24 things to do in Birmingham

Welcome to Birmingham, the vibrant and diverse city in the heart of England! With its rich industrial heritage, thriving cultural scene, and impressive range of attractions, Birmingham has something for everyone. You can explore world-class museums, art galleries, and theatres, indulge in fantastic shopping and dining experiences, or simply take a stroll around the city’s beautiful parks and canals. From the iconic Bullring shopping centre to the historic Jewellery Quarter, there are endless things to discover in this dynamic and exciting city. 

One of the defining characteristics of Birmingham is its industrial heritage, which has played a crucial role in shaping the city’s identity. The city was once known as the ‘workshop of the world,’ and its factories and workshops produced everything from cars and bicycles to jewellery and buttons. Today, visitors can explore some of the city’s historic industrial landmarks, including the Birmingham Canal Network, which comprises over 100 miles of canals that were once used to transport goods around the city. Today, the canals are a popular destination for visitors, who can take a leisurely stroll or boat ride along the waterways.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Birmingham is the Bullring. This shopping centre is home to over 160 high-street and designer stores, making it the perfect destination for those looking to indulge in some retail therapy. Additionally, the Bullring boasts several restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to stop and grab a bite to eat during your day out.

Another must-see attraction in Birmingham is the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. This museum features an extensive collection of art and artefacts, ranging from Ancient Egypt to contemporary art. Visitors can explore exhibits on the city’s industrial heritage, admire the museum’s impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, or marvel at the Staffordshire Hoard, a collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver artefacts.

If you’re interested in history, the Birmingham Back to Backs is a unique attraction that provides a glimpse into the lives of working-class families in Birmingham during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This National Trust property consists of a group of restored back-to-back houses that have been furnished to show what life was like for the families that lived there.

Birmingham is also home to several stunning parks and green spaces. Cannon Hill Park is a popular destination for families, thanks to its boating lake, mini-golf course, and extensive play area. For those seeking a more tranquil setting, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens offer a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. The gardens boast an impressive collection of plants from around the world, including several glasshouses that house tropical and subtropical plants.

For sports fans, a visit to Villa Park is a must. This historic football stadium is home to Aston Villa Football Club, one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in the country. Visitors can take a guided tour of the stadium and learn about the history of the club, or attend a match to experience the electric atmosphere of a live football game.

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, the Balti Triangle is a must-visit destination. This area of the city is renowned for its Balti houses, which serve up delicious and authentic curries that are cooked in a traditional style. The Balti Triangle is a great place to explore the city’s culinary scene and sample some of the best food that Birmingham has to offer.

The city is also home to several theaters, including the Birmingham Hippodrome, which is one of the largest theaters in the UK and hosts a variety of performances, including West End musicals and ballets. For those interested in music, the Symphony Hall is a must-visit, with its stunning acoustics and a packed schedule of concerts and events.

Birmingham has a rich history, and there are several historic landmarks that are worth exploring. One of the most famous is the Birmingham Cathedral, which dates back to the 18th century and is renowned for its stunning stained-glass windows and beautiful architecture.

Another notable landmark is the Jewellery Quarter, which is home to over 100 jewellery businesses and has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. Visitors can explore the area’s historic buildings, including the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, which offers a fascinating insight into the area’s history and heritage.

For those interested in architecture, the Library of Birmingham is a must-see, with its striking modern design and a vast collection of books and resources. Visitors can also enjoy stunning views of the city from the library’s rooftop terrace.

Birmingham is also known for its beautiful parks and green spaces, which provide a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city. One of the most popular parks is Cannon Hill Park, which offers a range of activities, including boating on the lake, mini-golf, and tennis.

If you’re interested in modern art, a visit to the Ikon Gallery is a must. This contemporary art museum, located in Brindley Place, features rotating exhibits of works by local and international artists. Admission to the gallery is free, and there are regular events and workshops for visitors to participate in. The Ikon Gallery is also located near several restaurants and bars, making it an excellent destination for an evening out.

For a unique experience, visitors should head to the Cadbury World Chocolate Factory. This popular attraction, located in Bournville, gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how chocolate is made, from the cocoa bean to the finished product. Visitors can take guided tours of the factory, sample chocolate treats, and even make their own chocolate creations. There is also a gift shop where visitors can purchase Cadbury chocolates and souvenirs.

For sports fans, a visit to the Edgbaston Cricket Ground is a must. This historic cricket stadium, located in Edgbaston, has been the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club since 1882. The ground has also hosted several international cricket matches and is known for its lively atmosphere during games. Visitors can take guided tours of the stadium and visit the cricket museum, which features exhibits on the history of the sport.

Here are some fun ideas to get you started

  • Visit Cadbury World: Explore the history of chocolate and learn about the Cadbury family and their iconic brand. Plus, indulge in some sweet treats!
  • Take a canal boat ride: Birmingham is famous for its network of canals, and what better way to see the city than by boat? Take a leisurely ride and enjoy the scenery.
  • Go to the theatre: Catch a show at the Birmingham Hippodrome, one of the UK’s largest touring theatres, or check out the Repertory Theatre for some cutting-edge drama.
  • Explore the Jewellery Quarter: This historic area is home to over 100 jewellery shops and workshops, as well as some great cafes and bars.
  • Visit the Custard Factory: This creative quarter is a hub for artists, designers, and independent businesses. Browse the boutiques and galleries or attend one of the regular events or festivals.
  • Have a night out in Digbeth: Known as the city’s creative quarter, Digbeth is home to a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues.
  • Go shopping at the Bullring: With over 160 shops, the Bullring is a shopaholic’s paradise. Plus, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to refuel at.

These are just a few of the fun things to do in Birmingham. So whether you’re visiting for a weekend or planning a longer stay, we hope you’ll enjoy everything that Birmingham has to offer!

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