Over in the Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Buying Liverpool Tickets But Were Afraid to Ask: A Foreigner's Approach fan post, NC Nole asked for suggestions on things to do and see while in Liverpool. I'm happy to share some of my own ideas, but if you've also been to Liverpool (or are one of the real life Scousers amongst us) please feel free to share your own thoughts!
Everyone has different price points for hotels, so I'm not going to make any suggestions here. Liverpool is a small enough city with pretty decent public transportation that it's pretty easy to get around from wherever you might stay. My own preference is to book something in the city centre or Albert Dock areas using Hotwire to get a good rate; most of the things I want to see/do are in the city centre, and as a lady traveller I like to stay in neighbourhoods that aren't barren wastelands after 5pm. I don't think it's necessary to be near Anfield since it's so easy to get to from the city centre and there's not necessarily much else to do in the neighbourhood, pre-revitalization, when there's not a match on.
Food & Drink
I'm not much of a foodie, so those who seek out good food and drink while on vacation may want to chime in here. For those with more courage than I, The Albert pub outside of Anfield is evidently a must visit pre- or post-match.
Things To Do
Anfield Tour & Museum
Your #1 priority besides attending the match is to do a stadium tour and visit the museum. There are a couple of different tour types, so check the club's website to see which one is closest to the type of experience you want.They didn't previously offer tours on match days, but evidently do now, although there's no explanation as to what the difference might be or if there are any restricted areas you can't visit because of match day preparations.
You can book online, but they typically only let you book up to eight weeks in advance.
The Beatles Story
The unofficial Beatles museum, heavily frequented by French pre-teens on graduation trips. It's a little cheesy and bad mannequins abound throughout the exhibit, but for casual Beatles fans it's a decent — if quick and glossy — look at the band's history. The museum has lots of original band artifacts and a pretty sweet gift shop. If you needed "Back In The U.S.S.R." socks, this is the place to get them.
Tour John Lennon's and Paul McCartney's Childhood Homes
The National Trust runs tours of John Lennon's and Paul McCartney's childhood homes and if you are a diehard Beatles fan, it would be a crime to miss these. You can't visit the interior of either home on any other Beatles-related tour offered in the city, which makes this a must. The tour is about 2.5hrs long and doesn't run every day, so plan accordingly.
The Magical Mystery Tour
Yes, this is cheesy. No, you don't care. It's a two-hour tour of Beatles-related sites in Liverpool in a bus painted exactly like the one in the movie Magical Mystery Tour. Scouse school children wave excitedly at the bus as it drives by! You'll see childhood homes of all four Beatles, sites described in the song "Penny Lane", the church where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met, Strawberry Field, and the Cavern Club, amongst other things.
The Cavern Club
It's hot and muggy, but if you just want to have a pint and listen to cover bands play Beatles songs, you could certainly do worse.
Merseyside Maritime Museum
Liverpool rose to prominence owing to its stature as one of the most important ports in the world in the 19th century, which makes this maritime museum much more relevant to its city than many of the others I've visited. (I have been to a lot of maritime museums, let me tell you.) If you're a Titanic aficionado, this is especially a must visit museum as they've got a huge collection of artifacts from the ship (and its sister ships).
The Wheel of Liverpool
Not nearly the same size as the London Eye, but it's less than half the price and actually gives you information about the city as you ride it, like all good tourist traps should. Great way to get a bird's eye view of the city.
Architecture enthusiasts may be interested in the cathedral as it's a 20th century build that took forever to complete due to sheer size, funding issues, etc. Absolutely worth a visit to the top of the tower for sprawling views of the city.
Pier Head / Albert Dock
Always, always check out any city's waterfront. Go down to Pier Head to see the Royal Liver Building or to catch a ferry across the Mersey. The ferry is hip to its nature as a tourist attraction and will play the Gerry and the Pacemakers' song on its return to Pier Head.
A large shopping area with pedestrian walkways in the city centre. Even if you're not much of a shopper, it's worth a visit since the biggest LFC club shop is located here. Next door is the Everton shop, and it's fun to compare the number of shoppers in each store. You'll be forgiven for buying a bag of toffees at the Everton shop. Restaurants and movie theatres round out this area, and judging from both social media and personal experience, if you're going to accidentally run into an LFC player, it will be here.
If they have a special exhibition on that is of interest to you, definitely check it out. The permanent collection is free to visit, but I wasn't super impressed with it. You might feel differently!
Museum of Liverpool / World Museum
I haven't actually been to either of these yet, but they're on my list for next time.
Chester is about a half hour from Liverpool by train and is a quick getaway if you're interested in visiting a former Roman settlement. The old Roman amphitheatre remains, as do the city's medieval walls and a lovely series of canals. If you're interested in shopping, the Chester Rows are a series of storefronts with a unique configuration of covered walkways across multiple floors that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world.
Many bus tours to Wales operate out of Liverpool given the city's proximity to the Welsh border, so it's easy to spend a day in the north part of the country. Edward I (a.k.a. Edward Longshanks) of England's famous Iron Ring of castles are here, as is Snowdownia National Park and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (this is literally a canal in the sky, for reals).
If you've been to Liverpool, share with us the things you enjoyed most. I like museums and history, but maybe you prefer nightlife or fine dining or all sorts of other things that your fellow Reds might enjoy. :)