If you’re visiting the UK from abroad or even if you’re fairly local like me, Birmingham offers a great opportunity for fun-filled and exciting weekend break with tons to do and indulge in. Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK behind London, and as one would expect with a city of this size, there are lots for visitors to do.
Birmingham has not always been a tourist hotspot, the city was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution which took place in the 18th Century and for many years after it was more focused on trade and manufacturing, rather than tourism. In recent years the city has invested much into its tourist infrastructure and harnessing the cultural power which came out of the Industrial Revolution and using it to modernise Birmingham and turn it into a place where visitors can enjoy both the past and the present of this exciting city.There always new and exciting developments taking place in Birmingham city center making it the place to be after London. The first time I ever visited was to be on the kids TV show Tiswaz!
If you fancy visiting Birmingham for a weekend break this year, check out one of the top recommended serviced apartments in Birmingham, they make for a great jumping off point to explore the city as they are centrally located within walking distance of the iconic Grand Central station and bull ring shopping center. Once there, this is a guide for where you should point your compass needle.
Exploring the City
Factory-museum of the nation’s favourite chocolate, this factory and the town that was built for its workers is a British institution and the tours here are fascinating, not to mention tasty!
National Sea Life Centre
This huge aquarium has over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life with over 2000 creatures to visit and learn about. The aquarium offers guides and interactive features too, a great place to go with the kids.
Birmingham Back to Backs
This fascinating tour takes you through 4 Birmingham houses, the only remaining back-to-back houses in the city. The tour gives you a unique glimpse into the past of this ever-changing city.
Where to Shop
Birmingham has a solid reputation for shopping and if you need some retail therapy, here are the places where you can find it.
- The Bull Ring
Once the home to a bustling market, this section of land in the centre of the city is now an enormous shopping and leisure complex. Here you can find designer boutiques, department stores, as well as specialist stores to fit your needs.
- Grand Central
Grand Central is a purpose built or rather much improved Birmingham’s main train station formerly known as New St Station is conveniently linked via a encapsulated bridge lined with shops and restaurants and you can keep on going right up until you enter your platform to head back home.
- The Mailbox
This high end shopping outlet can be found on Commercial Street, and it is a great place to go and burn up that credit card. Harvey Nicholls is the reason why many people head to the Mailbox, but you can also find a huge range of independently ran stores, selling some of the world’s hottest fashions.
Where to Eat
Birmingham has a rich culture of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants, who have blessed the city with some traditional culinary delights, turning Birmingham into the curry capital of the UK. There is more to Birmingham than just curry however, and here are some of the best spots to dine.
- Bombay Brasserie
This place is a unique mix of east meeting west with its European brasserie cosy décor serving truly traditional Indiancuisine making it a fine example of the best Indian restaurants in Birmingham. Inspired by the decadence of French-Spanish influence, this restaurant focusses on giving you a great dining experience. It may not be easy to find this hidden gem but its well worth the effort.
- Original Patty Men
This cool restaurant was put together by a pair of burger lovers who had been producing delicious patties for the street food scene for a number of years. This restaurant is ow their permanent home and if you want a great burger, look no further than these creative offerings.
- Sabai Sabai
If its Thai food that you are after, head down to Waterloo Street and sample some of the delicious and fragrant meals which SabaiSabai have on their menu. The restaurant is reasonably priced and produces some stunning Thai fusion meals which you won’t forget.
Where to Sleep
There are a wide variety of places for you to lay your head in Birmingham and, as I did recently, my recommendation is that you look for some serviced apartments. Whilst there are the usual Hotels and BnB offerings such as the likes of the Marriott and Malmaison or more budget choices such as the Holiday Inn or small boutique bed and breakfasts inn, none of them provide what one of the serviced apartments can. Some often apartments which you will find offer luxury and comfort, as well as giving you that home-from home feeling with decorative touches, fully functioning kitchens and well thought out social areas. If you want to enjoy Birmingham at its best, look for a city centre serviced apartment to ensure that you can do so in absolute comfort.
What are you waiting for? Birmingham is ready for you!