A minute's silence was held at 3.06pm, the exact moment the match was abandoned while the Hillsborough tragedy unfolded 25 years ago today.
In the city's main streets and shopping centres, public transport also stopped.
Heads bowed, some fans wiped away silent tears as they remembered the scores of lives lost in Britain's worst sporting disaster. The minute's silence ended with a round of applause, as across the city bells tolled 96 times at churches and civic buildings.
The memorial service marking 25 years since the Hillsborough tragedy has begun.
The Rev Kelvin Bolton, from the local parish of Christ Church and Holy Trinity, began the service.
He thanked the families and friends of the victims "for the example you have given us of refusing to give up, of giving to us... a picture of living life, sometimes at its worse, but demonstrating that human virtue of dignity."
The names of the 96 people who lost their lives were then read out, interspersed with hymns sung by a choir and the crowd.
As each name was read out, a corresponding bulb was lit up on a new memorial sculpture in the form of a giant ring.
David Cameron has used Twitter to pay tribute to those affected by the Hillsborough disaster, ahead of the 25th anniversary memorial service.
On the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough, my thoughts are with the families of the 96, the survivors and all those affected by the tragedy.
Hundreds of bouquets of flowers, wreaths and scarves have been placed at the Hillsborough memorial in Liverpool on the 25th anniversary of the disaster.
Families and friends of those who died and other supporters have been gathering at the memorial stone that lists the names of the victims.
Fans of other clubs have also hung scarves on the stadium gates as a mark of respect.
The number of tributes is expected to grow significantly over the course of the day.
More flowers have been laid at Anfield this morning on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
The mother of one of the 96 Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough said she will be praying for "all the fans and survivors" of the tragedy and hopes the truth behind the disaster is discovered.
Margaret Aspinall lost her 18-year-old son James in the crush at Liverpool's fateful FA Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday on April 15 1989.
"All them fans and survivors who have gone through so much alongside us, I'll be praying for them as well. That in the end, they'll all have peace. That's all we have ever wanted, is just peace. You can't have peace until you get truth."