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A guide to your visit to Liverpool

Liverpool; the birthplace of the Beatles, home to two major Premier League football clubs, European Capital of Culture ‘08, and much more… There are many reasons why hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city of Liverpool each year.

Perched on the mouth of the Mersey Estuary, Liverpool is a proud port city with plenty of things to offer visitors. Its UNESCO World Heritage waterfront boasts the famous three graces – the Port of Liverpool Building, the Cunard Building and the Royal Liver Building, the home of the city’s iconic liverbirds – the grand surveyors of the city and its surrounding scenery.

Industrious and innovative; musical and magical – the city of Liverpool has always held an important place in history. Once revered as one of the biggest and most important ports in the world, Liverpool has maintained its maritime heritage, and you will find visitors and tourists winding in and out of the beautiful and majestic buildings that make up Liverpool’s iconic waterfront.

The Albert Dock, Tate Liverpool, the Beatles Museum, the Echo Arena…the list is endless – and that’s even before you’ve ventured inland. Wander away from the waterfront and you can find the UK’s biggest collection of museums and art galleries anywhere outside of London.

You’ll find Mathew Street, once the epicentre of the Merseybeat scene; an era which influenced global music during the swinging sixties. You’ll find the UK’s first red brick university. Not to mention that you’ll find two stunning cathedrals, rising majestically from either end of the same street, Hope Street. There’s world class sporting venues and there’s stunning architecture.

But most importantly – there’s spirit.

The city of Liverpool has soul, and it has heart; with a diverse and friendly population, everyone is made to feel welcome in the city.

Located just a Mersey tunnel journey from the picturesque Wirral Peninsular, Liverpool is the perfect base for a day trip to the countryside. Alternatively, take the short trip to Crosby, less than half an hour from the city centre, and home to Antony Gormley’s famous sculptures ‘Another Place’. If you fancy venturing further, Manchester is a 40 mile drive from Liverpool, and the historic city of Chester is even closer.

Liverpool is also the home of some of the biggest events in the world. Every April, horse racing fans flock to the city to witness the Grand National, the world’s biggest steeplechase. Visit the city in the summer for the International Festival of Business, an event which attracts some of the world’s biggest businesses, and has called Liverpool its home since its inauguration in 2014.

Any time of the year, there’s always something exciting happening in the city of Liverpool.

Hotels

Ideal for city-dwellers, the sleek and sophisticated Nadler Liverpool is the 106 room boutique hotel appropriately sited on Seel Street. The building, formerly known as Seel House, has a long and industrious history; from the world’s first commercial wet dock, to housing beeswax traders, to printing Anfield’s football programmes, to the winner of 2008 European Capital of Culture Award. The modern and innovative hotel of today is within walking distance of the Albert Dock, Echo Arena, and Liverpool One, offering the perfect stay for a city break filled with shows, shopping and scran (tha’s Scouse for ‘food’).

If you’re searching for something even more luxurious, you could board the Titanic Hotel Liverpool at Stanley Dock. This hotel has a colossal amount of space. Rooms start at 56sqm, with original windows overlooking the historic port of Liverpool. If you are away on business, the Rum Warehouse is the perfect venue for hosting your conference or exhibition. With the capacity to hold 1000 delegates over two levels, built in art technology, private boardrooms and breakout rooms – business has never run a smoother course.

You’ll also find the floor to ceiling glazing makes an elegant venue for a wedding reception. Whatever your reason for staying, the Titanic Hotel is always ready for you to embark.

But if it’s value for money that you’re after, then you’ll be spoiled for choice in Liverpool. Why not stay over at Aparthotel Adagio in the city centre? You can crash in your very own studio apartment, catch up on the telly in your living room, and test out your culinary skills in your personal kitchenette. This hotel has everything you could possibly need, from free wifi, to a dry cleaning service, to a fitness centre. It even permits pets, so there is no need to leave your best friend behind. It really is a home away from home!

If your layover in Liverpool is particularly short, you might want to check in to one of our hotels near the airport. You can find the Holiday Inn Express easily enough, as it’s located by Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Here, your clean and tidy room waits. You’ll be greeted by the warm and friendly staff, along with the breakfast and wifi that are always included with every stay. Whether you’re here for the match or have a sports team booking, you’ll always have a bed in this cheap and cheerful inn.

Food and drink

Liverpool has long been famed for its varied culinary offerings, and of course its world-famous Scouse. As a diverse and multicultural city – whether you’re after Italian, Chinese, or good old pub grub – there is more than enough choice in Liverpool.

On Hope Street, you’ll find the London Carriage Works, an award winning, quintessentially British restaurant. It makes a lovely spot for afternoon tea, or you can head on over for an evening meal after your show at the Everyman Theatre or Philharmonic Hall, which are located opposite the restaurant. The ingredients and produce are sourced locally from the farmers, foragers, and fishermen of the North West. Here, you’ll find only ‘British Grass Fed Beef’, the ‘Seared Breast of a Wirral Wood Pigeon’, and ‘Cumbrian Air Dried Ham’.

For those of you who want to sample something a little bit different, why not take a trip to Chinatown? Enter through the beautiful paifang on Nelson Street, the largest multi-span arch outside of China, and choose from a wide selection of authentic oriental food, including Thai, Cantonese, and Vietnamese. Yuet Ben, which means ‘welcome honoured guest’, was established almost 50 years ago, and serves a spectacular range of northern Chinese cuisine. They also have an excellent array of choice for vegetarians and vegans!

Bohemian Bold Street has some of the best and well, boldest, street food in Liverpool. For those of you who enjoy a relaxed bite to eat, you should taste the delicious Lebanese dishes of Bakchic.

Founded in 2014, Mowgli is the new kid on the block. This Indian restaurant serves more than just curry and will add a little spice to your evening. Guaranteed gluten free, the menu includes a specialised ‘Hindu kitchen’ and plenty of vegan options.

They take coffee seriously in Liverpool, so there is no shortage of independent coffee shops. Moose Coffee can be found near to the Liverpool town hall in the commercial district of the city, and has an assortment of indulgent treats. But if you can’t make it through the day without some herbal tea and hummus, then Leaf on Bold Street is the place to go.

Feel like stepping out of your comfort zone? Visit the Baltic Triangle and pay a visit to Coffee and Fandisha, for a cup of coffee and some fandisha (that’s Ethiopian for popcorn) - a cosy little cafe, which is rooted in Ethiopian tradition.

If you want to make a night of it, there are plenty of places you can twist and shout. Camp and Furnace provide cocktails, DJs, and live music in their warehouse space. You can also wander down to Smithdown Road to Kelly’s Dispensary, she’ll bring the music and you’ll create the atmosphere.

For something a bit quieter, hidden away on Berry Street, you’ll (hopefully) find Berry and Rye, the small speakeasy style saloon. It’s a little tricky to find, but once you’re in you won’t forget it.

If it’s a good old fashioned pub that you’re after, then Ma Egerton’s is helpfully located right next to Lime Street Station. And if it’s dancing into the evening with some of the finest performers in the city, then head to Alma de Cuba, a converted Church building infused with Hispanic spirit, boasting one of the prettiest interiors anywhere in the city.

Attractions

Sporting venues

Sport is big business in Liverpool. The ongoing debate over whether you’re a ‘red or a blue’ has raged for years as Liverpool locals back one of the two major Premier League football clubs in the city - Liverpool, or Everton. Both teams have enjoyed huge successes both at home and internationally, and have massive global followings. The Merseyside derby is one of the highlights of the Liverpool sporting calendar, and you can expect some lighthearted football rivalry on the day. Both stadia are located in north Liverpool and offer behind the scenes tours for visitors, and are definitely worth the trip if you’re a football fan.

Alternatively, another world class sporting venue that Liverpool proudly boasts is Aintree Racecourse. Located in Aintree, a short drive from the city centre, this is the home of the world-famous Grand National, considered by horse racing fans to be the world’s toughest steeplechase, and was famously won three times by Redrum in the 1970s. Taking place in April each year, the Grand National ‘Ladies Day’ is famous the world over and shouldn’t be missed if you’re in town.

Cathedrals

Liverpool is graced by not one but two beautiful cathedrals, separated by a single stretch of road. Head to Hope Street, in the Georgian Quarter and you’ll find Liverpool’s Roman Catholic cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral at one end of the street, and its Protestant cathedral, the Anglican Cathedral at the other end.

Both stunning feats of architecture, the Anglican Cathedral is a Gothic revival style building designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and is the longest cathedral in the world. Whilst the Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool is much more modern in its design, with a lantern tower constructed of beautiful stained-glass windows, topped with a pinnacle crown.

If you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping by both cathedrals and taking a look inside – make sure to book onto the Tower Experience, a tour which offers unparalleled views across the city from atop the Anglican Cathedral.

The Beatles attractions

If you’re heading to Liverpool, then it’s a safe bet to assume that you’ve heard of the Beatles, if not, then you’ll leave the city a lot wiser about the Fab Four. Liverpool is the birthplace of the Beatles, and there are plenty of reminders for the four lads from Liverpool, scattered across the city. Visit the Beatles Story in the Albert Dock, a museum which is dedicated to the group and contains some never before seen memorabilia and dedications to the band.

Make sure to visit the world-famous Mathew Street, where you can have a drink or two in the Cavern Club, the venue which hosted countless Beatles gigs in the 1960s as well as other famous Merseyside artists of the era including Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Hop on the Magical Mystery Tour for a comprehensive guide to everything ‘Beatles’, from John Lennon’s childhood home Mendips, to the infamous Strawberry Fields.

Tickets for the Beatles attractions can be purchased online.

Shopping

Liverpool is one of the best places to shop in the UK. There’s everything from the high street designer stores of Liverpool ONE, as well as up and coming indie-shops, to the coolest vintage emporiums.

If you prefer that crisp and nostalgic sound of vinyl, then make sure to leave enough time to get stuck in at Probe Records. Running since 1971, the late Pete Burns once worked on the shop floor and Frankie Goes to Hollywood are rumoured to have shopped here – don’t let its small stature fool you. You’ll find this legendary music store inside the Victorian Bluecoat building on School Lane.

The Bluecoat is a Grade one listed building, full of hidden gems. If you want interesting ways to furnish your home, The Painted Chair is a resident retailer that specialises in ‘updating and bringing new life to classic furniture’. Lalligrass is run by Jay and Rama, the artisan couple who are bringing Himalayan inspired arts and crafts to Liverpool. A self-described ‘family business’, each of their pieces has religious and cultural significance, from the wooden carvings to the Thangkas.

For all our fellow bookworms, we highly recommend Reid of Liverpool. This antiquarian, second-hand bookshop has been educating the students, residents, and guests of Liverpool for the past forty years. Stock-piled with books on almost every possible subject, from sci-fi to your more hard-core academic texts, you can probably find a first edition or two. Prices start at around 50p and the staff are on hand to help you find some hidden treasures. One sign reads: ‘shoplifters welcome, exit uncertain’.

If you fancy treating yourself, rather than buying a whole new wardrobe, why not breathe new life into a retro-garment? Resurrection has an extensive collection of bruised and battered Converse, studded leather jackets, faux fur coats, and much more. If you’re going past the Cavern Quarter, be sure to stop at Beatwear’s beautifully crafted showroom. Specialists in men’s clothing from the Sixties, hand-crafting bespoke items like replicas of the Beatles’ Chesterfield and the timeless Chelsea boot.

The Streets

Hope Street and the Georgian Quarter

The Academy of Urbanism named Hope Street the ‘Best Street in the UK’ in 2013. Perhaps that’s because it vaunts Liverpool’s two famous cathedrals. Nothing compares to the Anglican Cathedral for sheer scale and beauty. Its gothic arches are carved with character, the peaceful chapel contains the largest organ in the country, while the tower’s heavy peals of bells ring out across the Mersey.

In contrast, the Metropolitan Cathedral is the unique and modern sister cathedral whose intimacy can be shared by everyone. You might say this is a particularly ‘high-brow’ part of the city: it’s home to both Unity and Everyman theatres, the Victoria Gallery and Museum, the Liverpool Phil-harmonic Hall, and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Surrounded by the Georgian Quarter, you can immerse yourself in culture as you walk past those big bay windows.

The Baltic Triangle

The Baltic Triangle is at the forefront of Liverpool’s creative industries, with the main fleet forming across Parliament, Greenland, and Jamaica Street. New businesses tend to pop-up here quite often, housed in abandoned warehouses and, sometimes, even the odd garden shed. Throughout the year, the Triangle plays hosts to some pretty radical events such as Psychfest, Liverpool Music Week, and Threshold Festival. This isn’t surprising considering the exceptional venues that are available. Camp and Furnace has a cool Scandinavian style during the day, and is the go-to venue in the Baltic Triangle by night.

Bold Street

Many a bohemian has walked across the cobbled stones of Bold Street. This jaunty little section is the scatty, eclectic cousin of Liverpool ONE. At the top, you can’t miss the affectionately named ‘Bombed Out Church’ (St Luke’s Church was destroyed during the war and has held this nickname ever since). It gives you a sense of what Bold Street is all about and they sometimes show a film or two.

You’ll come across the likes of design mecca Utility (which has two shops here), or can delve into Forbidden Planet’s comics. It’s also closely linked with FACT, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology – a centre that promotes art projects, hosts exhibitions, and showcases arthouse cinema. Around the Bold Street area, there is plenty of street food, coffee shops, and vintage clothes. At night, things tend to grow even livelier. You should think of Concert Square as the noisy and nocturnal teenage sibling in the next room.

The Albert Dock

The largest collection of Grade one listed buildings in Britain, the Albert Dock is a multi-purpose complex inviting you to explore Liverpool’s industrial and musical past, as it contains the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Slavery museum, and the Beatles story within its cast iron pillars. It also encourages you to look forward into the future, with the Tate Liverpool celebrating internationally renowned modern art.

Fast becoming one of Liverpool’s main food and drink districts, office workers congregate at the Albert Dock for their after-work cocktails. It’s a distinctive setting for a range of fine dining experiences: from CIRCO’s circus themed menu and entertainment, to Gusto’s elegantly illuminated Italian delicacies. Watched over by the three Graces - the Port of Liverpool Building, the Royal Liver Building and the Cunard Building – we’re sure that the Albert Dock will continue to flourish.