Birmingham Travel Guide

Located in the heart of the British Midlands, Birmingham is a sprawling urban mass second only in size to the capital London. The city is well-known for its large immigrant community, particularly from South Asia, and has been long established as one of the country’s main economic centers. The city has not been renowned for its tourism attractions in the past but has received a major facelift in recent years and remains a great place for shopping and a night out.

Britain’s second city is best known for its Georgian and red-brick Victorian architecture, much of which remains intact. St Phillip’s Cathedral is one of the architectural highlights of the city, built in the beginning of the 18th century and featuring elaborate stained-glass windows. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is also an impressive building dating back to 1885 with the largest collection in the world by Edward Burne-Jones, a celebrated 19th century British artist.

As a shopping destination, Birmingham has a lot to offer from markets to high-end boutique shopping like the new, exclusive Selfridges store which is housed inside a unique, shiny, metallic structure that looks like it arrived from another planet. The nearby Bull Ring, an enclosed market dating back to the Middle Ages, is the must-do shopping experience in the British Midlands. Although it was recently renovated, resulting in the relocation of many independent retailers, it mixes its traditions with a more modern design and remains as popular as ever. For the best of Birmingham’s nightlife, head to the Arcadian in Chinatown, or Broad street.

Birmingham attractions

Museum and Art Gallery: dates back to the end of the 19th century and features an extensive collection of works by celebrated British artists, notably Edward Burne-Jones.

Bull Ring: has been recently redeveloped. This huge retail space claims to be one of the best shopping centers in Europe.

St Phillip’s Cathedral: boasts beautiful stained-glass windows that complement the attractive 300-year-old structure.

Broad street: is the centre of Birmingham’s bar and clubbing scene, which gets especially busy and rowdy on Friday and Saturday nights. Dress codes often apply so bring along your best.

Cadbury World: located just south of the city, this is the largest chocolate factory in the UK open to the public. Tours includes free chocolate.