As the official travel partner of the UEFA Champions League, we’ve journeyed to the homes of the clubs that are through to the final 16 to give you the lowdown on the hotspots for your next away trip. In this article we head to Liverpool, U.K., home of Liverpool FC.
Why don’t you plan a city break in Liverpool? This city has long been a favorite destination thanks to its fascinating history, cultural attractions, and tireless party spirit. Not forgetting the north-west English city’s twin passions: music and soccer.
Visiting the Cavern Club conjures up the excitement of the 1960s, when The Beatles regularly played to screaming fans. The city’s soccer supporters follow their teams with the same passion. So, it’s a serious business—but it’s also fun to be a part of, whether you’re an ardent Liverpool FC or Everton FC follower or just admire the prowess of these world-famous clubs.
From bars packed with supporters to dedicated “fan zones” for making the most of the pre-game excitement, discover what to do, eat, and see on a soccer-themed trip to the Merseyside city.
Meet the teams: Liverpool FC and Everton FC
One of the world’s most famous and successful clubs, Liverpool FC boasts five UEFA Champions League titles, 18 league wins, and seven FA Cup trophies. Lauded manager Bill Shankly pulled the club, nicknamed “The Reds”, out of the second division in 1962, and they haven’t been back there since.
The club has had many stellar players, with Ian Rush, Kevin Keegan, Steven Gerrard, and Kenny Dalglish among its biggest heroes.
Liverpool FC’s original kit was blue and white (while Everton FC wore red). It switched to scarlet in 1896, four years after the club was founded.
While Liverpool FC is the most successful of the city’s two teams, Everton FC has rarely been far behind, playing consistently in the top division since 1954. Everton FC—also known as “The Toffees” or “The Blues”—goes back further, too, founded in 1878 and one of the dozen founding members of the English Football League in 1888.
Wayne Rooney got his start at the club, while other big names to have worn the kit include Gary Lineker, Peter Beardsley, Neville Southall, and Ralph “Dixie” Dean.
Everton FC has only missed out on a spot in the top division four times since the English Football League was created in 1888.
Visiting Liverpool’s soccer stadiums: Anfield and Goodison Park
Anfield: Anfield district
Though Liverpool FC has played here since the club was founded, Anfield has every amenity you could ask for. You can even pre-order food for collection or for delivery to your seat (if you’re no more than five seats from the aisle).
Less time queuing means more time exploring the vast stadium, which seats 54,074, and absorb the exhilarating atmosphere. Make the most of it at one of the special fan zones next to the stadium. These outdoor areas open four hours before kick-off and have street food trucks, music, activities, and a big screen for all the build-up. The Anfield Road zone, known as “Family Park”, is great for kids (or anyone who wants a photo with the official club mascot, Mighty Red).
Don’t miss the self-guided audio tour on non-game days. You can see the sleek dressing rooms, walk through the tunnel (to a soundtrack of cheers), and gaze over the stadium and city skyline from the top of the Main Stand. Tickets include entrance to the on-site museum, the Liverpool FC Story, stuffed with trophies and players’ shirts. Anfield Forever, outside the Main Stand, celebrates the club and its supporters with a series of engraved granite stones.
Getting there: If you want to rent a car in Liverpool, it’s a half-hour drive from the airport and 10 minutes from the city center. But public transportation is one of the easiest ways to get to and from the stadium. The 917 bus goes from St Johns Lane, opposite Lime Street Station, to Anfield. The service starts three and a half hours before kick-off and takes around 15 minutes, with group discounts available. On game days, Liverpool FC has a team of stewards at Lime Street Station to help direct visiting fans.
Where to eat and what to do in Anfield
Food kiosks inside and around the stadium, including in the fan zones, make it easy to grab a bite on the go. Looking for a sit-down meal before the game? The Boot Room Sports Café, on the Kop side of the stadium, serves delicious pizza. Or try The Cabbage Hall Bar & Grill, 10 minutes’ walk away, for decent pub-style grub.
The Cabbage Hall Bar & Grill, 20 Breck Rd, Liverpool L4 2RB
Goodison Park: Walton district
Everton FC originally played at Anfield, but were forced to move in 1891 after a dispute over rent. Liverpool FC was formed the following year to play at the suddenly empty stadium. But Everton FC is now very much at home at Goodison Park, just a mile north.
It’s blazingly blue, as you’d expect, from the gates to the 39,572 seats. And, with a strong local fan base, there’s a strong feeling of community. Goodison Park was the first purpose-built soccer stadium in the U.K., which makes its stadium tours fascinating. A VIP version, guided by former player Mark Higgins and including a Q&A session with two Everton FC legends, takes place before every Premier League game.
Getting there: Several buses go from Queen Square Bus Station in the city center, or it’s a 15-minute drive. From the airport, it takes around a half hour.
Where to eat and what to do in Walton
Goodison Park has a fan zone based in the Park End parking lot, where supporters can gather three hours before every game to hear live music, meet former players, and buy snacks. A short walk away, the indoor Matchday Hub at Everton Free School is a good place for families to chill out before kick-off.
For a pre- or post-game meal, try nearby wine bar and bistro Segura, or popular Chinese restaurant Hot Wok.
Fancy some fresh air before the game? Take a stroll around nearby Stanley Park, where you’ll find lakes, well-kept gardens, and a café tucked beneath a Victorian conservatory.
Segura, 95 County Rd, Liverpool L4 3QE; Hot Wok, 87 Langham St, Liverpool L4 4DA
Partying in Liverpool after the game
Celebrating after the game: Supporters’ pubs
By Anfield, famous supporters’ pubs include Arkles and The Sandon. Both of these traditional boozers will be showing the game, and are known for welcoming away fans, too. The Albert, just outside the stadium, is another good option if you can’t get a ticket.
Everton FC supporters tend to pour into the nearby Winslow Hotel, The Brick, and the Black Horse, which also serves classic pub food like burgers and pies.
Arkles, 77 Anfield Rd, Liverpool L4 0TJ; The Sandon, 166-182 Oakfield Rd, Liverpool L4 0UH; The Albert, 185 Walton Breck Rd, Liverpool L4 0RE
The Winslow Hotel, 31 Goodison Rd, Liverpool L4 4EH; The Brick, 44 County Rd, Liverpool L4 3QL; Black Horse, 284 County Rd, Liverpool L4 5PW
Going out in Liverpool
There’s always an air of celebration in Liverpool, particularly on weekends when the brick-paved lanes of Mathew Street teem with bachelor and bachelorette parties, and every other variety of fun-seeker. Don’t miss live music at the legendary Cavern Club, where it all began for a certain Fab Four. And the bars and clubs around Albert Dock and Seel Street keep the party going into the early hours.
Cavern Club, Cavern Walks, 10 Mathew St, Liverpool L2 6RE
You can fly to Liverpool via several European cities such as Bergen in Norway, Belfast, or Dublin. There are frequent trains to Liverpool Lime Street from many U.K. cities including nearby Manchester, London, and Edinburgh. Luxurious spa hotels abound in Liverpool—perfect for taking the weight off after a day of walking.
Inspired to book a soccer break to Liverpool? From city-center hotels to nightly live music, there’s plenty to celebrate, whatever the game result.