I have been a lifelong Everton FC fan so when I scored tickets to a home match against Manchester United, Michael and I hastily booked train tickets and an Airbnb to a city where we would have had little inclination to visit otherwise. Ignorantly, I had always assumed Liverpool to be a stereotypical industrial English city without much charm and therefore did very little research on the city beyond an accommodation search. With most room descriptions entailing the proximity to the stadiums, it seemed like the tourist demographic fell into only two categories: football ticket holders and Beatles fans. This is a shame, however, because Liverpool happens to be a charming, picturesque, and multi-cultural city that is definitely worth a stop on any tourist’s route! This is what we did during our weekend in Liverpool:
Our train arrived early on a Saturday afternoon to Liverpool Lime Street station, the main hub for long-distance trains into the city. Our outlook began to change on the city as soon as we were in the Uber en route to our Airbnb. Our driver, though not a native Scouser himself, sang Liverpool’s praises as if the tourism board paid him a commission. He gave us a number of recommendations for things to see and do around the city and after getting settled into our room, Michael and I headed out to see what Liverpool had to offer.
Our first stop was to Liverpool’s UNESCO listed waterfront and Albert Dock where there are a number of cool shops, hip restaurants, and trendy bars on the bank of the Mersey. We walked the entire span of the waterfront area and took a ride on the large Ferris wheel, which gave us a fantastic view of the city just as the sun was setting.
As we headed back, we meandered through a small winter carnival and Bavarian-style Christmas market (it was early December) before wandering into the picturesque Georgian quarter of Canning. We ate dinner at a tasty Moroccan restaurant before deciding to check out Mathew Street, which was buzzing with people gearing up for a night out and lined with Beatles kitsch and historic music venues. Our last stop for the evening was at the main Christmas market near Lime street station, where Michael and I enjoyed a warming cup of mulled wine while casually browsing the stalls.
The next day we awoke excited to see some football played by the best team in the EPL (Everton, as if there were any dispute) at one of the oldest stadiums in England, Goodison Park. The match didn’t start until 4, but not wanting to miss any of the pre-game action, we set out much earlier. We took a quick bus ride to Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool FC (a far inferior team, don’t bother questioning it) had a poke around the perimeter and gift shop. It is possible to pay for a tour of Anfield, however, I would not waste my money on that and have the good sense to tour Goodison Park instead.
The two stadiums are separated by the green and peaceful Stanley Park where Michael and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll before stopping off the get some truly phenomenal fish and chips (the likes of which you just can’t find in London) and then joined in on the pre-match festivities at Goodison Park.
The match itself was fantastic, Everton has an amazing and loyal fan base that felt quintessentially Scouse. The game was filled with singing, chanting, and screaming from the fans. It ended with a 1 – 1 tie, and the crowds were mad when we were leaving; they close the roads around the stadium on match day and the buses were packed like sardine cans. We ended up walking about a mile away from the stadium and took an Uber to a Vietnamese restaurant and then headed back to the Airbnb for the night, as we were heading back to London early the next morning.
All in all, we were both pleasantly surprised with what Liverpool had to offer and could easily have spent a busy weekend there without the football. There were many things we did not see; from the Merseyside Maritime Museum to the oldest established Chinatown in Europe. Liverpool definitely deserves to be on the tourist radar and I would highly recommend a visit.
Have you been to Liverpool? What were your thoughts on the city? Add a comment below!