Liverpool is a city that is renowned for making a big noise.
And there is plenty for visitors to shout about too – not least for some superb
museums, post-industrial regeneration of its docklands and legendary nightlife.
Completed in 1978, Liverpool
Cathedral is a place of superlatives – it is Britain’s biggest church and
the biggest Anglican cathedral in the world. It also has what’s probably the
world’s largest operational organ, and the third-largest bell in the world (St
James’ Mount; admission £5).
is regarded as the home of modern art in the north of England. The gallery
features a substantial checklist of 20thcentury artists, as well as touring
exhibitions from London’s Tate Modern (Albert Dock; admission free).
The Beatles Story
museum doesn’t delve too deeply into the darker times of the Fab Four.
However, there is plenty of memorabilia, including George Harrison’s first –
and very flimsy – guitar, worth half a million pounds (Albert Dock; admission
Museum occupies the site of a secret WWII command centre – a building
designed to be gas- and bomb-proof. Virtually everything was left intact at the
end of the war, including the map room (1 Rumford St; admission £6).
Though Evertonians will disagree, arguably no institution
represents the Mersey spirit more than Liverpool
FC. The club offers tours of its stadium and a museum showcasing silverware
and memorabilia (Anfield Rd; museum and tours £15).
Eat and drink
One of the city’s most popular venues with the student population, Hannah’s Bar is a Liverpool institution.
There’s a distinct New York lounge bar vibe at work here, and a wealth of live
music, DJ and open-mic nights on weekly (2 Leece St; beers from £2.50).
Club is a family-run, southern Italian restaurant serving exemplary pizzas
and pastas in a rustic, wood-panelled dining room. There are also salads and
paninis to take away (85 Bold St; take-away paninis from £5).
Conceived by the shipwrights who designed the ocean liner
Lusitania, Philharmonic is one of
the most beautiful bars in all of England. The interior is a symphony of etched
and stained glass, wrought iron, mosaics and ceramic tiling. The marble men’s
toilets are the only listed lavatories in the UK (36 Hope St; lunch mains from
Liverpool’s first Argentinian restaurant, Meet Argentinian is a temple to
grilled beef cuts the size of a frisbee. Traditional Argentinian stews and
sausages also make an appearance (50 Brunswick St; steaks from £10).
Carriage Works counts among Liverpool’s foremost gastronomic destinations,
mixing global and British influences in a smart dining room. Dishes come with
beer and wine recommendations (40 Hope St; mains from £11).
A short walk from the city centre, The
Feathers Hotel offers a range of agreeable if somewhat innocuous rooms
decorated in floral motifs. The breakfast buffet comes highly recommended
(115–125 Mt Pleasant; rooms from £70).
A family owned hotel in a grade II-listed Georgian building,
the Aachen Hotel is an unpretentious
place close to the city centre. Comfortable rooms go heavy on lively colour
schemes (89–91 Mt Pleasant; from £70).
A grand Victorian building with an imposing neoclassical
façade, 62 Castle Street has 20 smart, individually designed suites
with split-level floors and leather couches, all dressed up in a crimson colour
scheme. There’s a suitably grand on-site restaurant and bar (62 Castle St; from
You don’t have to be a Beatles fan to stay at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel, but it
certainly helps. Its 110 rooms are decorated with commissioned drawings of the
Fab Four – opt for the John Lennon Suite and you’ll get a white baby grand
piano, in the style of Imagine. The Paul McCartney Suite is similarly plush
(North John St; from £95).
Set in the city’s most attractive street, the Hope Street Hotel is Liverpool’s
pre-eminent luxury hotel address. Its guestrooms have giant beds, oak floors,
bare-brick walls and views out to the skyline, while superior breakfasts are
served at The London Carriage Works restaurant on the premises (40 Hope St;
When to go
Liverpool Sound City is a
three-day celebration of up-and-coming bands and DJs held at various venues
from 17–19 May, while free rock music event the Mathew Street Music Festival
takes place on 26–27 August. September’s Liverpool Biennial is a major
show of contemporary art.
Public transport in Liverpool is coordinated by Merseytravel. Its Saveaway ticket
allows for one day’s off peak travel on all buses, trains and ferries
throughout the city and Greater Merseyside (Saveway tickets £4.70).
How to go
Trains run to Liverpool Lime Street
from Manchester Piccadilly (from £10), Birmingham New Street (from £20) and London Euston (from £40). Direct
services also run from Nottingham
The article 'Mini guide to Liverpool, England' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Traveller.