Lively Liverpool Makes A Great City Break Destination

May 25, 2011 | By | Reply More
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15 Exciting Things To Do In Liverpool

Liverpool EnglandIf you’re thinking of heading to the UK and exploring beyond London, why not visit one of the most famous cities in the world – Liverpool?

Situated in the North West of England, Liverpool is a two hour train ride from London, and is definitely worth the journey.  Made famous by The Beatles in the 60s, tourists from all over the globe head there each year to see where the music phenomenon started, along with visiting Liverpool & Everton football clubs.

The best thing about the city is that all the sights are in close proximity of each other, so just a short bus ride or a leisurely walk, will lead you to all the attractions.  There are many nice hotels in Liverpool city centre so you really should plan to spend several days.  You’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.

Here is our guide to this magnificent city; featuring places to go, things to do and how much it will cost for you to do so.

Places to visit/what to do

Albert Dock

Albert Dock LiverpoolRight next to river Mersey, the Albert Dock is one of Liverpool’s most popular tourist attractions, with plenty to see and do around the area including museums, an art gallery, boat tours and a huge wheel which looks out over the city, along with bars and restaurants to dine out at.

Firstly, you cannot visit the Albert Dock without seeing checking out The Beatles Story; a museum dedicated to the fab 4, which tells the story of 4 young lads from Liverpool who went on to become the biggest band in the world, featuring memorabilia from the 50s, 60s and 70s when they were at the height of their fame.

Recently, a new 3d interactive exhibition area has been added, so you can experience the hysteria of ‘Beatlemania’ first hand, where you are taken back to where it all began; the Cavern Club. Admission costs £12.95 ($21.50) for adults and £6.50 ($10.77) for children. You’ll also get time to have your photo taken alongside the statue of John Lennon outside the Cavern Pub.

If you’re not into that kind of music, there’s still much more on the docks to see, such as the Tate Liverpool, the most visited gallery outside London. Home to modern and contemporary art, the Tate gallery has special exhibitions throughout the year to accommodate all tastes. Admission is free for everyone at the gallery.

If art doesn’t float your boat, then try the Maritime Museum, where you’ll hear the story of the Titanic, the battle of the Atlantic Sea, along with an exhibition from the UK Borders and Customs called Seized!  – featuring items that have been confiscated over the years from people attempting to smuggle contraband in and out of the country.

There’s also the International Slavery Museum, which is split into 3 sections to tell tales of life in West Africa, explaining who was involved and how, enslavement and the brutal beatings given out, and the legacy of slavery, including the fight for freedom and equality. The legacy section is home to temporary exhibitions throughout the year which go into more detail.

Liverpool Echo WheelOne of the best ways to see the city is from the huge wheel at the Echo Arena on the docks, which stands at 60 meters high giving you the perfect chance to view the famous Liverpool skyline from up in the air, with each individual ‘pod’ on the wheel offering a stunning panoramic view of the city.

One thing that should definitely be on your to do list is to ride “The Yellow Duckmarine”. If you’re wondering what on earth that is, it is an amphibious vehicle that takes passengers on a guided tour of the city, before plunging straight into the Albert Dock and continuing the tour as a boat. The Duckmarine tours explore Liverpool’s “Three Graces”, St George’s Hall, the Cathedrals, and various other places of interest before splashing into the water. Adult tours cost £9.95 ($16), and £8 ($13) for children.

Liverpool City Centre

Mathew Street Liverpool

The centre of town has it all – history, culture, shops, bars, restaurants and live music. Aside from Mathew Street where the bars are dedicated to the Beatles, there’s the World Museum and St George’s hall, located literally across the road from each other, and just a few minutes walk from the town centre itself.

The World Museum is home to over 1500 pieces from all over the world and local area, helping to explain the story of Liverpool’s history. In the museum, there are several different sections such as a planetarium, an aquarium, the film industry featuring live shows and performances, and a bug house where you will come face to face with creepy crawlies, bugs and flies. The museum runs various different exhibitions throughout the year, such as dinosaurs, sports and science shows.

St George’s Hall is just a stone’s throw away from the museum, so there’s no excuse not to go over and check it out. The hall is a grade I listed building containing concert rooms, law courts, prison cells, conference rooms and a café. Throughout the year there are classical music performances, dance shows and guest speakers, and guided tours are available.

If you want to go shopping for some new clothes or a present to take back for a relative/friend, then you’re in the right place. A couple of years ago, a new shopping complex called Liverpool One opened, with over 160 stores selling pretty much everything, while many high street brands still have their doors open on Church Street just around the corner.

Liverpool One also has many bars and restaurants to get something to eat, no matter what your favorite food is – Burritos, burgers, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and Indian food is all available, or there’s even a ‘World Buffet’ with a bit of everything of the above mentioned in once place. The majority of the restaurants put their menus on display outside so you know what you’re likely to be paying when the bill comes, but an average 3 course dinner will cost between £15-20 ($25-33).

Liverpool Chinatown ArchAbout 10 minutes walk from Liverpool One is the oldest Chinatown in Europe, where the biggest Chinese arch outside China stands proud at 15m high. There are Chinese restaurants and takeaways, and an Oriental supermarket where you can pick up foods to try and cook yourself. If you’re lucky enough to be in Liverpool for the Chinese New Year, then make sure you head to Chinatown to watch the celebrations as people dress up in stunning dragon costumes and dance in the streets, along with huge firework displays.

Liverpool’s city centre has many bars and clubs, to cater for any taste in music, with everything from rock to traditional Irish music. Mathew Street is the place to go to see live bands, mostly playing songs by the Beatles along with their own music. At the other end of town is Concert Square, with 5 clubs together in a small square, with shared outdoor seating; a great place to be in the summer as the square gets quite busy and gets plenty of sunshine.

Just outside the city centre, about 10 minutes walk away, are the two Cathedrals, both of which are free to enter. Both situated on Hope Street, Liverpool Cathedral opened in 1978 after 75 years of construction. The Cathedral is a place of worship, along with offering learning courses and hospitality events.

At the other end of Hope Street is Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, a catholic cathedral which features an amazing round stained glass ceiling which must be seen on a sunny day to be truly appreciated. Outside of the cathedral are 4 large bells which ring in a chord of A Flat on Sunday mornings, as well as before the prayer in the evenings.

Liverpool Eco ArenaIf you want to check out a live show or concert whilst you’re in town, the Liverpool Echo Arena next to the Albert Dock has now become one of the first UK locations on most artist’s venue lists when they decide to do a tour, with the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber all performing there recently.  Liverpool also has a couple of theatres (the Empire and the Royal Court) where there are often pantomimes and comedy shows, and on the odd occasion there are small intimate music gigs in the Royal Court.

Liverpool FC StadiumFinally, you cannot go to Liverpool and not visit the home of the city’s two football (soccer) teams; Liverpool and Everton. Both clubs offer stadium tours to tell you about their history, and give you a chance to marvel at the vast amounts of silverware they have won throughout the years. The stadium tour and museum will cost around £15 ($24), with a taxi from the city centre costing around £5 ($8). Alternatively, you can get any of the following buses: 17, 17C, 17D, 20, 26 and 26C from Queen’s square.

Transport

The best way to get around is using public transport, as you can pick up a weekly pass called a ‘trio’ which allows to you use trains, buses and ferries as much as you want for a week, which costs £23.60 ($42).

As you can see, there’s so much to see and do in one of the UK’s most historic cities, making it an ideal location for a short break.

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Tony HaslamAbout The Author: This post was contributed by Anthony Haslam of TravelSupermarket.com.  Travel Supermarket.com is a UK price comparison site who compares prices to find you the best travel related deals.

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Category: England/UK Travel Tips, Family Vacations, Featured, Unique Vacations

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