View of Liverpool (photo by Fleecyman)
The Lime Street Station is the main railway hub where arrive and depart the international and intercity trains. Most of the suburban trains and those from Chester stop at 4 underground stations in different areas of the city, one of which is again Lime Street and another is that at James Street, which is convenient for Albert Dock and Pier Head. The National Express buses have their terminal in Norton Street, a few steps in north-east direction from Lime Street Station. The main stops of the local buses are at Queen Square and Paradise Street. The John Lennon Airport of Liverpool is located 8 miles in south-east direction from the city and is well connected to the centre and the railway station by the regular public bus line #500 running every 30 (20 in the ore busy hours) minutes from 5:10 in the morning until 00:00. The ticket costs £ 2.00 in one direction and a taxi from Lime Street to the airport will cost you around £ 12.00. The main ferryboat terminals are close to Pier Head and a short stroll from the Merseyrail Station in James Street. The Norfolkline ferries arrive and depart from the Twelve Quays on the Wirral peninsular.
The Beatles Story at Albert Dock
(photo by nyaa_birdies_perch)
The main tourist office of Liverpool is situated on 36-38 Whitechapel Street in the city centre, while there are two more, smaller tourist offices: one at the airport and another at the Albert Dock. If you plan a longer stay it is recommended to a visitor card, called "Your Ticket for Liverpool". It costs £ 20.00 which will provide you free access and discounts for many attractions throughout the city for 3 days.
The most important tourist sights are within easy walking distance one from another throughout the city centre and around the waterfront area. If you have limited time you can restrict your sightseeing tours to Albert Dock, the two cathedrals, the World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery and the Tate Liverpool, with the last two being a must for every art lover.
In the past Liverpool was the second largest and most important city of the British Empire, but in the decades following the World War II it entered a period of serious decline. The economic and social revival in the last years of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century reveals again the attractiveness of its city centre and old docks, while the selection of the city for European Capital of Culture in 2008 considerably improves its international image. And this was well-deserved as Liverpool boasts captivating social history, several interesting museums and its own Tate Gallery - one of the four in the country, exhibiting a very rich collection of British and international modern and contemporary art. The city's two soccer teams (Liverpool and Everton) are between the most popular and most supported ones in the United Kingdom and Europe as a whole. Liverpool also has an enviable music heritage. It is enough only to mention that it is the home city of The Beatles.
The Royal Liver Building
(photo by fast eddie 42)
Liverpool was given a charter by King John in 1207. In spite of this it was nothing more than a small and quiet fishermen settlement until the beginning of the 18th century, when the flourishing slave trade led to the building of the first port dock. Since then and until the prohibition of the slave trade in the British Empire (1807), the city had become one of the most important ports in the so called triangle of the slave trade, in which alcohol, firearms and textiles were traded for slaves from Africa, who in their own turn were traded in America and the Caribbean for tobacco, sugar and raw cotton. After 1807 the port continued to grow turning into a continuous, 7 mile long chain of docks, which were used not only by freight vessels but also by passenger ships, which were shipping millions of emigrants to America and Australasia. Only for a century, between 1830 and 1930, 9 million people left the British Islands taking the hard way of the emigration to the New World in search of a better life. In the 70s and 80s of the 20th century the port of Liverpool was in a period of decline, caused by the economic instability in the United Kingdom at that time. In 2004 the waterfront area of the city was included in the UNSECO list of world heritage sites and many impressive industrial and municipal buildings were restored regaining their previous splendour.
Visitors will need at least 3 days and well-organized sightseeing plan to explore all important tourist attractions of Liverpool and around it. The area around River Mersey will be probably the focus of your first day. Here you can tour Albert Dock and cross the river to the Wirral penisular on an exciting ferry trip. The sights closely related with The Beatles may fill your second day and if you wish to see the cathedrals, the glorious Walker Art Gallery, the attractive World Museum Liverpool and feel the exciting artistic and night life of the urban district around FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) - you will definitely need a day more at least.