20 Fun Things To Do in Birmingham, UK by JetSettingFools.com

20 Fun Things To Do in Birmingham, UK

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If you are taking a trip to Birmingham, England, you may be wondering what to do. We understand; when mentioning we planned to visit Birmingham to family, friends and fellow travelers, there wasn’t the typical enthusiastic responses and passionate suggestions. So, we pondered how to fill our travel itinerary for the second-largest city in the United Kingdom.

Despite Birmingham playing a key role in the Industrial Revolution – and being home of both the (fictitious) Peaky Blinders and the (real-life) author JRR Tolkien – it has yet to gain traction as an international travel destination.

That said, the city is well known for its spectacular festivals, which is precisely what prompted our Birmingham, UK trip. We were lured there by one of the top events: The Birmingham German Christmas Market. We love German-style holiday fairs – and Birmingham’s proclaims to be one of the best. So, when we made plans to be in London for Christmas, we tacked on an extra trip to Brum!

From London, the two-hour train trip to Birmingham takes longer than the flight to Frankfurt. The irony didn’t escape us. However, we are always intrigued by new experiences – and having already visited the actual Frankfurt Christmas Market, we were eager to join the festivities in a different locale.

It came as a bit of a surprise when we discovered an astounding number of fun things to do in Birmingham, UK beyond the holiday fair. In the end, we spent 4 days sightseeing in Birmingham and soaking up the various vibes.



Things to do in Birmingham, England, UK

Our list of the best things to do in Birmingham, United Kingdom features the famous sights, fantastic attractions and fun activities from our own personal experiences.

We traveled as a couple, but there are plenty of things to do in Birmingham with kids, and we highlight the best ones in our list. As budget-conscious travelers, many of our recommended activities are free things to do in Birmingham. In fact, we found it to be quite affordable, especially compared to other UK cities.

Save, Pin or Bookmark this Birmingham Travel Guide to plan your trip to the UK!


#1 Admire Victoria Square

Victoria Square and Fountain, Birmingham, England, UK

Marking the city center, Victoria Square is one of the top things to see in Birmingham. Ringed by ornate architecture – including both the historic Council House and Town Hall – Victoria Square is a vast, pedestrian-only public space. At the center is a tiered fountain, called The River.

View of the Chamberlain Memorial, Birmingham, UK

Top Travel Tip: Don’t miss Chamberlain Square, which is adjacent to Victoria Square and tucked behind Town Hall. Once a marvel of Victorian architecture, now it hosts a mishmash of architectural styles, statues and monuments – including the 1880 Chamberlain Memorial Fountain.


#2 Appreciate the Art at Birmingham Museum

Exterior of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – or BM&AG – is housed in part of the Council House building. The entrance is situated on Chamberlain Square beneath the soaring Big Brum clocktower. Inside, the exhibition space features an impressive collection of artworks and historic displays.

Paintings in the art gallery include pieces by well-known artists, such as Edgar Degas, John Constable and Francis Bacon. Meanwhile, the museum exhibits are dedicated to history, stretching from ancient times to the modern history of Birmingham.

Sightseeing Tip: There is no fee to enter BM&AG and it tops many lists as one of the Best Free Things To Do Birmingham, England!


#3 Attend a Live Performance

Exterior View of Birmingham Town Hall, UK

Music and live performances are a big part of Birmingham culture – and there are a multitude of music venues in the city center.

Two of the best places to catch a show are Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall, which are right in the heart of downtown Birmingham. Visitors can check out the full lineup of events – featuring both paid and free entertainment – on the B:Music website.

Utilita Arena and O2 Academy are two other concert halls in central Birmingham that host musical acts – along with a slew of other smaller, more intimate venues.

Travel Foodie Tip: The B:Eats restaurant at Symphony Hall churns out tasty and classic Birmingham food! We share more tips on what and where to eat in Birmingham later in the article.


#4 Get a Good Look at the Birmingham Library

Exterior of the Birmingham Library, UK

It may sound strange, but visiting the library is one of the coolest things to do in Birmingham, England. The Library of Birmingham has earned a barrage of accolades – for the building itself to the collections it contains to the rooftop garden – and it’s absolutely free to visit.

Located on Centenary Square, the library’s contemporary architecture is unusual and evocative. Inside, the space feels as much as a museum as a public library. Of the many collected works, the most impressive is the Shakespeare Memorial Room, housing one of the most significant Shakespeare collections in the world.

View of the Birmingham Library Garden, UK

Not to be missed are the two rooftop terraces. The 3rd floor balcony offers benches for reading and overlooks the square below, while the 7th floor ‘Secret Garden’ boasts a spectacular green space and panoramic views of the city.

Trip Tip: Looking for more things to do around the Birmingham Library? Check out the City Center Gardens for a quiet escape – or pay tribute to fallen soldiers at the Hall of Memory on Centenary Square.


#5 Stroll along Gas Street Basin Canal

Walk Gas Street Basin Canal, Birmingham, UK

The Canals of Birmingham are a remnant of it’s industrial past – a time when these waterways were essential for transporting goods. Today, however, the tow paths are pedestrianized – and walking the canals ranks as one of the top Birmingham things to do.

The city boasts 35 miles of these channels, which tops the total length of canals in Venice, Italy. The most picturesque waterway is the Gas Street Basin Canal (which is labeled on Google Maps as the Birmingham Canal Old Line).

The Distillery on the Canal, Birmingham, UK

The revitalized route passes by old brick warehouses which have been converted into restaurants and bars, as well as the retail and entertainment areas, Brindley Place and Mailbox.

Tip for Your Trip: Hop aboard a canal cruise with Brindley Cruises for history lesson on the extensive network of canals in Birmingham!


#6 See the Exhibits at Ikon Gallery

Ikon Gallery Building, Birmingham, UK

The Ikon Gallery is a Birmingham must-see for contemporary art fans. The museum displays rotating artworks by local and international artists in a variety of mediums, including paintings, photography, sculpture, film and mixed media.

Established in 1964, The Ikon is one of the top museums in Birmingham, UK – and it is free to visit the exhibitions.

Top Tip: Ikon Gallery is housed in a beautiful neo-gothic brick building that was designed in 1877 as a school.


#7 Sit and Relax with Rock Stars

Bench at Black Sabbath Bridge, Birmingham, UK

Since the middle of the 20th century, Birmingham has churned out a number of chart-topping bands. Musical acts like The Moody Blues, Duran Duran and Fine Young Cannibals all hail from Birmingham.

But here’s an interesting fact: The heavy metal music genre was born in Birmingham, UK. It happened in 1968 when locals – Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill – formed Black Sabbath.

As a tribute to the heavy metal band, the city erected the Black Sabbath Bench on the Broad Street bridge above the Old Line Canal. The bench is graced with images of the band members so visitors can take a seat with the rock stars.

Photo Tip: Use the QR code on the bench to access a live stream camera to take photo of you and your travel crew while sitting with the lads on Black Sabbath Bridge!


#8 Eat, Drink and Shop at Mailbox

The Mailbox, Birmingham, England, UK

The Mailbox Birmingham is one of the city’s best renovation projects. Once a sorting facility for the Royal Mail, the space has been refurbished into a fashionable entertainment district complete with a luxury movie theater, boutique shops, trendy canal-side restaurants and hip bars.

Top Travel Tip: Watching a flick at the upscale Everyman theater at Birmingham Mailbox promises a personalized cinema experience. It is firmly one of the Fun Things To Do Birmingham on rainy days!


#9 Walk through a Historic Arcade

Entrance to Great Western Arcade, Birmingham, UK

Arcades – covered walkways lined with high-end shops – were fashionable in the 19th century and a few have survived to this day. Walking through the elegant and stylish shopping arcades is one of the fun things to do in Central Birmingham.

The Piccadilly Arcade dates to 1926 and features a beautiful, hand-painted ceiling mural. Plus, it’s a fantastic place for window shopping or picking up a special souvenir.

Entrance to Piccadilly Arcade, Birmingham, UK

Great Western Arcade is even more charming. The Victorian-style passageway was built in the late 1800s for the railway and many of the original elements (like the elaborate entryway) remain.

Trip Tip: Visitors who like seeking out these hidden gems can find two more covered shopping lanes in the city: Burlington Arcade and City Arcade.


#10 Listen to the Roar of Ozzy the Bull

Ozzy the Bull, New Street Station, Birmingham, UK

A mighty bull might seem an unlikely mascot for a British city, but Ozzy is a symbol of Birmingham. When the city hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2022, a 33-foot-tall mechanical bull – then called Raging Bull, now called Ozzy – became an icon of the event. The head-moving, tail-swishing, roaring bull, which is made of factory machine parts, is a nod to Birmingham’s industrial past.

Ozzy the Bull (named after Ozzy Osbourne) now resides in the center of New Street Station greeting both visitors and local Brummies on their return home. Catching the bull in motion is one of the fun things in Birmingham…for both kids and adults!

Tip for your Trip: As the bull is Birmingham’s mascot, Ozzy isn’t the only one in town. Visitors can also find a 6-ton, bronze bull called The Guardian at the Bullring Shopping Center – which is next on our list of Birmingham, England things to do.


#11 Go Shopping at Bullring Shopping Center

Exterior of the Bullring Shopping Center, Birmingham, UK

Shopping has long been one of the top activities to do in Birmingham. The city evolved from a simple market town in the 1100s into a thriving marketplace by the Middle Ages. The Bull Ring – a 16th century bullpen next to St. Martin’s Church – was the epicenter of the city’s trade. When a modern mall was built on the site in 2003, they kept with tradition and named it the Bullring Shopping Center.

Bull inside Selfridge’s, Birmingham, UK

At Bullring Mall visitors will find all of the popular name-brand retailers – including flagship stores for H&M, Victoria’s Secret and London-based River Island. Selfridge’s is also housed at Bullring, and while the interior offers a sensational dose of creativity, it’s the silver-dotted exterior that truly makes the mall one of the top tourist attractions in Birmingham, UK.

Top Tip: Shoppers will also find a number of stores in the vicinity of Bullring. Most notable is the Primark on High Street, which ranks as the largest Primark in the world. The gargantuan size of the store has even earned it a spot in the Guinness World Records.


#12 Meander through the Birmingham Markets

Fresh Fruit, Open Market, Birmingham, UK

Shopping in Birmingham isn’t limited to malls and department stores; the city hosts fantastic markets, too. Situated on the south side of the Bullring & Grand Central Shopping Centre are the Bullring Markets: Open Market, Rag Market and Indoor Market – and they are three of the best markets in Birmingham.

The Open Market, an open-air produce bazaar under a canopy, is vibrant and full of color. It’s a great place to pick up fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables.

The building next to the Open Market houses the Rag Market, which boasts an astounding 350 vendor stalls hawking an abundance of household goods. Patrons can shop for everything from work boots to lingerie to kitchen appliances to kids’ toys – all under one roof. 

Fresh Fish, Indoor Market, Birmingham, UK

Next to the Rag Market is the Indoor Market, a mecca of fresh seafood, butchered meats and pungent scents!

Sightseeing Tip: While shopping at Bullring Markets is one of the fun things to do in Birmingham City Centre, take a moment to step inside St. Martin’s Church. The Victorian church dates to the mid-1800s and the stained-glass windows are gorgeous. 


#13 Check Out the Chinese Quarter

Street in the Chinese Quarter, Birmingham, UK

One of the top things to do in Birmingham is to explore the Chinese Quarter. During the 1950s, the city saw in influx of Asian immigrants – and by the 1980s, Birmingham had its own Chinatown.

Today, the district is awash with Asian eateries, red lanterns and a towering pagoda. Stop in one of the stores – like Day In Supermarket – to shop for an array of Asian goods, grab a bubble tea at Xing Fu Tang or settle in for a feast at the Ming Moon Buffet.

Chinatown Cheese Onion Ham Bun, Birmingham, UK

While in the Chinese Quarter, pop into the Birmingham Back to Backs Museum (ticket required) to see how people lived in Birmingham in the 1800s.

Travel Tip: Just to the south of the Chinese Quarter is Gay Village, the heart of Birmingham’s LGBTQ community and an exuberant nightlife destination.


#14 Step Back in Time at The Old Crown Pub

Exterior of The Old Crown Pub, Birmingham, UK

The Old Crown Pub is as classic as they come. It ranks as the oldest secular building in Birmingham – dating to the year 1368 – and it’s a fine spot for a pint and traditional pub food.

The cozy interior features an ancient brick fireplace and old wooden beams across the ceiling, the beer garden exudes a fun vibe in the summertime, and they even have accommodations available upstairs.

More Drinks for your Trip: Drinking craft beer is one of the fun Birmingham, England things to do and later in the article we highlight our favorite places for a pint of locally produced brew.


#15 Explore Red Brick Market in Digbeth District

Red Brick Market, Digbeth, Birmingham, England, UK

Artistic and offbeat, Digbeth is Birmingham’s bohemian district – and it is flush with all things fun and funky!

By day, the Red Brick Market is the top attraction in Digbeth. A shopping extravaganza of independent retailers, Red Brick gathers more than 50 traders under a single roof. From second-hand threads to creative handmade goods, Red Brick is one of the most unique places in Birmingham.

Items for Sale, Red Brick Market, Digbeth, Birmingham, UK

After dark, Digbeth bars are the hip place to hang out. Roxy Lanes has games (like bowling, shuffleboard and beer pong), Golf Fang has glow-in-the-dark indoor putt-putt (along with cracking cocktails) and NQ64 at Custard Factory has nostalgic arcade games.

Top Tip: Watching an independent film at Mockingbird Cinema in Digbeth Custard Factory is another one of the fun things to do in Birmingham at night!


#16 Seek Out Amazing Street Art

Discover Digbeth Street Art in Birmingham, UK

Graffiti and street art are quite prevalent in Birmingham – especially in Digbeth. Visitors looking for interesting things to do in Birmingham can spend a couple of hours seeking out the best street art murals in the city.

Floodgate Street – and the train arches that cross over it – is one of the best places for the artistic expressions, but impressive murals are found all over Digbeth. Travelers who want to make the most of their time can join a Street Art Tour led by a local guide. 

Sightseeing Tip: Street art isn’t limited to Digbeth. In fact, Banksy, the most well-known street artist in the world, painted a mural in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter (a district we visit a bit later).


#17 Go inside the Gorgeous Birmingham Cathedral

Interior of the Birmingham Cathedral, UK

The Birmingham Cathedral Church of St. Phillip was built in 1715 – and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Although rather small – it’s the third-smallest cathedral in the United Kingdom – it is well worth a visit.

The highlight of the church are the four stained-glass windows, which were created by artist Edward Burne-Jones in the late-1800s. The windows add a punch of color to the otherwise stark interior.

Budget Travel Tip: There is no ticket required; visiting the cathedral is one of the things to see in Birmingham for free!


#18 Discover the Jewellery Quarter

The Stone Room, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, UK

A unique enclave in the city of Birmingham, the Jewellery Quarter attracts all types of visitors. Architecture aficionados will appreciate the buildings – more than 200 of them are listed on the conservation register. History buffs can enjoy the JW Evans Silver Factory – a factory-turned-museum where time stands still. Foodies might indulge at the Hockley Social Club.

But, of course, the main draw of the district is the independent jewelry workshops and sparkling showrooms. Discover the JQ on your own or join a fun walking tour that features a few hidden gems (pardon the pun!).

Top Tip: Visitors can learn more about the history of crafting jewelry in Birmingham at the informative Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.


#19 Creep into the Brookfields Cemetery

Catacombs at Brookfields Cemetery, Birmingham, UK

Visiting Brookfields Cemetery (also called Warstone Lane Cemetery) is one of the quirky – if not a bit creepy – things to do in Birmingham, UK. Founded in 1847, some of Birmingham’s most notable citizens have been interred here.

A stroll through the burial grounds reveals headstones that are leaning, broken or covered in moss (which definitely adds to the eerie factor). At the center of the graveyard is an unusual and beguiling attraction: Catacombs. The burial chambers were built into the side of an old quarry, but unfortunately, there is no way to enter them.

Travel Tip: The nearby Key Hill Cemetery, which resembles a park more than a burial place, is also worth checking out.


#20 Step out on St. Paul’s Square

Exterior of Saint Paul's House, Birmingham, England, UK

Built in the 1770s, St. Paul’s Square was designed to attract Birmingham’s upper class (and that it did). Standing at the center of the lush square is St. Paul’s Church – and gorgeous Georgian residences encircle the green space.

Those looking for more historical things to do in Birmingham should visit the church – it’s a Grade I listed site with a stained-glass window that dates to 1791. After marveling at the beauty of the area, saunter into the award-winning 40 St Paul’s or the bar at Saint Paul’s House for a spectacular gin cocktail or a cup of tea. Does it get any more British than that?!

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View of Centenary Square, Birmingham, UK

We have shared our top picks for what to do in Birmingham, UK, but there are a few more attractions to mention. These activities came highly recommended by Birmingham locals!


Go to a Quirky Museum

Those who are intrigued by odd attractions and are searching for unusual things to do in Birmingham might want to take a tour of The Coffin Works Museum, which details how coffins are made.


Watch a Movie at a Vintage Cinema

The cinema scene in Birmingham is in full swing – and theaters range from historic to posh. For a unique, vintage experience, watch a film at The Electric Cinema. The theater, which has just two screens, opened in 1909 and is the oldest working theater in the United Kingdom.


See Penguins at National Sea Life Center

Visit the National Sea Life Center, Birmingham, UK

Rated as one of the top things to do with kids in Birmingham, the National Sea Life Centre offers visitors a chance to see penguins, otters and seals – and a highlight is walking through a 360-degree Ocean Tunnel.


Play at Legoland

Another one of the highly-rated things to do in Birmingham for kids, Legoland is an exciting entertainment center complete with a 4D cinema and hands-on workshop.


Learn at ThinkTank Birmingham Science Museum

The ThinkTank Science Museum is one of the family attractions in Birmingham that appeals to guests of all ages. From the Planetarium to the mini-city to the Science Garden, visitors can easily spend an entire day discovering the exhibits.


Follow the Footsteps of the Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders Mural, Birmingham, UK

Fans of the Peaky Blinders television series can set off on their own to find Birmingham filming locations and places of inspiration for the show – but it is probably much more fun to join a guided tour. On this tour, ‘Edward Shelby’ leads participants to the must-visit places in Birmingham while telling enthralling stories of Birmingham’s gangs. 


Embark on the Birmingham Tolkien Trail

JRR Tolkien – author of The Lord of the Rings – lived in Birmingham and used many of his real-life Brum experiences as inspiration for his fantasy novels. While most of the sights are outside of the city center, visitors with a car can use this free guide to find the top places to visit in Birmingham, England relating the Tolkien. 


Join One of the City Walking Tours

Old and New Buildings in Birmingham England, UK

Our best things to do in Birmingham, England is arranged so that it can be used as a self-guided walking tour. For those who would rather someone lead the way can join a local guide for a tour of Birmingham – like this highly-rated tour



Statues of Boulton, Watt and Murdoch, Birmingham UK

After you’ve seen the sights and enjoyed the activities in the city center, there are several things to see near Birmingham that are just a short drive, train or bus ride away.


Aston Vila Soccer Team and Stadium

Aston, on the north side of Birmingham, hosts a Premier League soccer team, Aston Villa Football Club. Established in 1874, it is one of the oldest clubs in England. Villa Park is a fantastic place to watch a match – but you can also take a tour of the facilities.


University of Birmingham Campus

The University of Birmingham campus sits to the south of the city center – and it can be reached on foot (via a canal walk) in just 30 minutes. Visitors can use this self-guided tour to discover the top campus sights.

Additionally, there are museums (like The Barber Institute of Fine Arts) and parks (like Cannon Hill Park) on and near campus.


Cadbury World Chocolate Factory

Cadbury Chocolate – one of the world’s most recognizable brands of the confection – is a Birmingham original, dating to 1824. Today, you can learn the history of the brand and about how the chocolate is made at Cadbury World.


Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens in Birmingham date to the year 1829. The grounds feature more than 7000 plants, multiple Victorian glasshouses and numerous ornate, themed gardens. Tickets are required for entry.


Warwick Castle

Often touted as one of the best things to do near Birmingham, UK, the Medieval Warwick Castle is a fascinating place to visit. The stunning 1,100-year-old castle sits on the Avon River – about a 30 minute train ride from Birmingham.


Stratford Upon Avon

The birthplace of William Shakespeare and a bucolic village, Stratford Upon Avon is a lovely place to see. Good public transit lines make it one of the easy things to do near Birmingham, England!




One of the great things about Birmingham is the food! The city is known for its exceptional and diverse cuisine – and we are highlighting a few of the must-eat dishes.



A spicy Indian dish, Balti was invented in Birmingham in the 1970s. A congregation of Balti restaurants – known as The Birmingham Balti Triangle – sits to the southeast of the city center, but you don’t need to go that far to get a taste. We recommend eating Indian food at Manzil, a longtime favorite Birmingham restaurant.


Brummie Bacon Cakes and Birmingham Soup

When the weather is cool, a bowl of Birmingham Soup is the perfect meal. Made with beef and vegetables, the dish is hearty and satisfying, although no one could tell us exactly what makes it a special ‘Birmingham Soup’!

The soup is sometimes served with a Brummie Bacon Cake – which we would surely enjoy all on its own. Similar to scone, the savory and tangy cakes are made with Worcestershire sauce and ketchup – and cheese and bacon are added into the batter, as well. Both Birmingham foods are available at local cafes – but we thoroughly enjoyed the meal at B:EATS Café at Symphony Hall.


Pork Scratchings

Pork Scratchings – a dense, calorie-laden snack similar to pork rinds – are a West Midlands specialty. They go particularly well with beer – and as such, many pubs offer Pork Scratchings as a bar snack…but you can also pick them up in the grocery store.


Full English Breakfast

A Full English Breakfast is a great way to start a day in British city, and Birmingham is no exception. The best place for a delicious Full English is at Grand Central Kitchen, where they serve the complete meal at fair price.


Street Food: Falafel and Kebabs

Birmingham Food, Top Falafel, UK

A fresh and tasty falafel wrap is a fantastic midday meal. In Birmingham, the Top Falafel food truck churns out the best in town.

Kebabs, on the other hand, are a sensational late-night treat. The best kebabs we had in Birmingham were at the inconspicuous and highly rated Yummy Meal.  


British Restaurants: Rudy’s Pizza, The Ivy, Dishoom

Eat at Rudy’s Pizza, UK

Birmingham is home to quite a few restaurants that are popular British chains, but don’t let that be a deterrent, as the food is fabulous!

Rudy’s Pizza (which hails from Manchester) makes outstanding woodfired pizzas. The Ivy (which started as a café in London’s Covent Garden in 1917) is a chic eatery featuring classic British fare with a contemporary twist. Dishoom (which also got it’s start in Covent Garden) is a wildly popular Indian restaurant modeled after the raucous 1960s cafes of Bombay, now Mumbai.



Bar at Sommar Brewery and Taproom, Birmingham, UK

While there are numerous places to go in Birmingham, UK for a pint of beer, we think the best bars are craft brewery taprooms – and there are quite a few in Birmingham City Center!


Sommar Brewery and Taproom

Pints at Sommar Taproom, Birmingham, UK

A Birmingham City Centre brewery, Sommar is dedicated to brewing fresh beer on a weekly basis. The brewery has two taprooms in Birmingham – one on Waterloo Street on the east side of Victoria Square and the other on the canal next to the Utilita Arena.


PureCraft Bar and Kitchen

Featuring craft beer from Purity Brewing Company – as well as other UK and international craft brewing companies – PureCraft pours fresh suds from 16 keg taps and 8 cask, plus more than 50 in bottles and cans.


Indian Brewery

Pint at Indian Brewery, Birmingham, UK

The Indian Brewery Company is a Birmingham based establishment that combines two of their passions: Craft beer and Indian food. The colorful taproom-and-restaurant is located in the arches in the Snow Hill district – just northwest of the city center.


North Brewing Company Taproom

Pints at North Brewing Company Taproom, Birmingham, UK

North brews their beers in Leeds but has several taprooms – including one in Snow Hill, Birmingham. The beers are tasty, the staff is helpful and the space is bright. If you’re hungry, they serve freshly steamed buns from Little Bao Boy.



Pint at Kilder, Birmingham, UK

A cool craft beer bar in the train arches beneath the Moor Street Station on the edge of Digbeth, Kilder offers an ever-changing rotation of some of the best craft beers in the UK and beyond. They share the space with Original Patty Men, a top-rated burger spot in Birmingham, if you’re feeling peckish!



To make it simple to find the best places to go in Birmingham, England, we created a map with all of our recommended attractions. Use this link to Google for an interactive version of the Birmingham map. 

Things To Do in Birmingham, UK Map


Planning a Trip to Birmingham, England

Exterior of the Custard Factory, Birmingham, UK

Now that we have covered what to do in Birmingham – as well as what to eat and drink – we want to answer a few frequently asked questions so that you can best plan your trip!


Where is Birmingham, UK?

Birmingham is situated in the West Midlands region of England, which is about 120 miles northwest of London. In the next section, we share advice on how to get there.


Why Visit Birmingham, UK?

Travelers go to Birmingham for several reasons – from vacation, to work trips, events and concerts. Its location also makes it a great base for exploring more of the UK and the multicultural population enhances the diverse culinary scene.


How Many Days in Birmingham?

Determining how many days to spend in Birmingham will depend on your interests and overall timeframe for your trip. Generally speaking, we think visitors should spend a weekend in Birmingham, although 3 days in Birmingham would likely be perfect.


When is the Best Time to Visit Birmingham?

With the city’s busy event calendar, there are fun things to do in Birmingham year-round! Offering plenty of attractions that are both indoors and outdoors, travelers can plan a trip to Birmingham any time of year and be entertained!


Does Birmingham Have a Bad Reputation?

Post-WWII, Birmingham was booming, but that quick growth led to poor planning and a lot of unfortunate buildings. When the economy crashed in the late 1900s, unemployment and crime were rampant – and Birmingham’s reputation tanked.

Birmingham locals catch a lot of flak amongst other UK citizens, as well. They get lambasted for their heavy accents and cheeky attitudes (neither of which we actually noticed).

Currently, Birmingham is in a period of regeneration and aggressive building (just count the cranes). Revitalization is leading to a major makeover. Therefore, as one local put it, “If you haven’t been in the past five years, you haven’t been to Birmingham.”


Birmingham, UK Travel Tips

Ozzy Street Mural, Birmingham, UK

Use our tips below to help organize all the specifics of your vacation to England. If your trip is part of a broader visit, be sure to also read our guide to Planning Travel in Europe.


How To Get To Birmingham

Birmingham can be reached by plane, train, bus or car from destinations around the UK and globe. The Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is located east of the city – and offers non-stop flights to more than 140 destinations. Travel to and from the airport is made easy with direct trains, buses and taxis.


Where To Stay in Birmingham

We think the best place to stay in Birmingham is in the City Centre so that sightseeing is right outside your door.

The 5-star Grand Hotel offers exquisite accommodation, and it is well-located on the north side of Cathedral Square. The posh hotel is a bit pricey, but the service is second to none.

The Briar Rose is a JD Wetherspoon hotel that offers affordable rooms that are comfortable and clean. It is well positioned in the city center on a popular dining street.


What To Pack for your UK Trip

What to pack for a trip to Birmingham, UK will depend on what time of year you visit. However, there are a few essentials you will want to be sure to pack in your suitcase (or backpack). Now grab your FREE Checklist! 


Walking Shoes

As you navigate your way through Birmingham and the surrounding districts, you will want wear a pair of comfortable travel shoes. I like to wear these versatile sneakers, and Kris prefers trail shoes.


Travel Camera

Whether snapping photos of the unique architecture, vibrant street art or your food, you will take the best pictures with a real travel camera. We use a Canon Rebel with a 18-135mm lens for our travel pics. It is easy to use and comes at an affordable price, making it one of the best cameras on a budget


UK Weather Gear

Rain is always a possibility in Birmingham and throughout the UK. Regardless of season, it’s a good idea to pack a lightweight raincoat and travel umbrella.


Day Bag

When you pack for your Birmingham trip, be sure to bring a good day pack for your sightseeing adventures. I’s also best to carry a bag that will keep your valuables safe. We like to use zippered backpacks  – read our reviews for the best day bags to choose the right one for you!


European Travel Insurance

Plans can go awry and things can go wrong, which is when travel insurance may help. If your trip isn’t already insured, check the rates and robust coverage at World Nomads


Organize Your Birmingham Trip

As you make plans for where to stay and which tourist attractions in Birmingham to see, you will need to stay organized. We recommend using our Travel Planning Printables – in order to stay on top of the details of your trip! 

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Start planning your trip to the UK! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for more advice – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!


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