Liverpool is a compact city with a world-famous musical and sporting history. It has tons of amazing clubs, as well as some of the bestbarsin the country, perfect forpub crawls. Since being named the European Capital of Culture back in 2008, it’s been getting more and more popular for big groups, and it’s easy to see why!
Liverpool city centre is pretty small so it’s super easy to get from one place to another, with many of the most popular venues within walking distance of one another. It’s massive variety of clubs, restaurants and bars also mean that Liverpool can be one of the best places to take a big group on a budget.
With everything from lavish cocktail bars to world-famous football stadiums, Liverpool has something to suit any group. With so much on offer, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start but never-fear, this expert guide will show you everything you need to know before travelling to this bustling, cost-effective and lively northern powerhouse.
Explore the City
Obviously, no guide to Liverpool could be complete without mentioning The Beatles. Cavern Quarters is home to Cavern Club, the legendary cellar bar that hosted The Beatles for their first ever performance. But it’s not all about this one club, there’s now loads of bars in Cavern Quarter hosting a huge variety of nights that can cater for all musical tastes - just make sure to head down Mathew Street to get a pic with the famous statue of John Lennon.
St Peter’s Square
For those who are looking for something a bit more high-end, check out St Peter’s Square and its surrounding streets. Next to the ever-busy Concert Square and 10 minutes’ stroll from St George’s Hall, St Peter’s Square is jam-packed with modern clubs, trendy cocktail bars and up-scale restaurants. It’s a little harder to find than Concert Square, but well worth the extra effort.
With great river views, this picturesque dock is on a World Heritage Site waterfront, making it one of the best places in the city to go for relaxed drinks before the night ahead. It’s got loads of stylish bars and restaurants, perfect for enjoying a tipple outside in the sun, as well as loads of museums and galleries.
Top Attractions for Groups
With so much to see and do in Liverpool, there’s something on offer for groups of every shape and size. Here are our favorite things to do while in this magnificent city.
Liverpool FC Tickets
Anfield stadium is renowned for its amazing atmosphere, loyal fans and spectacular players. Grab some tickets to find out why Scousers are so proud of their beloved Reds and maybe even treat yourself to a stadium tour to find out more about the rich history of the club.
This is a great way for you and your friends to get immersed in Merseyside traditions and culture. With 9 Liverpudlian inspired games, you’ll get to compete in the Scouse Duel, Penny Lane Bowling and even the Bevvy Bungee Run.
City Centre Go Karting
Go karting is a classic activity for big groups and, with this new city centre karting track, you won’t have to travel miles before pushing the pedal to the metal. It’s perfect for any competitive members of the group as you’ll get to go head to head to see who takes the chequered flag, before finishing with podium presentations for the top drivers.
Liverpool really does have it all when it comes to nightlife, with everything from classic Rock‘n’Roll bars to stylish clubs and trendy bars. Some of them are a bit harder to get into with a big group but with our expert guidance, you’ll have no problems.Liverpool really does have it all when it comes to nightlife, with everything from classic Rock‘n’Roll bars to stylish clubs and trendy bars. Some of them are a bit harder to get into with a big group but with our expert guidance, you’ll have no problems.
With 3 floors of clubbing madness, trippy LED walls and a massive courtyard area, this club is renowned as one of the biggest and best clubs in the city. It plays host to loads of different musical genres, with DJs from around the world, and has a huge capacity of over 3,000.
This club is super-popular with students and, with amazing themed club nights, live music and big-screen football shown live, it’s easy to see why. It’s based on the popular Concert Square, not far from St Peter’s Square, and has one of the loudest PA systems in the country.
This ultra-trendy Brooklyn-themed bar and nightclub is one of the coolest places in the city. With 3 floors, playing the freshest music from around the world, the club is popular with students and locals alike. It also has an impressive bar, fully-stocked with exclusive spirits, craft beer and cocktails, and offers cocktail making masterclasses.
Always popular with big groups, this German-themed bar is a great place to party the night away. Expect lederhosen aplenty, beer steins and some properly funny live entertainment. You might even get the chance to dance on the tables as the classic Bavarian oompah brass band plays contemporary classics.
If you’re in the mood for something a bit more sophisticated, this classy cocktail bar may be the perfect choice. It’s laid back canteen-style layout is great for sharing a few drinks and relaxing after a long day of exploring the city. It’s also the perfect way to add a bit of class to your night before heading out on the town!
Eat like a local
Liverpool has got a lively food scene and has produced some of the best restaurants in the country in the last few years. On top of that, it’s got all of the best-loved restaurant chains from around the country that are perfect for bigger groups on a budget. Here are some of the top dishes you have to try while in Liverpool.
While you’re in the city, make sure to try some scouse, a hearty meat stew that’s so popular it became a nickname for the people of the city. It’s normally made with mutton or beef with thick-cut vegetables and actually originated in Norway, though the recipe made it to Liverpool by the travelling seamen who worked in the port. Try in an authentic restaurant or pub for a proper Scouse experience.
Though often known by their other name, humbugs, these small hard-boiled sweets actually originate in the Everton district of Liverpool. They’re normally peppermint-flavoured and are traditionally brown with white stripes. You’ll be able to find them throughout the city in local corner shops and specialist sweet shops.
This tasty desert is as Liverpudlian as scouse and was created as a way to use up stale bread and cakes. Scraps are softened with water, before being mixed with spices, dried fruits, eggs and sugar. It’s not as easy to find these days, but there are still some speciality restaurants, such as Speke Hall, that offer the famous desert.
Places To Stay
Like any major UK city, Liverpool has got loads of different accommodation options. For larger groups, hostels can be a great way to save cash but they’re often a bit further out of the city centre. Alternatively, there’s loads of apartments nestled amongst the bustling squares that are perfect to explore the city from. Even if they cost a bit more than the hostels, they do have the benefit of providing kitchens and a sense of privacy. It’s worth remembering that Liverpool gets extremely busy when there are big sporting events on, so if you’re planning a weekend away it’s always good to check before to see if Liverpool FC are playing at home as, during these busy times, the price of accommodation can go up.
Liverpool at a glance:
- Liverpool has a great music scene, kickstarted in the 60s by The Beatles, but still very much vibrant today
- From mainstream bars and clubs, to quirkier independent venues with bags of atmosphere, it’s all here on the banks of the Mersey
- Liverpool has its own obscure mascot – located around the city, the Lambananas are part lamb, part banana, which in so me warped way sums up the city
- A compact city centre with plenty of attractions all within easy reach and easily negotiated on foot
Best bars and pubs in Liverpool:
The Ship & Mitre, Dale Street- Situated near King George’s Hall, The Ship & Mitre boasts the biggest selection of cask and continental beers on Merseyside, with a constantly changing list. There's typically 15 handpumps offering real ales and ciders from microbreweries which deliver only one barrel at a time – which explains why there are beer menus dotted around the boozer. They serve quality burgers in The Gallery area and they also have a bottle shop in the city centre, where you'll find an equally fine array of bottled ales, ciders and 'weird/wonderful beers'.http://www.theshipandmitre.com/
Cavern Club, Mathew Street- Though it hosted a string of top acts in its day, it is best remembered as the launch-pad for The Beatles, while TV host and singer Cilla Black was the hat-check girl. Today, it's a tourist attraction as visitors flock to the pokey cellar to check out 60s tribute acts such as The Cavern Club Beatles. Over the road is The Cavern pub, which continues the rock/pop nostalgia theme.https://www.cavernclub.org/
Ye Hole in Ye Wall, Hackins Hey- It's officially Liverpool's oldest public house, dating back to 1726. Built on an old Quaker burial site, Ye Hole is pretty tiny and tucked away off Dale Street, but for a back-street boozer it boasts bags of atmosphere, with wooden panelling, an ornate fireplace and stained glass. They also serve seven cask ales and proper chips. Not those skinny 'American fries', proper chips.http://www.yeholeinyewall.com/
Aloha, Colquitt Street- In stark contrast to the city’s many traditional boozers, Aloha is utterly fake. But hell, we love it! It's just so kitsch. A basement island oasis filled with tropical vibes, a mock Tiki bar inspired by Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. The drinks come served in ridiculously unnecessary sharing vessels such as elephant heads, volcanoes, conch shells, wooden logs, fresh pineapples, and boats. Ridiculous. And not very practical. But they look so fine. Aloha is open until 3am from Sun-Wed and 4am Thu-Sat too, making it a good place to get well and truly shipwrecked.http://alohabar.co.uk/
Mojo, Back Berry Street- A fine bar to end the night at, Mojo's aim is to be "clean but dirty at the same time like some long forgotten blues riff”. That's the vibe. They like their rock'n'roll, from those omnipresent Beatles and Elvis, to Elbow, Weller and Arctic Monkeys. They also like cocktails, and pride themselves on their cocktail-makery, with quality ingredients such as 12-year-old rum. There are about 50 cocktails on offer, with such monikers as Novocaine and Killer Punch. You can also order Punch Bowls, suitable for up to eight people, making them perfect for partying hordes.https://mojobar.co.uk/liverpool
The Baltic Fleet, Wapping- Situated down near the docks, there's evidence that there’s been beer served on the site of The Baltic for 400 years, though the current landmark has only been there for half that time. They reckon they have 136 recipes for beer, which they brew in rotation. Recently refurbished, the extended bar has been constructed from genuine West African mahogany. For the warmer weeks, there's a summer patio out the back. It’s not a huge space, but they do brew a helluva pint. During the winter months, a roaring hearth adds to the welcoming atmosphere.http://www.balticfleetpubliverpool.com/
Ye Cracke, Rice Street- John Lennon reportedly used to take his then girlfriend Cynthia there for dates when they were studying at Liverpool College Of Art. Now more than 50 years later and it’s still pretty popular with bohos and students. Distinctly laid-back, the leafy green beer garden is very popular on those occasions when the sun shows its face.
Matou, Pier Head- A modern pan-Asian restaurant, cocktail bar and lounge, Matou is situated on the second floor of the Mersey Ferry Terminal Building and boasts a fantastic roof terrace overlooking the waterfront, Pier Head and the Liver building. Very chic. Very swanky. Snapping selfies with the Liver Birds in the background is pretty popular we hear, but otherwise, you’ll need to be on your best behaviour.http://www.matou.co.uk/
The Kazimier, Seel Street- Uber cool venue with its own in-house record label. During the summer, the garden serves slushies, ice creams, house cocktails and Vietnamese coffee, alongside home-brew vegan wildflower ale. There's food freshly made from a charcoal grill with a menu that spans meaty sandwiches, burgers and wraps. They also have a programme of live music, supremely cool DJs, vintage and craft fairs, film screenings and dinner clubs. Filled with mismatched furniture, it oozes character, and it's open all year round too with slow-cooked stews and hot toddies served during the winter.http://thekazimier.co.uk/kazimier-garden/
The Best View Of The City:
The Wheel Of Liverpool, down on the Docks, offers stunning panoramic views of the city from a height of 196ft. You can also hire a VIP capsule, which includes glass floor, leather interior, DVD player and champagne if you want to live it up and add some footballer-style extravagance to proceedings.
Most of the main attractions are pretty centrally located and easily accessible – you can walk from Bold Street to the Docks in about 15mins. But there are plenty of buses (the City Link service has services running every 12 minutes) and there’s no shortage of black cabs – although it can often be quicker on foot if you’re not going far.