When people think about Liverpool, I think it would be fair to say that past the Beatles, the nickname of ‘Scousers’, not many people know much about it and it’s often overlooked in favour for the bright lights of London. But Liverpool really is a fantastic, vibrant city with tonnes of things to do. What’s better is that many of these are free! Over the last few years, I have visited Liverpool quite a few times to see Jess and I love it. It’s big but not so big you can’t walk around it which is something I always prefer.
Liverpool’s roots lie in the cotton trade and it emerged to be the lead exporter of textiles, but these dingy days are gone. Today you will find more restaurants and bars than you can shake a stick at and art and music everywhere. And I have to mention that the city is also really close to some stunning beaches. So here are some great ideas to spend a couple of days exploring this eclectic city on a budget. There’s actually a lot you can fit in in a small amount of time. Check out all the things to do in Liverpool in a short weekend for a great guide.
THINGS TO DO
THE ALBERT DOCKS
This is my favourite area of Liverpool and it’s certainly beautiful place to head to. It’s a group of old dock houses and warehouses that have been transformed into a modern and lively area with a number of restaurants and bars.
Love Lock Bridge
Yes, you’ve heard of this in Paris, but Liverpool has it’s own one too. Check out these cute tokens of love right near the docks as you explore the area, and perhaps even add your own!
The Beatles Statue
These guys famously came from Liverpool, so it’s understandable and unsurprising that the city has paid tribute to them. Find the statue near the waterfront, opposite the Mersey ferry terminal.
There are several free museums to explore and learn more about the city dotted around. I haven’t visited any myself, but I’ve heard fantastic things about them. The Museum of Liverpool, The International Slavery Museum, and the Merseyside Maritime Museum are all close together, nearby the Albert Docks.
Possibly one of the most unique and funny looking things I’ve seen but the Lamb Bananas have become part of the city. Each has been decorated differently and you will find them dotted all over the city.
Like crazy golf? Like cocktails and great music? Then Ghetto Golf is perfect for you! It’s been created in an old Brewery and is full of weird and wonderful stuff to create an 18 hole course. It costs £10 per person and you might need to book if there’s a large group of you going. Check out the T&Cs on their website and book here.
Liverpool is great at supporting its independent businesses, and many of them can be found along Bold Street in the heart of the city. Spend some time wandering through the cute boutique shops, bars, cafes and restaurants here and soak in the bohemian vibe.
If the high street shops are more your thing then head over to Liverpool 1 where you will find all the big names, as well as many of the famous chain restaurants and a cinema.
Liverpool is a very multicultural city and there is a large population of Chinese people living here. You can find everything you would expect from China Town, including great food, supermarkets, and the beautiful ornate gate marks the twinning of Liverpool with Shanghai.
A fun fact that Jess told me about during my visit was that Central Park in New York was actually modelled from the entrance gate of Birkenhead Park. Who would have thought!? This park is a little bit outside of the city but it’s beautiful and is a grade 1 listed landscape site – a perfect spot for a walk and a picnic.
The Liverpool Cathedral
This cathedral is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the UK. It really is awe-inspiring and on a clear day make sure you head up the tower to get some fantastic views of the city, especially at night.
FOOD AND DRINK
This was one of the best curries I have ever had. It specialises in street food style small tiffin dishes so you can try out a number of different foods from the menu. Mowgli is all about genuine food that people actually eat in India, so all the food is super fresh and packed with flavour. The decor is also really pretty and there is a great vibe inside.
This cocktail bar is far more than chucking some ingredients together in a shaker – it’s a science, an art and a performance all rolled into one. There are so many cocktails to choose from and so much to watch as it’s being made! The one I had below is called a Lightbulb Moment and it was bloody delicious!
The plush decor of this restaurant makes it super cosy and quirky. Think gold framed pictures, patterned wallpapers and armchairs and you’re on the right track. For all you nosy people (like myself) with its location on the second floor with ceiling to floor windows, it’s a great spot to grab some food and people watch.
This little cafe is found on Bold Street so you know it’s going to be quirky and unique. There are many spots to stop for a cake and coffee around there but Cafeteria Gastronmia has a great selection of cakes to choose from for a very reasonable price.
I didn’t actually go to this restaurant but Jess pointed it out to be one of her favs and I trust her judgement so I had to put it on here. Also located on Bold Street, it specialises in Lebanese Street food and aims to people discover Arabic food culture and flavours, all at a great price. Sounds good to me!
OUTSIDE THE CITY
Where – 20 minutes by train from Moorfields station in the city to Blundellsands and Crosby train station
This beach is simply stunning. There are some great coastal walks along here and the sand is spotless. As soon as you have the beach in view you can’t miss the statues of people scattered everywhere. This art instalment is called ‘Another Place’ by Anthony Gormley, and it consists of 100 naked cast iron men, that apparently were modelled on the artist himself (Ooo errr). In 2007 a decision was made by the local council to make them permanent. I think they look amazing on the wide beach here, so you have to pay them a visit.