By Briana Seftel
A trip to Liverpool is a lesson in a city reborn. Once a place with a decaying waterfront and warehouses, today Liverpool is one of the most exciting cities in the U.K. Luckily, a vacation to the city won't cost a fortune, as there are countless things to do without spending a pence! Here are just 12 free attractions in Liverpool.
Apart for Tate Liverpool's paid exhibitions, all museums in Liverpool are free! With the largest collection of museums and galleries outside of London, Liverpool has something for every interest. Get to know Liverpool's maritime history at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, enjoy interactive science exhibits at the World Museum, or get you art fix at the Walker Art Gallery. You could spend your entire trip to Liverpool hopping from one museum to another!
You don't have to be religious to visit Liverpool's places of worship. Liverpool Cathedral, the largest cathedral in the U.K., is an architectural treasure with the world’s highest and widest Gothic arches, a stunning organ, and lofty tower offering panoramic views of the city. Check the event schedule online before visiting, as the cathedral holds many cultural happenings during the year. Nearby is the Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest Catholic cathedral in England with a futuristic facade.
Liverpool's strategic location where the River Mersey meets the Irish Sea made the city one of the biggest ports in the world. While it fell into disarray in the 20th century, the waterfront is now one of the most popular and trendy places in the city (it was even named a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Take a walk along the photogenic waterfront as you admire the city’s architecture and the ferries crossing the Mersey.
4. Liverpool One
An open air shopping district with more than 170 stores, bars and restaurants, Liverpool One is a great place to window shop or just stroll through. Located by the waterfront, the shopping area was built around Liverpool's existing streets and is a favorite among locals looking to shop or eat.
You can't talk about Liverpool without mentioning The Beatles. As the birthplace of the Fab Four, Liverpool is home to a slew of iconic sites that helped shape the band. While you can book a tour, it's perfectly doable to see the sites on your own like Penny Lane, the Cavern Club on Mathew Street and Strawberry Field. Grab a map and follow in their footsteps!
Liverpool's festival season never ends. All year long you will find countless unique celebrations and festivals like the Liverpool Biennial, Africa Oye, LightNight, Brazilica and the Liverpool International Music Festival. The best part? They're all free to attend!
7. Sefton Park
The 235-acre Sefton Park just outside the city center is arguably the most well-known and beloved of Liverpool's parks. Boasting a bandstand, boating lake, grotto, lakeside cafe, kids' playground and Victorian glass palm house, the park is the ideal place to relax and enjoy nature. In spring, the sight of millions of daffodils and bluebells is one of the prettiest views in the city.
8. St George’s Hall
Regarded as one of the finest neoclassical buildings in the world, St. George's Hall was opened in 1854 as a venue for for music festivals and the Civil and Crown courts. After extensive renovation, the hall continues to be the epicenter of Liverpool with world-class events. While guided tours are available for with an admission ticket, visitors can step inside the hall for free.
You don't have to travel far to get a taste of England's beaches. Located 14 miles north of Liverpool, Formby Beach is a Merseyside gem with dramatic sand dunes surrounded by coastal pinewoods. Bring a picnic or stroll the beach and see if you can spot prehistoric footprints! At Crosby Beach, located six miles north of the city center, visitors flock to see Anthony Gormley's art installation made of 100 cast-iron, life-size figures.
10. Public art
From brightly colored murals to scene-stealing sculptures, art is everywhere in Liverpool. Check out the yellow submarine in front of Liverpool Airport, the Peter Pan statue in Sefton Park and the bronze statues of John, Paul, George and Ringo on Liverpool’s Pier Head.
11. Central Library
A public library serving the city, the Central Library is anything but a simple place to read a book. See the famous collections of rare books housed in the Hornby Library and Oak Room, then stand in awe at Picton Reading Room.
12. The Bluecoat
In the heart of Liverpool’s city center, The Bluecoat is an arts center showcasing talent across visual art, music, literature, dance and live art. Explore free art Saturday activities, relax in the garden or peruse the handmade gifts. Check the calendar for special events.