10 things to do in Liverpool under £20

Travel July 25, 2013

Liverpool is one of our favourite destinations for learners of English who are looking for something a little different. In the north of England, not only is there a huge amount to see and do, but it’s significantly cheaper than London and the south. And our returning students regularly comment on how friendly people are!

Do you have any local tips for enjoying Liverpool on a budget? You can share them in the comments section.

Liverpool FC, Anfield Stadium

anfield tour
Photo: Ben Sutherland

Take the award winning Anfield Stadium Tour and gain exclusive behind the scenes access to Anfield, the home of Liverpool FC. Touch the world famous ‘This is Anfield’ sign, view the Home Team dressing room and take a seat in the Manager’s dug out.

Find out more at liverpoolfc.com.

Scouse at Maggie May’s cafe

Scouse is a very popular meal in Liverpool. It is a stew consisting of meat (lamb or beef), potatoes and vegetables but every family has their own special ingredients! The scouse is so good at Maggie May’s café on Bold Street that even the leading supermarkets want to start selling it – but it’s better to go at lunch time for a fresh bowl!

Scouse is so closely associated with the city that Liverpudlians are often referred to as “Scousers” and the local accent is called “scouse”.

The Beatles Story


Be transported on an incredible journey and see how four young lads from Liverpool were propelled to the dizzy heights of fame and fortune from their humble childhood beginnings. Replicas of the Casbah, Mathew Street and The Cavern authentically capture the early 60’s, allowing you to personally experience the very places that helped make The Beatles the biggest band in the world.

Check out beatlesstory.com.

Port Sunlight

Built at the end of the 19th century, Port Sunlight was originally built as a home for workers at the nearby Lever factory. This village is the work of over 30 architects, and the variety of architecture and the beauty of the buildings is unique in the area. In 1922 the Lady Lever Art Gallery was opened; housing the magnificent personal collection of the first Lord Leverhulme.

More at visitwirral.com.

Enjoy green Liverpool

africa oye liverpool Africa Oye festival in Sefton Park, Photo: © Ian Hughes

Sefton Park is the green gem at the heart of the city – all 240 acres of it. Brimming with lakes and rivers, it is surrounded by trees seeded from Asia and the Americas in the 19th century. The Palm House is a glorious Victorian glasshouse, built to extraordinary engineering precision and crammed full of exotic specimens. The park is beautiful year-round, but be sure to check out Afica Oyé in June: the largest free African music festival in the UK.

More at liverpoolunderlined.com

Take a stroll along the waterfront and around the Albert Dock

albert-dock-liverpool Albert Dock, Photo: Steve O’Brian

Liverpool’s stunning waterfront is a UNESCO world heritage site. Marvel at the iconic Liver Birds these sit atop the city’s most famous buildings, are almost 4 metres high and to many people are the very identity of Liverpool. Take in the views across the river Mersey as you walk across to The Albert Dock, this is the UK’s most visited tourist attraction outside of London. Its design was revolutionary when built in 1846 to store the goods imported from around the world. Now it is a buzzing tourist hotspot with lots of cafes, bars, shops and museums.

Visit the two Cathedrals

liverpool cathedral Liverpool Cathedral, Photo: Miguel Mendez

Liverpool’s cathedrals are extremely different to one another but both have fascinating stories. The view from the top of the Anglican tower is breathtaking. The cathedrals are connected by one of the city’s prettiest streets, Hope Street, recently voted the best street in Britain. When you’re there, stop for lunch at The Quarter, a popular café.

Tour the museums and galleries

 Liverpool has more museums and galleries than any UK city outside of London. No matter what your taste in art and culture, you will find numerous exhibitions to interest, educate and delight you. As well as the large, well-known attractions, take the time to find the numerous smaller, independent spaces to see something even more unusual.

More info and listings at liverpoolunderlined.com.

Go on a traditional pub crawl in the Georgian Quarter

The school is on the doorstep of The Georgian Quarter, as well as exceptional architecture you can find here lots of very beautiful, traditional English pubs to enjoy a pint. The Roscoe Head, Ye Cracke, The Grapes, The Belvedere, The Caledonia and Peter Kavanaghs are all full of character and conversation and within 10-15 minutes’ walk of each other. However, even if pubs are not really your thing you really must visit just one, The Philharmonic Dining Rooms (The Phil). A Grade I listed celebration of Victorian ability to drink, this is a late 19th century gin-palace, notable for its listed gents’ toilets, into which women are allowed as part of a guided tour.

philharmonic dining rooms-liverpool Interior detail at the Phil, Photo: Matthew Black

John Lennon famously complained that the price of fame meant ‘not being able to go to the Phil for a drink’. It served as a regular hangout for The Beatles in their early days, and it’s easy to see why.

The Phil (as it’s known to its mates) is a great old pub with reasonably priced traditional “pub grub”. All dark wood-panelled walls, mosaic covered floors and a central, horseshoe-shaped bar, lit with ornate stained glass, it’s a visual treat.

Settle down in one of the two snugs – the Brahms room and the Liszt room – or see and be seen in the Grande Lounge, with its crystal chandeliers, stained glass and magnificently plastered ceiling.

Check out Liverpool.com and sevenstreets.com (both in English) for some tips.

Other venues you may want to check out include The Kazimier (an amazing, quirky, arty club with all kinds of gigs and events), the Camp and Furnace (a similar very trendy multi-purpose venue) and Alma de Cuba (an upmarket bar converted from a church).

Take the train to ‘Another Place’

crosby beach liverpool

Crosby Photo: RuaraidhG

Just 20 minutes by train from the city centre you arrive at Crosby here you can see Anthony Gormley’s spectacular statues, all 100 of them. If you like walking, it takes approximately 2 hours walking along the beach to get to Formby, a beautiful stretch of coastline famous for the red squirrels living in the forests next to the beach.

See visitliverpool.com for more details.

Those were just ten fantastic things to do in Liverpool for less than £20, and we could have picked so many more!  Find out more about an English course in Liverpool or let us know your Merseyside tips in the comments.

Many thanks to Sarah Byrne at Liverpool School of English for her help with this article.

By Alex Hammond

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