Your guide to visiting Liverpool during Eurovision
3 weeks ago
Eurovision is finally here and there’s so much going on in the city, the buzz is absolutely incredible.
Liverpool’s going to be giving a warm welcome to thousands of visitors coming here for Eurovision, to watch the artists, go to the events, screenings and parties and just soak up the amazing atmosphere.
And, of course, we can’t wait for everyone to see our gorgeous city and experience everything it’s got to offer.
So, don’t miss a thing – here’s your guide to visiting Liverpool during the Song Contest …
The M&S Bank Arena on Liverpool’s world-famous waterfront is literally the all-singing, all dancing epicentre of the Eurovision Song Contest.
HM The King and the Queen Consort unveiled an incredible 450sq metres of stage based on a design of ‘togetherness, celebration and community’ which is set to welcome presenters like Graham Norton, Ukrainian singer and composer Julia Sanina and award-winning actor Hannah Waddingham, along with the 37 competing countries’ acts.
And don’t forget it’s not just about the Grand Final. There are nine Eurovision Song Contest shows taking place in the arena from the first semi-final evening preview on Monday, May 8 to the main event on Saturday, May 13, and it’s just five minutes’ walk from the EuroVillage at the Pier Head.
Getting there is easy too with train and bus services all scheduled to offer extended timetables throughout Eurovision week.
The Pier Head
Just along from the M&S Bank Arena, the Pier Head is going to be home to the Eurovision Village, the main hub for fans and locals to soak up all things Eurovision.
It’s open from Friday, May 5 and running every day until the Grand Final on May 13 with loads of amazing one-off shows, live performances, DJ sets and special guest appearances, as well as a unique area, Discover Ukraine, dedicated to celebrating Ukrainian creatives, and offering a range of European food and drink.
There are around 100 acts appearing in the EuroVillage with Jake Shears, Fleur East, Charlotte Church, The Lightning Seeds, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor all included in the impressive line-up – and, other than the final night, it’s all free!
If you’re coming to Liverpool for Eurovision you’ll be focusing your attentions on the event itself, along with loads of events and attractions themed around the world’s favourite song contest.
But remember Liverpool’s a city with tons to see even when Eurovision isn’t here, so get yourself to some of its main attractions, if only as a taster to make you see why you’ll want to come back again.
How to get around the city
There’s no shortage of ways to get around Liverpool and to all the Eurovision events and attractions, from buses and trains to E-scooters and ferries – and to make everything a bit easier Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced extra late-night trains and buses for Eurovision fans travelling in and around the city.
Merseyrail services will run into the early hours after the Grand Final on Saturday, May 13, and until after midnight on the night of the Big Eurovision Welcome on Sunday, May 7; and Liverpool City Region buses will also continue on key routes until the early hours after the events on May 7 and 13.
Steve Rotheram said: “The chance to host a global spectacle like the Eurovision Song Contest is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often. We’re expecting tens of thousands of visitors and a world class spectacular deserves world class transport. By organising these additional late-night services, we’re ensuring Eurovision fans and locals will get the service they deserve and won’t have to cut the party short!”
For all times and regular updates go to the Mersey travel website here.
Next to the Arena, the historic Grade I Royal Albert Dock with its distinctive cast iron colonnades is a must-visit because its red brick former warehouses now house some of Liverpool’s best independent shops, restaurants and bars.
The dock is really embracing Eurovision with venues putting on events and special menus and some spectacular special additions for the duration of the contest.
One of the most stunning photo opps anywhere in the city has to be Floating Earth by Luke Jerram, a 10-metre art installation of our planet, accompanied by a soundscape by BAFTA award winning composer Dan Jones, which is shining on the inner dock waters until after the grand final.
A decorated 72ft Challenger vessel is moored at the dock until Saturday May 13 with a programme of events leading up to a big one on finals afternoon, and The Beatles Story will be celebrating local music with free live performances every day during Eurovision, in partnership with Liverpool club The Jacaranda.
Visitors are also invited to release their inner Eurovision superstar for lip syncs and air guitar anthems on Time to Shine podiums around the dock on Tuesday 9, Thursday 11 and Saturday May 13.
Known as Liverpool’s cool creative district, the Baltic Triangle is full of old industrial warehouses that were once disused but these days have a lively mix of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and creative spaces.
The Baltic’s a great place to head for a wander and see what you can discover, whether you’re looking for street art – there’s lots, including Paul Curtis’ much-Insta-ed angel wings – or somewhere for a night out.
Cains Brewery Village is packed with places, including Baltic Market food market, Irish pub Punch Tarmey’s and ArCains for gaming with cocktails, as well as Red Brick Market for indie one-offs and vintage.
For Eurovision, Camp and Furnace is party central because it’s hosting the official Euro Club. It’s got a big programme of live performances from Eurovision legends including Conchita Wurst, Jedward, Jemini and last year’s Ukrainian winners Kalush Orchestra, plus screenings for the semi-finals and final.
Where are the main food areas and restaurants?
There’s pretty much nowhere in the city centre that doesn’t have lots of fantastic restaurants and we’ve got a huge variety of different cuisines covered and something for every budget.
Stand-outs include the Georgian Quarter around Hope Street which isn’t just the city’s most popular filming location, it has one of its most awarded fine dining restaurants too, The Art School.
Castle Street, five minutes’ walk from the waterfront, is another foodie hotspot, along with Bold Street which has a whole world of great independents. For dining with a view, and Eurovision on the doorstep, it’s got to be the Albert Dock or head to the Baltic and discover places like Manifest for Michelin Guide-featured casual fine dining.
What about shopping?
Like you’d expect in a city that absolutely loves fashion, Liverpool has a great mix of shops including the biggest high street names like John Lewis, M&S, Zara and H&M, vintage stores mostly on and around Bold Street to find a pre-loved gem and lots of independents if you’re looking for something original – MerseyMade on Paradise Street is worth a visit if you want to take home a locally-made arty gift.
Liverpool city centre is nice and compact to walk around, so it’s easy to browse them all and take in the big players like Liverpool ONE, Metquarter and St John’s Centre while you do.
Beauty fans should head to Liverpool ONE, where you’ll find a stand-alone Charlotte Tilbury, Morphe, MAC, Kiehl’s, Jo Malone and Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar.
Eurovision fever is definitely taking holding across Liverpool ONE with a programme of events and the newly-opened official Eurovision Song Contest pop-up store on Manesty’s Lane to get all your Eurovision merch.
Over at Metquarter, there’s a watch party happening at Everyman Cinema as well as a mini film festival celebrating Ukraine, a final big screening at food market GPO and lots of other Eurovision-themed specials and events from shops and restaurants. The Art Quarter, which showcases local creatives, is the perfect place to pick up a Liverpool art or craft souvenir of your visit.
What else can you do?
What can’t you do?! Literally everywhere you look the city’s been transformed into sea of blue and yellow as Liverpool hosts the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine – and there’s a shed load of stuff going on to celebrate this spectacular event and pay tribute to the war-torn country.
From parties and brunches, and cultural exhibitions to shows and screenings, there’s no escaping Eurovision in Liverpool. But, then, who’d want to?