Three years in the making at a cost of £72m, the Museum of Liverpool opened in 2011 and exists to tell the long and winding tale of Liverpool’s past. Which it does, in spades, thanks to 6,000 objects displayed on three floors, all connected by a shell-like, spiral staircase. From an exploration as to why Liverpool was once declared “a wonder of the world” to the only surviving carriage of the world’s first electrified overhead railway, this museum is more than mere indulgence: it gives visitors the chance to get under the skin of a city that was for 200 years one of the world’s most influential.
It’s a great option for families, especially the free (but ticketed) Little Liverpool gallery that’s stuffed with hands-on exhibits for the under 6s. Look out for special exhibitions on the top floor and an unbeatable view of the magnificent Pier Head next to the life-size Liver Bird. The building sits on the waterfront, wedged between Royal Albert Dock and the Three Graces. A ground-floor cafe (serving some of the best Scouse in the city) is a great little suntrap with grand views of Mann Island. Wander round the front to take a closer look at the River Mersey; often windy but well worth it.