This city, once described by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung as the ‘pool of life’, has enjoyed a thrilling renaissance since being named the 2008 European Capital of Culture.

Here’s our top reasons to visit Liverpool.

1. Explore Liverpool’s bars, pubs and clubs

“Liverpool is so condensed that everywhere’s walkable,” says Peter Thomson, manager of the famous Sir Thomas Hotel.

“It’s the city with the largest number of bars, pubs and clubs in the smallest area. Every weekend it’s party, party, party.”

The hotel’s restaurant and bar, formerly the city’s first bank, is now a favourite haunt for Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard and his other half Alex Curran.

Meanwhile, songbird Cheryl Cole and the stars of soap Hollyoaks have been spotted at Newz Bar, the old New Zealand House, a short stroll away.

2. Enjoy Liverpool’s shopping

Hailed one of Britain’s best boutiques by style bible Vogue, designer store Cricket is in the Cavern Walks shopping complex.

Harry Kewell’s wife Sheree Murphy has drunk pink bubbly in here while browsing for new gladrags, while Wayne Rooney’s missus Coleen pops in with rollers in her hair before a big night out.

The shop’s top end lines are Chloe, Stella, Balenciaga and Balmain, but the boutique, which also sells accessories, jewellery and menswear, caters for all budgets.

3. Take a ferry across the River Mersey

The ferry service, which is more than 850 years old, has hosted luminaries such as Charles Dickens who was a frequent passenger because he thought the experience provided him with a breath of fresh air.

The river was also once touted as a gateway to a ‘better life’. Between 1830 and 1930, 9 million immigrants passed through Liverpool on their way to the US and Australia.

In 1852 alone, 300,000 people emigrated.

Tourists can get a great view of the ‘Three Graces’ – the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building – which sit along the Pier Head as they sing along to the famous tune Ferry Cross The Mersey by Gerry and The Pacemakers, played at the beginning and end of the hour-long cruise.

4. See where the Beatles grew up

The Beatles Story at Pier Head is running exhibition White Feather: The Spirit Of Lennon, until December. It tells the story of the singer through the eyes of son Julian and first wife Cynthia.

There’s a handful of commercial tour companies that will show you Beatles attractions, but a good alternative is a private tour with local Gary Walthew.

He will take you everywhere from the Penny Lane barber shop popularised in the hit song, to Strawberry Field, the former Salvation Army children’s home which spawned another classic.

For more info email or phone 0778 927 7145.


What you need to know about travelling to Liverpool

When to go All year round. Pick a day when there is a Liverpool match at Anfield.

Getting there Take a train from London to Liverpool with Virgin Trains. The two-hour journey runs hourly six days a week.

Getting around The city is best explored on foot.

Going out A beer costs about £2.50.

Accommodation Dorm rooms in a hostel start from £15.


» Amy Fallon travelled to Liverpool with Virgin Trains (0845 722 2333).