If you’re an art lover heading to Liverpool for River of Light, a free nine day festival of light, colour and spectacle throughout the city centre, then you’re in for a treat. 

Between 1-9 November, there will be 11 large scale light installations lighting up the city, a huge musical fireworks display on 3rd November on the Waterfront and plenty of art and culture to explore. 

To help you plan your trip to the city during this magical time we’ve put together a two day itinerary so you don’t miss out on any of the installations, places to eat to refuel and all the other amazing art and culture offerings we have in Liverpool. 


RIVER OF LIGHT INSTALLATIONS


Globoscope - Liverpool Parish Church
Submergence - Mann Island Atrium
Spiders - Waterside Cunard Building 
Cetus - Mann Island Basin
Intrude - Exchange Flags
Flight - Royal Liver Building
Whole Hole - Wapping Dock Wall
Run Beyond - Salthouse Quay
Portal - Royal Albert Dock


WHERE TO STAY


For a bit of boutique luxury check in to stay at Lock & Key Hotel on Duke Street; the perfect location for your weekend of art and culture in the city. The 14 room hotel is set inside a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse with each room having its own botanical style. 

There’s also a 24 hour reception so you can come and go whenever you please during the River of Light festival. 


DAY ONE


BREAKFAST

Start your morning off with a fresh breakfast from Leaf on Bold Street. Their breakfast menu is pretty extensive and has everything from pancakes to full English Breakfasts in traditional, vegan and veggie options and speciality brunch items too. Whatever you choose, it will definitely set you up for the day. 

True to their name, their tea menu is also pretty impressive...

birds who brunch 💅🏻

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MORNING ACTIVITY

Stroll over the road from LEAF to FACT on Wood Street to see their brand new exhibition ‘you feel me_’. Open from 1 November to 23 February it’s the perfect time to see the exhibition on its opening week. ‘you feel me_’ invites you to an alternative world without division and a space for us to heal; with interactive art work, VR and video game design; it’s a show at FACT definitely worth seeing and it’s free! 

Hey! Welcome to the @FACT_Liverpool Instagram takeover 🙌 This is our home on Wood Street (just a few steps away from Bold Street). When we opened in 2003, we were the first new arts centre to be built in Liverpool in 60 years! Swipe ➡️ to take a look inside. We have two galleries for showcasing the best in visual art, a cinema (@picturehouse_fact) that screens everything from cult classics to new releases, a café (@thegarden_byleaf) serving up delicious veggie, vegan and gluten free treats and a bar for you to sit back and chill in after taking in an exhibition or film ✨ #visitliverpool #visitbritain #liverpool #modernart #art #itsliverpool #factliverpool #artinliverpool #exhibition #cinema

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LUNCH

For lunch, try Rococo, one of Liverpool’s much loved coffee shops right in the heart of the city on Lord Street. Head upstairs into their many roomed coffee house for freshly made sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads, paninis and jacket potatoes. Wash it all down with a cup of tea and you’re ready for the afternoon. 


AFTERNOON ACTIVITY

A lot of the River of Light installations are around the Waterfront so it’s the perfect opportunity to see what else is around here during the day too. You’ll be able to find The Open Eye Gallery, which is one of the UK’s leading photography galleries at Mann Island, the British Music Experience at The Cunard Building and The Museum of Liverpool right outside The Royal Liver Building. 

We’re pretty spoilt for choice around here when it comes to arts and culture.


EVENING MEAL

You can find one of the 8 light installations, Intrude, at Exchange Flags which means you can head for something to eat at Fazenda after checking it out. Here you will be able to indulge in a selection of succulent meats in the rodizio style of serving, which basically means ‘all you can eat’, fresh salad and plenty of sides. 

You’ll be well fed and warmed up in time to explore the rest of the light installations. 


EVENING ACTIVITY 

The best time to head to see the light installations is in the evening when it’s dark enough to see them glow. If you happen to time your visit with the spectacular firework display on Sunday 3rd November then we would recommend checking out some of the installations down at the Waterfront before or after the show. All of the installations light up between 5pm and 10pm  from 1-9 November so you have plenty of time to see them all.

You’ll be able to see Spiders at the Cunard Building, Cetus and Submergence at Mann Island, Flight at The Royal Liver Building, Run Beyond at Salthouse Quay and Whole Hole at Wapping Dock Wall, so there’s plenty to see. 

Grab a hot drink to go and have a wander along the Waterfront to take in all the pieces for those instagram shots. 


DAY TWO


BREAKFAST

If you fancy a nice relaxing breakfast to start your second day off then head over to Rough Handmade on the Royal Albert Dock. True to its name, this boutique bakery makes everything fresh onsite so you can wake up your senses with the smell of fresh pastries and coffee chilling on the dock. This is what Liverpool is all about. 


MORNING ACTIVITY

Post breakfast, take a walk around The Royal Albert Dock and stumble into the Liverpool Mountain just outside Tate Liverpool, it’s pretty impossible to miss. The brightly coloured rocks stacked on top of each other make for the perfect instagram shot too.  

While you’re there you must head into Tate Liverpool to catch the Keith Haring exhibition before it finishes on 10th November. It’s the first UK exhibition showcasing Haring’s work and includes over 85 pieces of his art for you to explore.

If this isn't for you then the rest of Tate Liverpool has three floors of free stunning modern and contemporary art for you to delve into. It’s definitely worth the visit and a relaxing way to spend the morning. 


LUNCH

If you can’t decide what to have for lunch then head over to the Baltic Market for street food heaven. There are over 10 different food stalls to pick from that change all the time so you can keep going back to sample the best of Liverpool’s food and drink scene. Pull up a seat on the long benches, grab a drink and explore the culinary delights.

Top tip: People flood here for the halloumi fries, gin bar and the indulgent dessert stall so make sure you check these out! 

Oktoberfest 2019 - let’s do this 🍻🇩🇪🥨

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AFTERNOON ACTIVITY

Whilst you’re in The Baltic Triangle do a bit of street art spotting in the creative quarter of the city. You’ll find everything from the famous Liver Wings to our own Abbey Road crossing, a tribute to Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp and some Beatles portraits. 

The Baltic Triangle is also great for exploring all the quirky bars so before you head off for something to eat stick around here for a bit to rest your legs before your evening of exploring more of River Of Light. Check out places like the Baltic Fleet for a cosy pint, On Air for a drink in a film set, or Punch Tarmeys for a bit of Irish craic. 

On your way back into town make sure you stop off at Output Gallery on Seel Street too for a taste of Liverpool’s independent art scene with their free exhibitions. 


EVENING MEAL

For a hearty dinner inspired by a German Cook Haus, dine in style at Albert’s Schenke on Hanover Street. The menu has everything you want from a cook haus so expect chicken schnitzel, ham & egg with chips, bohemian sausage plates and mushroom spatzle. Select something from their mouth watering menu, pick a German beer to go with it and enjoy the Bavarian atmosphere.   

If you follow a plant based diet fear not, there are plenty of places to eat; from vegan junk food to small plates and spicy curries, we’ve got it all! Check out our guide to all the vegan friendly restaurants in Liverpool


EVENING ACTIVITY

Head back out into the night and explore the rest of the installations around the city. Find Intrude at Exchange Flags and Globoscope at Liverpool Parish Church to complete the full set. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up on some you might have missed the night before whilst the fireworks were lighting up the sky. 

After that head into the Ropewalks area of the city to check out some of the bars and music venues. Music never stops in our city so it won't be hard to find a band or DJ to enjoy with a drink. We would recommend heading to places like The Merchant, The Shipping Forecast, The Jacaranda, or Kazimier Garden to enjoy the rest of your night in the city. 

Kazimir 🍂

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TRAVELLING AROUND LIVERPOOL

Don’t forget, one of the best ways to get around Liverpool is to use the Merseyrail Loop line and the Stagecoach bus routes. With three stations in the city centre and plenty of bus stops it makes getting to and from the fireworks display super easy wherever you’re coming from.


Don’t forget the mid-river firework display is on Sunday 3rd November at 6:30pm and the light installations will be around from 1-9th November for you to enjoy too. For more information visit our River of Light page


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