The second-largest city in the U.K. is known for its museums and shopping, canals, food and music.
Located in central England, Birmingham attracts visitors with its concert venues and shopping districts, art exhibitions, curry restaurants and chocolate factory. The city was at the heart of the industrial revolution in the 1700s and 1800s, with many advancements in technology and science developed in the city’s factories. Today, Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom. Getting around is made easy by an efficient public transport system of trains and buses. Explore the city’s canals – left over from the Industrial Revolution – by boat tour.
Victoria Square is the focal point of the city; many major attractions are within walking distance. Find Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Shop for high-end clothing at The Mailbox, and admire the 18th-century architecture of Birmingham Cathedral.
Learn about the impact of the Industrial Revolution at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum. There are interactive activities for younger visitors, including a giant hamster wheel and square-wheeled wagon.
Go to the Jewellery Quarter, just west of the city center, to learn about a centuries-old industry and shop for handcrafted pieces. Head south of the center to find chains stores and independent boutiques at the Bullring Shopping Centre.
Birmingham’s music scene comes to life during the summer months. Enjoy free concerts during the Birmingham Jazz Festival. Listen to orchestras and world-famous musicians at Symphony Hall, a venue that hosts hundreds of events throughout the year.
Take time to explore around 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares) of public green spaces. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the golf courses and boating lakes at Sutton Park, north of the city center. To the south, at Sarehole Mill, you can walk in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien. Both are a short train ride from the city center.
Don’t miss out on Birmingham’s culinary scene, influenced by African, Caribbean, Chinese and Indian cultures. Visit the Curry Mile in the south of the city, so called for its large concentration of Indian restaurants, and get a chocolate hit during the tasting sessions at Cadbury World.