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Birmingham Destinations Guide

Discover the treasures of Liverpool

Why visit Birmingham?

Birmingham has a youthful vibe and is teeming with bars and nightlife - for this is the youngest city in Europe where the under 25s make up nearly 40% of the population. By day, explore more than 56km of waterways (more than Venice! either by foot, bike or by taking a boat trip. Worked up an appetite? Birmingham is known for its balti curries but also boasts the largest number of Michelin-starred restaurants outside of London - and is home to Cadbury’s chocolate!

Best things to do in Birmingahm

  • learn about the city’s past from canal-side information boards. Did you know, for example, that Leonardo da Vinci invented double mitre locks which use the force of the water to keep them tightly shut?  
  • there are more than 100 balti restaurants to choose from, with many found in the famous Balti Triangle
  • head to the Jewellery Quarter where workshops have been fashioning jewellery for centuries, producing 40% of the country’s bling
  • this fascinating district also has a Georgian Square, 200 listed buildings and an historic clock
  • see the world’s largest collection of pre-Raphaelite artwork at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
  • get a culture fix at the internationally-acclaimed Ikon, one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Europe. Admission is free.

Birmingham walking guide

Exploring the city’s industrial past

An educational trail from the Jewellery Quarter In the 1800s, Birmingham was the centre of the Industrial Revolution. It was even dubbed “The City of a Thousand Trades” because so many products were made here. The canals gave Birmingham its competitive edge, making it easy to transport goods. This walk gives you a taste of the city’s creative and industrial past. Allow about an hour to complete this 3.5 km stroll, although it will obviously take longer if you visit some of the sights along the way!

Download the Birmingam walking guide

Link to location walk on Google maps:

Where to drink

Birmingham hotels guide: top picks

Hotel du Vin

Best for…boutique

Hotel du vin, 25 Church Street

This 66-bedroom landmark hotel, built in 1884, is one of the finest in the city. It has an open-air courtyard with a retractable roof and a chic bistro serving French classics with a British twist. For a casual meal, pop downstairs to the basement Pub du Vin serving real ales, pies and snacks. There are lots of cool cafes in the immediate area, and the Bullring shopping centre is just a 10-minute walk away.  

  • the hotel was once a Victorian eye hospital
  • famous guests have included David Beckham and Simon Cowell

Double rooms from £109 per night, including breakfast

Bar Park Regis Birmingham

Best for…sky-high dining

Park Regis, 160 Broad Street

The swanky, four-star Park Regis hotel offers sky-high dining and a rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city. It is located slap bang in the city centre, making it an ideal base for a short break. Rofuto, on the 16th floor, is its signature restaurant, serving Japanese specialities such as yakitori and tempura in classy, contemporary surroundings.

  • The recently-opened hotel is the first Park Regis in Europe and cost a cool £50m to build
  • It has the largest presidential suite in Birmingham, at 151 square metres

Doubles from £79 per night, including breakfast.

Hotel Indigo

Best for…contemporary chic

Hotel Indigo, The Cube, Wharfside Street

Sophisticated and sassy, Hotel Indigo is on the 23rd and 24th floor of the iconic Cube building in the city centre. The Cube, inspired by Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, has a gold, silver and bronze-coloured exterior, said to represent precious metals. The fun, funky rooms have great views – and some even have balconies. There’s a spa with steam room and sauna and an indoor pool.  

  • The 52-room hotel has a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, offering 360-degree views of the city
  • The Cube has the UK’s largest automated car park which scans your vehicle and transports it  to the parking area via an automatic lift

Double rooms from £99 a night, excluding breakfast

Bloc Hotel Birmingham

Best for…value

BLOC Hotel, 77 Caroline Street

BLOC offers compact accommodation in the Jewellery Quarter, a 15-minute walk from Birmingham New Street station. Rooms are modern and tastefully-designed, borrowing a concept from Japanese capsule hotels. There are 73 rooms and they make economical use of space, ditching wardrobes in favour of wall hooks and offering suitcase storage space under beds.

  • the hotel has joined forces with its favourite local restaurants to offer guests exclusive discounts
  • it’s consulted a Scandinavian Sleep Institute to make sure its rooms offer the ideal temperature and humidity for a peaceful night’s sleep

Doubles from £50 per night, excluding breakfast