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Liverpool’s rich musical heritage runs deeper than the Mersey. Birthplace of the Beatles, the epicentre of the Merseybeat genre, and a UNESCO city of music, it’s been crowned by the Guinness Book of Records as the Capital of Pop. It’s also an intensely proud footballing city: the UK’s most successful with Liverpool and Everton. Worth investigating, too, is the city’s rich and sometimes shady maritime history: Liverpool was a huge trading and slaver’s port. Thanks to extensive regeneration, urban development and investment, the city has transformed into one of the UK’s must-see cities.
You have to visit Albert Dock. It was revolutionary when it opened in 1846 allowing ships to halve the amount of time it took to unload. Today, the warehouses have been converted into shops, bars and restaurants overlooking the water. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site, too, and as quintessentially Liverpool as John Lennon and scouse.
How to Get to Liverpool, UK
Liverpool John Lennon Airport is 13 kilometres away and the city centre is easily accessible by train, bus or car. Liverpool Lime Street is the mainline train station with regular services to London, Manchester and Birmingham. London is around a 5-hour drive away. If you’re arriving from Northern Ireland, there’s a Stena Line Ferry terminal right across the water in Birkenhead.
Liverpool is well connected to the wider Merseyside area thanks to its local transport network which includes buses, trains and a ferry.
Where to Eat in Liverpool, UK
Alma De Cuba // is a bar and restaurant inside an old Catholic Church. The menu is inspired by Caribbean and South American cuisine. Eat upstairs at the weekend for a fantastic view of the fire eaters and carnival dancers in the bar area below.
Elif // is a laid-back Turkish restaurant offering hot and cold mezze, seafood, salads and sugary desserts. Vegetarians are well catered for, too.
George’s Great British Kitchen // prides itself on offering traditional British cooking. A great introduction to anyone yet to try the Blighty staple of cod, chips and mushy peas.
Carlisi // is an Italian fusion restaurant boasting bold and authentic Italian flavours. It’s as much a cocktail bar as an eating house so be prepared to pair your food with a liquid that’s strong and sparkling.
Mowgli Street Food // celebrates Indian home cooking and street food with dishes that go beyond traditional ‘curry-house fare’. This is a great option with a decent selection for anyone eating gluten or dairy-free.
Things to See in Liverpool, UK
Albert Dock // was built in 1846 and was revolutionary for its time. Built from brick, stone and cast iron it was fireproof and its on-site warehouses made unloading the ships so much quicker and the storage of goods that much easier. Today, it has the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in the UK and in 2004 was granted World Heritage Status. Wandering under the stone arches, alongside the water and around the colonnades, it’s difficult to imagine how hectic and noisy it would have been during its heyday. Some of the small shops can close early but the bars and restaurants stay open late.
Liverpool Cathedral // is the largest Anglican Cathedral in Europe. It took 74 years to build and boasts the highest Gothic arches in the world. There are no pews in the main area but the opening of so much space above and around you creates immediate awe (and a refreshing change from other Anglican and Catholic churches). Tucked away at the side is the Lady Chapel which is well worth a visit. Entry is free but you can pay to climb the tower for views over the city.
If you’re a Beatles fan // then visit the Beatle’s Story on Albert Dock. An audio-guide is included in the entry fee (and narrated by John Lennon’s sister) providing a fascinating commentary as you walk through themed rooms filled with memorabilia and information.
If there’s an evening game at Anfield or Goodison Park // book a ticket to experience fever-pitch at a football match.
Liverpool One // is an open-air shopping centre with a range of shops, bars and restaurants for all budgets. It’s within easy walking distance of Albert Dock, too, and a great way to stretch the legs and wallet before moving onto The Cavern Quarter.
The Cavern Club // is Liverpool’s most famous live music venue. Whilst the original club was destroyed in the late 1970s, it’s since been rebuilt a few meters down the street (and from some of the original bricks) but the spirit of the club is just as strong. There’s live music most nights of the week with only a small cover charge to get in. Drinks aren’t expensive and the cover bands tend to be very good.
Guide by Susan James | Twitter | Instagram
Also check out:
- Bilbao, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Copenhagen, Denmark After 5:00 pm
- Sol Area of Madrid, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Brussels, Belgium After 5:00 pm
- Dubrovnik, Croatia After 5:00 pm
- Nuremberg, Germany After 5:00 pm
If you are a Beatles fan like me, Liverpool is a must-visit city. In addition to the Beatles Story museum and the Cavern Club, there is a Magical Mystery Tour bus and a separate tour by the National Trust. You can take the colorful ferry across the Mersey, see Strawberry Field, and various other sites.
And then there is the totally unexpected link (hinted at in the blog post above) between Liverpool’s historic shipping status and Penny Lane.
I spent 5 days in Liverpool and enjoyed every minute.
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