Laugh, love, Liverpool

dock Laugh, love, Liverpool Kim Wright
Approx read: 5 mins

An insider’s guide to the city

Exquisite food and drink, distinctive cultural experiences, and a nightlife that beats with the city’s vibrant pulse await those who explore with true Scousers.

While the Premier League teams Liverpool and Everton and the music scene are undeniable draws for the millions who visit this amazing city, I’ve learnt first-hand the real magic lies beyond the familiar.

Come, let’s delve deeper.

Fab Four to maritime might: must-see Liverpool sites

Obsessed with John, Paul, George and Ringo? The Beatles Story Museum  is a must-see, while the real fans also make the effort to visit John and Paul’s childhood homes. For sights off the beaten track, check out Antony Gormley’s Another Place sculptures along Crosby Beach, or delve into Speke Hall’s Tudor history.

Fans of walking tours have plenty of options. Immersive walking tours for history buffs, strolls featuring architectural gems, or the Georgian Quarter’s time capsule vibes. Built with grand ambition, the historic waterfront structures of Albert Dock now form a UNESCO World Heritage site, a testament to Liverpool’s rich past and a lively hub in its cultural present. And while at the docks, catch a ferry across the Mersey for a scenic escape to the Wirral, then finally; get spiritual at both the incredible (and huge) Anglican and Catholic cathedrals.

Bonus points: Uncover musical heritage at the British Music Experience, visit Liverpool’s Chinatown, or explore the fascinating underworld secrets of the Williamson Tunnels.

club Laugh, love, Liverpool Kim Wright

Live music venues

More than just a city, Liverpool is a living, breathing concert. Imagine a wild, energetic mix of every musical genre, a place where jazz rubs shoulders with classical, punk and pop exploding alongside rock. This is Liverpool’s music scene, a blend that’s been nurturing legends for decades with no signs of slowing down.

From the electrifying energy of 24 Kitchen Street to the intimate vibes of the Jacaranda, each venue throbs with its own sound. Dive into Meraki, lose yourself at the Invisible Wind Factory, or discover your new favourite band at Future Yard.

Forget the stereotype of a one-note city stuck on repeat. Liverpool’s musical soul goes far deeper. While pop and rock reign supreme, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra adds a layer of undeniable sophistication. And the best part? In this egalitarian city, the symphony isn’t reserved for a class or a privileged few – the Philharmonic offers a welcoming atmosphere for everyone to experience the beauty of classical, pop, folk, and rock music.

Steeped in musical history, Liverpool’s iconic Cavern Club is a must-visit for any music lover. This legendary venue, where the Beatles launched their careers, still thrums with raw energy. Catch a live band playing everything from classic rock to up-and-coming indie acts, all within the same walls that once echoed with the Fab Four’s sound.

bus Laugh, love, Liverpool Kim Wright

Scouse and more

Forget just fish and chips, Liverpool’s food scene is surprisingly innovative and waiting to be explored!

Haute cuisine

High-end nosh at the Art School Restaurant is a must while Röski tasting menus are a flavour explosion from a super-chef and perfect for anyone curious about food. Manifest in the Baltic is legendary for its oysters, but reservations are a must. Feeling fancy-free? Restaurant 8 by Andrew Sheriden boasts a Michelin pedigree – just check your wallet before you go.

Fine dining, friendly prices

Nord in Hall St., with Chef Daniel Heffy at the helm, brings Michelin-worthy skills back to his Liverpool roots while Queens offers excellent food with an even better wine list, courtesy of their wine merchant neighbour. Six kitchens serving diverse dishes from Korean to Latin American street food are collected at  Duke Street Market and all worth your appetite’s attention.

Scran on a budget

The Pen Factory on Hope Street hits the spot with its relaxed vibe and seriously good cooking while the Quarter on Faulkner offers big space and even bigger flavours for a casual feast. Forget soggy supermarket sarnies – Ropes & Twines boasts the very best sandwiches, charcuterie boards, and top-notch coffee, all wrapped up in a chilled, IG-worthy space while bonus points are awarded for their outstanding wine selection and artisan extras. Meanwhile, Leaf on Bold St offers a delightful combo: good food, top-class tea (they sell it too!) and occasional live music for a truly well-rounded experience.

bar Laugh, love, Liverpool Kim Wright

A pint and a story: the soul of Liverpool through its pubs

Forget the generic, branded chain pubs, Liverpool’s indie bar scene has you covered. From world famous pubs, dive bars, hidden speakeasies, and swanky cocktail spots – Liverpool’s best bars and pubs are all within walking distance in the city centre. That’s bar crawl perfection.

John Lennon once complained that the price of fame meant he could no longer enjoy a quiet pint at the Phil. The grandeur and style of this Grade-I listed building isn’t lost on anyone who enters – the Philharmonic is iconic and is a must-visit watering hole. However, for Guinness, laughs, and live music, Flanagan’s Apple in Mathew Street is the ultimate Irish extravaganza on this famous lane. Alternatively, fill your boots with legendary grub and brews at the Belvedere with homemade pork pies, real ales and killer cocktails while your comedy fix and some foot stomping tunes are all taken care of at the Slaughterhouse on Fenwick Street.

With an interior unchanged since 1929, Peter Kavanagh’s is your ‘Art with a Pint’ place to be, whilst a fix for a sea shanty that you never knew you craved is on the corner of Covent Garden and Chapel Street at the Pig & Whistle.

For a night of sparkle and glam, Castle Street is the place to be for swanky cocktail dens like Bar & Grill to the ever lively San Carlo’s. But you can always level up your Insta-game with sky-high cocktails at Panoramic 34, the city’s highest bar, and if the sun is out then Goodness, Gracious rooftop bar in West Africa House offers stunning views of the Liver Building (weather permitting, of course).

art Laugh, love, Liverpool Kim Wright

Masterpieces on the Mersey: Liverpool’s renowned art scene

From Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces to groundbreaking modern art, Liverpool’s art scene punches well above its weight compared to other British and European cities of similar size.

The Walker’s got your fix while the more famous Tate is taking a breather for a refurb. Meanwhile, the Bluecoat keeps the contemporary art and crafts scene on lock, plus the Victoria Gallery and Museum or the Open Eye Gallery are more spaces to find visual goodness.

So ditch any trepidations and get swept up in the electrifying current of this city. Liverpool’s a kaleidoscope of music, history, and flavour – a place where cobbled streets meet cutting-edge culture, and friendly faces pull you into the next adventure. Prepare to be surprised, inspired, and maybe even leave a little piece of your heart in this unforgettable city by the Mersey.

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