Maritime history, musical heritage, football and cathedrals...
iverpool has old-world charm, modern sophistication and a proud heritage it never tires of showing off. Its first economic boom came when the port traded with the world, creating untold wealth, stunning architecture and an open attitude that took in influences from around the world. No wonder then that its most famous sons, The Beatles , were the first to hear new music from the US. Today, the culture is still as cutting edge as ever, the buildings are freshly spruced up, and the people are as famously sprightly, entertaining and funny as they always have been.
History and Heritage
Liverpool was England’s cultural melting pot during the Empire days, a place where wealth and trade flowed in and out of the city. So far so cliched, but the quality of the buildings on the grade-1 listed Albert Dock , The Pier Head and the Stanley Dock have led to UNESCO declaring the docks as a world heritage monument, said to be “a supreme example of a commercial port at the time of Britain’s greatest global significance.”
Food and Drink
Liverpool’s finest eateries include 60 Hope Street , whose fancy gourmet dishes come with typical northern wit; their deep-fried jam sandwich and Carnation Milk ice cream is a classic dessert. On the same road is The London Carriage Works , a prize winning, local-produce restaurant The Panoramic restaurant on the 34th-floor of the West Tower has undoubtedly the city’s most stunning dining, while the food in China Town is naturally, highly prized.
Liverpool FC and Everton Football Club played their first ‘Merseyside Derby’ in 1894 (a crowd of 44,000 watched Everton win three nil at Goodison Park) making it three centuries in which the city’s two clubs have been in the top flight of English league football. Take the Anfield Stadium tour to learn more. While the two clubs dominate the sporting line up, there’s also the Aintree Racecourse , the ‘Saints’ Rugby League team, and the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake is a veritable Mecca for golfers, eclipsed only (perhaps) by the Ryder Cup venue at Royal Birkdale in nearby Southport.
Liverpool and Everton football players have been household names since the clubs were formed, The Beatles are naturally the city’s most famous sons, though other notable musicians include Elvis Costello and Holly Johnson.
April’s John Smith's Grand National is the legendary Aintree horse race that gets punters across England in a flurry, and for a city with such a musical history, May’s Liverpool Sound City festival is the place to head to see tomorrow’s headliners in small, personal venues. August’s Matthew Street Music festival bills itself as Europe’s largest free music festival, and the undisputed number one place to judge the world’s various Beatle tribute acts.
Music and Nightlife
If you’ve done all the Beatles tours and fancy a rest from popular music, try the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (known locally as ‘The Phil’), home to the city’s classical music fans and the world’s oldest working orchestra. At the other end of the spectrum, Garlands is a legendary spot in clubland, and the O2 Academy and Echo Arena are the natural home to the world’s biggest bands. And in a city that’s world-famous for its humour, the Laughterhouse Comedy Club is the city's favourite showcase venue.
Bug World on the Albert Dock has seven zones of creepy crawlies including the ‘encounter’ zone! Nearby Underwater Street defies definition, but if you want to pan for gold, see a volcano erupt, launch paper planes or experiment with optical illusions, it’s the place to head. Fans of submarines can learn about German U-Boats at The Real U-Boat Story on the Woodside Ferry Terminal. And finally, plane-loving nippers will be pointing to the skies at the Southport Air Show , a regular stop for the Red Arrows and WWII Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers.
Keep up to date with the latest information about where to go and what to do in Liverpool by visiting their official Tourist Information site.
Psst... Handy Hints
Your ticket for Liverpool is the official Visitor Card , giving you free and discounted entry into top attractions and fabulous offers.
Shiverpool Ghost Tours invite you to the darker side of Liverpool. Creepy guides will take you on a journey through the city’s murderous past.
Take the Ferry
Get the Ferry 'cross the Mersey and learn about Liverpool's history as well as the development of the docks.
Bohemian Lark Lane is the trendy area of the city and a great alternative to the city centre.
Discover Beatles Liverpool and the legendary Cavern Club.Liverpool Beatles Tour
Sign up to our eNewsletter for the latest travel news, top events and great ideas for holidays and breaks in England.