Birmingham City in England
Famous for – shopping and the jewellery quarter.
The Library at Birmingham – the largest public library in Europe. Open: Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday 9am - 5pm, Sunday 11am – 4pm. Entry: Free
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – a great collection of art and historical objects. Open: Monday - Thursday 10am - 5pm, Friday 10.30am - 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm Entry: Free
Town Hall and Symphony Hall – these two performance venues have a variety of different regular performances between them. Open: Performances are on at varying times. Entry: Performances vary in price
Canals – cutting through the city, the canals are both a nice way to spend a sunny day, either walking alongside or travelling by boat, and have lots of great rest stops along the way. Open: Dawn to dusk. Entry: free
Shopping – Birmingham has masses of shops to choose from. Open: 9am – late. Entry: free, but bring your spending money!
Sport – there are lots of arenas and sporting venues to both participate and watch sports events. Open: Varies according to event. Entry: varies
Shopping in Birmingham is so varied and exciting that it’s worth going to the city for that alone. Visitors can choose from High St shops, shopping centres, glamorous department stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, and independent boutiques. For those who like diamonds and gems there’s nowhere better to buy than the home of British jewellery. Birmingham’s jewellery quarter houses not only shops, but also crafts people, and original pieces can be commissioned on the spot. If all that choosing of accessories sounds exhausting, there’s a wealth of restaurants and cafés in the area to relax in.
Visitors can also take a walk alongside the canal route that cuts through the city, or even a boat ride. There are lots of cafés, pubs and even shops to stop off at along the way.
For sports fans, Birmingham has more World and European events than any other UK city, so there’s always an exciting match or event to support. Major athletics, badminton, and football, cricket, and tennis matches are regular fixtures.
Culture vultures can delight in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, a building combining collections of important art alongside many archaeological wonders. It holds the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold in the UK, and has lots of interactive exhibits for the whole family to enjoy. There is also the famed Birmingham Library: nothing like a dusty local library with a few paperbacks, Birmingham Library attracts visitors from all over the UK, because it’s the largest library in Europe. It holds many specialist rare and photography books, most of which are available to the public. Birmingham’s town hall is the oldest concert hall in the UK, and Charles Dickens gave his first public reading of A Christmas Carol on the stage there. It’s still going strong, with performers from The Beatles to PJ Harvey having given performances there. The Symphony Hall is home to Birmingham Symphony orchestra, and has been described as “the finest concert venue in the UK”.