What to know before travelling to Birmingham
Right now, everyone is talking about Birmingham! Not only has it just hosted the Commonwealth Games, arguably one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar, but rumour has it that Birmingham is also in the running to host the 2023 Eurovision song contest. Aside from being a popular destination for events, Birmingham is an excellent choice for a UK city break, with a wealth of cultural attractions and something for everyone.
Is Birmingham worth visiting?
Absolutely! There are so many reasons to book a city break in Birmingham. Here are 10 of them:
- Birmingham is one of the UK's most diverse and multicultural cities, with no ethnic majority.
- It's jam-packed full of modern architecture.
- Birmingham has more Michelin restaurants than any other UK city outside London and more Indian Tandoori restaurants than you can count.
- It also boasts more miles of canal than Venice - perfect for a relaxing narrowboat ride.
- A shopper's paradise, Birmingham has shops galore in the Bullring and Grand Central, The Jewellery Quarter and New Street.
- Birmingham is one of the greenest cities in England, with over 8000 acres of award-winning green spaces and parks.
- Mingle with cool creators and Peaky Blinders enthusiasts in Digbeth.
- Lord of the Rings fans can visit the areas J.R.R. Tolkien drew inspiration from, including Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill.
- Cricket fans can catch a game at the international cricket ground of Edgbaston, or if track cycling is more your thing, there are often events at the NEC Arena.
- Westside in Birmingham is great for a night out with an eclectic mix of pubs, clubs and bars.
Top attractions in Birmingham
When planning your city break to Birmingham, you'll find p. Here are some Birmingham attractions to add to your travel itinerary…
Love all things science and technology? Then Thinktank is the place to visit. This fascinating science museum in Birmingham features four floors filled with interactive displays, hands-galleries and exciting experiments. Be sure to explore the outdoor Science Garden to learn about science and engineering and have a go on the giant hamster wheel. Tickets to Thinktank museum also cover entry to the Planetarium, where you'll have the opportunity to explore the solar system, ocean and even workings of the human body! It's got it all.
If you've got a sweet tooth, Cadbury World at nearby Bourneville is a popular visitor attraction and a great place to learn about Cadbury's history, process and legacy. Oh, and if you are wondering, you can sample some chocolatey goodness while you're there! Cadbury World is also home to the world's biggest Cadbury Shop - a great place to pick up some souvenirs of your trip to Birmingham.
The Jewellery Quarter
Whether you're ready to pop the question, want to make your own wedding rings, or marvel at the gorgeous sparkly jewels, Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter is well worth a visit. Here you'll find Europe's largest concentration of jewellers and silversmiths, known to produce over 40% of Britain's jewellery.
Alongside expert craftsmanship, the Jewellery Quarter is also home to some of Birmingham's best fine dining restaurants, bars, museums, galleries and shopping. As we said before, it's got something for everyone!
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
For floral lovers, Birmingham Botanical Gardens is just a 12-minute drive from the city centre. Spread over 15 acres, the 19th-century gardens are home to over 7000 plants worldwide, beautifully preserved Victorian glasshouses and various wildlife, including rare tropical birds.
It's the perfect place to stroll around on a sunny afternoon in the city and great for escaping the hustle and bustle for a while. On-site amenities include a tea room, gift shop and outdoor play area for children.
Birmingham Back to Backs
Take a trip back in time with a visit to Birmingham Back to Backs attraction. Just a short walk from the city centre, you'll find a unique collection of small back-to-back homes centred around a courtyard. In the mid-19th century, these tightly packed homes were built throughout Birmingham to meet its increasing population of industrial workers and offer a unique insight into the often challenging conditions in which the working class lived.
The exhibit is fascinating, but what makes Back to Backs an even more interesting visit is the guides' stories of the people who lived in the houses and their contributions to society.
Is Birmingham a good place for families?
Birmingham is a very family-friendly city with plenty for children of all ages to see and do. We’ve already mentioned Thinktank and Cadbury World, which are great places to visit in Birmingham with kids. But there is also the National SEA Life Centre and Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, which are both fascinating visits.
In terms of hospitality, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly hotels, restaurants and cafes peppered throughout the city. And, if the kids need to burn off some energy, there are numerous green spaces and parks to explore close to the city centre.
What is the best part of Birmingham to stay in?
If you’re visiting Birmingham for the first time and want to be at the heart of the action, we highly recommend booking a city centre hotel. Some of the top choices, all available to book through Planschange, include:
- The Grand Hotel Birmingham
- Comfort Inn Birmingham
- Hotel Du Vin Birmingham
- Macdonald Burlington
- Travelodge Birmingham Central Moor Street
Many of our Birmingham city centre hotel listings offer fantastic discounts and benefits like free cancellation.
For a trendy stay in the centre of arts, crafts and indie designers, choose a hotel in Digbeth. Popular hotels near Digbeth include:
- Aparthotel Adagio Birmingham City Centre
- Clayton Hotel Birmingham
- Premier Suites Birmingham
If you’re planning a wild night out in Birmingham, Westside is the place to stay. Popular hotels on Planschange near Westside include:
- Hampton by Hilton Birmingham Broad Street
- Birmingham Marriott Hotel
- Park Regis Birmingham