With a package of mostly free world class museums, Liverpool is a cultural and family friendly delight packed with award-winning museums hosting ground breaking changing exhibitions and treasured collections telling the stories of the city’s past. A great place to start is the waterfront award-winner the Museum of Liverpool with its fascinating social and community history displays, feature Beatles gallery and more.
Quirky collections don’t come much more fascinating that the largest collection of false teeth in existence – at the free entry Victoria Gallery & Museum situated just a short stroll from the city centre. Families always love the World Museum with Plantarium, Egyptian mummies and plenty of workshops and activities for kids. Plan ample time for your visit to the City’s fascinating Merseyside Maritime Museum with International Slavery Museum on the third floor.
Museum of Liverpool
Located right alongside the Mersey on Mann Island at the Pier Head and spread across three floors, if you’re looking to discover the social history of this fascinating world city, then the Museum of Liverpool is where to head. Through photography, symbolic objects, living history stories and artwork, exhibitions tell the story of this unique and constantly changing riverside city.
Every possible historic and current symbol, theme and famous Liverpudlian is covered in this architecturally stunning riverside museum, with key themes emerging including football and sport, The Beatles, the Liver Bird, unemployment, protest and more. The ground floor cafe has an outdoor terrace with great views and delicious food and drink as standard – including an early breakfast menu! Free WiFi, outstanding facilities for families and children plus a fabulous shop packed with toys, gifts, memorabilia, postcards and posters are all in-house.
The Merseyside Maritime Museum & International Slavery Museum
Give yourself plenty of time for these two award-winning Liverpool museums housed in the same waterfront building at The Albert Dock. Floors are packed with exhibitions exploring the city’s shipping and maritime history with the International Slavery Museum situated on the top third floor where you can hear the experiences of slaves brought to Liverpool by White Slave Traders.
Liverpool was at the very centre of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade triangle from the 16th century and at one point was Europe’s leading slave port. Equal attention is given to stories and experiences of slavery in the present. The ‘Legacies of slavery gallery highlights the continuing journey for freedom. In Liverpool’s past local merchants like Robert Cunliffe and Richard Gildart grew rich off the back of slave trading and then pumped their profits into banks and businesses in the city, as well as going on to become ‘respected citizens’. Find out more in the International Slavery Museum.
The Maritime Museum galleries cover subjects such as the history of Liverpool shipping companies and reflections on major shipping disasters like the Titanic and Lusitania in the early 20th century which had a devastating impact on the shipping industry in the city. Special exhibitions on Liverpool’s links with the White Star Line and the Titanic often feature in the Maritime Museum.
Liverpool’s award-winning Maritime Museum is a fun packed interactive learning experience for children with great live performance from ‘Shiver me timbers’ pirates and a Titanic Survivor! Talks, tours and hands on activities feature, with a restaurant, cafe and shop all on-site.
The World Museum Liverpool sits in the heart of the city centre near Lime Street Station, just next door to the Walker Art Gallery. The eclectic mix of galleries in this vast museum focus on natural history and the sciences from ethnology to Zoology. The museum also features a popular free Planetarium and is internationally renowned for its collection of fossils and Egyption artefacts including the famous Egyptian mummies. Interactive hands-on exhibits bring the Natural World alive for children.
The archaeology and ethnography exhibitions come largely from collections deposited by the Liverpool goldsmith Joseph Mayer in 1867 and the collection includes many unique ancient Egyptian artefacts and Oriental decorative arts. Exhibits from the natural world feature an aquarium, Bug House and more. Don’t miss the meteorite from Mars, the treasured Anglo-Saxon Kingston Brooch and there’s plenty of opportunity to handle natural objects like rocks, plants and even a mammoth’s tooth in the Clore Natural History Centre!
The World Museum in Liverpool is open daily and is free to enter with a coffee shop serving light snacks with a children’s menu available, a shop, free WiFi and great group packages all available.