Europe, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Things to do in Liverpool – A locals guide

Last Updated on May 13, 2020 by Bryony Clapperton

If you’ve visited my blog more than once you’ll know that I’m a big fan of all the great things to do in Liverpool. I have been a proud resident of the city for many years now and love to shout about it.

So whilst my blog and musings usually cover budget backpacking, I also like to showcase and provide tips for others visiting Liverpool.

I’ve covered Liverpool’s best eats and all the best rooftop bars in Liverpool so now I’m tackling things to do and free things to do in the city of Liverpool.

Here’s a local’s guide for enjoying the fabulous city of Liverpool, UK.

A locals guide to Liverpool

With 7 years of Liverpool nights out, restaurants, coffee and brunches under my belt, I consider myself well versed in all things to do in Liverpool.

This puts me in the perfect position to write up a short snappy local’s guide of what to do in Liverpool.

In the below locals guide I’ll cover where to eat, from coffee shops delivering tasty treats to quirky restaurants in Liverpool.

Where to drink for all the bevs and bars one could ask for and which hotels in Liverpool to check out.

Along with this I’m going to let you in on some insider knowledge of the best free things to do in Liverpool – it is a budget blog after all!

Albert Dock
Liverpool Albert Dock

Where to eat in Liverpool

The best restaurants in Liverpool city centre

The best restaurants in Liverpool city centre is a topic I’ve covered extensively in this post on best eats in Liverpool.

Restaurants and Liverpool’s independent restaurant scene is something I’m always keen to shout about someone who considers herself a wannabee foodie.

As a quick recap of the top restaurants in Liverpool City Centre, I’d recommend checking out the following places;

Scroll down for a review of Almost Famous!

A few of the city centre restaurants above have been covered in more detail in my locals guide to Liverpool’s best eats.

In my locals guide you’ll find the full list of my suggestions for cool and quirky places to eat in Liverpool.

Check it out for chilled street food and the best place to grab some pure comfort with good vibes and good tunes.

Street food

For quick eats and streetfood, you’ll want to check out Caribou Poutine. This little favourite is possibly the best place to grab a quick bite in Liverpool.

Inspired by the Canadian classic, this Liverpool independent serves up some of the most iconic cheese chips and gravy in the city centre. It’s a must for cheap quick eats.

Caribou Poutine Liverpool
Cheese, Chips and Life

A quick review of Almost Famous

As part of my dedicated locals exploration of Liverpool I always aim to check out new bars, pubs and restaurants regularly.

So with the opportunity from Hotels I decided to revisit one of my all time fave’s in Liverpool.

Almost Famous isn’t a new restaurant in Liverpool. And it’s by no means my first time checking out this restaurant, but as a Liverpool favourite it only seems right to include it in this locals guide.

If you’re looking for the perfect mix of wild and chill then Almost Famous on a Saturday is where you should be.

With great food, loud tunes and a busy atmosphere Almost Famous, Liverpool is the ideal spot to start your Saturday fun.

Although a burger restaurant there are veggie options at Almost Famous and a great cocktail menu too. Along with the signature burgers and there ridiculous names, there are plenty of fries and sides on offer too.

The best coffee spots in Liverpool city centre

Before you judge me, I should probably admit that up until recently I haven’t been a massive coffee drinker.

However, with age and adulthood I’ve found myself enjoying the more caffeinated things in life. I have recently become Liverpool’s number 1 cappuccino drinker.

I’m joking obviously – but I do enjoy a weekend coffee in some of Liverpool’s best coffee spots.

If you’re looking for a quick coffee in a vibrant setting you’ll probably want to go directly to Bold Street. Here you’ll find endless options from Leaf serving up specialist teas and coffee and tasty breakfast treats.

You’ll also Bold Street Coffee and The Little Shoe (previously East Avenue Bakehouse) on Bold Street, two other massively popular hangouts in the city centre.

If you don’t want to get caught up in the hustle of Bold Street, alternatively check out Moose Coffee an absolute city centre gem born out of a big love for American breakfast culture.

Another small, dimly lit fave of mine is Lock and Key on Duke Street which doubles up to be a hotel too!

The best brunches in Liverpool

It’s 2019, if you don’t like weekend brunchin’ then you ain’t living your best life. That’s what Instagram leads me to believe anyway.

If you love an avo bagel, a stack of pancakes or just want an excuse to get drunk at 11:00am on bottomless mamosa’s then you’ll want to figure out where to brunch in Liverpool.

With a wide range of choices and venues you may be spoiled for choice. A few of my personal faves include;

  • All Bar One, Castle Street – this is one of Liverpool’s best brunch spots for Bottomless Brunch at £25 per person Sunday brunching will never sober again!
  • The Burch Club, Duke Street – so despite living above this brunch place I hadn’t actually visited until the other day. The Brunch Club is a nice little setting to grab a coffee and breakfast on a hectic Saturday!
  • Clockworks, Wolstenholme Square – Almost completely hidden by construction for the last couple of years in the newly developing Wolstenholme Square Clockworks is a locals favourite serving up boss brunch by day and scouse and live music by night.
  • Again Lock and Key is packed with style and elegance in the small dimly lit bar/restaurant. Check out the brunch menu and enjoy the surroundings.

Where to drink in Liverpool city centre

Another favourite topic of mine and something else I certainly haven’t shied away from blogging about. Watering holes.

Bars in Liverpool

As an avid lover of rooftop bars and beer gardens I’ve already reviewed pretty much all of my number one places to drink in Liverpool. Check out this guide to the best rooftop bars in Liverpool.

In summary, check out Roxy Ballroom in the summer. Don’t be affair to venture to Crazy Peds or even further up the road to The Attic.

All of the best rooftop spots in the city centre are within walking distance and most of them are even open during the winter where you can drink under a heater to avoid frost bite.

The Cavern Club

No mention of the best bars in Liverpool would be complete without a nod to the world famous Cavern Club.

If you hope to spend some time in the city as a tourist you’ll want to check out the Cavern Club on a weekend. There is a small entrance fee and the bar itself is always packed.

But, I must say it is totally worth it for the standard of live music and good vibes.

The best cocktail bars

This is the part where I admit how truly addicted to cocktails I am. No locals guide to Liverpool would be complete without a list of the best cocktail bars on offer.

When it comes to drinking and nights out in Liverpool there is simply something for everyone.

So whilst I appreciate cocktail bars may not be everyone’s thing, you’ll want to keep reading because this diverse list of cocktail bars in Liverpool isn’t your traditional list.

Here is my complete locals guide to the best cocktail bars in Liverpool;

Salt Dogs

Salt Dog Slims – It was hard for me to not put Salt Dogs at the number 1 spot. It’s my favourite bar in the city centre and the Zombies are to die for. Salt Dog’s is very chilled and plays only the best indie tunes so although not a stereotypical cocktail bar it’s still one of the best cocktail bars!

Red Door

Always packed on a Saturday night and always a local fave you should 100% head straight from Salt Dogs to Red Door and try one of their amazing and experimental cocktails.

Berry and Rye

Did someone say speakeasy? A little favourite with locals and almost impossible to find. This secret 1920’s themed hideout can be located behind a black door on Berry Street just before China Town. A must visit.

Along with the above there are a wide range of trendy bars in the City Centre. Not including these would be a total injustice.

Check out The Merchant, Santa Chuptios, The Peacock, Alma de Cuba, Heebie Jeebies, Brooklyn Mixer and Mojo all basically located on Seel Street.

When it comes to Liverpool nightlife and bars in the centre, you’ll want to jot down the words Seel Street.

I promise you that you won’t regret following this advice. It’s the main and best place for a night out in the city centre.

The Baltic Market

Right in between the best places to eat in Liverpool and the best places to drink, you’ll find The Baltic Market. A superb blend of both casual eating and drinking.

The popular Baltic Market is a favourite of most locals in Liverpool. A true locals guide wouldn’t be complete without a mention.

Opened by the boys over at Independent Liverpool. The Baltic Market is now firmly cemented as a must do in the list of things to do in Liverpool. This little gem will more than likely go down in the citites history!

The Baltic Market is free entry, if you want to go and check it out.

All of the food stalls and drinks at the bar are pretty reasonably priced for anyone visiting Liverpool on a budget.

Free things to do in Liverpool

That leads me on nicely to free things to do in Liverpool. Of all the great attractions and places to see in Liverpool you’ll be pleased to know a great deal of these are free.

With so many free things to do in Liverpool you can spend an entire weekend exploring notable attractions. Visiting museums, enjoying art galleries and just taking in the general atmosphere and sites of Liverpool’s key locations.

Free attractions in Liverpool city centre

Your first stop on a free city centre tour should be Pier Head where you’ll find The Three Graces. (Not the statue, although you will find a fun statue of The Beatles).

Once you’ve seen the Liver Building and The Cunard Building, why not stop at the Museum of Liverpool? Entrance fee: FREE!

There’s a mega exhibition on at the moment called Double Fantasy – John & Yoko. You should definitely check it out!

Stroll along the Albert Dock, and get some great photographs of the area. You’ll find the Slavery Museum and the Tate in this location too. Both free to enter, however some exhibitions at the Tate do require an entrance fee.

Alongside the great activities around the city centre and the Albert Dock, there are other of free things to do in Liverpool.

Free things to do in Liverpool

  • Enjoy the great outdoor spaces in Liverpool. Whether its Sefton Park, Greenbank Park, Prince’s Park or Chavasse Park.
  • Prince’s Park is also home to the Park Run. Which is another of the free things to do on a weekend. Sign up here.
  • Sefton Park is home to the famous Palm House. There are lots of free events here throughout the year you may want to check out.
  • Crosby Beach and Formy Beach. Being on the coast naturally there are so many beautiful beaches to explore for free.
  • LIMF and Afria Oye. Surprisingly both these festivals are free to attend.
  • Street festivals and carnivals happen annual in the city centre. Check out Brazilica Festival.
  • Liverpool water font. As mentioned, there are a number of museums and attractions on the water front and Albert Dock all for free.
Pier head
Liverpool Pier Head

Where to stay

There are a lot of places to stay in Liverpool. Ranging from hostels, boutique hotels and right up to luxury apartments with hot tubs.

Some of the most popular places to stay in Liverpool include;

How to get around the city

It’s pretty easy to get around the city of Liverpool. There’s a wide range of transport links as you’d expect from a big city. The suburbs are also well connected along with good routes to Manchester, Cheshire and The Wirral.

Uber’s are a plenty and a quick and easy mode of transport. The Merseyrail is also convenient especially if you are travelling in form the outskirts.

If you do plan on checking out some of the free things to do on the list, you will need to venture out of the city centre.

Remember that travelling to Sefton Park of Crosby Beach will require 10-30 minutes travel, depending on your method of travel.

The spending money was gifted by, but all views are my own.

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