Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles, was once an industrial hub of the UK 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.
Art lovers can start at The Tate Liverpool Gallery for brilliant exhibitions before trying out more specialist shows at Walker Art. You won’t just find visual art here – embrace music, dance, live art and literature as well. And the RIBA North architectural centre is the place for historical and contemporary award-winning design.
If you’re a die-hard Beatles lover, then a visit the award-winning The Beatles Story is a must. Journey through the band’s history, from their humble beginnings to their split. The British Music Experience, the UK’s only museum dedicated to pop music, is definitely worth a visit.
Take a ride on the Mersey river ferry to get the best views of the city’s eclectic skyline or just hang around Sefton Park. This 235-acre, historic park is great for kids and families wanting to embrace the great inner-city outdoors. Learn a bit about horticulture at the Liverpool Botanical Collection in the Victorian Palm House and see how Liverpool melds bustling metropolis and relaxed getaway so well.
The Baltic Triangle is the up and coming place to be in Liverpool and is the city’s creative and digital quarter. It has attracted plenty of independent stores, unique restaurants and bars, community spaces and live music venues. Be sure to hit up the street food haven, Baltic Market, before heading to the beer gardens at Yard, Constellations and Dockleaf or catching a cool event at Baltic Social.
Head to Bold Street, home to Liverpool’s best restaurants and vintage stores, to shop till you drop and grab a bite to eat. Get a banging brunch at tea shop, bar and arts venue LEAF. For an extra special night out, book a table at the award-winning, fine dining restaurant, The Art School.
Liverpudlians love their quirky hidden cocktail bars. Some Place is a cool little absinthe bar which you can only enter by finding their small green light on Seel Street. The ornate Philharmonic Dining Rooms are sensational, boasting the best-looking men’s room in the city. And, if you’re able to book a table, you’ll be blown away by the over-the-top cocktails at the speakeasy bar, 81 Ltd.
And for music, most visitors rightly visit the birthplace of Beatles music, the infamous Cavern Club. You’ll find live music, food and drinks every night alongside an explosion of Beatles memorabilia. For classical music fans indulge in the sounds of Britain’s oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
For a place that’s big on personality, stay at Aloft Liverpool a neo-Baroque style building with a bold original design with a chic split-level NYL Restaurant & Bar. 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.
LightNight Liverpool, May
Much like Melbourne’s White Night, the annual LightNight Liverpool sees the entire city transformed for an evening in May. Museums and galleries in town hold special events all night long – ranging from short-term art installations, to live music, theatre performances and stand-up comedy shows. Join the crowds wandering around the streets and revel in this wild Liverpudlian cultural extravaganza.
International Beatle Week, August
To celebrate what is arguably the greatest pop band of all time, sites all around the city host all kinds of Beatle-loving events. The famous Cavern Club is at the heart of International Beatles Week, holding live music gigs and dance parties. Beatle fans from all over the world assemble in Liverpool for this fun and unique festival.
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.