As soon as I stepped foot into Liverpool’s Maritime Mercantile City, I was mesmerized. Rhythmically, the waves lapped against the anchored boats. Sea gulls cawed as I walked around what used to be a bustling dock. Encompassing Albert Dock, the old brick warehouses have been transformed into apartments, hotels, museums, restaurants, and bars.
The whipping wind blocked out the beeping cars and droning construction work that was merely one block away. Liverpool’s Maritime Mercantile City transports you to another place that feels a world away from typical city streets and life. Maybe that’s because of all the global influence this port has seen since the 18th century.
Liverpool played a big role in the growth of the British Empire as a major commercial port. It also became a hub for emigration. The Port of Liverpool features a 7.5-mile enclosed dock system. Its construction and port management paved the way for modern dock technologies and methods, which is just a few reasons why Liverpool’s Maritime Mercantile City was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
A centerpiece of Liverpool’s famous waterfront, Pier Head, features three landmarks known as the Three Graces: Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building, and Port of Liverpool Building. As I made my way down the cobblestone riverside walkway, the rippling water lulled me into a trance across the River Mersey at the shipyards and the boats and ferries cruising by.
It was peacefully quiet, a luxury you don’t often get in an urban city. This may have had a lot to do with the fact that I was visiting in the middle of the week in February. Admittedly, big cities often intimidate me when traveling solo, but Liverpool’s Maritime Mercantile City put me at ease. I was left thinking, do I really have to leave?
Tips for visiting Liverpool’s Maritime Mercantile City
Visit the Museum of Liverpool to learn more about the city’s diverse history, especially how the port shaped the city. Admission is free, and the museum is located on the waterfront.
Go in off season. It’s relaxing to experience the docks when they’re less-crowded and quieter.
Looking for a cheap place to stay in Liverpool? Book a bed in a dorm or private room at YHA Liverpool, a 10-minute walk from Albert Dock and Pier Head.
Explore the docks at day and night. It’s beautiful by day and magical by night.
Have you visited Liverpool’s Maritime Mercantile City or is it on your bucket list? What would you like to see or explore while visiting this port?