Liverpool

For other places with the same name, see Liverpool (disambiguation).

Liverpool is a city in Merseyside, England, within the historic county boundaries of Lancashire, famed for its football teams, the Grand National horse race, music (including The Beatles), vibrant nightlife and its links with the arts and culture. Historically the city served as one of the leading ports linking Europe to the Americas, expanding to become England's second most populated city by the census of 1861, before slowly declining after 1921 as levels of transatlantic shipping dropped. Before airline travel, many Europeans migrating to the New World passed through the city, particularly the Italians and Irish; to this day the city enjoys a large Irish community, with impressive cathedrals for both Anglican and Roman Catholic faiths. In the 18th and early 19th century the port also acted as a gateway for the slave trade, with echoes of this period still evident in places around the city (Penny Lane is named after a slave ship owner, for example). Recent years have seen a comprehensive regeneration of the city centre, creating an influx of new shops, boutiques, and large performance/conference arenas near the waterfront; this has resulted in an upturn in population figures. The regenerated city now plays regular host to national and international conference, media and music events; examples include major political party conferences, the BBC Worldwide Showcase, the MTV Europe Awards, and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

All this means that Liverpool is chiefly a 19th century city with tall buildings, which can be somewhat intimidating at times. "Cosy" is probably not an attribute you would use for it, and the Mersey waterfront (see photo above) is, perhaps disappointingly, nowhere a place you sit down to have a coffee (except in the Albert Docks, but these do not face the Mersey).

Understand

The Three Graces, Pier Head, Liverpool

Liverpool is a city with great cultural heritage and was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, with the famous Pier Head Waterfront being a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004. Liverpool is home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and is also renowned for nurturing the talents of a wide range of musicians and band such as The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Echo and the Bunnymen, Elvis Costello and many more. The city possesses the largest national museum collection outside of London and has a fascinating and turbulent history as a great world maritime centre. Liverpool is home to Europe's oldest Chinatown. The famous Grand National Horse Race takes place in the outskirts of the city (Aintree). It is also home to two very successful Premier League football clubs, Liverpool and Everton.

Get in

By plane

Liverpool John Lennon Airport (IATA: LPL) is about 12 km to the south of the city centre.. Around 160 flights arrive daily from within the UK and Europe. The airport is well-served by low-cost airlines including Easyjet and Ryanair. For a complete listing of airlines and destinations, please see the destination list.

Immediately outside the arrivals area you will find a taxi rank and bus stops. Taxis to the city centre cost around £12 for the 20 minute journey.

Several bus routes go directly to the city centre from the airport:

The following local buses cost £2.10 to get into the city centre. They are as quick and cheaper to use than the Airport Express:

The 80A and 86A also stop at Liverpool South Parkway station. It's a 10 minutes journey from where a frequent train service runs to the city centre in about 15 minutes. This may be a better option at times of peak road traffic (08:00-09:00, 17:00-18:00).

The airport offers a Fast Track service, which for a charge, means you can bypass the queue at security, but this tends to be worthwhile only for first flights of the day or if you risk missing your flight.

Manchester Airport (IATA: MAN) can also be used and may be a better option. It is about a 45-60 minute drive away from Liverpool. Direct train services also run between Liverpool Lime Street Station and Manchester Airport operated by Northern Rail. Manchester Airport serves a variety of long haul destinations in North America and Asia, as well as short haul services throughout Europe.

Car parks serving Liverpool Airport
Address On/Off Airport Distance / Transfer Time Security Park Mark®
Award
Additional Information
Liverpool Premium Parking Liverpool John Lennon Airport,
Liverpool, L24 1YD
On On Airport Close to the Terminals/ Walking Distance CCTV, high perimeter fencing, security patrols. Yes Trailers are not permitted. Maximum size vehicles should fit in one parking space
Liverpool Airport Long Stay Liverpool John Lennon Airport,
Liverpool, L24 1YD
On 0.2 miles / Walking distance CCTV, regular security patrols 24 hours a day, high fencing and flood lights - Maximum sized vehicle should fit in one parking space, no trailers allowed
Liverpool Skypark Indoor Liverpool John Lennon Airport,
Bristol, BS48 3DY
Off 0.2 miles / 1.5 minutes Security barrier, CCTV, perimeter fencing and security patrols - Trailers are allowed and also no vehicle bigger than a transit van.
Liverpool Skypark Meet and Greet Customers' vehicles are parked in a secure, on-airport car park. Met at the terminal Customer is met at terminal. No transfer required. 24 hour security patrols, CCTV, a crash barrier and electronic shutters - Customer is met at the terminal upon departure and arrival.

By train

Liverpool Central

Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in the United Kingdom.

Liverpool is served by Liverpool Lime Street station which is in the heart of the city centre. Trains arrive frequently from all parts of the U.K.

Liverpool is only about two hours from London by train. There's a train about every hour, with extra weekday evening peak services from London, and it's not too expensive to get there. You can get a saver ticket for £60 on the day of travel, or for as little as £8.00 if you book a couple of weeks in advance. Tickets are released three months in advance.

There is a direct train from Manchester Airport to Liverpool every hour at peak times (around 06:30–19:30). In addition, it is possible to reach Liverpool by changing at Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Oxford Road.

Other main services

Birmingham, 1 hr 30 - 1h 45 minutes, half hourly Manchester, 50 minutes - 1h 10 minutes, 5 trains an hour (3 fast to Piccadilly and Oxford Road, of which 1 via Earlestown and 2 via Warrington, 1 slow to Oxford Road (extra services in peak times) and 1 slow to Victoria) Leeds, 2 hours, hourly Sheffield and Nottingham, 1h 30 mins and 3 hours respectively, hourly

By bus

Over the next 10 years a Park and Ride scheme will be developed, with easy access to the city centre, for more information see National Park and Ride Directory.

Get around

If you need a map, the certainly best one is by Andrew Taylor and called Liverpool City Centre. The scale is 1:3,500, i.e. 18 inches to one mile. The map is so detailed it even names shops and so on. (Can be bought at news from nowhere in Bold St.)

Liverpool City Centre is small enough to walk around, but black cabs are plentiful if you are feeling lazy.

By ferry


Public transport

Buses run out from the centre regularly from Liverpool ONE Bus Station (mainly to the south) and Queen Square (mainly north/east). Both bus stations have travel centres with staff who will assist with which bus to get and from where. These travel centres also stock free transport guides and detailed timetable leaflets for each bus and train service. Highly recommended are the free 'map and guide' leaflets of the four main transport areas: Liverpool, Wirral, Southport and St. Helens; these giant fold-out street maps show at a glance the route of every bus service (individual service leaflets are required for timetable information).

In terms of pre-paid travel passes, Saveaway, Solo and Trio travel passes can be purchased from travel centres or Merseyrail stations. Liverpool and its surrounding areas are divided up into areas, each sub-divided into zones: the cost of each ticket typically depends upon how many zones/areas the purchaser wants to travel in. If a journey takes the ticket holder outside the boundary allowed by their ticket, they can typically purchase a regular ticket on the bus or train to cover just the extra required.

The main 'metro style' train stations in the city centre are Central, Lime Street, Moorfields and James Street. Lime Street is the terminus for many national lines and the local city line to Manchester. Moorfields is just off Dale Street, ideal for the business centre of Liverpool and Central is usually used by shoppers and visitors. Local trains run very frequently between Hunts Cross, Kirkby, Ormskirk and Southport on the Northern line. They run every 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday. Central station is the main station for the Northern line, although the 'loop' links the three main city centre stations. The Wirral line forms the link between the Lime Street, Moorfields and Central, so all of these stations act as an interchange between the City, Northern and Wirral lines.

A new station in the south of Liverpool replaced the old Garston and Allerton stations in June 2006. This links the Northern and City lines and is ideal for the airport. It also acts as an interchange for a number of local buses.

Adult bus fares on the main operators are: Arriva flat fare of £1.90 throughout the Liverpool area, £3.70 for Liverpool area Day Ticket, £4.40 for Northwest area. Stagecoach flat fare of £1.80 throughout the Liverpool area, £3.30 for Liverpool area Day Ticket, £3.60 for Northwest area. Arriva and Stagecoach Day and Weekly tickets my be used on either companies buses on new Quality Partnership Routes 10/10A/10B/10C(Huyton,St Helens), 86/86A/86D/86E(Speke,Airport,South Parkway), 53/53A (Crosby,Aintree), 14/14X (Croxteth,Kirkby) Similar flat fares are available from the other operators as well. There are also limited night bus services on a Saturday night costing £3.00.

Some buses are subsidised by Merseytravel, such as early morning and hospital services, and there is a fixed fare of £1.10. This includes the City Centre Circular buses C1 to C5.

If you plan to travel a lot, a prepaid pass presents much better value. Generally speaking, you save money with two or more train trips or three or more bus journeys.

(prices correct as at 29 Nov 2011)

By bike

There exists a useful cycle map of Liverpool called 'Liverpool Cycle Map' apparently jointly issued by Merseytravel, the Liverpool City Council, and Travelwise Merseyside. It is free and can be ordered at 0151 330 1253, or http://www.letstravelwise.org/content227_Cycling.html. You might be lucky to be given one at a store, such as GIANT.

It's the largest public bicycle hire scheme in the country outside London and there will soon will be a total of 1,000 bikes available to hire spread across 160 locations. You need to register if you want to participate (available by internet or phone call). If you want to hire a bike for a longer time at a stretch, Citybike may not be too convenient. £3 per day, £9 for a week or £60 for a year.

See

Old (St. Nicholas and Our Lady Church) and new architecture

A great thing about Liverpool is the architecture. For so long it was neglected and run down, but these days most of the city centre is quite splendid.

Pier Head

The harbour of Liverpool has played a very important role in modern history of the city. The wharf area drained by the Mersey River gives to the city an air of antiquity, which is quite strange and interesting because of the contrast between modern buildings and conventional buildings. The Pier Head has been considered as world heritage by UNESCO

Albert Dock


City centre

Religious buildings

The Anglican Cathedral

Around Liverpool


Guided Tours

For those in a hurry there are a number of operators offering guided tours, either using their own transportation or offering their services as "hop-on, hop-off Guides" on your coach or offering guided walks. The best way of getting an overview of the city, is by taking the City Explorer open-top bus run by Maghull Coaches. With 12 stops you can hop on and off all day. Qualified local guides provide the commentary and can answer your questions about the city. For Beatles fans, there is the Magical Mystery Tour which will take you around the places associated with the Beatles both in the city centre and in the suburbs. For a more tailored tour, there's Liverpool Entente Cordiale Tours. Their Liverpool tour guides can plan a walk for you or hop on your coach and guide you around the city. They offer tours in English or French.


Do

More than one category


Music


Theatre


Comedy

Comedy nights are featured on Friday and Saturday at Baby Blue, a nice club on the exclusive Albert Dock, which is known as a celebrity hotspot. Check online for more info and tickets.

Also for laughs, try Rawhide at the Royal Court Theater which showcases some of the best in regional and national comedy talent.

Every June or July there is a fortnight long *Liverpool Comedy Festival which takes place in venues across the city. One event not to be missed is the now legendary Drink up Stand up pub crawls which includes four pubs, four comedians, one compere (host) and a megaphone!

On the first Tuesday of the month the Fab Café on Hope Street hosts a comedy night with two or three local comics plus a compere.

Express Comedy, . Based in Birkenhead across the river Mersey, Express Comedy has a stand-up comedy night called Laughter at the Lauries.


Arts


Museums

Sports events

Trivia

Liverpool's Kop end at Anfield was named after Spioenkop (Spy Hill) in KwaZulu-Natal. The Lancashire brigade comprised the largest part of the British forces during the Battle of Spioenkop and, when they returned to Britain, the earth mound at Anfield (used by spectators to get a clear view of the game, before any of the stands were built) reminded them of Spioenkop

Learn

Liverpool is home to three universities:

Buy

Although the main shopping street in Liverpool is dominated by the same chain stores you'll find in any other large UK city, Liverpool has many distinctive shops of its own including:

The upper part of Bold St (where it is not pedestrianised) has a number of independent dealers. There are also many nice cafes and restaurants in between.

Eat

There are various pubs serving food across the city centre and its suburbs. The two main areas are the City Centre and Lark Lane about three miles from the city centre in Aigburth. There are various restaurants on Allerton Road (near Liverpool South Parkway) as well. Expect to spend around £10-£15 for a meal for two. Check with your hotel first if they allow food delivery. There is also quite a number of places to eat in Liverpool One.

City Centre



Student District, Georgian Quarter and Hope Street

Bold Street (upper part)

Bold St has a nice mixture of independent shops and interesting places to eat.

Chinatown, Ropewalks and East Village

Chinatown is Berry Street, Duke Street, Roscoe Lane, Parr Street and Seel Street.

Liverpool One

Commercial District, Dale Street and Victoria Street

Pier Head and Albert Dock

Lark Lane

The Albert, Lark Lane

Lark Lane is about 2.5 miles to the south of the city centre, a very pleasant (and less stressful than the city) place and is one of the better places to eat out. The road, which connects Aigburth Road with Sefton Park, is home to many unique restaurants, cafés and other shops. It is quite isolated, i.e. you will only find residential areas around it, but the street itself is worth the trip. Most pubs and bars serve real ales. Some choice picks include:

Drink

There's a good selection of pubs, clubs and bars to suit a variety of music and atmospheric tastes. Friday and especially Saturday nights are the busiest nights, although a few bars are busy with students throughout the week. The areas around Mathew Street and Concert Square with nearby Wood Street are the main two nocturnal focal points. There is a good mix of locals and students. It is best to dress smart for the majority of bars and clubs (such as "Society" and "Garlands"). Notable exceptions are places like Le Bateau, the Krazy house, the Caledonia and other places of a similar alternative style. Like any major UK city, it is pretty safe out at night. The local police have had a heavy presence on a Friday and Saturday night to combat any problems and are largely succeeding. It is pretty busy getting out of the city centre at the end of a weekend (especially at the start of university term time - Sep/Oct). There are plenty of black hackney cabs which congregate at various taxi ranks. The Merseyrail system works until about midnight, whilst there are a series of dedicated night buses which run from the main bus stations, usually for a flat fare. All modes of transport tend to become very busy from around midnight.

Liverpool is home to the Cains brewery which produces a large selection of cask beers.

Chinatown, Ropewalks and East Village

Chinatown is Berry Street, Duke Street, Roscoe Lane and Seel Street.

Seel Street

Voted by the good people at Google as "The Fourth Hippest Street in the UK". A recent addition to Liverpool's nightlife scene, Seel Street has rapidly become the popular with locals, students and visitors.

Find us on Seel Street:

Concert Square, Fleet Street, Wood Street, Duke Street

Concert Square is situated behind Bold Street, where you'll find a range of the trendier bars. Most bars are open until 02:00 Mon.-Sat. They include Lloyd's, Walkabout, Modo and a minute away near Slater Street is Baa-Bar. This district usually has the youngest crowd drinking here.

Mathew Street, Temple Court and North John Street

An older crowd will drink in this district.

Dale Street, Moorfields and Tithebarn Street

Sometimes considered the commercial district and is populated by office workers during the week.

Pier Head and Albert Dock

A favourite district for tourists.

Student district

Universities of Liverpool and John Moores students from the student residential areas descend here during term time.

Sleep

Albert Dock

There are a number of hotels in the city, ranging from budget guesthouses and lodges to 4 star international properties. Liverpool presently has no 5 star hotels although the Hope Street Hotel, a boutique hotel on Hope Street and easily Liverpool’s finest hotel, would certainly qualify if it wasn’t far too posh to bother with things like stars.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Crime rates in Liverpool are low compared with most other large cities in the UK. You are no more likely to be a victim here than most other European cities. However, as in other cities, you should observe a few simple precautions. Don't leave valuables on display in an unattended car, for example. Even an empty car will get a smashed window from time to time, so try to park yours at private parks when the night comes. Try to stay aware of your surroundings and be discreet with cash, expensive camera equipment, etc.

Scousers are mainly gregarious and friendly people, but there are still many who seek to take advantage. You will find, however, that Mancunians and Scousers get along much better than the stereotype suggests and you will very often come across each in each other's city. Be particularly aware of people who approach you in the street with stories of having lost their train fare home. These are typically begging techniques.

Stay on the beaten track at night and stick to the many themed pub and bars and avoid some of the larger dance clubs as these are more suited to streetwise locals or people who understand Liverpool culture well, although to be fair, most Scousers will welcome anyone to their city, and especially their clubs! Be prepared to wait for a taxi at night and don't be tempted to walk back to your hotel unless you are close by. Although Liverpool is a quite friendly place, a slightly sinister side appears after hours.

Some of the City's districts should be avoided by non-locals. Areas such as Croxteth, Dovecot, Everton, Huyton, Kensington, Kirkdale, Norris Green, Page Moss, Stockbridge Village and Toxteth are seeing some serious issues with gang related violence including increases in gun and knife crime and several murders have been recorded.

Around the city centre, be aware there are many homeless people, especially around William Brown Street near the museums. Unlike, in, say, the United States of America or other parts of the United Kingdom, these are less likely to pose a threat to you, and although they may beg for money, they tend to be friendly and often want to talk about their backstories openly with you. Give them money, but at your own risk, as long as it's small change.

Also, older women may (and often do) flirt with younger men, but accept this part of the Liverpool cultural milieu. This also applies to the homelessness situation mentioned above, which much the same situation tends to happen. This should not be confused with prostitution (mentioned below). It is explicitly not solicitation, and is just flirting.

Although prostitution is legal in the UK, solicitation is illegal and it is a fact of life in most cities, Liverpool being no exception. The "Red Light" areas are as follows: around Netherfield Road North and the Shiel Road area of Kensington. Although quiet during the day, there is a lot of business at night and particularly on weekends. Women walking by themselves have been known to be approached by men looking for prostitutes and people in vehicles have been known to be approached by prostitutes looking for business.

Avoid Manchester United shirts, which worn in the wrong place makes you an easy target for abuse or worse even assault, especially on match day.

A friendly manner, a polite smile, and a sense of humour go a long way in this city, but a sensible approach to travelling is, as always, advisable.

Note that the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium Disaster, when nearly 100 Liverpool fans were killed, is still a very sensitive subject. Openly carrying or reading The Sun newspaper is also cautioned against due to its offensive coverage blaming Liverpool fans for the deaths at the time.

Be aware that the streetlighting (Urbis Evolo 2, shown on the right-hand side of the picture) is brighter than you might expect, and drive more cautiously. These streetlights are common across the city centre and in Kensington. Drive much more cautiously if you see them. These are less common outside of Liverpool. Americans may be used to bright lights, but Evolos are really bright.

Less than an hour away, Manchester holds a wealth of sights and attractions.

Go next

Manchester – Once the home of the industrial revolution, it has now swapped its chimneys for skyscrapers, and mill workers for urbanite accountants and designers. It is also the home of the second most successful football club in England, Manchester United FC. Well worth a visit and is easy to get to by train or coach/bus. Less than an hour away.

Chester - A beautiful historical city on the River Dee, which is famous for its Roman ruins and city walls. It is also the Gateway to North Wales and the delights of Llandudno and Snowdonia National Park. Forty minutes by Merseyrail.

Crosby - Just north of Liverpool with Anthony Gormley's Another Place famous sculptures on the beach.

Wirral

Birkenhead – Across the Mersey, Birkenhead has a football club called Tranmere Rovers. Although this club has always lived in the shadow of Everton and Liverpool, it has a long tradition and a great family atmosphere. Well worth a visit.

Port Sunlight - On the Wirral. It was built as a model village by Lord Lever and contains the Lady Lever Art Gallery, a marvelously eclectic collection of objects, similar to the Burrell Collection in Glasgow. Twenty minutes by train.

West Kirby - Also located on the Wirral, boasts a superb beach. There is also a 52 acre marine lake which has sailing and windsurfing. Thirty minutes by train (from all four downtown Liverpool stations, Wirral line, every 15/30min).

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 15, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.