24 Hours In Liverpool

Liverpool at night

Liverpool has long been associated with the British arts, culture and music scene, even before the Beatles made the Cavern Club famous. Of course, it's not the arts scene that is prevalent in Liverpool - their world-renowned football club has drawn in hundreds of thousands of dedicated supporters and tourists. It's an all-round city that offers a balance of interesting cultural activities to keep you occupied during the day and fun night-time activities that will keep you out and about until the break of dawn.

Breakfast At The Leaf

When hunting for breakfast in Liverpool, try one of the many independent restaurants or cafes, like The Leaf. Their quirky, and very true, slogan is “Where there's tea there's hope.” It is situated at 65-67 Bold Street, in the heart of Liverpool, an area that is rich in history and a hub for local artists and writers. Starting your day with some wholesome food and an excellent selection of loose-leaf tea in a unique location will certainly set the mood for a memorable holiday.

Enjoy some home-made granola with delicious fresh fruit or a full English breakfast. There are several options for vegetarians as well. Their breakfast menu is served from 9.00 am until midday, Monday to Friday. Over the weekend brunch is served from 10.00 am until 3.00 pm. The Leaf is also a live music venue at night, so it may be worth checking it out again later in the day.

If you want something a bit more exclusive, head to Oh Me Oh My, situated in West Africa House on Water Street. This “hidden space" does a great breakfast and grants you gorgeous views of the historic Liverpool Liver building.

The Leaf on Bold StreetGet a delicious breakfast at The Leaf

Calderstone Park

This 94 acre park is beautiful, but that's not its only accolade. It has also won the Green Flag Award - a sign of environmental excellence for green spaces in the UK. History buffs will love Calderstone, since it hosts six prehistoric megaliths reputed to be older than Stonehenge. The ancient 1000 year old Allerton Oak tree is also a resident of the park. In addition, there is a picnic area and the Harthill Botanical Gardens, where almost 4000 species of plants can be found. Take a late morning stroll in this beautiful park and don’t forget to feed the ducks at the lake. The main park is open 24 hours a day, and the walled garden is open from 10.00 am - 5.45 pm, from April through to September, and 10.00 am - 3.45 pm, from October until March.

Gates of Calderstone ParkThe beautiful gates of Calderstone Park

Walker Art Gallery

If you are in the mood for art, then head to the beautiful Walker Gallery. It has a wide variety of art on display. It is home to Henry VIII - one of England’s most famous paintings. The gallery is worth a visit just to see this iconic image. However, it also has art by a wonderful selection of artists such as Monet, Degas, Rubens and Rossetti, to name but a few. And if you want something more contemporary, check out the Banksy sculpture. When you are done, stroll down to the Liverpool Central Library just down the street. This library is housed in several historical buildings and has an excellent reading room.

Street View of the Walker Art GalleryThe street in front of the Walker Art Gallery

Albert Dock

If you haven’t had your fill of culture, then head to The Albert Dock - a World Heritage waterfront filled with galleries, shops, museums and restaurants. There is so much to do in this picturesque area that it is the ideal place to spend your afternoon. Visit the fascinating Merseyside Maritime Museum or the International Slavery Museum - a tribute to Liverpool becoming a wealthy port during the slave trade. This museum has free capoeira classes that are held on Saturday afternoons. Admissions to both these museums are free. Another must-see is the Tate Liverpool, situated in a stunningly redeveloped mill at the docks. It has an excellent collection of modern and contemporary art. Artists include the likes of Duchamp, Matisse and Picasso. This gallery is open every day from 10.00 am until 6:00 pm and admission is free, except for special exhibitions.

Reflection of buildings on the waterThe picturesque Albert Dock
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Lunch At The Monro

By the time you get around to taking a stroll on the dock, you'll no doubt be ravenous. Luckily, you don’t have to go very far, since there are loads of eatery options in this area. Try The Monro, a gastropub that has made its home in a former shopping merchant’s house, dating back to 1746. The charming Georgian house is situated in Duke Street, not far from the Albert Dock, and retains many of its original features such as solid ship's decking wooden floors. Expect hearty lunches from this award-winning restaurant, such as free-range chicken breast with grilled leeks, cherry tomatoes and crushed Lincolnshire potatoes in a four-herb crème. There is also a bar with wonderful fireplaces that will keep you toasty in winter, and an outside courtyard garden for those hot summer days. The bar stocks a wide selection of ales and malt whiskies. The Monro is open from 11.00 am until late and food is served from 12.00 pm until late, seven days a week.

The Monro PubThe Monro in Duke Street

The Beatles Story

This award-winning attraction takes visitors on an exciting journey into the life and times of the Beatles. Find out how four young Liverpudlians found themselves in the middle of fame, fortune and more than a little bit of mania. They are hailed as one of the greatest bands of all time, and even if you are not a fan, this exhibition, which provides a glimpse into the rocking 60s, should prove very entertaining. Replicas of the Casbah and The Cavern club give an authentic representation of the music culture of the time. The Beatles Story is located across two sites. The one at the Albert Dock houses the main exhibition and another site, a 10 minute walk away, includes the Fab4D Experience and the Beatles Hidden Gallery.

The entrance to The Beatles StoryThe Beatles Story exhibition entrance

The Yellow Duckmarine

Want a tour of the docks and Liverpool? Take the Yellow Duckmarine. Their fleet of “ducks” - rebuilt World War II landing vehicles - offers a fun hour-long amphibious sightseeing tour. In the first half of the tour you will see such historical sights as the Liver Building, Queens Courts, the Cathedrals, St George’s Hall and Chinatown. Then you will experience their “famous splashdown” and cruise to the Salthouse Dock before being taken around the rest of the docks at the waterfront and finishing at the Albert Dock. Tours depart all year round from around 10.30 am. At peak season tours run every 15 to 30 minutes and every 75 minutes during off-peak times.

The Yellow Duckmarine is amphibiousThe Yellow Duckmarine touches down on water

Penny Lane

If your appetite for the Beatles hasn't been satisfied yet, there is one famous street you simply cannot miss out on: Penny Lane. Head out of the city centre to the South of Liverpool to see this well-known popular culture landmark. At one point, Penny Lane became so popular that visitors started taking the street signs as souvenirs. The city council painted “Penny Lane” signs on buildings for a while, but luckily these days more theft-resistant signs have been installed, so if you want, you could get a snapshot of yourself with a sign.

Street sign for Penny LaneVisit the famous Penny Lane
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FACT Cinema And Gallery

For something more contemporary, head over to the state of the art FACT - Foundation for Art and Creative Technology - the UK’s leading media arts centre. They specialise in unique digital exhibitions, film and multimedia art projects. Their aim is to “use the power of creative technology to inspire and enrich lives”. A visit to this award-winning building is well worth it, since it houses three art galleries, a delightful cafe and bar, and three high-tech film screens showing both independent and mainstream films. See what the galleries have to offer, have a coffee or a beer and then take in a film.

The FACT buildingThe FACT cinema and gallery

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms

For dinner, head to the Philharmonic Dining Rooms situated in Hope Street. This pub is 113 years old and has an amazing interior. Menus combine hearty classic British dishes especially made for the season with perennial favourites. Enjoy delicious dishes such as brie fondue topped with Nicholson's Pale Ale chutney or venison and red-wine sausages served on creamy mashed potatoes. The pub is open all week until midnight.

Philharmonic Dining RoomsThe Philharmonic Dining Rooms on Hope Street

Liverpool Cathedral

The majestic Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is among the largest, and is the longest, cathedral in the world. The spectacular cathedral is complemented by its beautiful surrounding grounds. The main cathedral is open from 8.00 am until 6.00 pm. During Spring you can also take a Thursday Twilight Tower tour to the roof and take in the stunning views of Georgian Liverpool. In Summer you can watch as the sun starts setting, deftly handing the baton over to the city lights. And with that, you have the signal of the end of the day and the beginning of a night of music and fun.

Liverpool Cathedral during the dayThe majestic Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

The Georgian Quarter

Once you've watched the sun set and the twinkling of lights start popping up in the city, it's time to lift your glass up and put your dancing shoes on. Start off with a pub crawl in the adjacent Canning, also known as the Georgian Quarter. This area is made up almost exclusively of residential architecture in a Georgian style dating from the early 1800s. There are many pubs to be found in these streets lined with buildings from a bygone era. Visit pubs like Ye Cracke, which John Lennon frequented while he was at art school, or The Belvedere arms, a small traditional pub tucked into a side street.

A street in the Georgian Quarter at nightThe Georgian Quarter at night in the wintertime
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Ghostwalk With Shiverpool

Shiverpool runs ghost and history tours of Liverpool. Their tours explore the city's most famous locations and reveals hidden mysteries. These Tripadvisor Excellence Award winners introduce their creepy historical findings with stunning theatrical performances that will astound you, entertain you and definitely send a shiver down your spine.

The Hope Street Shivers tour starts outside the Philharmonic Pub and ends at St James Cemetery below Liverpool Cathedral. This tour runs on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and full moon nights, of course. The Auld City Shivers Tour takes you on an exploration of Liverpool’s seven original streets. It runs every Friday and Saturday, and starts at The Queen Victoria Monument in Derby Square and ends in an undisclosed indoor location 40 feet under Castle Street. Also check out their “bespook’” packages if you want something more exclusive.

Tombstones at the St James CemeterySt James Cemetery

Siren @ 54 St James Street

Liverpool is full of small, hidden, independent venues and cafes. Check out Siren, an eatery and venue with a relaxed atmosphere, situated in the same building as the Women's Organisation, at 54 St. James Street in the Baltic Quarter. They serve delicious, good-value food made from fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers. They also serve coffee, loose-leaf teas and an assortment of alcoholic beverages. There is a great garden and terrace with views over the city. Siren is open seven days a week, and serves food from 9.30 am until 3.30 am, which makes it an ideal stop during the day, but also a good place to satisfy those late-night munchies. Try the halloumi burger or a sandwich on sourdough bread with sweet potato fries.

The Women's Organisation buildingThe Women's Organisation building

The Attic Bar

This great little bar is situated above a recording studio on Parr Street. It has an excellent reputation for good food, great music and friendly staff. There’s a wide selection of world beers and cocktails available. Food is served every day until late and is moderately priced. They also have a good selection of vegetarian dishes. The Attic Bar hosts regular live music gigs, DJs and quiz nights.

The Perr Street Studio and Attic BarThe Attic Bar, above the Perr Street Studios

The Kazimier

The Kazimier Garden deems itself a hybrid space that serves as a bridge between the natural and urban environment. It is possible to view performances, nature-based technological installations and sunsets from mezzanine platforms at this unique setting. The venue, situated at Wolstenholme Square, hosts music and dancing performances, as well as film-screenings, workshops, fairs and a whole lot more. There are long tables where street and barbeque style food is served. Their aim is to serve authentic, honest food which has been prepared on the premises from the freshest ingredients. The Kazimier has a large selection of beverages available on an ever-evolving menu, from ales and wine to absinthe-based cocktails. Entrance and entertainment is mostly free. The Kazimier opens at 11.00 am, which also makes it a good place to grab some fresh-ground coffee during the day, and closes at 2.00 am in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays.

Art on Wolstenholme SquareWolstenholme Square
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Last Updated: January 2014

Guest Travel Writer

Your Essential Travel Experts can't be everywhere all the time, so we often welcome guest travel writers. This article was written by one such visiting travel enthusiast whose experience of different places and advice for travellers makes for an interesting read. Enjoy!