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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jenna Campbell

Eurovision 2023 travel - how to get to Liverpool by train, car, bus and boat

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is now well underway in the Liverpool City Region and is expected to attract an estimated 100,000 visitors during the course of the event. And whilst we're still a bit gutted that Manchester won't be hosting this year's contest on behalf of Ukraine, we're buzzing it's going ahead nearby.

Last night (May 9), thousands gathered at the M&S Bank Arena to watch the first live show of this year’s international contest and saw 15 countries compete for their spot in Saturday’s grand final, including Sweden, Norway, Israel and Czechia.

The UK was selected to host this year's contest on behalf of last year's winners Ukraine after Sam Ryder took second place in the 2022 competition with his song Space Man. This year, the UK's entry Mae Muller will be hoping her track, 'I Wrote A Song', will become the first win for Britain since Katrina and the Waves took the crown in 1997.

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Liverpool Arena will be the venue for the second semi-final on Thursday, May 11, as well as the grand final on Saturday, May 13. Those lucky enough to have bagged tickets will now be looking to make travel arrangements. A packed events programme means the public transport and road network will be busier than usual as people make the most of the experience.

Eurovision super-fans arrive at Lime Street Station in Liverpool on May 9, 2023, ahead of the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song contest (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

On the day of the final, Saturday, May 13, there will be an extra city region late-night bus and rail services, a park and ride scheme, the Mersey Ferries running services across the river, and shuttle buses are running to help travel between fan zones. So, ahead of the next semi-final and the grand final we've taken a look at the best ways to get to the M&S Bank Arena, whether you're coming from Manchester or further afield.

When is Eurovision 2023?

Eurovision 2023 held its opening ceremony on Sunday, May 7. There will be 3 shows from May 9-13.

  • Semi-final 1: May 9, 2023
  • Semi-final 2: May 11, 2023
  • Grand Final: May 13, 2023

Where is Eurovision 2023?

Eurovision fans queuing up for the Semi-Final 1,run through,at the M&S Bank Arena (Photo by Andrew Teebay)

For 2023, Liverpool is the host city for Eurovision on behalf of last year’s winner Ukraine. The song contest will be held at the Liverpool Arena - also known as M&S Bank Arena - which is located in Liverpool city centre next to the River Mersey and can be easily reached by public transport.

By Car

If travelling by car, it is advised to follow the white on brown tourist route signs for the Waterfront. These signs are visible on the main routes into the city centre.

If travelling from the North to Liverpool, you can leave the M6 at junction 26 and follow signs for the M58 Liverpool. Stay on the M58 until then end and then follow signs for A59 Liverpool. Next, continue to follow Liverpool city centre signs until you see signs for the Waterfront.

If travelling from the South, it is advised to leave the M6 at junction 21A and take the M62 to Liverpool. At the end of the M62, you can then follow signs for Liverpool city centre along Edge Lane before following signs for Waterfront.

Eurovision 2023 hearts at Mann Island (Photo by Andrew Teebay)

Park & Ride

A Park & Ride service will operate between Stanley Park and Liverpool ONE Bus Station on Friday, May 12, between 11am and 1am the following morning; and on Saturday May, 13 between 11am and 2am the following morning.

By Bus

For thousands of Manchester fans looking to travel to Eurovision, National Express has launched an affordable deal. The bus service is running transfers from Manchester's Chorlton Street coach station to the Liverpool One Bus Station from £2.50 this weekend.

The cheapest £2.50 ticket is on Friday at midday, which would be good for those travelling down for the grand final evening preview on May 12 at 8pm or the live show on Saturday, May 13. On the same date as the £2.50 bus route on May 12, a number of direct trains from Manchester Piccadilly are appearing on Trainline with warnings, as it may be affected by the rail strikes.

On the way back to Manchester, the first coach leaving Liverpool One bus station on Sunday morning is at 2.45am, arriving here at 4.15am. There will be other coaches leaving at 5.30am, 6.40am and 8.10am.

National Express has seen an 82% increase in passengers (PA)

Fans travelling into the city from North Wales or the Wirral area will also be diverted around the Kingsway and Queensway tunnel as these are closed for the official fan zone area on Liverpool's Dock Rd, near the M&S Bank Arena.

Once you're in Liverpool, buses are also a good way to get around the city and wider region. Additional services are planned for key dates throughout the festival, in particular on the night of the final. The number of Arriva 500 services which run between Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Liverpool ONE bus station will be increased, and will run every 15 minutes.

For those that live in Liverpool, the Wirral and Merseyside, a network of night services will operate between 12.45am and 2.30am on the night of the final, May 13. These services will run Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Shuttle Bus

A night shuttle bus will operate between the Eurovision Village, located at Pier Head, to the EuroClub at Camp and Furnace. This shuttle will operate daily between 9pm and 12.30am from James Street. For more information, see the EuroClub shuttle map.

A free shuttle bus will also be running between the Eurovision Fan Zones at the Pier head and Camp and Furnace between the 6th and 13th of May, from 9pm to 3.30am.

By Train

Liverpool Lime Street is the closest train station to Liverpool Arena and is served by several train companies, including Avanti West Coast, London Northwestern Railway and Merseyrail. All services from London, Manchester, Birmingham terminate here. The M&S Arena is only a 20-minute walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station - or a quick taxi ride of you can flag one down.

Many rail operators will provide additional services throughout the Eurovision week, but some services will be much busier on specific days, especially on Eurovision Final weekend. On Merseyrail, trains will run to a 20-minute frequency on all parts of the network, except for the Ellesmere Port line which will run to a 30-minute frequency. This timetable will allow trains to extend into the early hours of Sunday morning.

As part of the Eurovision festival, Merseyrail are hosting live acts at Liverpool Central station throughout the week and have released its very own song the Train of Love with an accompanying pop video (Al Stirling Creative)

Liverpool Lime Street Low Level station and James Street station will be closed on the day of the final to help manage the large number of people expected and Wirral line trains will only call at Liverpool Central in the city centre. Northern Line trains will only call at Moorfields in the city centre. Late night trains will also run on Northern and Wirral lines on Saturday 13 May into the early hours of Sunday 14 May calling at all stations.

National industrial action announced by ASLEF on 12 May and the RMT on 13 May on mainlines services operating from Liverpool Lime Street station means there will be few rail services running.

While services and running from Manchester Piccadilly to Liverpool Lime Street are running until 17.50pm on Saturday, the last return service is at 18.54pm, which means those travelling back to Manchester will need to either stay over in Liverpool or make alternative travel arrangements such as National Express, other coach services, or park & ride. The last train from Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston leaves at 19.53pm and the next train service is 8.10am on Sunday, May 14.

By Ferry

The Razzle Dazzle Ferry Snowdrop, making its way into Seacombe Ferry Terminal (Liverpool ECHO)

A number of special Mersey Ferry cruises will also be operating during Eurovision week – including on and around the final itself.

On May 13 there will be a specific Ferry shuttle to transfer people to and from the events, operating between Seacombe and Pier Head. The full timeline can be found on the Mersey Ferries website.

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