With its world-class museums and impressive musical past and present, you can see why Scousers have so much to be cheery about it, and why Liverpool has got a reputation as being one of England’s friendliest cities.
Fierce footballing rivalries aside, this is a city that’s as welcoming as it is vibrant. From its colorful contemporary art to its party-themed hotels and growing street food scene, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do in Liverpool.
While Liverpool may still be chasing that first Michelin star, it’s not expected to take much longer thanks to the likes of The Art School, which was founded by chef-patron Paul Askew. As well as a taste for local suppliers, it’s home to award-winning chefs and a private dining room that pays tribute to Askew’s late mother and their shared love of Sherlock Holmes.
Following success in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Manchester, Scottish-Italian chef Nico Simeone also decided to bring his concept restaurant, Six by Nico, to Liverpool. If you’re looking for a regular spot that you won’t tire of quickly, this one’s for you—it has a new six-course tasting menu that rotates every six weeks.
For more casual bites, the Baltic Market in the city’s buzzy Baltic Triangle is Liverpool’s first-ever street food mecca and also home to an ever-changing roster of food vendors. As well as nurturing up-and-coming culinary talent, it hosts live bands on Saturday nights, a Sunday farmers and flea market and a lively drinks scene.
Former barrister turned Mowgli founder Nisha Katona wanted to set the record straight about real Indian food. The result is another street food fan favorite where you can enjoy simple, often vegan, dishes. Think red lentil dahl and butter chicken.
It’s no coincidence that Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture in 2008. You don’t have to wander far to come across a world-class museum or gallery.If you’re into contemporary art, you’ll find the United Kingdom’s “Tate of the North” in a converted warehouse in the Royal Albert Dock. Join its 600,000 annual visitors who admire the likes of Keith Haring, Yves Klein and Jackson Pollock as well as a café designed by Sir Peter Blake (known for co-creating The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover).
The Walker Art Gallery is not only located in one of the city’s most iconic buildings, its collection has included some pretty big names, too—think Rembrandt, David Hockney and Banksy.
If you prefer your McCartneys to your Monets, you’ll find Liverpool’s musical past very much present. The world’s largest permanent Beatles exhibition can be found at Albert Dock and there are nods to The Fab Four all over the city, from the pubs where Lennon and co. used to drink (the Philharmonic Dining Rooms are still one of the city’s most beautiful) to the clubs they used to play in. For a nostalgic night out, The Cavern Club still gets top billing. The legendary home of The Beatles (the band played nearly 300 gigs here in the 1960s) retains its iconic status among musicians, attracting the likes of Adele, Oasis and a returning Sir Paul McCartney.
Hope Street Hotel
Since the Hope Street Hotel opened its doors in 2003 it has been a popular retreat. Thanks to its cool Scandi-inspired design and love of wooden furniture and exposed brick, it looks as relevant and fresh as it did when it first opened. Add to that a 2 AA Rosette award-winning restaurant and it’s easy to see why this hotel has stood the test of time.
The Shankly Hotel
At the other end of the design spectrum sits The Shankly Hotel. Forget cool minimalism, there isn’t a paint color or fabric this self-proclaimed party hotel hasn’t used in its guestrooms. As well as jungle and nautical themes, room highlights include private pools, bars and nightclubs. “Party rooms” with multiple beds can also fit up to 24 guests for adult sleepovers and celebrations.