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Why Liverpool Is A Must-Go Destination For Museum Buffs

Matt Crisp September 25, 2023

Liverpool is a thriving north west city that has gone from strength to strength in recent decades. It is now recognised as the best UK destination outside of London for world-class museums and galleries. Some of these are long established, and some were created with new investment when Liverpool was crowned European Capital of Culture in 2008. 

Here’s a look at some of the excellent cultural venues that are well worth visiting. Whether you need to hire a coach for an educational school trip or you live nearby and want to take the family for a weekend out, make Merseyside your destination this autumn. 

Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool is just a short walk away from the city centre, in the heart of the Grade I listed Albert Dock. The gallery is situated in a beautifully converted warehouse that is spacious and flooded with natural light. It was recently at the heart of the Liverpool Biennial, which is the UK’s largest contemporary visual arts festival. 

The gallery regularly displays exhibitions by internationally acclaimed artists, and has a huge collection of British visual art from the 16th century onwards. Admission to the permanent collection that holds over 80 works is free. 

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool is a part of the National Museums Liverpool, a group of seven art galleries and museums that was established in 1986 to curate the wealth of historically and culturally significant objects and artworks held by the city. Museum of Liverpool is a purpose-built venue that opened on the city’s waterfront in 2011.

It is the largest newly-built national museum in over a century, and the world’s first national museum devoted to a regional city. During your visit, you will discover engaging exhibits that tell the story of Liverpool’s unique industrial, cultural, and social heritage. 

From the rooftop are superb views of the Three Graces: The Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building, and the Port of Liverpool Building. 

The Walker Art Gallery

The Walker is a beautiful 130 year old building that is considered to hold the most important collection of artworks outside of London. It has an extensive collection of paintings from the European Renaissance and holds masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt, Turner and Stubbs, to name a few. It also has an outstanding collection of sculptures and decorative art.

International Slavery Museum

Between 1500 and 1865, ships from Liverpool’s docks transported about 1.5m enslaved people across the Atlantic, returning laden with goods such as cotton, sugar and coffee that helped to build the city’s fortune. The International Slavery Museum explores the legacy of this inhumane practice and also addresses contemporary human rights issues.

The museum is located in the Albert Dock, where many of the slave ships departed from. The exhibits and artefacts seek to deepen the understanding and awareness of the slave trade and acknowledge the role that it played in building wealthy European cities and developing third world economies at the expense of other regions and populations.