Now, living in the UK is great, but there's more to it than London. London is the centre and the queen of all cities, but its neighbouring towns and the rest of the UK also have a lot to offer.
When I say Liverpool, what are the first things that come to mind? Football, the Beatles and the classic scouse accent? Yep, I thought so. All of those things are completely valid and applicable, but there's so much more to it than that. Obviously in a weekend you can't get through all the gems that Liverpool has to offer, so Spotahome has compiled an easy and quick-to-read guide to open your mind to the best bits of Liverpool without the faff.
How do I get there?
As Liverpool is one of the UK's most important cities and top destinations, getting there from London isn't a problem, nor will it break the bank.
Want to get there quickly? No problem, trains are regular and run every 20 minutes- half an hour and can take you from London to Liverpool within 2 and a half- 3 hours. If you book in advance, you can bag yourself a real bargain, but the train tends to be the more expensive mode of transport between the two destinations.
So... want to save money? The bus is the best option for you. You can get some great deals on regular bus routes between the two on National Express or Megabus, but be prepared for a journey that can be anything between 5-7 hours.
What can I see and do in Liverpool?
Now, we honestly can't mention Liverpool without talking about football. It's almost criminal. The Liverpool City Region is home to 2 historic football clubs; Everton and Liverpool FC, both of which offer amazing stadium tours that allow you to access the history and pitches of these world renowned clubs.
So, why not pay a visit to Liverpool FC's home stadium, Anfield Stadium? With tickets starting at just £12 and the tour available in 8 languages, this really is an all inclusive experience. The tour will take you around the new exhibitions hosted by the club, the pitch and you'll even get a peak at the locker rooms- a real taste of where the magic is made and where it all began for this mighty football club!
Although probably a lot lesser known than Liverpool FC, Everton FC's classic Goodison Park Stadium is definitely worth a visit. With an epic history and a wealth of footballing legends having passed through the club, Everton's tour tickets start at a mere £5! Not only is it cheap, but it's beyond cheerful. So hey, why not kill two birds with one stone and do both?
Now you're talking! If you're looking to do a spot of shopping away from the Saturday Oxford Street rush, you've come to the right place. Liverpool has some great shopping centres that are home to some of the UK high street's biggest names as well as more local stores.
Liverpool One is not to the missed. Housing around 160 high street shop, it'll be impossible not to find what you're looking for here or just spend lot of money. There is also plenty of big name restaurants and cafés, so even when you think you can't shop anymore, you thought wrong. However, if you're in need of escaping the busy high street and want to go back to basics Clayton Square Shopping Centre houses all your essentials.
Further away from the luxury that is inside shopping, Bold Street is the next best thing. Easy to find and right in the centre of Liverpool, there are plenty of shops and eateries for you to feast your eyes and mouths on.
For something a bit more seasonal, or if you're just in the neighbourhood near Christmas season, definitely opt for Liverpool's Christmas Market at St George's Plateau. With a great and wide range of stores that stock everything homemade and artisan, it's a great and authentic way to stock up close to Christmas. Not only is it lit up to perfection, but it also hosts some great local and seasonal food and drinks, so you'll be leaving with a happy stomach.
One great thing about London is all the free museums. Like it's British sister, Liverpool has the same. So, if you're looking for a cheap weekend full of history and culture, here you'll be nothing less than spoilt for choice.
Like London, Liverpool also has its own Tate Modern gallery. Although, you may have to pay for some exhibitions, there are free ones that you can wander around and admire. Attracting visitors from all over the world, much like its London counterpart, the Tate Liverpool hosts some of the most current and prestigious pieces of modern artwork in the world. So, if you get chance, it's definitely worth a look!
If you're interested in where we came from, the civilisations that we follow on from and all things historical, visit the World Museum. With hands-on exhibitions and demonstrations, you can really get involved in all the action. Also, a great one for the kiddies and completely free of charge.
Liverpool is also home to the thought-provoking International Slavery Museum. Here, you can get an in-depth look into the history and the conditions in which former slaves lived and worked. Not only can you a learn a lot from this experience, but it also provides an insight into the prejudices and current influence in the Americas and Europe today.
Last, but not least, what would Liverpool be if it didn't have its own museum dedicated to itself? I don't have the answer to that question, but The Museum of Liverpool hosts the region's most interesting parts of history in an engaging and accessible way. So, seeing as you're in Liverpool (and it's a place with so much culture), you might as well learn about it the right way.
Personally, this is my favourite part of Liverpool. Liverpool is home to one of the most iconic bands in British/World musical history, daren't I say... The Beatles. The Beatles put Liverpool on the map, and Liverpool knows it.
Now when you visit you can get the full Beatles experience, which includes the largest permanent Beatles exhibition in the world, The Beatles Story. Not only will you get to see and learn about this epic band's history and music in their hometown, but the exhibition is also located on the beautiful UNESCO World heritage site at the Albert Dock.
Additionally, and in my opinion most excitingly, you can visit the venue where The Beatles had their first ever gig in 1961, the Cavern Club. Full of classic rock 'n' roll memorabilia, the Cavern Club plays and has played a key role in Liverpool's musical history. So, sit back, have a pint and take it all in.
If you're really, really obsessed with the Beatles, you can even go one step further and visit the childhood homes of McCartney and Lennon. Although probably not top of my list, it's a cool and quirky thing to do that can take you back to the childhood of these two musical geniuses.
For more of a global experience of British music, (yes.. there are bands other than The Beatles) check out the British Music Experience. With some of the epic and infamous costumes and instruments worn and played by some of the most memorable and historic figures in British music, you can get up close and personal with the music, era and characters that have composed (pardon the pun) the musical history of the nation.
Where's best to eat and drink?
It wouldn't be the North of England if you didn't stop for a pint at a good ol'fashioned local pub. Lucky for you, Liverpool has quite a few of them.
Now, Liverpool is the best place (that isn't Ireland) for a good Irish pub. McCooley's is located right in the heart of Concert Square and is literally authentic to its Irish heritage in the sense that the party never stops. On a weekend there are only 4 hours that McCooley's isn't open and even does a yummy Irish breakfast. What's not to love?
Coming back down to Earth, Liverpool isn't Ireland. So if you fancy a normal English pub, you can't go wrong with the Lady of Mann. Renowned for its good alcohol and great range of delightful drinks, you can feast on proper English pub grub and even sit outside whilst doing so.
Away from drinking (beer anyway), why not stop for a coffee at The Old Hardware Shop? To avoid confusion, it isn't a hardware shop, but actually a cafe that puts the cool in coffee break. With a quirky interior and vegetarian and vegan friendly options, you'll feel right at home having a cuppa and cake here.
When in the UK, especially the North, it's criminal not to try the nation's adopted dish... and I'm not talking about Fish and Chips. Yes, it's no lie that the British love a good curry, and Liverpool is no exception. For the best of Indian street food head over to YUKTI Indian Street Fusion. With a large range of vegetarian and vegan options, this is a great option for everyone all of tastes and preferences.
If you fancy something to pick at or not sure what you fancy, Neon Jamón is always a winner. Liverpool's most renowned independent tapas bar is a great place to sit down for a munch. With 2 locations in the city centre and a £12 lunch menu, you'll be spoilt for choice and it won't break the bank. Told you it was a winner!
For hungover Sunday lunch- what other than a Roast? Camp and Furnace's Sunday Roasts are the stuff of legends. You can make it a 3 course meal, or even order a meat joint to carve at the table, so it'll be just like sitting in your front room at home. The best hangover you'll ever have!
And after I've finished eating?
This leads me nicely to the next (and best part), the end of the night. The night is still young, and after all you are in Liverpool...
The best way that I can describe Concert Square is that its the only place with enough Irish pubs to actually make you believe that you're in Ireland that isn't Ireland. It is potentially the next best spot in the UK for Saint Paddy's day that isn't Northern Ireland.
Full of nightclubs and bars that are close together, this is a great spot for a spontaneous night out or even just a nice bit of bar hopping. The Square really does come alive at night.
The Albert Docks isn't just one of Liverpool's most beautiful landmarks, but it's also a great place to go out on a weekend. With a great range of bars, nightclubs and general stylish hang out spots in the area, it's a night not to be missed.
The Cavern Club and Pub
Already mentioned, but that good it deserves another. Not just part of Liverpool's iconic music history, but it's also a great night out!
However, it closes relatively early (by which I mean 1am-ish), so if that suits you, this is the ideal might out. If not, be prepared to move to the next spot as and when.
Fancy a laugh?
I mean, obviously! Who hates laughing? No one that's who!
Well you're in luck because Liverpool has some great comedy venues where you're sure to have a good giggle and a pint!
Open on; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Comedy Central Comedy Club is the oldest and longest running comedy club in Liverpool. An intimate setting that only seats 250 people, you'll need to rush down to this prestigious venue to be able to get a seat, but don't worry! It'll be worth it.
Looking for something on every day? The Hot Water Comedy Club is Liverpool's only comedy exclusive venue that has live comedy every day of the week. So grab a seat, a drink and get ready to chuckle.
So, if you are thinking about getting away from the hectic hustle of daily life in London, Liverpool is always a good shout. With so much to do, you'll be spoilt for choice!