Liverpool is one of the world’s great cities – its iconic skyline, historic buildings, sporting heritage and influence on the arts and popular culture is known the world over.
So if you’re going to be spending a weekend in Liverpool, here’s how to make sure you make the most of your 48 hours in the ‘Pool of Life’.
Down by the riverside
Liverpool is a big city in stature, but not a massive city in size, and you can easily walk from one end of the city centre to the other in just 20 minutes – if you do, just make sure you look up from time-to-time, once you get up above the shop facades there are some great buildings to behold.
The waterfront is as good a place as any to start your scouse odyssey. Not only does a trip to the river give a fascinating insight into how Liverpool was built on its maritime trade, but the Albert Dock is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s also a big wheel to get a bird’s eye view of the area, but for the best views of the city and beyond out to the Welsh mountains, head for the top of St John’s Beacon, otherwise known as Radio City Tour, or the UK’s tallest cathedral tower in the Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Fortunately both have lifts!
While you’re on the waterfront you can visit the brand new World Museum, Tate Liverpool and the relocated Open Eye Gallery, then take a ferry ride across the river Mersey so you get to see that world-famous waterfront in all its glory.
There are a variety of ferry tickets and packages that you can take advantage of, from hop-on-hop-off tickets to day-long packages combining cruises around this famous bay with tickets for the city bus tour, the Anglican Cathedral and The Beatles Story (more of that later).
In 2016 also look out for the Mersey ferry, “Snowdrop” with its eye-catching motifs, designed by Sir Peter Blake and it’s on-board exhibition, explaining the role that Dazzle Ships played in the country’s wartime history.
Once across the Mersey you can explore the Wirral Peninsula. Take a trip out to picturesque Port Sunlight village and the Lady Lever art gallery, the stunning beaches at red rocks, West Kirby beach and Hilbre Island, or take in the beautiful botanicals at Ness Gardens, part of Liverpool University.
As day turns into night
Back in Liverpool and a brisk walk up from the waterfront to Liverpool One, for some shopping and a bite to eat at one of the many first-class restaurants, then carry on to the Bold Street/Seel street area for great boutique shops, independent cafes and the FACT arts and cinema complex.
And on to the Liverpool nightlife…
At the top end of town, take a trip up towards Hope Street and the city’s Georgian Quarter where you can take in the sights of both iconic cathedrals and the Philharmonic Hall and enjoy a few drinks in pubs like the Philharmonic and the Berry and Rye.
If you want to carry on late in to the night, then there’s something for everyone in the bars and clubs around Bold Street and Seel Street, or you could grab some world-class international cuisine in China Town.
Art, football and music
Art, football and music provide the lifeblood of Liverpool, and day two will be spent taking in all three.
So it’s up and out early and head down to William Brown Street to take in some history and culture at the Williamson Art Gallery, the Museum of Liverpool, the majestic St George’s Hall and the wonderful Liverpool library.
Then take a trip out of the city centre to see the city’s world famous football stadiums at Goodison Park and Anfield, both of which sit just a short walk across Stanley Park from each other.
At the end of 2015, Liverpool was named “City of Music”, receiving the accolade from UNESCO on account of music’s “place in the heart of the city’s life“. Liverpool even named its airport John Lennon Airport!
So there is no way you should even think of visiting the city without putting some time aside for some musical highlights. Head back into the city centre as the rest of your time in Liverpool should be spent following in the footsteps of its four most famous sons: The Beatles. The Beatles story has two venues now – one at Pier Head, the other at Albert Dock. Each venue offers a range of different attractions, including a Fab4D discovery zone and the chance to play drums with Ringo Starr in a one-on-one interactive experience.
If you’ve not yet dropped from shopping, the Met Quarter has some great boutiques (or you could take the short walk back up to Liverpool One), and then take in the bars and restaurants in and around the Matthew Street area (nearby Dale Street has some great, old-style boozers) before rounding off your trip with a night in the world famous Cavern Club, home of the Fab Four.