Last updated on January 02nd, 2023
Birmingham is among the major cities in England. Situated in the West Midlands region, it is famous for its numerous Industrial Revolution-era attraction sites. They depict its rich history as a manufacturing powerhouse in the 18th Century.
The history of Birmingham dates back to 1889 when it earned the name ‘the first manufacturing town in the world’. To date, Birmingham city continues to be among the best places to live in and a great place to visit. Regardless of your traveling tastes, you will find many places of interest in Birmingham. This is because you will enjoy exploring the city’s rich culture, historical sites, and the great culinary art of the native inhabitants of Birmingham City, UK. Good to know, the city boasts several excellent luxury hotels and more affordable hotels for the budget traveller, as well as serviced hotel apartment accommodation.
If you are a lover of nature, you will have a lot to see in Birmingham because it boasts of a wide variety of wildlife, flora, and fauna, which means that you will be spoilt for choice. While at it, you could also enjoy tantalising cuisines and great entertainment at some of the best Birmingham restaurants.
Before your plans to visit Birmingham materialise, let us take you on a tour of the best places that you should visit the next time you are in the city. We will pick the places you have to visit if your interest is in culture, history, entertainment or wildlife and nature.
We will even tell you about the best places for dining in Birmingham, UK, as well as some unexpected gems that will blow your mind. The best thing is that you can easily access these places by public transport or in your private vehicle.
As England’s second-largest city, Birmingham is positively brimming with great things to see and do. No matter where your interests lie, you’re bound to find something entertaining, educational – and economically priced – within the city limits.
Some top attractions are highlighted below. The majority are located within a reasonable distance from one another; take your pick, and have fun.
Best Art and Culture Places in Birmingham
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
While in the city, you can also explore its rich exhibition of fine art, jewellery, archaeology, ceramics, natural history, historical metalwork, industrial history and local history. For instance, you get to see the Victorian Baroque and Edwardian Renaissance architectural styles on the buildings that house this museum.
The best thing is that you will not pay any entry fee to see the exhibitions at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. However, you may need to pay a fee to access some select exhibitions like the Gas Hall.
Library of Birmingham
The Birmingham library is located at Centenary Square in the western part of the city. It is the biggest public library in Europe. It was constructed as a flagship project of Birmingham City Council, which explains the architectural attention that this library received.
The library also boasts of the most modern architectural styles. In fact, it was the styles that made the Library of Birmingham win the 2013 building of the year award by Architects’ Journal.
Besides its historical significance, the Library of Birmingham boasts of a collection of about 800,000 books, photographs, music recordings, stamps, manuscripts, and official publications. The 200 staff that works here will help you out with any question and guide you on your search for anything that might interest you in the library.
Cadbury World Birmingham
Birmingham is the home of Cadbury and Bourneville. When you go to Cadbury World Birmingham, you will learn about the history of chocolate making in fun-filled 3D and 4D animations that feature famous Cadbury characters.
Your visit to Cadbury World, however, will not be complete without you plunging into the chocolate rain and riding the Cadabra.
It is imperative to note, however, that you must pre-book your visit to the Cadbury World, Birmingham. Information on their website points out that you must pre-book your visit. You, however, will find the website easy to navigate.
Best Historical Sites in Birmingham
Black Country Living Museum
The Black Country Living Museum will certainly interest you because it displays industrial buildings that date more than 300 hundred years. The open-air museum has a collection of old industrial buildings, houses, and shops. Some of them were relocated from where they were built originally so that they can be displayed in a central place.
With Birmingham being the first industrial town in the world, it will be interesting to visit this place and see how they built the first factories, the materials that were first manufactured, and get a chance to see how industrialisation has evolved.
If you have kids, you can be sure that they will also enjoy a tour of the city. At Black Country Living Museum in Birmingham, your kids will learn a lot about life during the pre-industrial era from the friendly and informed staff. With a restaurant on-site that serves great fish and chips, you can be sure that your kids will have a good time.
With a collection of more than a thousand motorcycles, the National Motorcycle Museum will amaze you, even if bikes do not interest you. The oldest motorcycle in the museum was made in 1898.
Interestingly, all the motorcycles have been repaired to look as good as they were when they were made. They also come with all the original manufacturers’ specifications. More than 250,000 people tour the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham every year. You will find it fascinating to compare the old models of bikes with the modern superbikes displayed adjacent to the exhibition of the historic motorcycles here at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.
Popular: National Motorcycle Museum Admission
Some points to note about Pen Museum in Birmingham is that it is situated at the place that used to house about 100 steel pen factories. Interestingly, this is where almost all the pens used in the world in the 19th century came from. The Pen Museum, found in West Midlands, is one of the best places to visit in Birmingham.
Besides touring the factory, you will also learn a lot about the evolution of calligraphy, different writing equipment, and accessories at the Pen Museum in Birmingham. Their well-informed staff will enlighten you on the significant role that Birmingham, UK played in writing development and pen making. They have a brilliant exhibition and their demonstrations on calligraphy evolution are sure to blow your mind.
Thinktank – Birmingham Science Museum
From the first steam engine to the sophisticated modern-day machines and robots, you will see their wide collection on display at Thinktank. The Thinktank Science Museum is not only about machines; visitors also get to see the impressive Planetarium and the Science Garden.
Thinktank science museum is on Curzon Street, West Midlands, Birmingham. It is accessible by public transport or private vehicles.
Best Places to Dine in Birmingham, UK
The Karczma is a popular spot for serving mouth-watering polish traditional dishes. If you wish to enjoy a taste of authentic polish meals, be sure to visit the Karczma while in the city. By using a wide variety of ingredients, this diner prepares and serves food that reflects the hearty and homely culture of the polish people.
Some of the delicacies on the menu are Zurek, a soup made from Pickled Ryle flour, Pierogi, your stuffed dumplings and Berszcz or beetroot soup. It will take you about 5 minutes to get to the Karczma from the Bull Ring Shopping Center.
Grand Central Kitchen, Birmingham
Grand Central Kitchen is the place you visit while in the city if you are looking to enjoy the best European foods. From the English breakfast that is served any time of the day, to the Baguettes, Panini and jacket potatoes, this facility ensures you find every kind of food associated with the Europeans.
The workers are friendly, and you can order take away food too.
@ Pizza, Birmingham
When you want to enjoy the best Pizza in Birmingham, @ Pizza is the spot. They make a wide variety of pizzas and will even serve you a dessert pizza. Besides enjoying their delicious pizzas, you will also be delighted to find their staff welcoming, helpful and swift. You can enjoy a gluten free, vegan or vegetarian friendly pizza.
To enjoy a night out with a difference, try the Night Owl, the Glee Club or Jekll & Hyde. Here, you can expect great comedy, soul music, live bands and much more.
Edgbaston, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club
Enjoy a game of cricket at one of Birmingham’s great sport venues, Edgbaston Stadium. It is one of the World’s most famous cricket stadiums and has been home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club since 1882. Cricket fans from across the World will love a visit to the Edgbaston Stadium The electric atmosphere is what makes this notable stadium a favourite whether you are here for a friendly match or finals. There is even a family stand, Drayton Manor, so there is something for everyone.
Villa Park is one of the oldest stadiums in the football world. The 42,000-seat stadium has been home to Aston Villa Football club since 1897. It has an architecture that only a few stadiums can match. Other than premier league games played, you can have hours of entertainment with your family at the Family Fun Zone. Activities at the fun zone include challenge-based games, giant inflatables, football events, face painting, and much more. Current and former players can also make special appearances.
If you love football, St Andrew stadium should be on top of your itinerary. Since its construction in 1906, it has been the home ground of Birmingham City Football Club. Over the years, it has continued to be a venue for some of England’s international football matches, semi-final matches in the FA Cup, and finals of lesser tournaments. Other than football, the stadium host other events in sports, including rugby, professional boxing, and more recently, it has staged world-class music concerts.
Birmingham Hippodrome is famous theatre which showcases many live performances throughout the year from plays to ballet, opera, to family pantomimes and comedy, making it one of the well worth places to visit in Birmingham with family and friends. The theatre provides booster seats for small children who sit behind tall guests. If you arrive before your show starts, there is an in-house restaurant that serves incredible food and great drinks. You can have a quick bite or experience fine dining in the Birmingham style.
If listening to classical music is one of your favorite past times, then you will love Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. It is also one of the most beautiful concert halls in Europe as its architecture draws travellers from all over the World. Prestigious international orchestras are frequently held here, and different styles of music are showcased here from jazz to rock and stand- up comedy. Furthermore, the hall is also home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Wildlife and Nature
This is a great place where you and your family can spend the entire day. The National Sea Life Centre displays over 1,000 different animals that include otters, turtles, jellyfish, nurse sharks, octopi, and other beautiful creatures. These animals are placed within giant glass tanks with corridors running underneath, allowing you to walk through the corridors and admire the sea life. There are plenty of attractions around that the kids will love, such as the soft play area and 4D cinema.
Popular: SEA LIFE Birmingham Admission Ticket
Winterbourne House and Garden
For a precise impression of the past, be sure to visit the Winterbourne House and Garden. Here you will immerse yourself into an exceptional heritage attraction, the gorgeous Winterbourne house, which has been turned into an Arts and Crafts majesty. Not only will you get the opportunity to enjoy the classic interior decorations of times gone by, but the house also lies in a seven-acre piece of lovely botanic gardens, making it a wonderful place to go for a leisure walk. It’s a beautiful place to escape and relax. It’s only minutes from Birmingham city centre, so it is easily accessible to everyone.
Cannon Hill Park
Cannon Hill Park is Birmingham’s most popular park. It includes a sailing and boating lake, a tennis court, a garden tea room, fun park, golden putter mini-golf, and bridges cafe. It’s made up of 80 acres of formal parkland and 120 acres of conservation and woodland plantation. The park is also home to the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park and the Midlands Arts Centre, which has its own cafe, bar and cinema. If you have children, they will enjoy looking for frogs, hedgehogs, and other animals within the woods. If the weather is sunny, take a boat ride on the lake.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses
Located in Edgbaston close to the city centre, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and glasshouses covers 15 acres of land. The botanical gardens are a Victorian attraction that features things such as the ubiquitous bandstand and a conservatory. The glasshouses are filled with all kinds of plants, while the lawns and shrubs outside are perfect for a walk during the sunny months.
If you are an animal lover, then this small, family-run Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park in Edgbaston might be just the place to add beauty to your holiday. It was previously called the Birmingham Nature Centre. This mall zoo has a wide range of endangered animals from across the world, including red pandas, ocelots, lemurs, Utila island iguanas, reptiles, otters, meerkats, birds, lynx, wallabies, and yellow-breasted capuchin monkeys. The main effort is to conserve rare species.
Best Hidden Gems in Birmingham
Ash End House and Children’s Farm
You and your kids will get the best farm experience here at Ash End House and Children’s Farm in Birmingham. Apart from the different animals that you will see, your kids will also learn many things related to living on a farm.
Located along Middleton Lane, Birmingham, you will find tons of fun activities for you and your children. You can go on a pony ride, a tractor ride or bottle-feed some lambs, baby guinea pigs, rabbits, or goat kids.
Your children will be happy to see, pet and take care of these small animals, especially if they are doing this for the first time. Collecting an egg and the chick chat is another memorable activity at this Birmingham farm.
To enhance your tour, set aside at least 3 hours for your visit to Ash End House and Children’s Farm. Besides ensuring your entire family has fun, the farm also has a supportive and responsive team and a great restaurant.
You can also be sure that you will enjoy fresh food and meat since most of it comes from the farm. Before leaving, make sure to try out their coffee. It might be the best you ever tasted! Moreover, their rates are reasonable.
Lickey Hills Country Park
It is hard to believe that this is the oldest park under the care of Birmingham City Council. In fact, it is considered one of the city’s treasures due to the hundreds of flower species, sculpture walk, sprawling woodlands, and walking trails that define it. When you need to unwind and enjoy a breath of fresh air, the place to go to is Lickey Hills Country Park, Birmingham.
Apart from enjoying nature walks, you can play table tennis, ride a horse, or go cycling in the vast park. The park also has a golf course for adult golfers and a mini-course for younger children.
Your visit will also not be complete without taking a panoramic view from the best viewpoint in Birmingham, the Beacon Hill. At 297m above sea level, the Beacon Hill at Lickey Hills will give you the most extensive view of the neighbouring landscape.
The park is well maintained. If you have an interest in plants, you can even ask a guide to explain the abundant types that they tend.
Woodview Pocket Park
If you have kids and you want to take them to a place where they can play on a luxuriant court, Woodview Pocket Park is the best choice for you. The zip slide, the swings, and the climbing frame will be an instant hit for your children.
You will also be surprised at how close Woodview Pocket Park is to the town centre. It is located in West Midlands, in Birmingham city. You can contact their customer care desk using the contacts displayed on their user-friendly website.
Although it is among the best points to visit in the city, I would advise you to go to this park on weekdays when there are fewer visitors. It is imperative to note that they do not have dining facilities, although there is a MacDonald’s in the vicinity.
The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is a hidden gem that is worth a look. It was previously run by Smith and pepper, who produced jewellery from this very factory for over 80 years. In 1981, he retired, and the building was closed with all the tools and materials being left in the exact condition. A tour of this museum will provide a real authentic experience of 200 years of history. Approximately 40 percent of UK’s jewellery is made here.
Tucked away behind the Custard Factory, Fazely Social is a stunning cafe bar and one of Birmingham’s hidden gems. It serves delicious foods and great drinks in a welcoming atmosphere. If looking for fine dining in a casual atmosphere, Fazeley Social is a great little spot to start at. Usually only available for private bookings and parties, the neighbouring Fazeley Studio opens its doors on Friday nights for parties and club nights.
The Sara Preisler Gallery
Situated in the Custard Factory, the Sara Preisler Gallery is a hidden gem in Birmingham that many don’t know it exists. The leading jewellery designer, Sara has been creating beautiful and unique pieces since 1993. The gallery is also famous for displaying fashionable, handmade jewellery, alongside other stunning pieces. Different collections at the gallery will leave you amazed. The jewellery, silverware, ceramics, glass, wire sculpture, textiles and photography– all are from top UK designers. You won’t find these pieces anywhere else.
Whatever your area of interest is, Birmingham is not short of places to visit, have fun, learn new things and see fascinating things. Your trip will also be easy to arrange since you can access most of the best places in Birmingham either by public transport or by a private car. While staying for a few days, be sure to take one or two day trips from Birmingham as well.
It is also worth noting, however, that you might need to pre-book your visit to some of the places listed above.
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