Since the city's year as European Capital of Culture, Liverpool's makeover has added even more spirit to a city already bursting with personality. With history, music, the arts and a vivacious nightlife scene that goes on 'til dawn, you're in for an action-packed trip whether you decide to stay for a weekend or a lifetime. So enjoy the best of the North West with our guide of things to do.
Museum-Hop Your Way Around the Royal Albert Dock
Liverpool's docks are an iconic part of the city's maritime past, and now also house an impressive assortment of museums and cultural attractions. You've got the choice of history at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Museum of Liverpool and the International Slave Museum or modern and contemporary art at the Tate Liverpool. Even if you're not that into exhibitions, the docks are great place to wander around and share a bag of chips with the local seagulls.
Get a Ticket to Ride the Magical Mystery Tour Bus
Beatlemania lives on in Liverpool, and with tributes dotted around the city, it's easy to dedicate an entire day to the band and their legacy. Start at the Beatles Story exhibition, then hop on the Magical Mystery Tour bus to see sites such as Lennon and McCartney's childhood homes. Back in town, sit by the bronze statue of Eleanor Rigby on Stanley Street before heading down Matthew Street, where the original Cavern Club has been demolished, but the recreation hosts live music every day.
Drink Local Craft Beer at the Baltic Triangle
Once home to the city's factories and warehouses, the Baltic Triangle now hosts the trendiest nightlife in town. Head to Camp and Furnace for an indoor venue with an outdoor aesthetic and festival atmosphere, or Cains Brewery Village for a collection of quirky independent bars, pubs, eateries, and coffee shops, as well an indoor vintage market. This area is a quick taxi ride from the town centre, or you can walk within 20 minutes and see street art along the way.
Visit the Bombed-Out Church
During the Second World War, Liverpool was hit by a relentless barrage of bombs in what became known as the May Blitz. One of the victims was St Luke's Church, whose empty shell and atmospheric gardens are a must-see if you're into history or photography. Look out for art exhibitions, live music events and film screenings, which are all held throughout the year with profits going to the upkeep of the building.
Take a Ferry Across the Mersey
While the majority of commuters use the tunnel these days, the Mersey riverboat crossing is a symbolic part of Liverpool life. So much so, Gerry and the Pacemakers wrote a song about it. Their familiar tune welcomes you as you board the ferry at Pier Head by the Albert Docks, before sailing between Woodside and Seacombe with views of the UNESCO World Heritage listed waterfront as you go. So ferry 'cross the Mersey... and you'll no doubt be humming that tune for the rest of the day.
Stand in the Dock at St George's Hall
The neoclassical-style Grade I listed building St George's Hall is a central point in Liverpool. Now a registry office, conference centre and regular backdrop for high-profile film and TV sets, it was previously a Victorian criminal court and a grand concert hall. You can visit the underground cells complete with grisly photos of their unfortunate inhabitants, before walking in their footsteps up to the same daunting courtroom dock.
Watch a Film at FACT
FACT is a cultural centre showcasing film and media arts, just a short walk from Bold Street's independent shops and restaurants. If you're stuck for something to do in Liverpool on a rainy day, it's hard to beat a trip to the Box - a boutique cinema with 25 comfy sofas to settle into and watch films from around the world. The centre also has free exhibitions and a pleasant café for a coffee stop.
Go Shopping at Liverpool One
Liverpool One is a commercial chapter of the regeneration story and makes the city a go-to place for shopping. Designer brands, high-street chains and restaurants fill the enormous two-tiered complex in an area that was historically packed with visiting sailors. Underneath John Lewis you'll find the preserved Old Dock, which you can see via a free tour from the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
See the Home of the Reds on an Anfield Stadium Tour
The blue half of Liverpool might not like it, but there's an undeniable buzz about the city when there's a home game at Anfield. The streets erupt into celebration after a big win - expect singing, red-shirt swinging and a big party night if you're in town. Getting tickets to a match at Anfield can be tricky, but a tour of the stadium is another option if you're a fan, with access to the dressing rooms, player's tunnel and the club's museum.
Book it: Liverpool Football Club Stadium Tour