If I hadn’t gone to University in Manchester, then I definitely would have chosen to study in Liverpool. Not due to anything University related, but due to Liverpool being such a damn cool city. Although locals have incredibly thick accents which seem as if another language entirely, all welcome you with open arms- only after checking who you support footie wise first of course.
This northern city is a vibrant metropolis for art, culture and music, filled with a youthful enthusiasm in everything and anything the world has to offer. Liverpool has been awarded a UNESCO World heritage site, which it quite rightly deserves and as soon as you step outside of the train station, you feel a buzz in the city that is indescribable. Maybe its due to the fact that Liverpool is the birthplace of one of the biggest bands of all time: The Beatles, and so knows just how great it is, or the traditional Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra which dominates classic music around the world, or its home to Europe’s oldest Chinatown (which by the way, definitely doesn’t beat London’s but thanks for trying Liverpool). Or it could be the historical port docks that were so vital to England’s trade industry that they have remained a part of Liverpool’s landscape for over 160 years, and still hum with importance. Either way, Liverpool knows just how great they are, and their proud to tell you so over a pint.
Albert Dock is definitely a highlight for visitors to see as the city has blended magnificent traditional architecture amidst gently floating boats and renovated warehouses that are home to upmarket restaurants and trendy bars. Peruse in vintage shops before heading to the Maritime Museum, a museum which highlights the importance of Liverpool’s role within the trade industry and the key location of Liverpool and its docks in relation to the rest of the country. After, head to the unique Intentional Museum of Slavery, a dedicated exploration of transatlantic slavery and how it relates to the world we live in now. An example of Liverpool’s interest in history, even if it shines the UK in a negative light (you wouldn’t see this museum in London I can tell you that).
Leaving the quirky street art and edgy posters that encompass the walls behind, head to Walker Art Gallery and Tate Liverpool, to be enriched in art that is dedicated to the style and originality of Liverpool. Once feeling a little more cultured, join the masses of tourists that are avid Beatles Fans by following the footsteps of their musical journey at The Beatles Story, a museum dedicated to their lives. Or, if you’d rather see their journey and how it is embedded into the city, join a walking tour dedicated to The Beatles, there are many to choose from.
But to really feel at home, join the masses and head out after dark (or even throughout the day with some locals). Liverpool, similar to Manchester, has everything you want in nightlife. With a beautiful mix of young students with fresh ideas, young workers with committed party vibes and locals happy to tell you a good tale or two, nights out in Liverpool are always friendly and fun. Evenings can be spent hopping from a sophisticated cocktail drinking bar, to a authentic British pub to a sweaty floor shaking live music gig. What ever takes your fancy, I’m pretty sure Liverpool has got it.
My favourite haunts are the £1 Tequila bar which has every flavour of Tequila you could want called BarCava, Motel: a rough but hipster cocktail venue, Kazimier for its artsy musical venue hidden in the city centre, Philharmonic Bar for its traditional pub ambience, and Crazy House because it has loads of floors of… well, craziness (don’t expect your bog standard pop music here).
So if your visiting England and want to explore a city that is a little bit more rough around the edges with a friendly vibe, and your more of a fan of The Beatles than you are The Stone Roses, head over to Liverpool, and expect the unexpected.