Birmingham, located in the West Midlands region of England, is a city steeped in history, art, and culture. With its impressive industrial heritage, world-class museums, and vibrant arts scene, it’s no wonder that Birmingham is a popular tourist destination.
From the historic Jewellery Quarter to the contemporary Bullring Shopping Centre, the city offers a diverse array of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Did you know that two of J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic works- ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ – draw inspiration from the landscape and countryside surrounding Birmingham?
The ‘Shire,’ the home of the Hobbits, was inspired by the fields and mill at Sarehole, and Perrott’s Folly and the Waterworks Tower in Edgbaston can be seen in the Lord of the Rings.
From fascinating museums and historic landmarks to trendy bars and delicious restaurants, in this article, we will explore some of the best places to visit in Birmingham, highlighting the must-see sights and hidden gems that make this city a true cultural hub.
Let’s dive in!
1. The Bullring Shopping Centre
This iconic shopping destination is a must-visit for shoppers. The Bullring offers a wide range of high-street and designer stores, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes. It’s also home to the famous Selfridges department store, which is well worth a visit for its impressive architecture and luxury offerings.
The place owes its name to ‘bear baiting,’ a popular 16th-century sport. The ‘ring’ refers to the iron hoop to which bulls were tied for baiting before slaughter. Although bull baiting moved from Bull ring to Handsworth in 1798, the site retained its name.
2. The Jewellery Quarter
This historic district is famous for its jewelry-making heritage and is home to a number of independent shops, workshops, and museums. Visitors can take a tour of the area to learn about its rich history, visit a working jewelry studio, or even try their hand at making their own piece of jewelry.
The Jewellery Quarter is also home to St Paul’s Square, which is a beautiful Georgian square that is surrounded by some of the city’s most charming and well-preserved buildings.
3. Cadbury World
This popular attraction is a must-visit for chocolate lovers. Located in the Bournville area of Birmingham, Cadbury World offers a fascinating insight into the history of chocolate-making and the Cadbury family. Visitors can take a tour of the factory, learn about the chocolate-making process, and even sample some delicious Cadbury treats.
The Cadbury factory in Bournville was founded in 1879 by George Cadbury, and it was built to provide decent housing for his workers and to make chocolate that was affordable for the working class.
4. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
This world-class museum is home to an impressive collection of art and artifacts, including works by Pre-Raphaelite artists and the Staffordshire Hoard, a collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver. It also offers a range of temporary exhibitions, making it a great destination for culture vultures.
The museum has a wide range of collections which include fine art, ceramics, metalwork, sculpture, and much more. The museum remains open seven days a week and has free entry.
5. The NEC
The National Exhibition Centre is one of the largest exhibition centers in Europe and hosts a wide range of events throughout the year, from trade shows and concerts to sporting events and consumer shows.
Visitors can also take a tour of the NEC and learn about its history and the events that have taken place there. The NEC is located just a short distance from the city center, and it would be a great idea to use a reliable transport service that offers Minibus Hire in Birmingham to take you there.
Find a trusted ground transport company within the East and West Midlands with experienced and knowledgeable drivers who can show tourists around the city. You will need to give a call to their agent with details of your travel and rest assured that everything else will be taken care of.
With minibus hire services in Birmingham, you can see all of the best sights without the hassle of navigating public transport or worrying about parking.
6. The Library of Birmingham
This impressive building is the largest public library in the UK and offers a range of services and resources for visitors. The library also has an impressive collection of books and manuscripts, and visitors can take a tour of the building to learn about its history and architecture.
The library was opened in 2013, and it was designed by the famous architect Francine Houben, who stated that her design drew inspiration from the energy of the city. The building has a futuristic design, and it is known for its beautiful terrace and stunning views over the city.
7. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is a small but perfectly formed art gallery located on the University of Birmingham campus and is home to an impressive collection of art, including works by Monet, Degas, and Van Gogh. The gallery, with its hosts of exhibitions and events, is a great destination for art lovers.
Birmingham is a city that offers a wealth of experiences for visitors, whether you’re a chocolate lover or an art aficionado. We hope that with this guide in hand, you’ll be sure to make the most of your time in the city and discover all that it has to offer.