Liverpool, England has been on my list of places to see for a long time. I’ll be the first to admit that the Beatles were initially the driving force behind that. Over in the United States, were always told that we need to visit London, of course. Check. Been there twice. And then of course following London, Liverpool always comes up. But I’ll admit that before my trip, all I really knew about the city was that the Beatles were from there. I was surprised that I came away liking it for more reasons than just the Beatles.
So without further ado, let’s just get right into it.
5. It’s so easy to get around
As a tourist, I like a walkable city. Sure, I can also figure out the bus or metro system. But sometimes the schedules don’t come up on Googlemaps (cough Toulouse, France) and you have no idea which line to take. Other times you can’t just pay when you get on the bus (cough London) and have to buy at a station. At the end of the day, I always love it when I can walk around the city center easily. I totally do not mind a 20-minute walk here or there, especially as I’m exploring a new city.
I had one full day in Liverpool and I put it to good use. After a nice breakfast at my hostel, I took a 10-minute walk to the Liverpool Cathedral (amazing). I then took a 20-minute walk down to where I started the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. Everything … everything was easy to get to. Here are a few photos I took on my walks around the city.
4. Lots of free things to do
While I do get paid to teach English in Spain, it’s not like I’ve won the lottery. So when I travel to new places, I’m always looking for ways to save money. So you’d better bet I look for free things to do and see. Liverpool does not disappoint. Here are some of the free places I visited:
I’m not sure if I like cathedrals in the UK more than in Spain. They just tend to have different architecture. The cathedrals up North tend to have more of a gothic influence, which I love.
Museum of Liverpool
I really enjoyed myself in this museum. It gave me some history behind the city. For example, there were protests about racism in Liverpool in the 1980’s. I never knew that but find it fascinating. Also apparently for a long time, within England Liverpool was used as an example of a city with tensions in the inner city. This all reminded me of my hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio. We had race riots in the 1990’s. The entire country was looking at us too during this time.
The museum also had exhibits about the Beatles and the history of Liverpool.
The Open Eye Gallery
I just walked past this place and thought “why not?” Until May 14th, they have an exhibit about Liverpool and Hong Kong at this gallery and other locations throughout the city. It’s called Cities of Exchange and I found it quite fascinating.
3. The Magical Mystery Tour
Okay so the Beatles are from Liverpool. Awesome. However if you were like me, you wanted to see everything … and you didn’t quite know where to start. This is where the Magical Mystery tour came in handy. It is literally a yellow bus just like you would imagine that takes you on a tour throughout the city to the childhood homes and famous spots of the Beatles. I will write a more in-depth post about this tour later. But here are just a few shots from it.
2. The beauty of the city
I’ll be the first to admit that I had this idea of a gritty British city when I thought of Liverpool. I suppose that’s the way the Beatles’ hometown is often portrayed. And I love the fact that all the members just seemed to have a normal, middle-class childhood in England. They were just ordinary guys who formed a band and made it big. However I was surprised at the charm of the city. The area down by the water is really pretty.
1. Affordable accommodation
I know we all love it when a stay somewhere doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. I ended up staying at Hatter’s Hostel. A stay there starts at just 12 pounds. Not bad, right? I wrote a full review that you can view here. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can check out what hostelworld.com has. They are always my go-to.
Have you been to Liverpool? What do you like in a city?