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8 ways to explore Liverpool

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8 ways to explore Liverpool

Liverpool, the port city in northwest England, reminds most people of football and the Beatles. But there's more to the city than just that. It has a treasure of beautiful Victorian buildings rubbing shoulders with modern glass and steel edifices, a host of well-curated museums, the oldest China Town in Europe, art galleries and old warehouses which have morphed into bars and restaurants, showcasing an eclectic food scene influenced by its cosmopolitan population. Our pick of eight ways to enjoy the city:

AN ARCHITECTURE TOUR

Liverpool was an important maritime port for many years, with ships bringing in tobacco and rum, and taking back textiles. The wealthy city built many stately buildings in a variety of architectural styles, and it's often called England's 'finest Victorian city'.

It has its own Georgian quarter, with elegant townhouses with terraces, fine churches, as well as Neo-Classical beauties like St George's Hall dating back to the 1800s.

Take a tour of the Three Graces - the trio of the Liver, Cunard and Port of Liverpool buildings. The Royal Liver Building built-in 1911, was UK's first skyscraper. The Anglican Cathedral is one of the longest cathedrals in the world, which took 74 years to build.

Don't miss visiting the beautiful Picton Reading Room (modelled on the Pantheon) at the Liverpool Central Library.

EXPLORE ITS URBAN RENEWAL

In the 1970s, the city was in decline, with many quarters of the city derelict and abandoned. In recent years, old warehouses have been spruced up and converted into museums, art galleries and restaurants.

Visit the Baltic Triangle area where bars and restaurants, cafes, colourful street art and vintage markets have come up and revitalised the area. Visit Albert Docks, the showpiece of the city - the historic waterfront of the area - which dates back to 1846, with dock and warehouse buildings built out of brick and cast iron, which used to store cotton, tobacco and sugar in the past.

This UNESCO heritage site has the Maritime and the Tate Liverpool museums, restaurants and cafes.

SAIL THE MERSEY

Head to the waterfront, where the River Mersey, which is 70 km long, flows from the neighbouring city of Manchester. Take a ferry across the river to see the city from a different perspective. The most popular one is a 50-minute Mersey River explorer cruise, with a guided commentary.

Take in important sights like the towering three Graces buildings on the waterfront, the two cathedrals, and the modern office buildings. Listen to the stories of the city, from how the Beatles performed on the ferries to stories of smuggling and slavery.

GO ON THE FAB FOUR TRAIL

Liverpool is the city of the famous pop band, the Beatles. The four members of the band were born in this city, studied here and had their first gigs here. Learn about their career at the Beatles Story Museum, at Albert Docks.

Follow it up with a Beatles themed tour, either with a private guide or the Beatles Magical Mystery tour bus which takes you to important sites associated with them and which inspired their songs, from their childhood homes to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. Come evening, head to Cavern Club, a basement bar where the Beatles played a record 292 times.

VISIT THE MUSEUMS

Liverpool has a lot to offer the culture vulture with a slew of world-class museums from the Museum of Slavery (which explores the city's connection with slaves) to the Maritime Museum exploring its nautical past, and the Museum of Liverpool which tells the story of Liverpool and its people.

For those who love art, a visit to the Walker Art Gallery is a must which showcases one of the largest art collections in England outside London, with works by artists like Rembrandt, Degas and David Hockney, as well as a sculpture gallery.

The British Music Experience, tells the story of British pop music through memorabilia, outfits and instruments, and has outfits of stars like David Bowie and the Spice Girls as well as space where you can create your own music and even record it!

TAKE IN A SHOW

Liverpool has a vibrant music and theatre scene. Spend an evening at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Hope street, in the Georgian Quarter, taking in a concert - choose from classical, contemporary, rock, pop and folk music.

Follow it up with a play at one of its famous theatres like the Everyman and Playhouse. The Empire stages musicals and spectacular shows, and the Royal Court offer long-running plays.

GO ON A FOOTBALL PILGRIMAGE

Liverpool is synonymous with football and football fans should make the pilgrimage to Anfield, the home of the Liverpool Football Club since 1892. Take the stadium tour, visit the dressing rooms, see the Liverpool FC Story, an interactive museum at the stadium and buy some souvenirs at the LFC Official store.

JUST EAT...

Liverpool has an eclectic food scene because of the many nationalities that have made the city their home. From Spanish tapas to burgers and Chinese food, the city offers a plethora of options. For Indian food with a twist, head to Mowgli where Indian food is served in tiffin boxes.

For authentic Spanish, head to Lunyalita at Albert Docks. The Baltic Market is a great place for street food and live music. Try a typical afternoon high tea with sandwiches and cakes at the trendy Titanic Hotel, located in a 19th-century warehouse at Stanley Dock.