Paris via Beirut! Liverpool fans set for another Champions League trip to remember

More than 40,000 Red supporters are expected to descend on the French capital to watch Jurgen Klopp’s side take on Real Madrid

The exodus is well and truly under way.

All week, the UK’s airports, ports and train stations have been filled. Filled with red shirts, with scouse accents, with beaming smiles and with the sound of hope and optimism.

As one supporter at Lime Street station joked: “Paris won’t know what’s hit it!”

For Liverpool fans, the European Cup will always be the one which gets the pulse racing. The Premier League may have eluded them, but they will descend on the French capital en masse this weekend, as Jurgen Klopp’s side look to end a brilliant season with yet another piece of silverware.

It has been suggested that around 40,000 Reds will make the short trip across the English Channel to watch their side take on Real Madrid in the Stade de France on Saturday evening, but anecdotal evidence suggests that may be a conservative estimate.

After all, the main talking point among Liverpudlians – Klopp’s magnificent team aside – has been clear for weeks now.

‘How are you getting to Paris?’

Liverpool fans 2022 GFX

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Some have had their trips planned since February, when UEFA confirmed it would be switching the venue of the final from St Petersburg. Flights and hotels were booked almost on the spot, even though Liverpool were in the midst of a tough last-16 clash with Inter at the time.

“You have to gamble with things like that,” says Reds fan and journalist Kristian Walsh. “You have to book early, otherwise you can end up paying £500 ($624) or more for a simple two-hour flight.”

Walsh and his group of away-day regulars already had their St Petersburg route planned – via Helsinki, if you are interested – but as soon as Paris was confirmed they took the plunge again. They will spend a night in Brussels before traveling across to France by train on Friday.

“The biggest thing, and I can’t stress this enough, is that we fly from Liverpool,” he says. “Flying from Manchester for the semi-final [with Villarreal]the security queue was like something from The Hunger Games!”

The plane-train combination seems to be a popular one with supporters, and no wonder, given the cost of direct flights.

A return from Liverpool or Manchester to Paris, flying on Friday and returning on Sunday, comes in at around £750 ($937), while some companies, such as Sport Options or Football Travel Ltd, are running day trips, priced at around £650 ($812).

Such expense means many fans have had to get creative. Brussels and Amsterdam are the most popular stop-offs, but Frankfurt, Geneva, Cologne and Zurich are other options. All are within a few hours of Paris via train.

And how about something a little more left-field? You may have read about the Sunderland fan who traveled via Mallorca to London for the League One play-off final, but how about the Reds supporter who will head to Paris this week via Beirut?

“He shall remain nameless,” laughs Walsh. “But he’s known for his, shall we say, ‘unusual’ travel plans.

“Initially he was flying via Tirana, I think, but he realised that was a bit silly, so he changed it. The things we do for football!”