Liverpool is a large city in the North-West of England. A historic city with a youthful soul, it is perhaps most famous for being the home of several well-known music bands, such as The Beatles, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Zutons, as well as two large internationally-known football clubs.
A city rich in culture, it received the accolade of being named a European Capital of Culture in 2008. Liverpool has numerous attractions, as well as an excellent shopping scene and a lively nightlife.
Here are six top things to do when in Liverpool:
1. Visit the imposing and beautiful Liverpool Cathedral …
The biggest cathedral in Great Britain and the fifth biggest cathedral in the world, Liverpool Cathedral is a stunning architectural gem. Planning for a cathedral began in 1885 but, due to events such as delays in finding a suitable location and two World Wars, it was not completed until 1978.
The striking Gothic masterpiece is also the longest cathedral in the world and one of the tallest churches without a spire. An Anglican place of worship, the massive cathedral boasts the tallest and widest Gothic arches in the world and the biggest organ in the UK.
A place of sublime superlatives, you can admire the detailed architecture and magnificent stained glass windows, pause for a moment of reflection in one of the peaceful chapels, gaze upon numerous intricate sculptures, and marvel at traditional and modern religious art.
Journey to the top of the tall tower for sweeping views of the city below and see the highest and heaviest working bells in the world. To reach the top of the soaring tower, you must take two elevators, followed by a climb of 108 steps.
There is no charge to enter Liverpool Cathedral, although donations are encouraged. If you want to go to the top of the tower, there is a fee of 5.50 GBP (approximately 8.10 USD).
2. … And then take a stroll along Hope Street to the city’s unusual Roman Catholic Cathedral
Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, was completed in 1967. Its unusual shape has led to it being nicknamed the Lemon Squeezer, amongst other things. The circular modernist building is the biggest Catholic cathedral in the UK.
As you step inside, you will be dazzled, and maybe surprised by the radiant beams of colourful light that shine down onto the central white marble altar from the high lantern windows. There are several small chapels around the wall, offering peaceful places to pray.
An even bigger surprise lies underneath the cathedral’s floor – a spectacular and ornate crypt. The largest such crypt in the UK, it was part of the original cathedral plans as created by the famous architect, Edwin Lutyens. These plans were changed radically after World War II, when the necessary funds were no longer available to create a building of the initial grand plans. Descend a spiral staircase and be amazed by the grandeur below. The Crypt also houses a splendid collection of sacred objects within the Treasury.
Admission to the Metropolitan Cathedral is free, although donations are gratefully received. There is a charge of 3 GBP (approximately 4.40 USD) per person to visit the Crypt.
3. Take a ride on the Wheel of Liverpool and enjoy panoramic views
With rides available during daylight hours and after dark, a ride on the Wheel of Liverpool lets you see the city from a different perspective. Spot many of Liverpool’s famous landmarks from up high as you listen to the informative and interesting commentary from the comfort of the glass capsules. Look out for Liverpool’s two cathedrals, the Radio City Tower, and the elegant buildings of the Pier Head.
A ride costs 9 GBP (approximately 13.30 USD) per person and takes around 15 minutes. The wheel is situated at Keef Wharf, outside the ECHO Arena.
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4. See the scars of war at Liverpool’s "Bombed Out Church"
Known locally as the Bombed Out Church, the former Anglican church is officially called St Luke’s Church. Severely damaged during the Blitz (air attacks during World War II), the stubborn church was determined not to surrender completely. With the ruined former place of worship little more than the outer shell, it is a moving reminder of those who lost their lives during the war and the ravages that the city bore.
The grand façades are still impressive today and, whilst you cannot go inside the ruins unless attending a special event, the gardens are a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
5. Wander along Mathew Street and explore the Cavern Quarter
Liverpool’s Mathew Street is not only one of the city’s hottest night spots, but it is also renowned for being the home of the legendary Cavern Club; a club that spectacularly shot four young Liverpool lads into the limelight during the swinging 60s. Although the original Cavern Club was demolished in 1973, it was later rebuilt to the same layout using many of the original bricks. Today, the club that catapulted The Beatles to stardom is a cool live music venue and a major tourist attraction. In the front room you can see the stage where many famous bands played in the past, along with a list of band names on the wall.
Across the street from the Cavern Club is the lively Cavern Pub, a tribute to the many musical groups that graced the street in times gone by. A statue of John Lennon lounges in front of the pub and the surrounding Wall of Fame details many of the greats who played along Matthew Street. A selection of musical instruments takes centre stage.
For even more Beatles’ mania, head to the Beatles Story at Albert Dock. A museum dedicated to the former band, take a step back in time and experience the life and culture of Liverpool’s musical past. Admission is 14.95 GBP (approximately 22 USD).
6. Experience Liverpool’s dynamic nightlife
There are numerous pubs, clubs, and bars around the city, catering to almost all tastes for a fun night out.
Some popular parts of the city after dark include Mathew Street, Concert Square, Seel Street, Slater Street, the Albert Dock, the Baltic Triangle, and the Stanley Street area.
For all the atmosphere of an olde-worlde traditional pub and a selection of ales on tap, some recommendations include the Baltic Fleet, Peter Kavanagh’s, the Old Post Office, Ye Cracke, the Ship and Mitre, Ye Hole in Ye Wall, and The Slaughterhouse.
When it comes to nightclubs, Liverpool’s eclectic and electric selection certainly won’t disappoint. The amazing Garlands is known for its razzamatazz and lashings of glitz, focusing heavily on dramatic and untamed entertainment, a unique vibe, and creative décor. A place where all are welcome, unleash your wild side and get ready to have a ball! The Krazyhouse offers even more excitement, and Popworld keeps the spirit of cheesy 1990s pop well and truly alive. Heebie Jeebies attracts a youthful crowd and Brooklyn Mixer is another student favourite. Other great clubs include Bumper, Aloha, and Circo.
Located inside a converted church, the atmospheric Alma de Cuba is one swish and funky bar. Palm Sugar Lounge exudes elegance and luxury, and Motel offers rough and ready style. Playground is a place to see and be seen, and Revolution serves almost any flavour of vodka you could possibly think of! There are many, many great bars in Liverpool!
Liverpool’s Gay Village, also known as the Stanley Street Quarter, is a fun place to be. With several fabulous bars and pubs that mainly cater to the city’s LGBT community, everyone is welcome to enjoy the relaxed and fun atmosphere. The Lisbon is a recommended spot, with Navy Bar and GBar keeping the party going until the wee small hours of the morning.
Theatres, art cinemas, and comedy clubs add even more to Liverpool’s incredible and diverse night scene.
Other fantastic things to see and do when visiting Liverpool
Shopaholics can get their fill at Liverpool One, a large shopping area, and there are numerous eateries around all across the city. Visit the Bluecoat and see the oldest building in Liverpool City centre, see the splendid St George’s Hall, and visit world-class museums such as the World Museum Liverpool, the International Slavery Museum, and the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Art lovers will enjoy the Walker Art Gallery and the Tate Liverpool.
Enjoy a walk along the Pier Head and see the striking historical buildings that are known as the Three Graces – the Royal Liver Building, the Port of Liverpool Building, and the Cunard Building. Football fans can visit the hallowed grounds of Goodison Park and Anfield to see the home stadiums of rival football clubs Everton and Liverpool.
With so much going on in Liverpool, make sure that you plan plenty of time to enjoy the city’s numerous brilliant delights.
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