A Budget Stay in Liverpool with #ibis Styles

Liverpool is rich with culture, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy an itinerary-packed trip. It’s possible to have a fabulous experience on the cheap; in fact many top sights are absolutely free.

Royal Liver Building in Liverpool and tall ship

When I was asked to review the new ibis Styles on Dale Street, a hotel offering boutique design at a budget price, I teamed the Saturday night stay with a day out around the city centre to showcase some of the best sights, cafes and restaurants to visit. Here are are my recommendations for an amazing budget day in Liverpool.

Breakfast at Leaf 

Delicious loose-leaf teas, an impressive reasonably-priced menu and a distinctive artsy ambience makes Leaf a hot spot for locals and visitors alike. Housed in an Art Deco building along Bold Street, this tea house is a truly unique independent gem.

The breakfast menu is particularly tasty and options range from a full-on traditional English to vegetarian and vegan delights such as falafel sausages. Another independent spot in Liverpool not to miss, that I’ve written about before but didn’t get a chance to visit this time around, is the Rococo Coffee House on Lord Street.


Leaf, Liverpool

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St James Park and Cemetery

While Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is a hard-to-miss sight, there is a Victorian cemetery turned picturesque park located in a hidden hollow to the side. The intriguing St James Cemetery is now disused and many of the headstones have been removed, yet 57,000 people were buried in this area and there’s definitely a spooky atmosphere – even on a sunny day!

Among those buried here are high-profile public figures, orphans, lost sailors and murder victims. Keep an eye out for the Huskisson Monument where prominent Victorian MP William Huskisson, who was a major figure in establishing the British Empire, is buried. He was run over and killed while attending the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830. 

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St James Cemetery, Liverpool


When thinking of Liverpool, there are many obvious associations. The Beatles, River Mersey and the Liver Birds to name just a few. However, in recent years the city has adopted a contemporary icon in the form of Superlambananas. And yes these are as quirky as they sound.

It all started back in 2008, when more than 100 of these eye-catching sculptures were created and placed around the city to commemorate the successful European Capital of Culture bid. They are mini replicas of the original bright yellow and much larger sculpture that is now located on Tithebarn Street. 

Superlambananas, Liverpool

Lamb banana on Liverpool waterfront with liver birds in background


Tate Liverpool

A must-visit sight for culture vultures and lovers of contemporary art is Tate Liverpool on the Albert Dock. This iconic gallery always has world-class exhibitions and most of the displays are completely free. Stop by at the Walker Art Gallery as well to peruse an incredible collection of medieval and Renaissance paintings. 

Liverpool Tate


If you want to see a film in comfortable unique surroundings and have a wander around free galleries, FACT is the place to go. This Liverpool picturehouse is also home to the cutest cafe ever. The Garden by Leaf is a light, colorful and generally pleasant place to grab a coffee and bite to eat. I was impressed with the daffodils and cacti plants decorating the tables on this visit. Love it. 

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Bistro Franc

My favourite restaurant in Liverpool, Bistro Franc on Hanover Street is one of three restaurants in this city-based chain. The others are Bistro Pierre and Bistro Jacques. They have a popular pre-theatre menu offering a three-course meal for £12.50. I’ve been here so many times and never get bored. The staff are always super friendly as well. And not in that annoying phoney way either. 

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Bistro Franc, Liverpool


The Smugglers Cove

Liverpool’s newest venue had a three-week waiting list for a Saturday night meal, hence we had to settle for an afternoon bevvie instead. The Smugglers Cove on the Albert Dock has craft beers, exclusive cocktails and a whole lotta rum. But what makes this restaurant and bar so amazing is the old world decor complete with candlelight and rustic features. Captain Jack Sparrow would fit in very well here! 

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Smugglers Cove, Liverpool

ibis Styles

After spending a night at the Liverpool ibis Styles boutique hotel, I can honestly say that this brand has managed to meet their aim of providing stylish accommodation at budget prices. 

What I liked…

The amazingly comfortable beds and sharp white linen, fantastic view of the Liverpool skyline, unique contemporary design, cool headboard, colourful foyer with lots of seating and a bar/cafe and the clean modern bathroom with a huge shower. Free Wi-Fi and a complimentary breakfast were included in the deal. The location is also great – just a stone’s throw away from the likes of Mathew Street, Liverpool One shopping district and the riverfront attractions.

What I disliked…

The only thing that slightly bothered me was that the window wouldn’t open. There was air conditioning in the room to regulate the temperature, but it would have been nice to have had the option of letting in some fresh air.

ibis Styles Liverpool


Have you visited Liverpool or are you from  here? What are your top picks for budget sights?


*A complimentary hotel stay and contribution towards expenses was provided by ibis, but all views are my own*





  1. February 26, 2014 / 16:22

    This is a perfect little travel guide. Love every place and attraction you featured and would love to visit ’em!

  2. February 27, 2014 / 22:31

    I love the cemetary, it’s so beautiful in Spring! I do ghost walks down there and it kinda take away from the ‘horror’ when the crocuses and snowdrops are popping through! xx
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