Visit Birmingham: Your Travel Guide

Birmingham skews young. With nearly half its population under 25, it’s a youth-centric city that brims with cheerful optimism. For proof, mall-shop at The Bullring and The Mailbox, see creative street art in vintage-loving East Side, or take to the scintillating nightlife on Broad Street.

Things to Do in Birmingham

Thinktank
There’s no time like the present to discover the past. Take a deep-dive into the foundations of modern science at this family-friendly museum. It holds a massive collection of classical artefacts, including some of the world’s earliest coins. Explore the city’s industrial past, the IMAX cinema and the state-of-the-art Planetarium.
Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-17:00.
Bullring Shopping Centre
It’s all bull. A giant bronze one, to be precise. This 5-ton statue stands at the middle of the mall, ready to charge. Charge your credit card at one of 140-odd stores, including big-brands like Gap, Armani Exchange, Forever 21 and G-Star Raw, plus English department store stalwart Selfridges. Afterwards, grab a treat from Millie’s Cookies and count your purchases.
Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham, B5 4BU
Open Monday–Friday 10:00–20:00, Saturday 09:00–20:00, Sunday 11:00–17:00
Hippodrome Theatre
No hippos were harmed in the making of this theatre. Or cast in a production. Home to the Birmingham Royal Ballet, many a lithe body has piqued and pirouetted across the stage since it first opened in 1895. Outside of ballet season, the theatre hosts the works – opera, pantomimes, dramas and a never-ending parade of West End shows. Book early for tickets.
Hurst Street, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB
Open Monday–Saturday 10:00–20:00. Check website for details
Birmingham Back to Backs
Get back to basics. These back-to-back houses are built around a communal courtyard. Once upon a time, a quarter of Birmingham’s residents lived here in cramped conditions. They squeezed into places much like this to work, rest and play. Learn about the lives of Birmingham’s forefathers on the quirky walking tour, or visit for a spot of boutique shopping.
55-63 Hurst Street/50-54 Inge Street, Birmingham, B5 4TE
Open Tuesday–Sunday 10:00–17:00. Check website for details.
The Mailbox
Bring a healthy appetite … for shoes! This building has gone from Royal Mail sorting centre to the hottest mall in town. Dandy up at fashion shops like Emporio Armani, or mix it up with a medi-pedi and a facial at Harvey Nichols. Whether you’re catching a film at the Everyman Cinema or dining out bistro-style, there’s always something happening here.
Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RD
Check website for details.
Symphony Hall
The orchestra is in session. Cue strings, woodwind, brass and percussion – and with a ding of the humble triangle, the music begins. See a performance by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and hear the orchestra reach a thunderous crescendo. Rock, pop and stand-up comedy shows are regular fixtures, in a venue celebrated for its acoustic flexibility.
Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2EA
Open Monday–Friday 10:00–18:00, Sunday 12:00–16:00. Check website for details
National Sea Life Centre
“Where were you on World Turtle Day”? May 23rd’s festivities may not be celebrated far and wide, but this centre centre takes them seriously. Every year, they draw attention to the plight of turtles in the wild. See them, plus blacktip reef sharks, horseshoe craws, Gentoo penguins and a big fat floppy Pacific octopus while walking the transparent underwater tunnels.
The Waters Edge, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HL
Open Monday–Friday 10:00–17:00, Saturday–Sunday 10:00–18:00
Broad Street
Broad tastes or niche needs? Whether you’re after a buffet or a balti, Broad Street has got you covered. This is Birmingham’s most renowned strip, packed to the brim with all-you-can-eateries and intimate canalside restaurants. After dark, join the young, fabulous and infinitely stylish to party the night away at Jongleurs, Mooch Bar or Gatecrasher.
Broad Street, Birmingham, B1
Check website for details.
Cadbury World
Chocolate’s in this season. Shoes, handbags, that sort of thing. Buy chocolate in the form of your favourite objects at the biggest Cadbury shop in the world! It’s attached to a factory that walks you through the brand’s history, and how they produce the most indulgent substance known to man. There are even chocolate-themed rides for the littlies – and free samples.
Linden Road, Bournville, Birmingham, B30 1JR
Open Monday–Friday 10:00–15:00, Saturday–Sunday 09:30–16:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Genting Arena
The lights dim. A figure steps into the spotlight. The crowd roars! See your entertainment heroes and heroines perform inside this multi-purpose entertainment venue. Over a million people a year pool into the city from far and wide to enjoy bands like The Moody Blues, Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5 and Take That, plus comedy and sports. There’s something for everyone!
Perimeter Road, Birmingham, B40 1NT
Check website for details.

When to Go to Birmingham

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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55 ℉ 40 ℉
60 ℉ 45 ℉
65 ℉ 50 ℉
72 ℉ 55 ℉
69 ℉ 54 ℉
65 ℉ 49 ℉
58 ℉ 47 ℉
51 ℉ 41 ℉
49 ℉ 39 ℉
19 %
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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

10
Exceptional
For shopping the Bullring is excellent. Brindley place is a really nice area to drink & dine. There are different types of restaurants & bars to suit all tastes & the waterside location makes it even more appealing.
Sarah
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017
8
Very Good
Love Birmingham ....everything is so central to get to....array of shops bars and restaurants .....friendly bunch
Jennie
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017
6
Review score
People were friendly. Just not as nice a city as I had imagined. Loads of beggars in your face constantly,even more than in London. Quite intimidating.
Audrey
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017
10
Exceptional
Fabulous shopping and nightlife .. highly recommend Edmunds restaurant food was exquisite .. Brasshouse fabulous if you love a good dance .. 80's, Motown, northern soul
Karen
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017
8
Very Good
The hotel was great, surrounding bars and restaurants were amazing and everything was so close! Great day and night and even better when the sun is out!!
Martin
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Birmingham

Jurys Inn Birmingham

8.6 Excellent

Score from 4,085 reviews

$67

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    809 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    428 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    411 related reviews
Hyatt Regency Birmingham

8.9 Excellent

Score from 2,666 reviews

$148

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    283 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    203 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    135 related reviews
ibis Styles Birmingham Centre

8.5 Very Good

Score from 2,233 reviews

$56

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    389 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    368 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    205 related reviews
ibis Birmingham Centre New Street Station Hotel

8.1 Very Good

Score from 2,908 reviews

$58

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    593 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    323 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    229 related reviews
Radisson Blu Hotel, Birmingham

7.8 Good

Score from 3,600 reviews

$88

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    432 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    416 related reviews
  • “comfortable beds”
    257 related reviews
Novotel Birmingham Centre

8.2 Very Good

Score from 1,872 reviews

$65

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    309 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    249 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    161 related reviews
Premier Inn Birmingham City Centre - New Street

8.9 Excellent

Score from 735 reviews

$74

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    215 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    199 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    91 related reviews
Crowne Plaza Birmingham City

8.5 Very Good

Score from 3,042 reviews

$95

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    346 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    336 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    243 related reviews
Holiday Inn Birmingham City

8.1 Very Good

Score from 3,003 reviews

$65

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    583 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    384 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    283 related reviews

Popular Neighborhoods in Birmingham

The Westside

29 properties

Westside has gone from blah to hurrah! In mere decades, it rocketed from fun-free industrial zone to an entertainment free-for-all. Walk the series of Canals in the Gas Street Basin, shop it up on Broad Street, get literary inspiration in the new Library of Birmingham, or stare at the Rubick's cube that is "The Cube".

Theatreland Birmingham

11 properties

Get a box seat at the best theatres in town. The Hippodrome, New Alexandra Theatre and the Old Rep represent the triumverate of noteworthy theatres in the area. From touring productions to musicals, foot tap the night away in style. After curtain call, head to one of the area's swanky restaurants.

Chinatown

9 properties

Chinatown had us fooled – it’s nowhere near as big as China, but the breadth of restaurants here is truly staggering. Luscious Asian cuisines are ripe for the picking, with restaurants that sell everything from bento boxes to egg foo yong. The area is plonked amidst a series of trendy nightclubs, just a stone’s throw from New Street Station.

Jewellery Quarter

8 properties

Arrive bare-necked and leave dripping with diamonds. This semi-residential area holds over a hundred jewellery stores. Buy truly outrageous gems from Mitchel and Co., or find an artisan to craft your perfect bespoke piece – which usually sell for much less than popular retailers. For divine inspiration, stop by the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.

Eastside

6 properties

Up-and-coming Eastside brims with student life. Activities in the area orbit around the Eastside City Park, which is flanked by a host of science and art-themed institutes. Evolve your view of the natural world at the Thinktank Science Museum. Watch aerial acrobatics at RoguePlay, or check out the giant cinema screen at Millennium Point.

Brindleyplace

4 properties

Brindleyplace has the whole shebang. A conglomeration of eateries, shops and entertainment venues are here, each with something for everyone. Dine al fresco at the quaint Café Rouge, then catch some musical theatre at The Crescent Theatre off Broad Street. Big kids will love The National SEA LIFE Centre’s bubbling aquariums.

Digbeth

3 properties

Do you dig? Birmingham’s creative quarter is a laid-back place to dive into the city’s heritage. The Typhoo Tea HQ and Wharf and Banana Warehouse underline the area’s industrial roots, which have given way to a hip café culture. Explore the vintage boutiques in the legendary Custard Factory, or snap funky street art like the mosaicked JFK Mural.

Gay Village Birmingham

2 properties

Out and proud, or just ready to get loud? Hit Hurst Street's nightspots for a howler of a glitter-filled evening. Drag queens, leather kings and fun-loving locals create a jubilant atmosphere. From cocktails to cabarets - and with nary a dowdy outfit in sight, thanks to the Bullring Mall next door - the village never runs out of steam.

Local Tips for Birmingham

Hidden Spaces
Elisabeth by Elisabeth

Native Brummie Elisabeth is a dedicated foodie who seeks out street markets and new restaurants.

Hidden Spaces aims to show unseen sides of the city and reveal the people and stories that have helped shape its history. Its events let you explore some of the city's most well-known historic buildings, including New Street Station, the former Municipal Bank and the Victoria Law Courts.

The Jekyll & Hyde
Jack by Jack

Cambridge-born Jack spent his 3 years in Birmingham discovering secret bars and restaurants.

This quirky bar-restaurant boasts over 90 different gins, retro sweets and a cocktail chemistry masterclass. The drinks come in all shapes and sizes and are even served in miniature bathtubs! And after a few inventive cocktails, what better than a mouthwatering burger or pie and mash?

  • 28 Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, B4 6BJ
  • www.thejekyllandhyde.co.uk
  • Open Monday–Thursday 12:00–23:00, Friday 12:00–23:00, Saturday 12:00–01:00
The Electric
Laura by Laura

A Brummie born and bred, cinema-lover Laura lived in Birmingham until she was 18.

The Electric is the oldest working cinema in the UK, and shows everything from retro classics to the latest blockbusters. It’s great to settle down in one of the comfy sofa seats and enjoy their homemade cakes or even a cheeky drink from the absinthe fountain!

The Rainbow Venues
Judith by Judith

When she’s not visiting Birmingham for work, Judith enjoys travelling and exploring new cultures.

The Rainbow’s got it all – a Victorian pub on the ground floor, a club in the cellar and a warehouse-style covered courtyard. I love the easygoing atmosphere and wide variety of events which bring together different genres and their crowds, from indie and hip-hop to house and reggae.

Read our FAQs on this destination –>

Recommended in Birmingham

We was told to avoid Broad Street as its the trouble-some area but we found it very pleasant and less drama then a Friday night in Brighton. Deff recommend if your under 25. If your over 25, check out the Arcadiam - its more up market, so nice dresses and heels for that one.

There are some very good vintage stores out towards the Custard Factory in Digbeth with is worth a look if you are into those sorts of clothes. The meat and rag market is also great to look around and there are some lovely things to get to eat there.

The Alexandra theatre is small and cosy and puts on good productions. It's fairly comfortable although the tiered seating is not great. If you are short you will struggle to see above the head of the person n front.

Eating around the jewellery quarter there are some nice gastro pubs but around Bennett's Hill there are some excellent restaurants which are away from Broad Street and the chain restaurants in Brindley Place.

A visit to the Bullring is a must along with the arcades and malls. Look behind New Street and you will find shops like House of Fraser etc that maybe you thought were not in Birmingham.

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Birmingham for food?

Ate at a fab Indian Restaurant East to East. Excellent value for really good quality food. Staff excellent.

its different in a good way

Very friendly and helpful

Transportation

Birmingham Transportation

Air - Birmingham Airport

The free AirRail Link connects Birmingham Airport to Birmingham International Station every 2 minutes from 05:15–02:00: just follow the signs in Arrivals. From the station, 7 trains an hour make the 10-minute trip to Birmingham New Street for GBP 3.60. Buses also stop outside the airport 24 hours a day and reach the centre in 25 minutes. Tickets are available on board for GBP 2.20 (exact change only). A taxi will charge about GBP 30 and take around 20 minutes.

Taxi

Licenced taxis in Birmingham are generally black London-style hackney cabs, which can be hailed in the street or found at taxi ranks. All hackney cabs are wheelchair accessible. Fares are standardised by the council and are metered, although the driver can negotiate a fixed fee for journeys which finish outside the Birmingham metropolitan boundary. It’s advisable to avoid any taxi which isn’t a hackney cab, and any unmarked car apart from pre-booked radio taxis.

Bus

Buses criss-cross the city, departing from various different points – you can pick up a route map at a tourist office, library or Travel West Midlands shop. Tickets are sold on board (cash only, no change given) and prices range from GBP 1.90–2.20 for adults, with reduced fares for kids. If you plan to make several journeys, a day pass offers better value at GBP 4. National Express West Midlands buses let you make a single trip within the city centre for just GBP 1.

Train

Trains are mainly used to reach other cities, rather than for travel within Birmingham. The main city centre stations are New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill, while Birmingham International serves the airport and NEC. Birmingham New Street is the city's major railway hub, with direct links to most major UK cities. Trains run between New Street and International from 05:29–23:53. Tickets are sold at desks and machines in stations, but are up to 40% cheaper online.

Tram

Midland Metro trams run out from the city centre as far as Wolverhampton. Trams operate from 05:15–00:00 (Sunday 08:00–23:45), with up to 10 an hour at peak times. Stops are marked with a pink and blue logo, and tickets are sold by an on-board conductor. Exact change is encouraged, and notes above GBP 10 can’t be accepted. A single ticket costs GBP 2.30 or a day pass is GBP 6.20. Fares are lower outside peak hours and for under 16s, while kids under 5 travel free.

Bicycle

Birmingham isn’t particularly well equipped for cyclists and doesn’t yet have a municipal bike hire service. Some local residents do cycle, but the traffic and absence of bike lanes make this a fairly unappealing option for most visitors. If you do decide to cycle in Birmingham, there are several private bike hire companies to choose from. It’s best to plan your route in advance and avoid the city centre whenever possible.

Car

Birmingham's roads can be confusing and somewhat daunting for visitors. Weekday traffic tends to be heaviest from 08:00–09:00 and 17:00–18:00, while Saturdays are busy with shoppers. Patience is needed when trying to get out of the city centre. There are many council-run Pay & Display car parks dotted around the city – tickets must be purchased from machines and displayed in the front windscreen. It’s advisable to carry a supply of small change in order to pay.

Scooter or Motorbike

A small minority of Birmingham’s road users choose to travel by motorbike or scooter. While this is a very effective way of getting around the city centre, it may be tricky for visitors who aren’t familiar with the Birmingham road network. On the upside, scooters and motorbikes can park for free in most major car parks, making them a convenient and cost-effective way to get about.

Food in Birmingham

Top Restaurants in Birmingham

Mid-Range Fare
International
Annexe
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Boston Tea Party
Cheap Eats
American
Chicago Gourmet Burger Company
Upscale Dining
British
Aalto
Mid-Range Fare
Japanese
Mount Fuji
Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Rossopomodoro
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Centenary Lounge
Mid-Range Fare
Polish
The Karczma
  • Polish Millennium House, Bordesley St., Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 5PH, United Kingdom
  • Open Tuesday–Saturday 11:00–23:00,Sunday 11:00–21:00
  • www.thekarczma.co.uk
  • 0044 121 448 0017
Mid-Range Fare
Gourmet
Bistro 1847
  • 26 Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B2 5HU
  • Open Monday–Friday 12:00–15:00 and 17:00–22:00,Saturday 12:00–22:30,Sunday 12:00–20:00
  • by1847.com
  • 0044 121 236 2313
Cheap Eats
Mexican
Habaneros Mexican Street Food
  • Temple Row, Birmingham, B2 5JP
  • Open Monday–Friday 11:30–15:00
  • habvan.com
Mid-Range Fare
Thai
Ekachai Noodle Bar
  • 1 Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham, B5 4BP
  • Check website for details.
  • www.ekachai.co.uk
Mid-Range Fare
British
The Old Joint Stock
Cheap Eats
Italian
Fumo
Mid-Range Fare
British
The Botanist
  • 14–16 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BG
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 12:00–00:00,Thursday 12:00–01:00,Friday–Saturday 12:00–02:00,Sunday 12:00–00:00
  • thebotanist.uk.com
  • 0044 121 600 7430
Cheap Eats
Gourmet
The Warehouse Cafe
Upscale Dining
International
Purnell's
Upscale Dining
Gourmet
Adam's
Mid-Range Fare
International
Pure Bar & Kitchen
Cheap Eats
Spanish
Rico Libre
Cheap Eats
Mexican
Bodega Bar and Cantina
Upscale Dining
Thai
Chaophraya
Upscale Dining
Cafe
Yorks Bakery Cafe
Upscale Dining
Indian
Asha's
  • Edmund House, 12–22 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 3LX
  • Open Monday–Friday 12:00–14:30 and 17:30–22:30,Saturday–Sunday 17:00–23:00
  • www.ashasuk.co.uk
  • 0044 121 200 2767
Mid-Range Fare
Chinese
Shangri-La Chinese Restaurant
  • 51 Station Street, Birmingham, B5 4DY
  • Open Monday–Thursday 12:00–23:00, Friday–Saturday 12:00–00:00, Sunday 12:00–23:00
  • 0044 121 616 2888
Mid-Range Fare
Chinese
Chung Ying
Find accommodations in Birmingham

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