England’s second largest city has long struggled with its reputation as a gray industrial city, but in recent years it has made great efforts to get rid of it. Serious planning errors and building sins of the post-war period were eliminated by large-scale demolitions and have made Birmingham interesting for city trips. The city center has been almost completely renewed and now attracts visitors with chic shopping areas, a redeveloped canal bank and many sights. A particular highlight is the Selfridges department store with its bold architecture. Birmingham has not only undergone a major architectural transformation. It now also offers many cultural opportunities, such as concerts by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Today, 1 million metropolis distinguishes itself with culture, nightlife, shopping and a gastronomy with Asian and Indian influences. As a result, Birmingham now attracts the most foreign visitors after London.
Tip 1: Jewellery Quarter
Once famous for its unsurpassed skill in gold, silver and diamonds, Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is now one of the city’s hippest and most unique neighborhoods.
With over two hundred listed buildings and a fascinating history that is second to none, the Jewellery Quarter is a walking time capsule for the city’s place on the world stage. Visit the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter or the Newman Brothers Coffin Works for an in-depth look at bygone neighborhoods.
The Jewellery Quarter is also home to a number of popular pubs and bars, making it a great place to visit in the evening hours. These independent pubs, bars and boutiques give the Jewellery Quarter its famous and lively atmosphere that lasts until the early hours of the morning.
Tip 2: Cadbury World
Located in the Bournville area of Birmingham, about a 20-minute drive from the city center, Cadbury World is where Charlie and the chocolate factory come to life. Suitable for both children and adults, Cadbury World tells the story of chocolate, from its use in ancient Central America to the modern confections we enjoy today.
Built on the world-famous Cadbury factory site, Cadbury World represents a brand and product as famous as the city of Birmingham itself. After nibbling on free samples of Cadbury chocolate, take a walking tour of the Bournville neighborhood – once a model village built for Cadbury factory workers.
Tip 3: Victoria Square
Victoria Square is a pedestrian-friendly square and one of the most important places in Birmingham. The square is a meeting place and landmark for visitors and locals alike. It also houses some of the city’s most important buildings, such as Town Hall. Strategically located in the center of Birmingham, Town Hall is an impressive historic building.
This 180-year-old building has hosted guests such as Charles Dickens, Joseph Chamberlain, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Moreover, the City Hall captivates with its stunning architecture that gives a captivating image of the city of Birmingham.
Tip 4: Brindleyplace
Birmingham can be forgiven for trying to compete with Venice for its myriad canals. Once the industrial heart of the city, the canals now offer city residents a different kind of landscape to admire and a breath of fresh air through the busy streets.
Much of the canal district and building frontages were transformed in the late 90s and early 00s, creating an upscale waterfront full of character and charm. Sip a cocktail on the canalfront or enjoy a three-course meal in one of the revamped buildings that now make up this iconic neighborhood in the city.
Brindleyplace in Birmingham, filled with restaurants and bars, is the perfect example of a city breathing new life into its dormant industrial past.
Tip 5: Birmingham Library
One of the most important places to visit in Birmingham is the public library. In addition to 400,000 books, it also houses the first complete edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and shares a building with the Birmingham Theatre, which makes it a place of special cultural significance.
However, the Library of Birmingham is also the largest public library in Europe. A surprising fact about its construction is that the exterior was modeled after the hanging gardens of Babylon