A Guide to Liverpool
Liverpool is one of North England’s most exciting and vibrant cities. With its varied and exciting history, Liverpool has been influential in the world of music, maritime, and much more. From the Beatles to the iconic Liver Birds, this city has been firmly established on the global map. Liverpool’s influential status has culminated in the Capital of Culture award, a coveted title, which is a testament to its people. Liverpool is a unique destination, with something to offer everyone. Whether you are interested in art and culture, history or nightlife, you will not be short of things to do.
Getting There and Away
Liverpool John Lennon Airport is located 8 miles/13 km from Liverpool city centre.
Budget airlines that fly in and out of Liverpool are Ryan Air, Easyjet, and Flybe.
To and from John Lennon Airport:
Airlink 500 (bus)
- Operates Monday to Sunday 06:30-00:00.
- Departs every 30 minutes.
- Cost: adult £2.50, child £1.25.
- Journey time: 50 to 60 minutes approximately.
- The taxi rank for Hackney cabs is located opposite the main terminal entrance.
- Journey time: 20 minutes.
- Cost: £10.00-£15.00 approximately.
- Liverpool Lime Street is the city’s main station.
- A direct service is available between London and Liverpool in just 2.5 hours, while other areas in the North West region are easily accessible.
- Ticket prices can often be cheaper when booked in advance. Visit The Trainline for more information.
- Don’t forget to try and search for 2 single tickets instead of a return, as these are sometimes cheaper.
- The National Express coach station is located on Norton Street, L3 8LR.
- Services operate every half hour from Manchester, every hour from York, and every two hours from Birmingham and London.
Liverpool is connected to the M6 motorway by the M56, M58 and M62.
- Manchester, Chester and north Wales: 45 minutes
- London and Edinburgh: 4 hours
- Birmingham: 2 hours
- Ferries operate to Liverpool from the Isle of Man, Dublin and Belfast.
- Providers include Steam Packet Ferry, Direct Ferries, P&O, and Norfolk Line.
- The main Port of Liverpool is located around 5 miles from Liverpool centre in Seaforth (L21 1LA, +44 151 949 6000).
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Central Liverpool is easy to navigate on foot, but for destinations further afield try Liverpool’s many public transport options.
Mersey Travel operates an extensive network of buses throughout Liverpool, including an extensive night bus service on Friday and Saturday night.
S2 and S3 services
- For travel around the centre, you can use the S2 and S3 circular services.
- S2 & S3 services link Princes Dock with the city centre via Lime Street and Queens Square, but operate in different directions.
- Operates: every 15 minutes from 07:00 to 17:55 (S2) and 07:20 to 18:05 (S3). Times will vary on Sunday.
- Cost: adults £1.00 per journey; children £0.50 (free to Saveaway ticket holders and ‘Your Ticket to Liverpool’ holders).
- This is a bus which operates from Sandhills Station to Goodison Park and Anfield on match days.
- Buses depart up to 15 minutes before kick off.
- Cost: £1.50 single.
- A direct ferry service operates between Seacombe and the Pier Head at peak times, Monday to Friday (with one service on Saturday and Sunday).
- Cost: adult single £1.50, return £2.40; child (5-15) single £1.20, return £1.80.
- These tickets are 1 day off peak tickets and can be used Monday to Friday (after 09:30), weekends and bank holidays on buses, trains and ferries in Merseyside.
- Cost: adult £3.30 child (5-15) £1.90.
- Cost covers zones A, B, C, and D, which should be sufficient for most travellers.
- Tickets can be purchased from a variety of outlets. Check with Mersey Travel for more information.
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Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
St James Mount, Liverpool, L1 7AZ, +44 (0)151 709 6271
- This is the UK’s largest cathedral, boasting an effective mix of modern and Gothic design, as well as superb panoramic views of the city from the 101 metre bell tower.
- Designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1903 but not completed until 1978, the cathedral now sees regular church services for Liverpool’s Anglican community, as well as being one of the city’s top tourist attractions.
- Visitors can head for the top of the tower and get a bird's eye view of the city, the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside, and even the big dipper at Blackpool.
- New to the visitor experience is the Great Space, which allows you to truly appreciate Giles Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece. Starting with a 10 minute high definition film, the experience is a tour dedicated to the Cathedral’s design, complete with interactive stations and interesting anecdotes.
Main Cathedral: daily 08.00 to 18.00.
The Great Space: Monday to Saturday, 09.00 to 16.00; Sunday 12:00 to 14.30 (subject to services).
Tower Experience: Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 17.00 (extended hours in summer); Sunday 12:00 to 14.30pm (subject to services).
Main Cathedral: FREE
Great Space: Adult £4.25; child £3.00; family £10.00.
Tower Experience: adult £4.25; child £3.00; family £10.00.
Combined ticket: adult £6.75; child £5.00; family £15.00.
A family ticket allows for up to 2 adults and 3 children.
Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4BB, +44 (0)151 702 7400
- The Tate Liverpool is one of only two Tate Museums outside of London. It has played a vital part in Liverpool’s regeneration.
- It displays 20th and 21st century art, including examples of work by Picasso, Degas, Matisse, and Warhol.
- Upcoming exhibitions include Joyous Machines: Michael Landy and Jean Tinguely (2nd October 2009 - 10th January 2010) and Mark Rothko: The Seagram Murals (2nd October 2009 – 21st March 2010 )
September to May: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 to 17:50; closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)
June to August: Monday to Sunday 10.00 to 17.50; last Thursday of every month, open to 21:00
General collections: FREE
Special exhibitions: charged individually. Refer to FACT? The award winning visitor attraction is dedicated to showcasing the work of international artists working in film and new media.
The Beatles Story
Britannia Vaults, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AD, +44 (0)151 709 1963
- This unique visitor attraction is dedicated to the lives and career of Liverpool’s ‘fab four’; one of the most successful bands in the history of music.
- Attracting thousands of fans each year, the exhibition will take you on a whistle-stop tour of the world. From Liverpool to Hamburg, London to America, you will embark on a journey of discovery and learn more about how the Beatles shot to global fame, and the emergence of ‘Beatle mania’. You will also have the chance to see original instruments and other rare artefacts, and gain a unique insight into their lasting legacy.
Daily 09:00-19:00 (except 25th and 26th December).
Adult £12.50; concession £8.50; child (5-16) £6.50; under 5’s FREE.
Family Saver (2 adults and 2 children); £31.30; Family Saver 2 (2 adults and 3 children) £36.25.
If you want the full experience of The Beatles in Liverpool, why not take the Magical Mystery Tour from the Albert Dock? Departing daily at 14:00, you will take a bus identical to that used in the 1967 film, and visit key locations in The Beatles' history before finishing at the Cavern Club.
The Liverpool Football Club Museum & Tour
69-71 Anfield Road, Anfield, Liverpool, L4 0TQ +44 (0)151 260 6677
- Liverpool FC is one of England’s most successful clubs with five Champions League titles, seven FA Cups, and eighteen League wins.
- Anfield is their current home, but this will change in 2010 under new plans to develop a 60,000 seat stadium at Stanley Park.
- To ensure you don’t miss out on a unique part of football history, take a trip to Anfield and tour the museum and stadium. Here you will learn more about the history of the club, as well as having a chance to experience what it is like to sit in the Kop, Anfield’s famous terrace, and become part of the crowd in Istanbul where Liverpool regained their European crown in 2005.
Open daily from 10:00 to 17:00 (last admission 16:00).
On match days last admission to the museum is 1 hour before kick-off.
No tours on match days, however a mini tour will be offered at a reduced cost.
No stadium tours on match days. Tours on day before a match will be mini tours, at special reduced prices.
Museum & Tour: adults £10.00; children & concessions £6.00; family £25.00 (advance booking is recommended for tours).
Museum only: Adults £5.00; children & concessions £3.00, family £13.00.
Merseyside Maritime Museum and International Slavery Museum
Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ, +44 (0)151 478 4499
- The Merseyside Maritime Museum provides a captivating look at one of the world’s most influential ports.
- Find out about the great tragedies of the Titanic, Lusitania, and Empress of Ireland, and how these impacted on Liverpool, as well as learning more about how the port played a vital role in both war and peace times.
- There is also a ‘Magical History Tour’ running until September 2009, which follows the city's development from medieval 'Lyverpoole' to it becoming the Capital of Culture.
- Located within the Merseyside Maritime Museum is the International Slavery Museum, which explores the history of slavery and its impact on and role in today’s world. Features real-life stories, artefacts, audio visual displays, and exhibitions.
- The International Slavery Museum was established to highlight on an international platform, the need to create awareness of the slave trade and how it has affected modern society. Its location on the Albert Dock is a poignant reminder of where 18th century trade ships were once fitted and repaired.
Both Museums are open daily 10:00 to 17:00 (closed 25th and 26th December)
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Where to Stay
Liverpool's compact city centre offers a number of accommodation options. As well as Liverpool Hotels, LateRooms also provides a selection of city centre serviced apartments and bed and breakfasts, which are a cost-effective option for families and groups.
For a different view of Liverpool with an emphasis on its maritime history, the regenerated dockland area of the city now provides an excellent option, with hotels such as the Malmaison and Express by Holiday Inn as well as serviced apartments, all providing places to stay that are convenient for the city centre.
- Try and avoid dates when Liverpool FC are playing at home, as demand for rooms is high on these occasions.
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Where to Eat
14 Button Street, Liverpool, L2 6PS, +44 (0)151 227 2577
- Tucked away in the Cavern Quarter, Bistro Pierre offers a little taste of Paris amidst Liverpool’s bustling bar culture.
- Describing itself as 'rustic', the menu matches this style with trusted favourites such as coq au vin and moules mariniere, among other equally traditional delights. The restaurant appears to have a loyal following, and offers great value with main courses starting from just £7.90.
- An early bird menu is also available at just £10.95 for three courses from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
60 Hope Street
60 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BZ , +44 (0)151 707 6060
- This former 'Lancashire Life Restaurant of the Year' winner has been described as 'the London restaurant in Liverpool' by one critic. It is a family run restaurant located in a grade II listed building, with its speciality being seafood. You will also find a variety of artwork adorning the walls, from both new and established artists.
- The menu is influenced heavily by British and European flavours. You will even find a deep-fried jam sandwich with carnation milk ice-cream among the choices.
- With a bistro and restaurant available, main courses vary in cost between £11.50 and £26.95, but there is an early bird menu available from £13.95 for 2 courses.
- 60 Hope Street is closed on Sunday and bank holidays.
134 Duke Street, East Village, Liverpool, L1 5AG, +44 (0)151 705 3005
- Liverpool’s only Teppanyaki restaurant provides great entertainment through its self titled 'theatrical cuisine'; where trained chefs will prepare your food with a variety of knife tricks and flame.
- Teppanyaki starts from £15.95, but the restaurant also offers a wider menu including noodles, tempura, and sushi.
The London Carriage Works
Hope Street Hotel, 40 Hope Street,Liverpool L1 9DA, +44 (0)151 705 2222
- Winner of the Mersey Partnership’s Annual Tourism Award; The Taste of Merseyside 2006/07, the London Carriage Works has a good reputation. The restaurant sources all its products locally, and uses authentic European ingredients where featured.
- Under the leadership of Paul Askew, the restaurant serves breakfast from 07:00/08:00, and an all day menu until 17:00, including an afternoon tea option. A full breakfast costs £15.50, but chunky buttered toast is available from just £1.90. You can get afternoon canapés and champagne for two for £22.00, while main courses start from £14.00.
- The dinner menu is not served on Sunday and Monday, but the day menu will still be served.
4 Hardman Street, Liverpool, L1 9AX, +44 (0)151 708 6036
- Valparaiso, Liverpool’s only Chilean restaurant, has been established for over 20 years and has recently been refurbished.
- With a strong emphasis on organic food, the restaurant is known for its good fish dishes, but also gets the vegetarian seal of approval too.
- What’s more, by dining here, some of the money goes to help Chilean charities.
- The menu is of an average price. Expect to pay around £25.00 per head.
- Valparaiso is closed on Monday.
Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BW +44 (0)151 7060707
- Ego offers a selection of Mediterranean inspired dishes with an emphasis on high quality, fresh food, excellent service, and sensible prices. The a la carte menu is packed with mouth watering dishes and vegetarians and children are well catered for. Menus are changed regularly, with main courses ranging in price from £8.50 to £17.95.
- An early bird menu offers 2 courses for £11.95 or 3 courses for £13.95, and a special offer is available on Monday evenings for à la carte diners.
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Liverpool is a hive of activity as soon as night falls, with plenty of bars, pubs, and clubs to keep visitors entertained. With credentials including the Cavern Club and the former Cream club, plus newcomer Chibuku, you are guaranteed a fun night out.
The Albert Dock is home to a range of sophisticated, trendy bars for those wanting to celebrity spot, while individual, unique bars are dotted around the centre. Concert Square and Mathew Street contain a range of independent and chain bars and pubs.
Alma de Cuba
St Peters Church, Seel Street, Liverpool, L1 4AZ, +44 (0)151 702 7394
- This Caribbean-themed bar is housed in the former St Peter's Catholic Church, where many of the original features have been retained.
- Alma de Cuba offers good food throughout the evening, but really comes to life around 22:30 when you can see Salsa dancers, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere against the backdrop of candlelit surroundings.
30-41 Fleet Street, Liverpool, L1 4AR, +44 (0)151 709 7097
- Shortlisted for the Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Award: Bar of the Year 2006/07, Korova is the brain child of Rob Gutmann and local electro band Ladytron.
- This relatively new addition to the Liverpool bar scene sees a range of up-and-coming live bands featured alongside cutting edge DJs, while serving food and a wide selection of drinks.
Atlantic Pavilion, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AE, +44 (0)151 709 7097
- Baby Cream was formed on the back of the former superclub, Cream, and claims to be a new concept in the prestigious bar culture.
- Definitely for the more discerning reveller, Baby Cream has pioneered the DJ Restaurant concept and is a space to relax, while offering the best in cutting edge music.
St Johns Lane, Queens Square, Liverpool, +44 (0)151 709 5100
- Serving a wide variety of real ale, Doctor Duncan’s was the first pub in Liverpool to win the coveted Casque Marque, and has held awards such as Merseyside Pub of the Year.
- Located in the regenerated Queen’s Square area of the city, the pub is refurbished in an authentic Victorian style and was named after Doctor Duncan, a campaigner against poor living conditions in Liverpool.
23-25 Dale Street, Merseyside, L2 2EZ, +44 (0)151 236 3269
- Established in 1726, Thomas Rigby’s has firmly established itself as a Liverpool institution, and counts Admiral Nelson among its patrons.
- Serving good quality pub food and a range of real ales and continental beers, this pub is listed in CAMRA’s guide.
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Theatre & Entertainment
Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre
- The newest addition to Liverpool's venues is the Echo Arena, which has hosted large concerts such as The X Factor Live, Girls Aloud, and the MTC Music Awards 2008.
Lime Street, Liverpool, L1 1JE, +44 (0)151 708 3200
- With Julie Andrews, Frank Sinatra, and The Beatles as past visitors to the stage, this theatre forms a firm part of Liverpool’s history.
- The theatre shows a range of musicals and other popular theatre acts.
- Forthcoming shows for 2009 are The Witches of Eastwick, Chicago The Musical, Lord of The Dance, and Disney's High School Musical. View the Empire Theatre website for more listings.
Royal Court Theatre
1 Roe Street, Liverpool, L1 1HL, +44 (0)151 709 4321
- The theatre offers a varied programme, including comedy, drama, and music.
- A pre-theatre menu is also available for up to an hour before performances.
- For future listings, visit the Royal Court Theatre website.
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BP, +44 (0)151 210 2895
- The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the second oldest concert-giving organisation in Britain.
- The season runs from September to June, with the orchestra giving over 60 performances under Principal Conductor, Vasily Petrenko.
13 Hope Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9BH, +44 (0)151 709 4776
- Founded in 1964, the Everyman Playhouse has welcomed many British household names to the stage, such as Bill Nighy and Cathy Tyson.
- Today the Playhouse is a producing theatre, and plays a great part in community life in Liverpool.
10 Mathew Street, Liverpool, L2 6RE, + 44 (0)151 236 1965
- The Cavern Club as we know it today is not the original one played by The Beatles in the 1960s, however careful rebuilding means that the current club occupies around 75% of the original site.
- The club today plays host to many new and upcoming bands, with regular showcasing nights, and also has a live DJ on Friday and Saturday nights.
90 Seel Street, Liverpool, L1 4BH, +44 (0)151 707 6171
- This venue generally showcases new and upcoming bands. Indeed, the Barfly chain has hosted the likes of Coldplay, Muse, and The Strokes, all of whom went on to find international fame.
- The venue is also home to Chibuku, the famous Liverpool club night.
Liverpool Summer Pops
- Now in its 8th year, the Pops is held every July and attracts over 100,000 people.
- The event is a series of concerts in the newly-built Echo Arena. Previous acts include Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, and Paul Weller.
Liverpool Music Week
- This event is usually held around October/November.
- Founded by Liverpool promoter, Mike Deane, in 2003.
- Now attracting over 65,000 people to over 15 venues throughout Merseyside, previous acts have included the Chemical Brothers, Hot Club de Paris, and The Kooks.
Mathew Street Festival
- Held every August Bank Holiday weekend, the Mathew Street Festival is predominantly a free event, with live acts featured at numerous venues across the city.
International Beatle Week Festival
- Organised by the Cavern Club, this is an event dedicated to the fab four.
- Takes place every year, sometime in August.
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For the Kids
River Explorer Cruise
Pier Head, Georges Parade, Liverpool, L3 1DR, +44 (0)151 227 2660
- The most fun way for the children to explore Liverpool is on the River Explorer Cruise, making it a great day out for all the family.
- Departing hourly from Pierhead, customers can also board at Seacombe and Woodside, or alight at these places and explore the attractions housed there, before hopping back on board and enjoying the rest of the journey.
- Notable attractions en route include Play Planet, Mini Mersey Ferries, and Spaceport.
- Refreshments can also be bought at the Woodside Café.
Departures from Pier Head: Monday to Friday 10:00-15:00; Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 18:00
Cruise only: adult £5.30; child (5-15yrs) £2.95; family £14.15.
Cruise and Spaceport: adult £12.70; child (3-4yrs) £6.50; child (5-15yrs) £8.60; family £35.00.
A family ticket allows for up to 2 adults and 3 children.
Victoria Place, Seacombe, Wirral, CH44 6QY, +44 (0)151 330 1333
- This £10million attraction is dedicated to the discovery of space and space travel.
- Through interactive features and captivating audio visual displays, including a simulation blast of a journey into space, and a chance to do a news report from another planet, the children will be fascinated.
Tuesday to Sunday 10.30 to 18:00 (last entry 16:30)
Adult £9.50; child (3 years and over) £6.50; family (up to 2 adults and 3 children) £26.50.
Seacombe Ferry Terminal, Wirral, CH44 6QY, +44 (0)151 330 1444
- Aimed at children aged 2 to 9, Play Planet is a soft play area with a huge ball pond, slides and obstacles to overcome. There is also a separate area for toddlers. Maximum height for entry is 4ft 9inches (1.45m).
Daily 10:00 to 18:00 (last entry 17:00)
£2.00 per child per hour.
Big Art for Little Artists- The Walker Art Gallery
William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EL, +44 (0)151 478 4199
- A unique space for children to discover art in a fun, interactive way.
- Aimed at children up to eight years old, the exhibition allows children to explore the Walker Gallery, experience the ‘mood room’ and create their own mini masterpieces, among other activities.
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- Located between Lord Street and Mathew Street, the Cavern Walks are home to Vivienne Westwood, as well as a number of independent stores.
- As well as great shopping, the Walks are also home to the original door of the Cavern Club.
- The Walks are closed on Sunday.
- Located on Whitechapel, the Met Quarter is home to many designer brands including Firetrap, All Saints, DKNY, and Hugo Boss
- The centre is open daily until 18:00, with late opening on Thursday until 19:00.
- The Albert Dock is the perfect place to pick up your souvenirs, from Beatles memorabilia to local merchandise.
- You will also find lots of art and craft shops to inspire you.
High Street Shopping
- If you want to shop on the high street, the best places to head for are Liverpool Church Street, Bold Street, Saint John's Shopping Centre, and Clayton Square.
- Liverpool One is part of a recently-opened £920 million project, which houses 160 shops in a space the size of 28 football pitches.
- The centre has designer, independent, and high street shops, as well as restaurants, a cinema, and apartments. It is also home to the largest John Lewis in the North West area.
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Gay & Lesbian
Liverpool has a thriving gay and lesbian scene. The majority of Liverpool’s scene is located around Stanley Street. Liverpool council is currently looking at plans to pedestrianise the area too, hopefully establishing the area as a recognised gay quarter.
Bars and Clubs:
64 Duke Street, Liverpool City Centre, L1 5AA, +44 (0)151 707 3575
- This club is gay friendly, and attracts a wide range of people.
- Hosts a range of club nights, and is open until around 03:30 on Friday and Saturday.
10 Cumberland Street, Liverpool, L1 6BU, +44 (0)151 236 7786
- A firmly established bar on Liverpool’s gay scene, and a great way to start the evening.
- The bar offers a happy hour from Monday to Saturday, 17:00-19:00.
- Entertainment is provided by DJs and drag queen hostesses.
35 Victoria Street, Liverpool, L1 6BG, +44 (0)151 231 6831
- Popular on Liverpool’s scene, the Lisbon is renowned for its pre-party atmosphere and has a dance floor which attracts a busy, varied crowd.
- Offering food throughout the day, there is also a pool table.
Outsiders Film Festival
- This festival has rapidly grown in popularity and is dedicated to gay film, art and cinema.
- Targeted at a range of people, the Festival also has monthly screenings at FACT.
- This festival is one of the first in Liverpool dedicated to the LGBT community, and combines theatre, film, art, performance, photography, heritage, and storytelling.
- For more information on activities and dates, visit the Homotopia website.
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