I think I have said this before in an earlier post, but I will say it again, because I love saying it.
I am one lucky brat. I always dream about packing up my backpack and traveling the world without actually doing anything to realize that dream. Yet, due to various circumstances, I have been able to visit many cities across three different continents. Strangely, I think I am more well traveled than some of the travel bloggers out there. I can further rub it in by elaborating how I hardly travel on budget, but let’s not do that today and save the story for another day.
My story today will be about my favorite city in the world (so far), Liverpool. I am talking about Liverpool, England. I have to clarify because I discovered a few months ago (much to my chagrin) that when I say Liverpool, there are actually people who thought I meant Liverpool, New South Wales or Liverpool, New York. Woe to those early immigrants who named their new homes after their old homes and confuse people of today.
Now you might accuse me of being biased. After all, Liverpool is the city where I lived for three and a half months (I spent one full semester studying here), the longest I have ever been outside of my home country Malaysia, much longer than any other cities I have ever visited. And I think you are right, I am biased. But then, I also believe that extremely biased opinions are the more accurate opinions.
I am going to tell you three reasons why I think Liverpool is awesome, and you can decide on your own whether my biased opinions are legit.
1. Liverpool is small
Wait, what? Small is good?
Yes, small is good. Let me explain. You see, Liverpool is a city, but unlike London, Birmingham and to a certain extent Manchester, the actual city area of Liverpool is quite small. In fact, you can walk from one end of the city to the other in less than 30 minutes. I know, because I used to do it on a weekly basis.
For a traveler, this is good news. It means if you decide to check Liverpool out, you don’t have to worry about transportation from attraction to attraction. In fact, unless you are a totally clueless idiot with directions (in which case you probably won’t be a traveler), it is almost impossible to get lost in this city. Basically, the only things that you need to worry here is which attraction to go to first, and how to get the best shots with you camera.
That’s not to say that you have to walk even if you don’t want to. Liverpool is not a no-car city. If you are staying here for a while and want to rent a car to drive around, you can. And there are buses which you can take to go to places. Basically your options are not restricted.
Also, because driving is not the only feasible option here, you don’t see very many cars on the roads here. As a result, Liverpool is relatively cleaner and quieter. Less noise and less pollution. This is really a good place to live in compared to the bigger cities in England.
2. There’s a lot to see in Liverpool
Although Liverpool city is small, there’s actually enough to see here to keep you occupied for at least a full weekend.
Like Georgetown in Penang, there is an area in Liverpool that is a designated World Heritage Site, granted by UNESCO in 2004. This collective area is called Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City. This place alone should be enough to keep you occupied for one full day. This area basically spans across the city center and the docks. Some of the attractions to see here are:
- Pier Head – the place where Liverpool’s most famous landmarks, collectively known as The Three Graces are located. The Three Graces are: Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building.
- Albert Dock – this is a place loaded with history. It was built in 1846 as the first non-combustible warehouse in the world (Google if you want to know what it means). Back then, it was THE docking system in England. Today, it is just another tourist attraction. Places worth visiting here: Merseyside Maritime Museum, Tate Museum, and The Beatles Story. When I say The Beatles Story, I mean THE The Beatles Story. The Beatles are from Liverpool, this city is their home base.
- City Center – This is where you visit the typical British attractions, the museum and the art gallery. Seriously, each England city/town has their own museum and art gallery that the natives swear are the best in England. I do think World Museum Liverpool and Walker’s Art Gallery are worthy enough to give any museums and art galleries in England a run for their money though.
Another fun fact. Liverpool has not just one cathedral. Liverpool has two cathedrals! The Liverpool Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral, a Church of England cathedral. The Metropolitan Cathedral on the other hand, is a Roman Catholic cathedral. This is supposed to be strange by English standards because the Church of England is separated from the Catholic Church of Rome. To make matters more intriguing, both these cathedrals are built like, less than 1 kilometer apart from each other. Which also means it is easy for you to visit both cathedrals on the same trail.
3. Liverpool is a gateway to rest of the British Isles
If you want to have some sort of a home base while you explore the British Isles (United Kingdom + Ireland), Liverpool is the best city to base yourself in. Look at the map below. Liverpool is basically smack right in the center of the British Isles.
Because Liverpool is at the center, it is very well connected, so you can pretty much get anywhere from here by train or bus. Or, you can rent a car and go for a drive.
If you drive, and you set out from Liverpool, regardless of which direction you head towards, it won’t take more than a few hours to reach the your destination. This is why when I was living in Liverpool, we had road trips almost on a weekly basis. We went up north, down south and towards the east side of England. Every week there’s a new city to be discovered. It was awesome!
So, what do you think? Do you agree that Liverpool is indeed, awesome?
By the way, I am actually writing this post for a competition that AccorHotels.com is currently running. It is called A Tale of Three Cities. Actually I am under no obligation to mention this in the post, but the winning prize is awesome, so I figured I should let you readers know, in case you are interested. Click on the link for more info on how to join.