Going to university is an exciting yet daunting experience, especially when you’re moving to a big city like Liverpool. In the midst of trying to make friends and settle into uni life, you’ll also find yourself scrambling to learn the ins and outs of the city. From public transport to your nearest supermarket, there’s just so much to learn! Luckily for you, we’ve created a complete student city guide to Liverpool, so that when September rolls around, you’ll be a little more prepped than I was.
Getting from A to B can be confusing at the best of times, let alone in a whole new city. However, Liverpool’s extensive public transport and Taxi companies will make sure you are never left stranded.
In first year, we used to walk to-and-from most nights out, mainly to save money. However, there were the occasional nights when someone might have been too drunk to walk back up the hill to our accommodation or if we were going somewhere further afield like the Baltic Triangle. Aside from Uber, our go-to taxi company was Alpha Taxis, but there are also lots of other companies, such as Radio Cars Liverpool and Phoenix North Taxis. Alpha has an app on which you can pay for your cab, which will save you from having to carry cash with you and worrying if you have enough.
Alpha Taxis: 0151 722 8888
Radio Cars Liverpool: 0151 321 3333
Phoenix North Taxis: 0151 733 5555
Liverpool’s Bus network is one of the smoothest I’ve used; it never feels like I’m waiting more than 5/10 minutes for a bus from Smithdown to town or vice versa.
If you’re living in halls or city centre accommodation next year, then you won’t often need to catch the bus. However, if you’re living in Smithdown or UoL’s Greenbank accommodation, then you’re going to have to get to grips with Liverpool’s bus system!
The 699 bus service will be the most useful if you’re living at Greenbank, because the first stop is right at the front of the accommodation every 30 minutes. The bus route also goes along Smithdown road, so it is handy for anyone living in the area. I’ll warn you though if you’re rushing into campus on an early bus for a 9 am, then maybe avoid getting on the 699 a few stops in because it will be crammed with Greenbank freshers! Don’t worry, though, because there are plenty of buses that stop near the UoL campus, LJMU’s Mount Pleasant buildings, as well as the city centre. If you’re living in Smithdown, then these are the bus routes that will get you where you need to be:
75 – Liverpool ONE Bus Station/Halewood Shopping Centre
76 – Queen Square Bus Station/Halewood Shopping Centre
(This bus route will take you closest to UoL campus, as it stops both outside Melville Grove and Crown Place)
80/80E – Liverpool ONE Bus Station/Speke
86 – Liverpool ONE Bus Station/Liverpool Parkway or Speke
86A – Liverpool ONE Bus Station/Liverpool John Lennon Airport
86C – Liverpool/Childwall Circular
If you’re in first year and still 18, you can purchase a MyTicket, which is £2.20 and is a 24-hour ticket that you can use on any bus in Merseyside. Over 18s will have to buy a Solo Ticket which is £4.90 for one day in Merseyside.
The main train station in Liverpool is Lime Street Station, and it will be your go-to for visiting home, visiting friends at university, or maybe even a gig in Manchester. If you’re simply taking a day trip to the beach or perhaps Chester Zoo, then Liverpool central might be easier to use for access to their Mersey Rail.
Lime Street Station: Lime St, Liverpool L1 1JD
Liverpool Central Station: Ranelagh St, Liverpool L1 1JT
More information about travel in Merseyside can be found here.
Which library you need will vary depending on which university you’re studying at, and potentially also which course you take. This can be a bit confusing at first, so we’ve broken down the various libraries here in Liverpool for you.
University of Liverpool
At UoL there are two libraries on campus: Sydney Jones and Harold Cohen. If you’re unsure which library to use for your course, don’t worry because it will be made clear in the first few weeks of university. For more information, you can find the UoL library website here.
Sydney Jones Library: Chatham Street, L7 7BD
Harold Cohen Library: Ashton Street, L69 3BX
John Moores University
John Moores has three libraries: Avril Robarts Library, Aldham Robarts Library and IM Marsh Library. Similarly to UoL, it will be made clear which Library you should use early on in your course. More information can be found here on the John Moores website.
Avril Robarts Library: 79 Tithebarn Street, L2 2ER
Aldham Robarts Library: 29 Maryland Street, L1 9DE
IM Marsh Library: Barkhill Road, L17 6BD
Liverpool Hope University
Liverpool Hope University also has three libraries: The Sheppard-Worlock Library, Cornerstone Library and Capstone Library. Both the Cornerstone and Capstone libraries are located at Hope’s Creative Campus, while the Sheppard-Worlock is in Hope Park. More information about Liverpool Hope’s libraries can be found here.
The Sheppard-Worlock Library: Hope Park, L16 9JD
The Creative Campus libraries: 17 Shaw Street, L6 1HP
We also have Central Library here in Liverpool, located in the city centre. If you fancy perusing for books to read at your own leisure rather than for uni, then it’s ideal. The library also has a game area with an Xbox 360 that is free to use! More information about Central Library can be found here
Central Library: William Brown Street, L3 8EW
Finding your supermarket can be a long process. Whether you’re looking for the best bargains, the perfect custard creams, or even just somewhere that’s walking distance to your accommodation, there’s bound to be a supermarket for you in Liverpool.
Jack’s – Overton Street, L7 3HE
If you’ve applied for campus accommodation, then it’s likely you’ll soon become a regular customer at Jack’s. The supermarket is part of the Tesco family and is great for a student budget! In Jack’s you’ll find everything a uni student needs, from very cheap alcohol to an exciting middle aisle full of bargains.
Sefton Park Asda – 126 Smithdown Road, L15 3JR
Do you even live in Smithdown if you don’t spend all your money in big Asda? The superstore is right in the middle of Liverpool’s student area, making it ideal for your weekly shop, as well as being reasonably priced (in my experience). Smithdown Asda also has a large homeware section, which is handy for all your kitchen essentials.
Aldi – St John’s Shopping Centre, L1 1LS or Smithdown Road, L15 2HF
Another student classic is Aldi, located in St John’s Shopping Centre, which is ideal for those living in city centre accommodation such as St. Luke’s or Horizon Heights. Similarly, the Smithdown Aldi is right opposite Asda, meaning that if you’re trying to keep the weekly budget low in Smithdown, you can!
Tesco Express – Myrtle Street, Liverpool L7 7EL
You just can’t beat a mini Tesco for picking up the little bits you forget on the big shop. Whether you’ve run out of drinks at pres or fancy treating yourself to some chocolate, Tesco Express has your back. They’re dotted all around Liverpool, with the Myrtle Street shop being perfect for grabbing a meal deal during a study session at Sydney Jones.
Nights Out in Liverpool
Liverpool is renowned for being a great night out, with a bit of something for everyone. Whether you fancy belting out cheesy tunes in a Concert Square bar or vibing to RnB in one of the many clubs.
The Raz – 106-108 Seel Street, L1 4BL
Ask anyone where their most iconic night out took place, and The Raz will definitely come up in conversation! I don’t know what they put in the drinks, but The Raz is a guaranteed messy night out. The main drinks on offer are ‘Raz Juice’ (basically beer), ‘Raz Bombs’ (cheap Jaeger Bombs) and their selection of ‘Frog’ drinks which are mixtures of different VK flavours.
Shit Indie Disco – Electrik Warehouse, 16 Wood Street, L1 4AQ
Another iconic student night out is Shit Indie Disco (Shindie), which is the weekly indie night in Liverpool, as well as being home to throwback Thursday. One of the best things about Shindie is the £2.50 doubles and cardboard signs that you can write on to wave around the dance floor. The main catchphrase at Shindie is ‘F*ck Friday lectures’, and honestly, if you do the night properly, your Friday lectures really won’t get a look in.
The centre of Liverpool’s nightlife, concert square is always a viable night out. Whether you want to grab some cocktails from Modo or a baby Guinness in McCooley’s, if you go on a Concert Square night out, you can splash out on drinks because club entry is mostly free! This also means you can move between clubs to find the place that best matches the vibe of the night.
Where to eat
Liverpool’s vibrant culture means that there are endless places to eat, suiting any budget. After two years living in the city, I have a few favourites to share.
If anyone asked for my go-to restaurant or take away I’d have to say Maggie Fu! Whether I’ve been dressed up for date night or curled up on the sofa, their crispy chilli chicken has never let me down. Last month, Maggie Fu opened up their second restaurant on Hanover Street, which is bigger and more central than their flagship Smithdown road restaurant. If you’re looking for somewhere stylish and reliable, Maggie Fu will not disappoint.
Baltic Market is the ideal place to go with a large group because there are so many options for you all to choose from! The market is made up of several food stands, serving everything from Greek food to dessert. At the moment, Baltic Market is using Uber Eats for people to order their food to the table, which is handy if you have a 50% off code lying around in your inbox!
On a completely different vibe, Leaf is the ideal go-to place for a wholesome catchup with coursemates over a pot of tea and lunch. With cafés on Bold Street and Smithdown Road, Leaf has an interesting menu made up of various burgers, breakfasts and nibbles. For a cosy place to meet your friends, you should definitely check Leaf out!
Where to live
Sometimes it seems like everywhere you go in Liverpool is a student area, with most places having the vibrant buzz of uni-life. Despite this, there are some places that are better to live in than others, depending on what you want to get out of university.
If you’re looking for the convenience of being close to campus, then Kensington is probably the area for you because of its proximity to the UoL campus. However, if you’re not bothered by a short bus journey to lectures, then I’d recommend Smithdown. For me, Smithdown is the ultimate student area, with its many pubs, cafés and parks, there is always something going on. Alternatively, some people choose the city centre, so they can be closer to the action. There are plenty of private accommodations in the city centre as well as standard student houses if you don’t want to miss out on that experience.
Hopefully, you’re now more prepped for life in Liverpool so that the transition into University life can be less stressful than it has the potential to be.