MasterChef: The Professionals 2012 winner and Michelin-starred chef, Anton Piotrowski. With a menu that makes the most of fresh local ingredients, expect some exciting twists on British classics.
You could also indulge at award-winning fine dining restaurant The Art School in the heart of the city. Here, chef Paul Askew serves up culinary delights in the stunning former lantern room at the Victorian 1888 Home for Destitute Children building, on Sugnall Street.
21.00 Return to the origins of The Beatles
Round off your day with a visit to the birthplace of Beatles music, the infamous Cavern Club. Here you can enjoy live music, food and drinks while perusing an explosion of Beatles memorabilia. If you’re a fan of classical music, you can indulge in the sounds of Britain’s oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
You could also share a joke with some of the comedy circuit’s best in the intimate surroundings of Liverpool Comedy Central at the Albert Docks, before heading to El Bandito, a basement tequila haven hidden under the streets of Liverpool City Centre.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the city for the annual LightNight Liverpool event – taking place on 17 May in 2019 – the entire city is transformed for one evening as part of a free arts festival. Museums and galleries hold special events all night long, ranging from short-term art installations to live music, theatre performances and stand-up comedy.
10.00 Investigate Liverpool’s diverse music scene
Start your second day with a visit to the award-winning The Beatles Story to journey through the band’s history, from their humble beginnings to their tumultuous split. The world’s largest dedicated exhibition in the Fab Four’s hometown takes visitors on an atmospheric trip through the lives, times, culture and music of the band. International Beatle Week is held every August and you’ll find an abundance of Beatle-themed events all over Liverpool, with some of the most popular found at the Cavern Club.
Alternatively, broaden your musical horizons by exploring the British Music Experience, the UK’s only museum dedicated to pop music, which tells the story of British sounds through memorabilia, costumes and performances from some of the music world’s best-known faces, including The Beatles, David Bowie, Oasis and Adele.
11.30 Paint yourself a picture of Liverpool’s artistic heritage
Art lovers can explore The Tate Liverpool Gallery to cast their eye over brilliant exhibitions from some of the world’s best known artists. Op Art in Focus runs until mid-2020 and features works from pioneering artists from the 1960s right up until the present day. The gallery will also host Britain’s first major exhibition on the works of American pop-art extraordinaire Keith Haring from mid-June until mid-November 2019.
The Walker Art Gallery is also home to a lot more than just visual art, with music, dance, literature and live art a common occurrence. A major exhibition of the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh goes on display in March 2019 and will span the Glasgow artist’s lifetime, with 200 objects including metalwork, embroidery, furniture and ceramics. The gallery is also part of the nationwide Leonardo da Vinci: A life in drawing exhibition which marks the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance master’s death, with a dozen galleries featuring 12 pieces of the Italian’s greatest drawings from the Royal Collection.
13.00 Explore the Baltic Triangle
Liverpool’s creative and digital quarter has attracted plenty of independent stores, unique restaurants and bars, community spaces and live music venues, making it an idyllic spot to grab some lunch. The street food haven Baltic Market is home to numerous traders selling everything from twists on American classics to mezze platters, Neapolitan pizzas and award-winning British pies.
15.00 Experience incredible nature in unique surroundings
Learn a bit about horticulture at the Liverpool Botanical Collection in the Victorian Palm House before relaxing with an afternoon walk around Sefton Park. Founded in 1802, it’s one of the oldest horticultural collections in Britain and each season brings new delights to discover, while the spectacular nature of the Grade II listed glass structure means that every visit is different.
Alternatively, return to the city’s waterfront to explore its diverse history at the Museum of Liverpool, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of exhibitions on everything from the city’s military links and docklands to what it means to be a Liverpudlian.
16.30 Sit back and relax with afternoon coffee
Across Liverpool you’ll find a host of coffee shops with speciality offerings that are not be missed. 92 Degrees Coffee is the city’s first combined Roastery and Coffee shop and has an array of coffee beans to pick from, while Root Coffee focuses on providing an abundance of taste experiences with brewing recipes that vary with every pack of coffee beans.