Four Beatles, Three Graces and two football teams equals one boss city.
If you missed the memo, we love Liverpool and we happen to know a couple of million people who’d back us up on that. From far away and close up, it is beautiful; our buildings, our views, our food and drink and most importantly, our people. Liverpool is a shifting outpost of defiance and determination, it is a story telling city, a proud city and whilst most people thought we were ready to wave the white flag just a couple decades ago, the city has risen out of the ashes in a typical Liverpool fashion to show the rest of the world we’re not to be underestimated.
Everywhere you go there is beauty in Liverpool, from the architecture of the old buildings to the more modern, there isn’t a light it doesn’t look good in. The Three Graces are the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool building. Don’t forget, if you want a cathedral, we’ve got one to spare and the top of Liverpool Cathedral provides epic scenes. St. Luke’s stands beautifully battered at the top of Bold Street as a testament to those who died in The Blitz but also as a testament to the spirit of the city. Your hardest decision now is finding the right hashtag.
Parks are much more than an aesthetically pleasing detour and place to walk your dog. They’re your gym, your ‘me’ time and if you’re a romantic on a budget, your first date. It is good to get out of the city centre every now and then, the steely grey skyscraper buildings can provoke claustrophobia and there’s natural beauty just a few miles in each direction. Sefton Park is up with the best, right next to the incredible Lark Lane, it is full of runners, dog walkers and a stunning palm house. If you’re looking for a green retreat, Calderstones in Allerton Road is also very beautiful as is Stanley Park in the North.
George Harrison described the people of Liverpool as “the kind of people who go out on a Monday evening and couldn’t care less about a Tuesday morning”. Luckily, we aren’t short of places to either drown our spirits or celebrate after a results day to satisfy the hedonist in you. Whether it be the dying breed of pubs such as The Caledonia and Peter Kavanagh or the speakeasy feel of Salt Dogs where beer is drunk by the stein and Germany meets America with Scouse nipple tassels. Who could forget Bongo’s Bingo – the alternative bingo that has taken the world by storm. Head to Seel Street if you’re out for the night and thank us later. Just don’t blame us if you end up dancing on tables and texting ex’s… that’ll be the tequila.
Exhibitions, shows, concerts, sporting events, festivals, club nights, happenings of every nature from small and intimate to grand and spectacular. Liverpool is a city full of great people with some even better things to do. Every month there’s something big to do and a couple things you can’t miss. Just a few of these include LightNight, Sound City, Liverpool Sound City, Africa Oye, Liverpool International Music Festival, Liverpool Food & Drink Festival and more.
Stereotypes will have you believe that we all have chips on our shoulders and blue on our collars. There are some stereotypes we don’t mind and being home to the funniest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet is something Liverpool is famous for. Everybody is a comedian in Liverpool, however, quality does vary. It is the kind of place you meet your new best friend in Heebies toilets, philosophise with your taxi driver and where you say hello to people with the huge plot twist of not actually knowing them pre-greeting. You may at first find it hard to understand a word we say but we can guarantee you’ll end up loving us.
The Coffee Shops
Society runs on two things; gas and coffee and if you’re unlucky, one can often taste similar to the other. Liverpool’s productivity runs largely on a good cup of joe and luckily there are plenty of idyllic venues to drink an Americano or a flat white. Bold Street Coffee baristas set the benchmark from the first sip and places like 92 Degrees Coffee and Cow & Co will make you a fastidious coffee drinker in the future. Here’s a coffee bible of the best in Liverpool.
Liverpool is just like a walkable London, we have all the culture you’d need without the teeming tubes. The Everyman welcomes everyone and they celebrated their 50th birthday a couple of years ago as well as revelling in their recent architectural excellence awards. Their artistic sibling just down the road ‘The Playhouse’ is enriched in deep history and is famous for showcasing the future famous and legends in their early years. Much smaller theatres such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Unity Theatre and The Epstein might not have the same stature but rival their excitement. No matter how big the stage, how comfy the auditorium and how great the selection of sweets on offer, you aren’t shy of places to enjoy plays, pantomimes or musicals. The crowd might be bellowing that he’s behind you but truth be told, Liverpool is far ahead.
Believe it or not, Liverpool’s musical talent stretches further than the Fab Four. The Beatles are a product of Liverpool, not the other way round and with bands like Clean Cut Kid, Billy Ryder-Jones, Tea Street Band and Paris Youth Foundation just to name a few, it should business as usual. It is the kind of city where buskers can halt you in your haste and a guy tickling the ivories on the pop-up-pianos in town can go viral. There are brilliant blogs and publications around the city from BidoLito! and GetIntoThis that keep you up to date on the up and comers. Yearly festivals from Sound City and Liverpool International Music Festival don’t just provide a stage for the now, they inspire the next.
Liverpool is one city where you can eat all over the world on one street. From Mexican and Lebanese street food to BBQ tasting as if it straight out of Texas, we aren’t short of places to chow down and you can travel the world through culinary expertise. You know that feeling when you’re sitting in a restaurant and a sizzling plate goes right past you? We feel like that way about near enough every plate we see in Liverpool’s restaurant scene which keeps us returning. There’s a great restaurant in near enough every postcode and the food scene is true representation of our all encompassing attitude towards different cultures. Even our kebab shops are award winning.
One quick Wikipedia and you’ll discover that Liverpool was responsible for most of the modern world. We’ve always been known for our defiance, our innovation and our spirit. From pioneers of transmit to the Hillsborough injustice, we constantly remind people not to underestimate us. From Capital of Culture to a more unofficial status of capital of kindness, the people have always shuffled their feet to the tune of The Mersey Beat. The once thriving port might not be the same but our willingness to adapt is. We’ve been described as The New York of Europe and the second city of the empire and let’s not forget we created Scouse, which is basically a bowl of warm, gravy coloured heaven.
Photo by Bev Goodwin
The statistics tell a sorry tale, approximately 30 pubs close every week in the UK which means all our locals are getting further away. However, the Liverpool beer scene is alive and kicking and never underestimate the power of a pint. Your favourite boozers need you all year round, head down for a pint, a game of pool, darts or play a board game and you’re in for a fun night. Liverpool isn’t short of boozers, we’re well known for one of the best nights out in the UK and for good reason. Lucky for you, we’ve navigated your way through the hops headquarters and have created a beer compendium of 12 venues worth having a pint in. Read it here.
BBC Culture viewers announced Liverpool’s Central Library to be one of the ten most beautiful libraries in the world a couple of years ago, making the visit all the more poignant. The library is located in several adjoining historic buildings on the city’s historic William Brown Street. The building boasts over 4 million items with everything from documents to books to be discovered. Its sheer beauty can’t be articulated with mere words, you’ll have to go see it for yourself.
The Outdoor Spaces To Drink
Despite the lack of presence of the sun over in the good old United Kingdom, when the sun is out it illuminates beer gardens that almost feel covered in darkness the remainder of the year. If there’s anything better than blowing the dust off your shorts, heading to a beer garden with your friends and having a few drinks, we’re yet to experience it. Those nights that start with “shall we just go for one?” and end up being anything but. Catch our guide to the best places to drink outdoors here and always remember; drink responsibly with irresponsible people.
Photo by Marketing Liverpool
Liverpool’s stunning waterfront and amazing architecture . It often attracts the eye of location scouts for the biggest blockbusting movies and has done so for over three decades. The striking city streets and buildings have been used as backdrops in Peaky Blinders, 51st State, Captain America, Harry Potter and so much more.
Liverpool is a city full of people creating stories and people telling them. One of those most notable stories is that of Granby. It’s a story that defines the very resilience Liverpool has become famous for. A story about community. A story about the power of the people. A story of how a neglected wasteland went on to win the prestigious community regeneration Turner Prize. A true Liverpool story. Read it in full here, it’s just one chapter in this city’s book.
The Dog Friendly Venues
We at Independent Liverpool are fond of dogs. And when we say fond, we mean we prefer them to most people. It is true what they say, dog is a man’s best friend and there are a few places that you can take your pooch with you whilst you dine out. You grab yourself a beer whilst they chow down on some pedigree chum. If you’re like us and don’t own a dog, these are the perfect hang-outs to go and give dog owners the “I don’t have a dog myself so can I pet yours and pretend it is mine unless it does a poo and it’s definitely your responsibility again?” look that we all know and use. Now you don’t have to leave your best mate at home. Guide here.
A couple of years ago Liverpool was named the third best place to visit by Rough Guide and in the same week we found out Liverpool had rocketed from 42nd to the 11th most popular destination in the UK, attracting more than 3x the people it once did. There was a time when Liverpool was down and out, the port ran dry, the yellow duck marine had sunk and our resilience was slowly dwindling but just like a perfect story, the underdog fought back and now we’re on the cusp of a full blown cultural renaissance. We have the Biennial, The Baltic Triangle, The Fabric District, The North Docks, more independents opening than ever and each and every day we’re making more and more history. Come and be a part of it.
The Hidden Gems
Away from the prime real estate, hidden down alleys you may have never ventured with no signs, no directions and not a drop of help from Google Maps. Amid the independent explosion over the last couple years in Liverpool, there are still a few places not known to the masses. And that’s the way they seem to like it. So it’s with great conflict we spread these secrets but deep down we know it’s for the greater good. Below is 69a, a beautiful antique shop full of curios and Murdoch, the house ginger cat. More hidden gems here.
The Salt & Pepper
It’s more than a seasoning; it’s a way of life. What is it that is so good about salt and pepper covered things? Life is all about the yin and yang, the sweet and sour, the Pina and the colada. It’s the perfect blend of spice, sweet and salty and although one portion of salt and pepper siu mai’s might dehydrate you beyond belief and have you gasping for anything liquid at 4am in the morning – we can’t help but go back for more. Liverpool loves its salt and pepper. Find it showered over fish and chips, sui mai’s, chips, chicken, char sui, halloumi and just about anything that moves.
There’s something special happening in Liverpool, truth be told that intoxicating buzz has always been ubiquitous and there’s no amount of words or oddly numbered lists we could write which would sum it up, you just have to find out yourself. We have a feeling you are going to like it here.