Liverpool is welcoming thousands of new students. Some are long train rides away from home, others may have already visited Liverpool or live nearby, so already know what a fantastic city it is. But for those who are overwhelmed by the endless choices of things to do and see in Liverpool, the Arts and Culture Team thought we would make adjusting to Liverpool that bit easier. Here we have sought out and compiled a list of ten places that we feel are simply essential to visit in Liverpool- don’t say we never treat you!
Leaf, Bold Street
Leaf is a gorgeous place to go for a delicious brunch or drinks in the evening. Dark-lit and decorated in a mix-match of patterned arm-chairs and quirky lamps, it is probably one the best places to get gin cocktails in Liverpool. Rose petal? Mango and peppercorn? Even chilli garnish. Leaf is sophisticated and a haven of music and quirky drinks.
Bakchich, Bold Street
An amazing, affordable and authentic Lebanese restaurant situated in the middle of the exciting and vibrant Bold Street. Their menu is incredible, mainly because their homemade hummus is the best thing in existence and because a large proportion of their dishes include halloumi. Service is swift and smiley, it’s hard to not be obsessed with this gem of an eatery. (They are also on Deliveroo!)
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
Liverpool is a city where churches and cathedrals are around every corner. However, Liverpool Cathedral stands tall in plain view almost anywhere you find yourself in the city, like a big, red beacon. Despite its obvious religious draw, the Cathedral holds a spectacular night of light and sound, where each crypt and room is filled with candles, holograms and projections which is held annually on Liverpool Light Night. However, the Cathedral is popular as a place to marvel at for its amazing architecture. It really is a credit to the city and a symbol of power and positivity. Whatever your beliefs may be, it is a place for everyone to admire. (Also a good place to cry in when exam stress gets too much.)
Liverpool Central Library, William Brown Street
As a student, libraries are more or less become a second home, or a third home (depending on how much time you spend in Heebies), and Liverpool Central Library couldn’t make it easier to spend hours and hours reading and highlighting your books. It’s rounded layout, spiralling up and up the glass roof calms you and soothes you, it’s almost too easy to spend hours walking around in circles whilst you browse books. With a coffee shop on the bottom floor, rooms of archives, as well as a roof-top view to die for, it is an experience just to visit.
Henry Bohn Books, London Road
Liverpool’s got no shortage of great independent booksellers but for us, Henry Bohn’s takes the cake by virtue of its range, character and sheer coziness.
It’s a bit like your nan’s house if her attic was literally packed to the ceiling with literary hidden treasures- no trip into the museum quarter is complete if you don’t come home with an ASDA carrier bag full of books you didn’t even know you wanted until you saw them sitting on the shelf. Henry himself is a regular fixture at the shop and always ready to chat about your selection like a cool uncle you haven’t seen since Easter ‘07.
Bohn’s books has that kind of magic that has us half expecting to walk out and see it mysteriously vanish.
FACT Picturehouse, Wood street
FACT rolls gallery, cinema and cafe into one, making it the haunt of choice for Liverpool’s film nerds. Although you’ll find all the latest blockbusters on show here, being the premier alternative cinema in the city FACT also boasts a diverse screening list of art-house and independent films, as well as theater screenings of classic movies.
If that wasn’t enough, FACT also plays host to some of the most exciting creative media and technology projects around Merseyside- if you’re the type who likes their culture a bit less static and a bit more futuristic, I can’t recommend this place too highly.
Also, film tickets are discounted to £7 on Mondays. Just saying.
Victoria Gallery and Museum, Brownlow Hill
What is actually inside that beautiful big red brick building of ours, anyway? The Victoria Gallery and Museum, as it happens, one of the worst kept secrets on campus. Perfect for a quick visit if you’re struck by the urge to get your art on before your afternoon lectures, the VGM packs dozens of small, room sized exhibits into it’s twisting corridors, creating one of the more interesting and dense galleries, and also one perfect for students who want to learn a little bit about our university’s famous alumni.
Camp and Furnace, Baltic Triangle
So this one’s a little out of the way but if you want to graduate from the same old student nightspots and call yourself an official Hip Young Person in Liverpool, Camp and Furnace is the place to head. It’s a very cool converted warehouse space equipped with high ceilings, long benches and plenty of new friends and good times. Chances are if you go to gigs a lot you’ll end up here sooner or later, but it’s worth going just for the sake of a night or day out- the Sunday lunch comes especially recommended.
Open Eye Gallery, Mann Island
Playing host to an ever revolving selection of challenging and immersive photography exhibits, as well as oddball multimedia installations, the Open Eye Gallery is a place where the extraordinary is more likely than not. there’s nothing quite like walking up a flight of stairs and ending up in a mock-up of a living room, only to pick up the receiver on an old rotary telephone and be treated to the docker’s history of Liverpool. Here at the Arts and Culture team we love far out stuff like this, and the Open Eye has it in spades.
The Cavern Club, Matthew Street
Alright so it’s a bit touristy, but honestly any music lover should be tempted down those three flights of stairs at least once or twice during their stay in the Beatles home city. The historic Cavern Club offers an atmosphere you wont find in concert square, as what by all accounts should be a dingy underground dive bar still crackles with the energy and life of the city all these years later. If you like sixties music, and yes the Beatles in particular, it’s somewhere you can stay for hours- if not, it’s still a bar where the walls are literally lined with music history. Where else can you find that?
Heebie Jeebies, Seel Street
And finally it has to be the student night out staple, the candle lit mecca of great music and good times guaranteed. But what sets Heebies apart from the dozens of other bars across the city that also offer warm vibes and 80s soul belters? Two for one cocktails, my friend. Not only does it let you score a couple of delicious drinks for the price of one, it brings people together to split the cost and toast one another in the light of the heated beer garden. One is never alone in Heebies, even amongst strangers. Who cares if the service takes ages at the bar, we’re making friends for life here.
We’ll leave you with the immortal words: “Swerve the Raz lads, Heebies is right there!”