Cheap City Breaks: Liverpool on a budget

Budget travel in the UK is easy if you know where to look. Check out our insider's guide to Liverpool, surely one of the best cheap weekend breaks – a city bursting with character, culture and free things to do

Feature by Laura Maclean | 16 Oct 2015

Next time you’re planning a cheap weekend away, look a little closer to home. Liverpool is fast becoming one of the UK’s favourite city breaks, and it’s much more than just the home of The Beatles.

An iconic city bursting with warmth, character and culture, it’s also a paradise for budget travellers.

Full of free museums and galleries, iconic landmarks and – need we say it – cheaper drinks prices than down south, Liverpool is the perfect destination for a weekend away on the cheap.

So from eating out to soaking up the free attractions, read on for our top tips for budget travel in Liverpool.

Sightseeing on a shoestring

Being a tourist can be expensive but not so much in Liverpool. Most of the main attractions are completely free, and the city is small enough that you can get around a good amount of them in a few hours.

Look out for the Catholic cathedral (affectionately named Paddy’s Wigwam – you’ll know why when you see it), the Liver Buildings, St George’s Hall and the Radio City Tower. You can see all of these for free and, if your legs are getting tired, you can ride the big wheel down by the Albert Dock to see them all from above.

St George's Hall. Photo: Ant Clausen

It’d be a crime if you didn’t do anything Beatles-related, so a trip to Mathew Street is also a must. The most this’ll cost you is a selfie in front of the world-famous Cavern Club and a drink if you venture inside to see where the Fab Four performed some of their earliest gigs.

Then there’s the legendary ferry across the Mersey (we dare you to say it without singing it). If you’re a student, you’re in luck, because NUS card holders get a discount – and you’ll also get some money off if you book your ticket in advance. Perfect!

Free museums around every corner

One of the best things about Liverpool is all the free museums. From the Maritime Museum to the Tate and the Museum of Liverpool, you won’t have to pay a penny to experience all the wonderful museums and art galleries that helped make Liverpool European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The Beatles Story is the only museum that you’ll need to pay to get into, and it is worth a visit – but if you’re trying to save pennies, do the free ones first and make this a reason to come back.

The Maritime Museum. Photo: National Museums Liverpool

Most of Liverpool's museums are down by the Albert Dock, which is a great place to take a stroll and soak up the atmosphere (which doesn’t cost a penny either!) The Dock is another of Liverpool’s essential sights and must be followed by a pint in the Pump House.

Cheap eats

Wander down Bold Street and you’ll see that Liverpool is brimming with independent bars and restaurants, offering tasty food for a slightly lower cost than the bigger chains up at Liverpool One.

Check out LEAF, Nolita Cantina or Bold Street Coffee for a taste of Liverpool’s independent spirit.

LEAF on Bold Street.

If you’re staying at the YHA down by the Albert Dock, then check out the Friday night Food Slam at Camp and Furnace. The weekly event serves up some lovely street food (the kind of trendy fare that’s typical of Liverpool’s old industrial areas), and it’s as reasonably priced as it is delicious.

Remember that the bigger chains sometimes offer good meal deals if you can get your hands on a voucher. Have a quick look at to see what Liverpool’s restaurants are offering.

Nightlife on a budget

Liverpool is famous for its nightlife and drinks are obviously cheaper up north – but clubbing in Concert Square isn’t the only way to have a night out in Liverpool.

Scousers are famous for their sharp sense of humour and the Hot Water Comedy Club is a guaranteed hilarious night out. It takes place every weekend at the Holiday Inn opposite Lime Street station, tickets rarely cost more than £10 and comedy club guests also get 20% off drinks all night.

Just another reason to add to the list why Liverpool’s such a brilliantly cheap city break – as if you needed any more convincing.

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