15 Curious Fun Facts about Liverpool that will Surprise you!

Liverpool is a lively city and metropolitan borough located on the north-west coast of English and the capital of the English county of Merseyside, which is visited yearly by more than 1 million international tourists and 1,5 domestic visitors annually.

A stunning waterfront and the dramatic skyline often seen in postcards, are just the tip of the kaleidoscope of Liverpool’s attractions that bring so many travelers to stay in its many city hotels, airbnbs and upscale serviced apartments to relax and visit the city.

In this article, we will go through 15 curiousities and fun facts about this awesome destination, which thanks to an impressive historical and cultural heritage, offers many more things to see and do that what meets the eye. 

Let’s dive right in! 😀

fun facts about liverpool

“Liverpool, set in its ways, at the end of the line,

at the beginning of time, with its back to the land,

its feet in the water, its head in the clouds,

its heart on its sleeve, hearts in its mouth.

Liverpool, the first city to rock in Britain.

Paul Marley, The North –

15 Interesting Facts about Liverpool!

1. With a population of half a million,

Liverpool is the largest UK city on the west coast of England

LIVERPOOL city on a map

With roughly half a million inhabitants (506.000 at the last census), the gorgeous city of Liverpool is the 4th English city by population after London (9,9 million), Birmingham (1,1 million), and Leeds (536.000).

If we consider only the west coast of Great Britain, Liverpool is easily the largest city, in front of the English town of Bristol (425.00 people), and the capital of Wales Cardiff (362.000).

The city is strategically located on the Irish Sea and well-connected to all nearby places and easy to reach by train (from London it is just 2 hours and a half), by boat (from Liverpool there are daily ferry connections to Belfast and Dublin), and of course by plane, thanks to the long-established international John Lennon airport, which opened in July 1993).

2. The name “Liverpool” comes

from Old English and meant “muddy pool”

liverpool was a muddy pool - origin of the name

Before adventuring deeper into the city’s curiosities and fun facts, let’s look at the name Liverpool!

Despite what you might try to guess “Liver” – “Pool”, has nothing to do with body organs!!

Instead, according to historians, the name “Liverpool” seems to have originated from Old English where “liver”, meant “thick” or “muddy”, and “pol” meant a “pool” or a “creek”.

Thus, the name Liverpool has probably been born to describe the once muddy geographical location where the city is placed: the Mersey Estuary.

While today the Estuary is one of the gems of Liverpool and one of the most loved places by locals and tourists alike to stroll around (the waterfront is awesome!), back in the old days when Liverpool was nothing more than a small fishing village, the city area was crossed by more tiny rivers (now dried up).

A discordant version by other historians instead, still hypothesizes that the clay in the area may have turned the water a red colour like liver, and perhaps this is where the name comes from.

While probably, as it happens many times with names, we will never know for sure the complete etimology of the name, it’s a fun fact to know that the first time the name of the city has been recorded was in 1190 and it was “Liuerpul” 🙂

 

3. Liverpool has more than 30 museums,

and most of them have free entrance!

world museum liverpool

Liverpool is the second UK city for several museums after London, and it offers a whooping list of 30+ museums to choose from! 😀

And that’s not all: all national museums and galleries have free entrance!

Between the ones you might want to check out while visiting the city, we can recommend:

  • the World Museum (a natural and historical museum that depicts the history of the world from the beginning till now)
  • the International Slavery Museum (the only slavery museum in the world, an impressive exposition narrating the history of British conquerors and the slave trade)
  • the Walker Art Gallery (one of the largest art collections in England, outside of London)
  • the Sudley House (a perfectly. preserved Victorian Merchan house with its period furniture and beautiful paintings)
  • the Lady Lever Art Gallery (a beautiful building housing one of the UK’s finest collections of fine and decorative art)
  • the Maritime Museum (a showcase of Liverpool’s past and modern maritime life)

Among paid expositions, there’s also to point out:

  • the Beatles Story Museum (an award-winning permanent exposition devoted to telling the story of the lives and times of The Beatles through visuals and music)

All museums in the city are conveniently reachable with public transport (or taxis if you’re in a hurry!).

If you plan to visit Liferpool for couple of days for strolling through its free museums, your best bet is to find accommodation in the city center (there are several great serviced apartments in Liverpool just few steps from all major attractions), and start from there!

Most museums that we’ve seen above need between one and three hours for a complete visit, so aim at two each day (three if you’re a museum marathon runner! 😉 )

4. The Beatles originated

in Liverpool in 1960

beatles in liverpool

Probably you were already guessing it: John Lennon airport, Beatles Museum… and you are right!

The iconic pop-rock band of The Beatles originated in Liverpool, and precisely in 1960!

Often regarded as the most influential band of all times, the group composed of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr played a major role in the ’60s to bring pop music to the masses and grant it the public recognition it enjoyed today!

In the beginning, when the band was still little and unknown, the Beatles started rocking Liverpool, by playing over 300 times in the famous and legendary Cavern Club (which by the way’s still open and hosting gigs – also of Paul McCartney! – to this day!).

An unmissable photo-spot for all Liverpool visitors, is surely the Beatles Statue, an incredible 1,2ton installation, representing the four components of the Beatles taking a stroll on Liverpool’s waterfront.

Extra fun fact: The statue was installed in 2015, exactly 50 years after the last gig of the band in Liverpool City.

5. Liverpool FC is one of the major football clubs in the world,

and it has won the Champions League 6 times!

 

liverpool fc

When people outside the UK hear the word “Liverpool”, football comes immediately to mind.

That’s how famous and renowned worldwide is the Liverpool FC football club.

Founded over 130 years ago and with an estimated value of over 950.000 (2024), the city’s most victorious football club (but not the only one, and we will talk more about it!) is today up there in the TOP 10 most valuable clubs in the world! 

As for winnings, Liverpool FC won an impressive 6 Champions Leagues (just behind AC Milan (7) and Real Madrid (12)) and a whooping 19 Premier Leagues!!

If you’re visiting Liverpool, you might want to check out the season calendar and see if you’re lucky enough for your dates to coincide: assisting a football match in the iconic Anfield Stadium is surely one of the most awesome experiences you can try in Liverpool!

If you’re unfortunate, know that you can still learn more about Liverpool’s football culture by visiting the Liverpool FC Museum and taking a tour of the stadium! 🙂

6. The famous Liver birds on the Royal Liver Building,

are called Bertie and Bella

liverpool liver birds bella and bertie

The Royal Liver Building is probably the most recognizable landmark in Liverpool’s skyline: a mix of architectural styles that ranges from Baroque to Romanic and Art Noveau! 😀

This curious commercial building has been the highest in Europe for over two decades at the beginning of the century (1911-1932) and it remains even today the 2nd highest building in the city of Liverpool, after the much more recently constructed St. John’s Beacon viewing platform.

What surely catches the eye when watching the RL building, are the two birds positioned on top of its two summits: they are not pelicans nor storks, but “liver” birds, mythical creatures (similar to cormorants) which are the symbol of the city of Liverpool since medieval times.

Do you need an extra fun fact??! Well here you go: they also have names!

The two liver birds are called Bella and Bertie! If you’re visiting Liverpool and you would like to know who is who, remember that, according to legends, Bella is the one watching the sea (welcoming back the sailors at sea) while Bertie is the one observing the city (and protecting its citizens!) 🙂 

7. Liverpool was a hotspot for Banksy’s artworks,

but today they all disappeared

banksy artwork in liverpool

Who has never heard about Banksy? He is probably the most famous identity-unknown artist in the world!

Banksy is an artist famous for their unconventional art installations and graffiti containing deep meanings, which is believed to come from Bristol (UK).

Being Bristol not so far away from Liverpool, probably won’t surprise you that much that the artist visited the city and left some of its masterpieces on its walls: 5 to be precise!

What is much more surprising though, it’s that most of them are not there anymore today: some have been washed away, some have been vandalized, but in the end, all of them have been sold at auctions for very steep prices (such for example the “White House Rat” sold for 3,2Million pounds).

As Banksy itself, its creations are also fleeing, and sadly today in Liverpool remains only their memory!

8. Liverpool is one of

the most affordable cities in the UK

serviced apartment in liverpool

Positioned on the west coast of Great Britain, Liverpool is a city that offers great value and prices lower than those of London city.

According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Liverpool is roughly 65% of the cost in the capital, which is awesome for both workers looking to reduce their monthly expenses and tourists alike.

As a visitor, to Liverpool, you can expect to find more convenient accommodation deals, and spend less on food and drinks!

Combined with the wide offer of free museums and expositions offered by the city government, you can easily figure out why Liverpool is so loved and visited by tourists from all over Europe and the world! 🙂

9. Liverpool was home to the first ever library

to lend books out to the public. 

ancient roman statues

The “Union Newsroom” is a building located at 105 Duke Street and built around the year 1860 is believed to have been the first library in the world to lend books to the public.

As of today, the Liverpool Central Library has been fully reformed (in 2009) to make it more modern and IT-friendly, and while part of the original facade has been demolished, a new incredible and iconic architectural design emerged, which led Liverpool’s library to win the Bookseller’s Library of the Year Award in 2018.

Every year, Liverpool’s Central Library is visited by over 750.000 people and leaf through its collection of over 15.000 rare books!

The entrance is free, so if you’re strolling by make sure to have a peek too, as it’s pretty impressive and one thing that for sure you’ll remember about your Liverpool tour! 😉

10. The typical dish from Liverpool is the “Scouse”,

and that’s also how its citizens are nicknamed!

SCOUSE - the typical dish from liverpool you didnt know

“Scouses” is the nickname other UK citizens use to friendly address people from Liverpool and “scouse” is also the name given to the English accent typical of Liverpool’s residents!

So where does this nickname come from?

Well, if you’re in for a visit to a typical Liverpool restaurant you surely would find out this for yourself!

The scouse is indeed a typical dish of the local Liver cuisine and consists of a type of stew – typically made from chunks of meat (beef or lamb usually), potatoes, carrots, and onion.

This “poor” plate, finds its origins with the sailors in Northern Europe, who were preparing it on their boats to gain precious energy and warm up while facing the harsh and cold weather of the North Sea.

As of today, the recipe of the “scouse” has been revisited more and more times, and it comes in very different versions, both low-cost and gourmet. Here you can find a list of the best places to eat the scouse in Liverpool 🙂

11. Liverpool is home

to the biggest Cathedral of the UK! 

The first three Italian Capitals - Turin Florence and Rome

The Anglican cathedral “Church of Christ” of Liverpool is one of those buildings that leaves you speechless! 

With 180m in length, and a tower reaching 100m in height, this cathedral is the largest one in the UK and the 8th largest church in the world!

While its gothic architecture recalls the style of churches from the 18th to 19th centuries, the origins of this church are quite recent as its building started in 1904 and was completed only in 1978, not even 50 years ago!

Visiting the cathedral today is, here again, completely free of charge, which can make a great addition to your walking tour around the city 🙂

12. Liverpool WAS an Unesco World Heritage Site,

but its title has been stripped in 2021

liverpool unesco site been stripped

In history it happened only three times that a UNESCO site has been stripped of its label: the first place was the Arabian Oryx sanctuary in Oman, the second was the Dresden Elbe valley in Germany, and…well… the third was Liverpool in the UK!

Why did that happen?

Well, Liverpool got its world heritage status in 2004 as the UNESCO commission recognized the value of its traditional Victorian docks and maritime culture.

In 2021, after years of urban changes and sprawling development (which also included the construction of a stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront!), the UNESCO commission decided to revoke the honorificence to Liverpool as the city, according to them, did not put into place what should have been done to preserve the site’s peculiarity and that brought to the site losing its universal value and integrity.

While that has surely been a major letdown for Liverpool’s citizens, it has been the result of the city choosing for modernization.

In the same way, while the UNESCO title might not be there anymore, most of the docks that granted the title in the first place are still visitable today (again, free of charge!) and it’s still possible to appreciate the ancient sailing cultures of the city through its exhibitions and the maritime Liverpool museum 🙂

13. Liverpool is a City of “First’s”

Rome and paris - twin cities

The impact of Liverpool on the world has been surely powerful and it doesn’t stop at The Beatles.

Indeed, the city has many “firsts” to brag about!

Between the most interesting and curious, there are:

  • 1790 – World’s first American Consul (James Maury)
  • 1793 – World’s first city to issue its currency
  • 1825 – World’s first school for deaf people
  • 1830 – World’s first train shed and first railway passenger fatality (William Rathbone)
  • 1835 – The World’s First railway timetable published
  • 1844 – First girl’s day grammar school in England (Blackburne House).
  • 1857 – World’s First Rugby Club (Liverpool Rugby Club)
  • 1860 – First purpose-built public library.
  • 1893 – World’s First overhead electric railway
  • 1896 – First use of X-rays
  • 1913 – World’s first crossword puzzle (by Arthur Winne)

And these are just to name a few! 🙂

14. Liverpool has not one, but two football teams,

nicknamed “The Reds” and “The Blues”

everton liverpool anfield

In a previous chapter we talked about Liverpool FC, but that’s only half of the football culture of Liverpool.

Yeah, you got it right: Liverpool has not only one but two football teams!

One is Liverpool FC (called “the Reds” because of the color of their team t-shirts), and the other one is Everton FC (called “the Blues” for the same reason!).

Liverpool FC was created after a dispute among board members of Everton FC back in the 1890s!

While Everton is not a club so famous and blazoned as their red cousins, it is still playing in the first English division (the Premier League), and every year the two teams play against one another in what’s called the Goodison Merseyside Derby, the premier league derby that takes place at Liverpool’s Goodison Park Stadium!

At the moment (2024), Everton won 45 Merseyside derbies, against 39 winnings for Liverpool 🙂

15. Liverpool has 66 stations,

and the best way to get around is…

you guessed it: by train!

liverpool train to get around

As you’ve probably noticed in the “world’s firsts” list, trains have been widely created and developed in the city of Liverpool, which is considered one of the early adopters of this revolutionary technology.

As of today, the city is widely served by a convenient net of railways and 66 stations spread all over the city center, the waterfront, and the suburbs.

As a tourist, the best way to move around Liverpool is surely by train.

The cost of a ticket varies depending on the age of the person and of course, the area you would like to move into, but normally ranges between 4-6 pounds. 

You can find the complete price list for Liverpool’s trains here.

Conclusion

liverpool by the bay

And here we come at the end of this article 🙂

In this article, we have seen 15 interesting facts and curiosities about Liverpool that will enrich your journey through the city and help you observe the beauty of this English city with different eyes! 🙂

As always, if you liked the article, if you have doubts, or if you would like to share your personal experience, I invite you to write me in the comments below! 😀

I am always happy to exchange a few words with fellow travelers 🙂

Hereafter I will leave you a few articles that you might be also interested in checking out:

Thank you for reading, and see you in the next article! 🙂

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