Dating back over 250 years, Jewellery Quarter is a conservation area with over 200 listed buildings and today one of Birmingham´s most vibrant locations with an amazing community spirit. This is also the home for more than 500 jewellery businesses, the beating heart of England's jewellery industry, making it a great place to buy some gifts and souvenirs. When here, you should also visit the award-winning museum on Vyse Street, called Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.
Designed by Joseph Hansom and inaugurated in 1832, Birmingham Town Hall is a Grade I listed concert hall located in Victoria Square. Today, it is a cultural hub together with its sister venue Symphony Hall, where to enjoy a diverse programme with classical concerts, jazz, dance, comedy rock, pop, folk and more. If you want to learn more about Birmingham’s most iconic historic building, then take the Town Hall tour and get an insight over the backstage areas.
Originally dating from 13th century, the contrast with the futuristic facade of the Bullring shopping centre is extreme, but this does not diminish the value of the church, either visually, historically, or as a meeting place. A peaceful retreat with beautiful interior in the middle of a shopping area.
Located one hour drive from Birmingham, Twycross Zoo is renowned as a specialist primate zoo where to discover a wide variety of monkeys and apes. But they have more than moneys, with more than 160 species and around 900 animals like leopards, meerkats, elephants, giraffes, birds, reptiles and many more you will for sure have a lot to explore.
Housed in a Grade II listed building, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG) is a vibrant museum in the heart of the city that offers over 40 galleries which are displaying world-class collection of art both from local and international artist. There are over 800,000 objects, everything from Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary art, including applied art such as ceramics, jewellery, silver, textiles, woodwork and more. And with lots of interactive displays, you will keep yourself busy here.
Explore the amazing sea life and learn more about the animal life, about turtles, sharks, clown fish, octopus and jellyfish to name a few. This is a great family attraction with plenty of activities for the children. Do not miss the walkthrough underwater tunnel where you get a closer look of these amazing animals.
One of Birmingham's largest tourist attractions with over 500,000 visitors each year, this amazing sight is definitely a must if you love chocolate since it allows you to discover the renowned Cadbury chocolate. With fourteen amazing zones to explore, there is plenty to see and do for the whole family and at the same time, you will learn how this lovely confectionery is made. A great experience that should not be missed.
At this museum, you can discover the world of science, investigate the past and take a peek into the future of technology. In these ten themed galleries, spread across over four floors with inspiring and interactive fun, you will definitely find yourself busy. There are more than 200 hands-on exhibits but make sure not to miss the state-of-the-art Planetarium and the outdoor Science Garden.
Opened its doors in 1984, The National Motorcycle Museum is known as the largest British motorcycle museum in the world. On display is a large amount of motorcycles, some 1000 plus machines, from vintage to new. Book a guided tour to get a more lively experience and when the hunger kicks in, there is an on-site restaurant on the first floor.
Take a stroll around these beautiful gardens and admire the stunning flowers and plants. As you walk through the garden you will encounter some wild life, there are birds and butterflies everywhere. There is also a Tea Room where you can sip a cup of coffee or tea and for the little once, there is a playground.
Only minutes from the city centre, you will find this unique Edwardian House and Botanic Garden with over 6000 different plant species from around the world. The rooms are filled with antiques and Edwardian era soft furnishings and as you walk around the house, you will get to learn the families that lived here. A perfect English heritage where you can soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era.
There is nothing quite so relaxing as a trip by canal boat and with City Canal Tour you will get the chance to discover the city from a different angle. Away2Canal is one of the companies providing canal tours and with them, you can choose to take either one hour trip or the short half-hour city centre cruise. The one-hour trip will take passengers through the Gas Street Basin and along the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.
In the heart of Birmingham city centre you will find Gas Street Basin, a canal network that once was a thriving port but today an area that boats, bars, cafés and restaurants. Take a lovely stroll along the canal side and experience an area where old meets modern living. And as the name reveal, this was the first street in Birmingham to have gas lighting.
Home to Aston Villa Football Club since 1897 and with a seating capacity of 42,682, Villa Park Stadium is one of the oldest and most well-known venues in world football. Hosted an array of prestige events like World Cup and European Championship matches. To get to know more about its history and tradition take a stadium tour or just simply visit during an exciting game.
When on holiday, it is not only about running around to discover all the exciting sights but also about relaxation and there is nothing quite so soothing then to go to a spa. Santai Spa is a luxury spa equipped with a salt cave, outdoor hot tub, pool, sauna and of course offers calming treatments like facials, massages and manicures. Located at Resorts World, a multi-entertainment complex with shopping, cinema, casino and dining so if you have time on your side, it is definitely worth a visit.
Located within the cosmopolitan area at Brindleyplace, Bank is a chic and elegant restaurant and bar with classical and seasonal cooking. This brasserie has lively atmosphere with a spacious yet intimate dining area and with an open kitchen, you will able to watch the chef in action. Come here for amazing steaks or just enjoy a delicious cocktail at the bar.
For authentic and fresh Indian food, head over to restaurant Pushkar where the award winning head chef Bishal Rasaily has created an eclectic menu with a mix of contemporary, traditional and original ideas. The food is prepared with quality and natural produce to get clean and refined flavours; this is Indian fine dining at its best.
Enjoy traditional Polish food in the heart of Birmingham. The restaurant is decorated in the style of an old country cottage with wooden tables and benches. This is a place where you can eat homely, hearty and rustic food, which are prepared with top quality ingredients. From the menu, you can pick numerous Polish classics like stuffed dumplings, beetroot soup, stuffed paprika and more.
Cucina Rustica serves fine Italian food in the heart of Birmingham in the well-known Jewellery Quarter. A restaurant where you can eat authentic Italian food in a warm atmosphere that is created by the attentive and welcoming service. From the menu, you can choose mouth-watering dishes like pizza, pasta and meat dishes, all prepared with passion and love.
Topokki is an excellent restaurant to experience Korean home cooking cuisine. The friendly and attentive staff serves delicious dishes like Korean dumpling, spicy fried pork and Korean style pancake. A modern place with an open kitchen where the dishes are bursting with authentic Korean flavours.
Michelin starred restaurant, Carters of Moseley is well worth a visit if you like classic British food with a modern twist. The chefs prepare the food with the finest ingredients, from Scottish beef to Cornish fish and vegetables from the local farmers. With your tasty food, select a glass of fine wine from the extensive wine list.
Simpsons is a French restaurant with a Michelin star and is a great place where to enjoy high quality food in a romantic and beautiful setting in the leafy Edgbaston. The attention to detail in the choice of food, ingredients, preparation and service is impeccable at this restaurant.
This steak house is beautifully located in the picturesque Georgian Square of St Pauls Church. The restaurant is housed in an 18-century cellar which creates a romantic and cosy atmosphere. The chef uses the best quality meat; the beef comes from the award-winning Becks Butchers in Kenilworth.
Looking for a different dining experience? Take a relaxing three-hour canal cruise around Birmingham and enjoy three-course dinner while admiring the beautiful views. The welcoming staff serves a wide variety of dishes with meat and fish; there is also a good selection of wine.
Viennese-inspired Druckers serves excellent, hand-made cakes and buns. You can also visit for breakfast or lunch, serving dishes like grilled paninis, sandwiches, soups and jacket potatoes. If you want to connect with your friends, this coffee shop offers free WiFi.
Welcome to this tranquil oasis in the middle of the busy shopping centre in Kings Heath´s. A place where to enjoy fresh made salad or home-cooked meal together with a Fair Trade coffee or tea. If you have a sweet-tooth, do not worry, they serve cakes and pastries too. They also cater for vegetarians and vegans.
Housed in a grand old building, this award-winning independent café chain is located in the heart of Corporation Street. Boston Tea Party serves simple and well-prepared food and drinks and it is all served in a family friendly atmosphere. They also have a kids menu.
Whether you want breakfast, brunch, lunch or just a cup of coffee (made by a knowledgeable barista), Urban Emporiums serves it all. Established in 2009, they have two locations in Birmingham (Jewellery Quarter and Church Street) where they serve sandwiches, pastry and cakes throughout the day and alcohol in the evening.
Nestled next to the Great Western Arcade in Temple Row, 6/8 Kafé is one of Birmingham´s leading artisan coffee shop where you can sip a cup of coffee made with fresh roasted beans while gazing at the ever-changing art exhibition. Check the Facebook webpage for upcoming live music and poetry evenings.
Overlooking the St. Paul’s Square, this stylish independent coffee shop is located in Jewellery Quarter where you can get all-day breakfast, brunch, lunch and yummy homemade cakes, which all can be accompanied with a cup of fine coffee. Popular among visitors and locals alike, Saint Kitchen is truly a youthful venue with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
Located at Briar Rose JD Wetherspoon Hotel, this busy pub, in the city centre of Birmingham tend to draw a mix crowd of people, which creates a dynamic atmosphere. Also, boast a restaurant where food such as burgers, steaks, salads, burritos are served. Both drinks and food are reasonably priced and it is all served by the friendly staff.
Always lively on Fridays and Saturdays, this unique Tiki bar, is the place to head for when craving for a delicious cocktail. In fact the bar has won many awards and many of the cocktails are their own creations, all prepared by experts. During weekends, DJs are playing a great mix of music and occasionally they host live music acts.
Tucked away on Temple Street, The Trocadero is a historic pub, a Grade II listed local that is hard to miss. This popular pub has a friendly buzz, where people a gather to enjoy food and drink for a reasonable price, but also a great place to get updated with the latest live sporting events.
The Old Joint Stock dates all the way back to 1862 and is a beautiful Grade II listed building, that was actually first built as a library. Not only is it one of the most loved pubs in town serving craft lager, seasonal ales and exclusive wines, but also a theatre where you can enjoy everything between stand-up comedy to musicals.
In the heart of the business district, less than 5 minutes’ walk from New Street, you will find The Wellington, a pub that specialises in real ale but also serves a range of quality lagers and ciders including foreign bottled beers and whiskies from around the world. They do not serve food but you are more than welcome to bring your own.
This is a perfect pub to stumble upon after a long day of discovering the city and all shopping that goes along with it. They have regular events for their guests, but what draws most guests are the great prices, cosy atmosphere and, of course, the ale. And if the hunger kicks in, they serve well-prepared pub food too.
Housed in a lovely Victorian house, this public house has been here for more than 100 years and is one of the most beautiful pubs in the country. Do not miss visiting The Bartons Arms, if not for the excellent beer then for the amazing interior. If you are feeling hungry, they serve tasty Thai food too.
The Old Contemptibles is a big favourite among locals and tourists alike, a place where the charming staff not only serves beverages but also British comfort food among other tasty dishes. With a great location, not far from the Jewellery Quarter, they invite you to a relaxing surrounding, great ale and an overall good evening.
Broadway Casino, in the heart of Birmingham is the leading independent casino in the city. Not only boasting a first class gaming floor but also other facilities like a sophisticated Italian restaurant, a stylish bar and a large lounge area. Games like roulette, blackjack and three card poker can be enjoyed as well as slot machines.
In Birmingham, much of the shopping is concentrated in the Bullring mega-complex. This is where you will find the traditional chains such as Karen Millen, Monsoon, Miss Sixty and HMV. The exception is Apple’s elegant computer shop, full of iPod accessories. The most interesting part, both the inside and the outside, is the highly self-assured Selfridges department store. If you are used to the London store, you should prepare yourself for a somewhat more focused, but still exciting range of goods.
Previously a mail sorting office on Wharfside Street, today The Mailbox is housing fashion shops and galleries. This is where the city has their exclusive stores like Harvey Nichols and shops like Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Armani. This is certainly one of the most luxurious shopping destinations in the town.
Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is situated 13 kilometres east of Birmingham, only 10 minutes from the city centre. The adjacent train station is reached via a short trip on the free 'Air-Rail Link' monorail system and between 00:30 and 02:00 there is a courtesy bus running to the station. Trains then depart for Birmingham; there are 7 services per hour from Birmingham Airport. However, they run less frequently in the evenings and at the weekends, (no trains at nights). Tickets can be purchased at the station for the 10 minute long journey to New Street Station. Bus 97A (a 24/7 service) connects Birmingham City Centre to Birmingham Airport. Tickets can be bought on the bus service. Licensed taxis operate 24-hour, and located directly outside the arrivals area of the terminal building. You can book your taxi ride in advance by email or phone (email [email protected] +44 (0) 7376 859 569).
In Birmingham, public transport consists of an extensive bus network and the inner suburbs are linked by local trains and trams. There are several different types of travel passes from which to choose, including a one-day rover pass. You can also pay your bus ticket when boarding the bus, but remember that you need to give the exact change. There are official bus stops scattered around Birmingham when wishing to board on a bus so hailing will not be necessary. For online timetables and fare information, check Network West Midlands website (www.networkwestmidlands.com/ways-to-travel/bus)