Getting Around in Liverpool
Located in the North-Western part of England, and lying to the east of the Mersey Estuary, Liverpool is amongst the most popular and well-known cities in England. Renowned world over as the birthplace of the iconic Beatles, Liverpool is also defined by its proud and famous footballing culture, boasting, in Liverpool FC and Everton FC, two of the most famous and successful clubs in English football. In the medieval ages, the city was an important port, handling trade across the Atlantic.
With a population of just under half-a-million people, it, along with neighbouring districts, forms the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom. Its beautiful and picturesque location, coupled with its moderate and pleasant climate, make many people suggest that Liverpool has perhaps the most splendid setting among all English cities! Its citizens are popularly referred to as “Scousers”, which also represents the accent and dialect of the region and its people.
Liverpool has a fairly diverse population, with the unique distinction of having the oldest Chinese community in Europe. It has, among others, the largest black community in England and a sizeable Welsh population too. All these different ethnicities and cultures have, over time, blended well with the local Liverpool culture and have given the city a cosmopolitan character.
Most popularly known among music lovers as the birthplace of the iconic boy-band “Beatles”, Liverpool’s rich history in music and performing arts is the envy of almost every major city in the world. With a rich history in arts, music, theatre, performing arts, and a buzzing nightlife, Liverpool finds itself as one of the most important cultural centres in the UK.
The Southport pier, The World of Glass, Birkenhead priory and St. Mary’s tower, Anfield are just some of the many attractions waiting to enthral tourists and visitors. Giving a breathtakingly beautiful view of some of Liverpool’s famous waterfront, the ferry service is just one more excuse to come and explore this beautiful Merseyside city. Simply put, no English travel diary can ever be complete without experiencing the sights and delights of the Merseyside city of Liverpool!
For a city as beautiful as Liverpool, there are a large number of ways to explore the sights of the city, depending upon your purpose, budget and time constraints. We shall now look at the various ways of getting around in Liverpool, in a way that your travel diary only jots down the best possible experience:
1. Getting Around Liverpool by Train:
Considered the best and most effective way to explore and get around the city, the Merseyrail network caters to 66 destinations across the city, while connecting the suburban areas to the centre of the city. 4 underground stations- Lime Street lower level, Liverpool Central, Moorfields and James Street, conveniently built around the major business and shopping areas, help in getting around the city in quick time. The railways in the city have two lines, the Wirral Line and the Northern Line, which connect destinations as far as Chester on the Wirral Line or Southport on the Northern Line, thereby making sure that you can start your journey from Liverpool. Tickets come in a variety of options, with “daysavers” for individual travel and family tickets for those travelling in groups. Tickets can be bought from a Merseyrail centre at particular stations or through the Merseyrail website. Ticket vending machines are also installed at a number of stations on the network.
Travellers and tourists are advised to visit www.merseyrail.org for details. Merseyrail can also be contacted at: 0871 200 2233
2. Getting Around Liverpool by Bus:
A robust and efficient network of public transport means that exploring and getting around in the city is easy. The city’s networks of buses, in particular are very efficient and hence getting around in the city by the bus is a good means of commute. The network of buses is managed by Merseytravel, which provide buses that connect almost every nook and corner of the city.
The two-main city centre bus terminals are Paradise Street Bus Station near Liverpool ONE and the Queen Square Bus Station. Both centres are managed by a well-trained and helpful staff to provide the best travel advice to curious commuters. They can be contacted for any query regarding bus travel in the city. Apart from these two, there are other smaller but major bus stops which can be found at Victoria Street, Sir Thomas Street, London Road and Renshaw Street. Most buses are fully accessible, disabled friendly and come with various ticketing options, ensuring that bus travel is a breeze. Bus fares are amongst the lowest in the country, with two recently launched 24/7 bus services. The Saveway ticket can be availed for unlimited day travel by the bus or rail in the Liverpool Metropolitan area, depending on the zone covered by the ticket.
Travellers are advised to browse through the Merseytravel website www.merseytravel.gov.uk for more info regarding fares, routes and planning routes.
Contact Details: Queen Square Centre or 24 Hatton Garden, Liverpool L3 2AN, Tel: 0871 200 22 33
3. Getting Around Liverpool by Ferry:
While exploring the city by road may lead you all major hotspots, the best sights of the city can only be seen through the ferry service in Liverpool. Fondly called the “Ferry across the Mersey”, it is highly recommended for travellers and tourists who wish to soak in the sights of the city’s waterways. These Mersey Ferries are owned and managed by Merseytravel. Mersey Ferries link many exciting waterfront attractions in Liverpool and Wirral. Crossing over to Wirral Peninsula while enjoying the on-board commentary is highly recommended. The service also takes you to the quaint Port Sunlight Village and Lady Lever Art Gallery. It is hardly a surprise then that the ferry is amongst the most visited tourist attractions in Liverpool.
Travellers and tourists must check the merseyferries website for details regarding the price of tickets, arrival, departure and other important information. (http://www.merseyferries.co.uk)
4. Driving Around in Liverpool:
Unlike other major cities in the UK, exploring Liverpool by road is easy and convenient. Thanks to an extensive road network, car trips in the city are very easy and quick. Special road connectivity to the Wirral Peninsula is provided by the Mersey Tunnel. Start from the city centre and use it to drive to the Wirral. Driving along the coast is advises so that unnecessary traffic may be avoided and journey is quick and smooth. Places like Halton are easily accessible too, thanks to the Silver Jubilee Bridge.
There are several car hire companies in Liverpool offering visitors the choice to hire a vehicle for their stay. Here, you can hire everything from a luxury sports car to a personal chauffer. All tastes and interest are catered to. Some of the prominent car rental companies in the city are: Sixt Rent a Car, INTX UK Ltd and Easirent.
However, as is the case all over the world, the roads can experience heavy traffic during rush hours. The city council is hence actively promoting the use of public transportation.
5. Travelling in Liverpool by Taxi:
Taxis are in abundance in Liverpool, especially near the city centre, thereby making it very easy to hail a cab and reach your destination in a trice. Taxis can be hailed on the streets or pre-booked on the phone as per one’s convenience. Taxis can also be found at the City Centre’s Taxi ranks which are located at Lime Street Station, James Street Station, Adelphi Hotel, Whitechapel, Sir Thomas Street and Chinatown. While hailing a black cab, check for the orange light. Travellers are advised to always rely on cab providers like Com Cabs, which are reliable and efficient.
Apart from these conventional taxis, the global taxi-aggregator Uber also operates in the city. With a strong fleet of its drivers, Uber provides services across the city and is a good way to commute to and from the John Lennon Airport. However, the payments are entirely cashless through Paypal.
6. Exploring Liverpool by Bike/on Foot:
As mentioned earlier, the city council’s growing thrust on environmental-friendly modes of commute has meant that biking and walking around Liverpool are now being encouraged. Since the city centre is compact, moving around in a bike is very quick and convenient. Cycle parking spots are available near most places. Also, bikes are allowed for free on the rail and ferry network in the city. The city council has introduced schemes like citybike which allow travellers to rent bikes for their travel needs. After the journey is completed, the bikes are parked at any one of the designated parking stations. Tariffs range from £3 per day, £9 for a week to £60 for a year. (https://www.citybikeliverpool.co.uk/)
Attempts have also been made towards making Liverpool a pedestrian-friendly city. As a result, pedestrians have been given greater priority over the last few years and a number of measures and attempts have been made to improve and increase the number of pedestrian streets and squares in the city. The city centre area is well serviced by good pedestrian routes and paths. Hence pedestrians are able to enjoy a nice touristic walking tour.