Liverpool has a thriving International Community. Home to the first mosque in Britain and the oldest Chinese community. The student population has a wide mix of European, American, Asian and African students. Liverpool's maritime history has ensured that the city maintains international links with twenty consuls based in the city representing countries as diverse as Chile, Tunisia, Panama and the Ivory Coast. Liverpool has twinning arrangements with Shanghai, Dublin and New York.
The European Capital of Culture competition is an opportunity for one European city to celebrate its cultural identity - its past, its present and its future. Liverpool has been named as the European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Liverpool is steeped in history, heritage and culture. In 2007, Liverpool celebrated the 800th anniversary of the city’s founding charter, originally granted by King John in 1207. The Liverpool Waterfront and Skyline was granted the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, in recognition of the important role the Port of Liverpool played in global development and international trade. Liverpool is also home to numerous museums and galleries from the World Museum Liverpool, to the Tate Gallery and the Maritime Museum at the Albert Dock. Liverpool's association with Public Art is embedded into both the city and the Merseyside area from Antony Gormley's 'Another Place' (Iron men) at Formby and the 'Field for the British Isles' in St Helens to the famous 'Super Lamb Banana' by Japanese Artist Taro Chiezo.
Leading the way in popular music since the Beatles rose to fame in the sixties, the local music scene is as vibrant as ever, and the city's musical fame attracts some of the best bands to play here. For classical music lovers, the Philharmonic Hall, close to the University Precinct, is home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. For live theatre performances, Liverpool can offer the whole range from contemporary studio drama to major touring company productions.
The Everyman and the Playhouse are repertory theatres, which both produce their own plays and host other major drama productions, while the Empire is the venue for major ballet and opera productions.
In 2014, Liverpool was voted the 3rd best city to visit in the world according to the Rough Guide travel website
In addition, 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of a war which transformed not only the country, but the world forever. Whilst there will be events taking place across the country throughout the four years of the anniversary, Liverpool will be home to one of the largest cultural commemorations which will include the return of the street performance group, Royal De Luxe who were responsible for the Sea Odyssey exhibition which toured the City in 2012.
For sports fans, Liverpool is still hard to beat. Liverpool and Everton football clubs are both within easy reach of the city centre. In the Merseyside area there are also more than 40 golf clubs, including seven championship venues. County cricket matches are played at the Liverpool Cricket Club and horse racing is held at Aintree, the home of the Grand National. Liverpool also hosts the ICAP International Tennis Tournament as well as the neighbouring Wirral International Tennis Tournament each year.
Merseyside, with Liverpool at its centre, is one of the safest metropolitan areas in the UK - according to Home Office statistics. A decline in the number of crimes reported per 100,000 of the population, has made Merseyside the third safest metropolitan area behind Northumbria and South Yorkshire - burglary rates are at their lowest levels for more than twenty years. Merseyside currently has a number of major crime reducing initiatives to further ensure the safety of the city. The 'City Safe' initiative has dedicated officers ensuring the safety of the growing student population.
The city is developing rapidly, with large numbers of people moving into the city centre as part of the trend towards fashionable urban living. With the new developments have come a range of new restaurants, bars and clubs - go to Concert Square in the evening and you will find crowds of people spilling out onto the pavement from local bars and restaurants, giving Liverpool the feel of a continental city. Cuisines on offer include Chinese - Liverpool has the oldest Chinatown in Europe - Indian, Italian, French, Spanish, Mexican, Japanese and Greek, so there is something for everyone.