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Liverpool, England

About Liverpool

Celebrated as the “World Capital of Pop,” Liverpool is the hometown of more than 50 musical artists who have had #1 singles—more than any other city in the world. Their most notable export, of course, is the Beatles.

The city is located on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. Its origins date back to 1190 when the reigning King John formally announced the borough of Liuerpul, which later became Liverpool. It remained a small settlement for centuries until it expanded its trade and the first wet dock opened in 1715. With the construction of an innovative railway linking the growing city to Manchester, Liverpool’s population increased rapidly, especially with Irish immigrants. In 1880 it was granted official city status.

Throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, Liverpool attracted more immigrants from across Europe. Many of the religious buildings that were built to service them are still in use. Today, tourism contributes greatly to Liverpool’s economy as the city capitalizes on its status as birthplace of the Beatles and other musicians. World-class art galleries, museums and other landmarks further bolster its cultural offerings. The city was named a European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Liverpool Lifestyle and Culture

Liverpool is a stunning center of art, architecture and music, graced with soaring churches and impressive buildings. The city hosts the oldest symphony orchestra in the United Kingdom, and the vibrant cultural quarter boasts neoclassical gems like St. George’s Hall.

The musical phenomenon of the Beatles saw its beginnings here in 1957, when John Lennon was just 16. Originally named the Blackjacks, the group became the Beatles in 1960 when George Harrison and Paul McCartney joined.

Beyond music, Liverpool’s storied waterfront is part of the city’s Maritime Mercantile UNESCO World Heritage Site and the setting for Pier Head’s spectacular trio of palatial buildings known as the “Three Graces.” The city’s religions are embodied in the cone-shaped Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, often compared to an upside-down funnel. Liverpool boasts more museums and galleries than any other UK city outside London, and many offer free admission.

Every other year the city hosts the Liverpool Biennial, a festival of contemporary art from all over the world. The internationally renowned event serves as a platform for research, education, debate and the commissioning of worldwide works.

Liverpool Sights and Landmarks

More than 2,500 of Liverpool’s buildings are protected for their historic, architectural and cultural significance. As Britain’s largest church and the world’s largest Anglican cathedral, the Liverpool Cathedral is a shining achievement. Catch one of its many events or glimpse breathtaking views of the city from atop its impressive tower, home to the highest and heaviest ringing bells in the world.

Many consider St. George’s Hall to be the finest neoclassical building in Europe. The colonnaded building houses an interesting combination of law courts and a concert hall. Visit the refurbished courtroom and robing room, then see Britain’s second-largest organ in the Great Hall.

The cultural center for museums, galleries, restaurants and bars is Albert Dock, one of England’s top heritage attractions. Here you’ll find the Tate Liverpool, one of the most visited galleries outside of London, containing works from the national collection of modern art. You will also find The Beatles Story at Albert Dock, the world’s largest permanent collection devoted to the lives and times of the Beatles.

The Museum of Liverpool, which explores the city’s cultural and historic milestones, and the Walker Art Gallery, housing art from the 14th through the 21st centuries, further demonstrate the city’s historic and artistic importance.

Liverpool Entertainment and Activities

For a dose of “Beatlemania,” take the Magical Mystery Tour. The two-hour bus ride leaving from Albert Dock takes you to the musicians’ childhood homes and to places that inspired some of their most memorable songs, like “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

For a few pints at a traditional British pub, head to Hardman Street or one of its side streets. Ye Cracke was a favorite watering hole of John Lennon when he was an art school student. And no evening would be complete without a visit to the Cavern Club, where the Beatles played nearly 300 shows in the early 60s. Live music is performed here seven days a week.

If you enjoy live sports matches, Liverpool is home to two Premier League soccer teams: Liverpool and Everton. Root them on at Anfield Stadium and Goodison Park, respectively.

Liverpool Restaurants and Shopping

The Liverpool dining scene ranges from fine dining to bohemian bistros and from modern British to international fare. Be sure to sample Liverpool’s local dish, scouse, a meat and vegetable stew served with bread and beets or red cabbage. The Liverpudlian nickname “Scousers” was coined after the ubiquitous dish.

For dining options, stroll down Hope Street, home to the London Carriage Works, a top-rated restaurant which serves modern British food with an ethnic influence. If the weather is nice, sit outside at the Quarter, a lovely little French wine bar and bistro. The award-winning Delifonesca has two locations: Fonesca’s on Stanley Street and Delifonesca Dockside, both excellent options. The UK’s oldest Chinese community is in Liverpool, so head over to Chinatown for some of the best Chinese restaurants in the country.

Liverpool ONE is a huge open air shopping district in the heart of the city, home to top designer name fashions and multiple dining options. The Leisure Terrace here hosts a movie cinema and adventure golf course. For more independent stores, make your way to Bold Street for world foods, funky clothes, music and art. This bohemian boulevard of shops embodies the true heart and soul of Liverpool.