There is a good reason why I constantly tell people to make their own judgments about a place rather than letting others make them for them. I had just spent 4 days in Manchester, a city that so many people told me I would love. But I didn’t love it. I thought Manchester was a bit dull. On the other hand, I had about 5 or 6 different people along the way tell me that Liverpool was bland and boring. I had actually added an extra day to my Liverpool schedule, so hearing this made me a little bit nervous. However, in the end I was very glad I did.
Liverpool doesn’t attract the same level of tourism that other cities in England do, and perhaps that’s part of what I liked about it. However, tourist crowds or not, the city has some world class museums and sights. I liked Liverpool’s vibe, but there was something more to it. It almost had the feel of a city where I could see myself living; but not quite.
Time Needed: 3-4 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: 50-60 Pounds Per Day
Things to do in Liverpool
You’ll definitely not find yourself bored too often in Liverpool. There is plenty to do and see regardless of your varying interests. The really beauty of Liverpool, however, is that almost everything is free.
- Museums: The beauty of the Museums in Liverpool is that all the major ones, aside from Beatles’ Story, are free. Thus, you can spend you money on other things, or just save it. I spent less money in Liverpool than any city so far, and the amount of free stuff had a lot to do with that. There are plenty of museums to choose from as well. The National Museum of Liverpool is good, but you’re not likely to learn anything from Liverpool as most of the exhibits are international. On the other hand, The Naval Museum is great not only to learn about local history, but the local history’s impact on the world. Although I thought it could be deeper, I also thought that The Museum on Slavery was also very interesting. There are plenty of other museums as well.
- Football: The majority of football fans that come to Liverpool, come for Liverpool FC. However, Everton is also very popular here and if you’re lucky enough to be around for a match between the two you’re in luck.
- Sights: Most of the major sites are right on the waterfront along with the museums. Historical buildings like Albert Dock, The Liver Building, and City Hall are all right here within walking distance of one another.
- Churches: The other main attraction is the Liverpool Cathedral, which you can see from nearly everywhere in town, but it’s not the only church in town. There are plenty other more modest buildings worth checking out.
- The Beatles: I was amazed at how many Beatles fanatics come to Liverpool for the one and only reason of being in their hometown. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised. If you’re staying at Embassie Backpackers then make sure you’re around for a Thursday night when Kevin Sr. gives his free Beatles topped off by free entry into the pub to see the cover band. Otherwise, The Beatles’ Story museum is quite good, although I found it a bit too fanatical for me.
Where to Eat in Liverpool
In another life, Liverpool was once one of the world’s most important ports. Along with that history came a lot of different types of cuisine. In town, you can find just about anything your heart desires. From Sushi to Indian to Chinese to typical British food, it all has its place in Liverpool.
- Kimos: On the hostel’s recommendation I headed to Kimos which attracts a university crowd. The food is middle-eastern and is great for the price. They also do pizzas and breakfast.
- Tokyou Noodle Bar: I stumbled into Tokyou Noodle Bar on a mad craving for Japanese food. I was thrilled with the prices and the food was excellent as well. I ended up eating here on 2 separate occasions.
- Meet Argentinian Restaurant: When I saw this place I just about did sumersaults as I love Argentinian style steaks. It was good, but I don’t think that the quality of meat was up to par with what I was expecting. Still, it was alright if you’re looking to splurge a bit.
Where to Stay in Liverpool
While in town I stayed at the original hostel in town, the Embassies Backpackers. At the hostel you’re going to get a great family vibe and more character than the cookie cutter chain hostels. The location is in a quite old neighbourhood in Liverpool, and is actually a building that once served as international embassies. I will be writing a review on Embassies in the next couple of days, but I definitely recommend it.
Getting Out of Town
Like travelling from anywhere in the UK, the bus is always the cheapest option. However, it will take about twice as long. If you’re heading somewhere quick like Manchester or Chester, the bus is a good option. Although, if you’ve got a longer journey like to London or Edinburgh I’d recommend the train. There are also a number of ferries from Liverpool, the most popular being the trip to Dublin.
Photos of Liverpool
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