Never before have we been to a city and had a more positive reaction than with Liverpool. It’s a city in everyone’s hearts and we can totally see why. Thankfully, the sun was shining for our two nights in the city but with so many great, affordable restaurants, brilliant shopping and museums and galleries to visit it’s clear we would’ve have a great time regardless (and we will definitely be back!).
HOW TO GET THERE
We travelled by train into Liverpool Lime Street (roughly 2.5 hours from London) and we were immediately in the centre of the city. It was quicker, really easy and can be affordable if booked far enough in advance.
WHERE TO STAY
We were hosted at Hope Street Hotel which was gorgeous and for a short boutique minibreak we can highly recommend. THE comfiest bed and huge bathtub, we were so sorry to leave! I loved the minimal but cosy aesthetic and rooms start from £89 a night.
Other places to stay that come recommended are Baltic Hotel and Lock & Key boutique hotel and if you wanted to mix up a beach visit, we have been wanting to stay at Aberley House on Crosby Beach for ages (we had it booked a few months ago but sadly couldn’t make it!).
WHAT TO DO
We found there were lots of lovely ‘pockets’ to the city so we walked around the Georgian quarter, the docks and the Baltic Quarter. There are great murals around the city too (including the Jurgen Klopp mural (a ‘must-visit’ for Chris!) and the infamous ‘The Liverpool Wings’ by Paul Curtis). We grabbed a coffee at Bold Street coffee and took in all the shops (Bold Street reminded us of Neal Street, Covent Garden with a lovely mix of eco stores, independent boutiques, vintage stores and a sprinkling of (cooler) chain restaurants like Pho, Honest and Bundobust) and as expected, everyone was so friendly and welcoming.
Liverpool is such a cultural city, so a gallery visit is a must. We fell in love with the Walker Art Gallery (free admission and opposite Liverpool Lime Street station) and loved the mix of pre-Raphaelite paintings (Albert Moore, Rosetti and JW Waterhouse) mixed with more modern works such as Lucian Freud and iconic works by Lowry.
Tate Liverpool is also a big pull, on the Royal Albert Dock (which is a great place to walk around anyway: lots of shops nearby – MerseyMade sells art and gifts by local creators and artists – as well as tons of restaurants) but we chose to visit the Museum of Liverpool (in the same area) as the building looked too good not to enter and we’d heard great things!
We absolutely loved it, it’s kind of an homage to the resilience of Liverpudlians – the history, adversity, the music scene, the sport, the talent, the community. It was really interactive (amazing for kids as well as adults) and they have Little Liverpool which is imaginative and educational play for under 6’s – it’s ticketed but free (we will 100% be bringing our kids back for this!).
Sefton Park, just a bus ride (or you can rent an electric scooter!) away, is a beautiful park and you can visit the Palm House whilst there (it’s free but you can also donate, plus there’s a gorgeous cafe inside). And the best bit: Lark Lane is a buzzing street filled with independent shops and restaurants just up the road – perfect spot for lunch, a pint or just a coffee and meander around the independent stores and vintage shops (we stopped at Doogles for a coffee and donut).
WHERE TO EAT
We had a LOT of good food here, and most eateries were relaxed and affordably priced which we loved even more! For pasta and pizza, Buyers Club was excellent (and in January there were offering 50% off pizza and pasta Mon-Thurs). We were recommended ‘Maray’ by so many and it didn’t disappoint (order the Disco cauliflower) – there are a few branches across Liverpool and they also offer an excellent vegan menu.
For fancy cocktails, we met a friend in Petit Cafe Du Coin and as a local, she recommended Madre for dinner (to be frank: my pal Amy pretty much drew us an itinerary for this City Guide!) which we loved and found it affordable (dinner for two – with one alcoholic drink – was £32 including tip).
Other recommendations include: Rudy’s Pizza (we had this in Manchester – delicious), Vietnom, Slim’s Gourmet Diner, Queens bistro (just round the corner from The Cavern!) and Mowgli.
If that doesn’t make you fancy a city break, then I’m not sure what does. We loved Liverpool and can’t wait to go back.
Great city guide! I’m from the Wirral (across the water as locals say) and enjoy the buzz of the city but live 20 mins out so can enjoy the best of both worlds. Lots of new suggestions to try …thankyou.
I’m so pleased you enjoyed our city! X
Tricia M says
I was born in Liverpool although I’m actually Welsh. Yes, nowadays it’s a really vibrant city and I prefer it to Manchester in truth. The waterfront area has some amazing architecture but don’t forget to look up to see the Liver birds. This was a really comprehensive and interesting guide to Liverpool, so thanks for highlighting it Alex. Lots of enticing new places, it’s made me want to go back.xx
Isobel Reid says
Loved this guide. I moved to near Liverpool 18 years ago (from Alex’s part of North London) and lovevliving here.
Can I also recommend Ropes and Twines wine bar in Bold Street? It also does great coffee and snacks too.