Few English cities are as shackled by reputation as Liverpool, and none has worked so hard to outgrow the cliches that for so long have been used to define it.
Yes, the city has had a hardscrabble history beset by chronic misfortune and a myriad of social ills. Yes, those tough times have helped forge the city's famous sense of humour, which is really just a coping mechanism for getting through difficulty. Yes, they love football here. And yes, the Beatles occupy a huge chunk of the city's cultural heritage.
All these things are true, but they do little justice to a city that has more listed buildings than any other outside London, has transformed its centre via a breathtaking programme of urban regeneration and is home to some of the best museums and galleries north of the Watford Gap.
Of course they still cherish the Beatles around here. But not because they're stuck in the past and haven't gotten over the fact that they're long gone - it's because their worldwide popularity would make it crazy not to do so.
The main attractions are Albert Dock (west of the city centre), and the trendy Ropewalks area (south of Hanover St and west of the two cathedrals). Lime St station, the bus station and the Cavern Quarter – a mecca for Beatles fans – lie just to the north.
Best places to stay in Liverpool
Liverpool destination guides
Beatles and Liverpool Rail Day Trip from London
Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields - visit these famous Liverpool sights your own way on an independent day trip from London. Everything's arranged for you: return rail tickets, entry to the Beatles Story, a Magical Mystery Tour and a Liverpool city map and information booklet.
The Beatles Story Experience
Visit the award-winning Beatles Story Experience in the band's hometown of Liverpool, England. Spread between two sites, the unique Beatles-themed museum offers an atmospheric insight into the life, culture and music of the iconic 1960s English rock band. See exhibitions, exclusive memorabilia and interactive discovery zones.