Best Places to Visit in Birmingham
Birmingham is UK’s second largest city and its location in the West Midlands makes it a great place to start exploring the Cotswolds and Malvern Hills region, especially the canals. Birmingham’s canals are a by-product of the Industrial Revolution that enabled the city to flourish, and today this extensive network of canals is used primarily for cruise ships.
In fact, the city has more canals than Venice, and one of the most fun free things to do in Birmingham is to explore the well-preserved canals and historic buildings of the iconic Garth Street Basin. Today, the city is known for its jewels and food, as well as numerous cultural events and festivals. One of the best is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world.
To make sure you get as much out of your Midlands itinerary as possible, be sure to check out our list of the best places to visit in Birmingham.
10 Best Places to Visit in Birmingham
Here are the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Birmingham:
1. Victoria Square
The center of Birmingham revolves around the pedestrian-friendly Victoria Square, an area that can be explored via the Birmingham City Center Road. Along the way, you’ll discover the stunning Old Town Hall, built in 1832, a masterpiece of Victorian architecture. This impressive building resembles a Roman temple with 40 ornate Corinthian columns made of Anglesey marble.
It has been the center of the city’s music scene since hosting the first performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in 1847. Today, the impressive Symphony Hall boasts world-class acoustics and a stunning auditorium, attended by world-class singers and performers and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
2. Birmingham Museums and Art Galleries
Opened in 1885, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery are considered one of the finest outside of London. Its artistic treasures include a collection of works by Pre-Raphaelite painters, as well as artwork from the 17th to 19th centuries, and sculptures by Rodin and James Toll.
There are also interesting displays relating to the history of the city, including archaeological finds dating back to the Stone Age and an impressive Pinto collection containing more than 6,000 toys and other wooden objects. There is an on-site gift shop, and if you’re interested in a great afternoon tea experience, the exclusive Edwardian Tea Rooms are well worth a visit.
If you have time, visit the contemporary art museum Ikon Gallery, housed in a historic building worth exploring.
Address: Chamberlain Square, Birmingham
Official website: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag
3. Birmingham Botanic Gardens
Another tourist attraction that should be included in your West Midlands itinerary is the Birmingham Botanic Gardens. Spread over 15 acres in the affluent suburbs of Edgbaston and easily accessible from the city centre, these 19th-century gardens are home to numerous species. A visit is like stepping back in time, thanks to the well-preserved Victorian conservatory and other period park features.
It is known for its collection of bonsai trees, including bonsai trees that are over 250 years old. Along with more than 7,000 plant species from around the world, you can also spot a variety of wildlife, including rare tropical birds and a butterfly house. Other on-site amenities include a gift shop, tea room and children’s playground.
Address: Westbourne Road, Birmingham
Official website: www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk
4. Birmingham Science Museum
Families traveling with emerging young scientists won’t want to miss out on the Birmingham Science Museum’s think tank. This award-winning museum contains many engaging science-related exhibits, many of which are hands-on and interactive.
Highlights include an impressive collection of steam-powered machinery, from locomotives to tractors, as well as industrial machinery, many of which relate to Birmingham’s important role as an industrial center over the centuries. Other interesting displays include a chocolate wrapper and a Spitfire gallery, as well as actual WWII-era aircraft.
Be sure to visit the Science Park with human-sized hamster wheels. The Thinktank Planetarium and fascinating star and planet tours are another great way to keep kids entertained.
Address: Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham
Official website: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/thinktank
5. National Marine Life Center in Birmingham
The National Marine Life Center is one of Birmingham’s most popular tourist attractions, with over 60 impressive exhibits on marine life. The aquarium features a giant million-liter ocean tank with a unique underwater tunnel that allows visitors to enjoy a comprehensive view of the diverse marine life on display, including creatures ranging from reef sharks to giant sea turtles.
In total, nearly 2,000 creatures call the aquarium home, including many rare seahorses, giant octopuses, lobsters, crabs, and stingrays. The big stars of this attraction, however, are the playful otters and penguins.
Nestled in the impressive penguin ice exploration habitat, these fascinating creatures look playful while having fun. There is also a 4-dimensional cinema and regular training programs on site. If time and budget allow, book a fun backstage or penguin feeding experience.
Address: Waterside, Brindley Square, Birmingham
Official website: www.visitsealife.com/birmingham/
6. Jewellery Quarter
The Jewellery Quarter is a traditional area of Birmingham. More than 200 goldsmiths and silversmiths here produce 40% of all jewellery in the UK, particularly around the Clock Tower at the corner of West and Frederick Streets and around Georgian St Paul’s Church.
Be sure to visit the area’s top tourist attraction, the Jewellery District Museum, where you can delve deep into the trade at the stunning Smith & Pepper factory. Also worth seeing is St Paul’s Square, nearby, opposite Baskerville House, with its monument and charming church built in 1925 to commemorate the 14,000 citizens killed in World War I.
If you have time, be sure to stop by the Pen Museum. Housed in a former pen factory in the Jewelery District, this magnificent museum showcases the city’s role as a former pen making home and the history of writing instruments. A special treat is the opportunity to make your own fountain pen nib using the same machines and techniques used in the 19th century. It’s also fun to recreate Victorian classrooms where guests can practice calligraphy using traditional quills.
Address: Hawkleavis Street, Birmingham
Official website: www.jewelleryquarter.net
7. Birmingham back to back
Worth a visit, Birmingham’s backdrops are just a short walk from the city center and are a unique collection of small, back-to-back houses that were once very prolific throughout the city. Houses built around a central courtyard (in this case Court No. 15) in the mid-19th century offered a unique insight into the often difficult conditions of working-class life.
The interesting images also provide insight into the vital contributions these employees make to city life. Other highlights include a traditional 1930s sweet shop and gift shop or attending the fun workshops held here regularly. For a world-class tourist experience, consider booking one of the attraction’s two cabins for an overnight stay. Entry is for guided tours only.
8. Birmingham Wildlife Sanctuary
Another creature-centric attraction worth visiting for those traveling with kids is the Birmingham Wildlife, Conservation Park. Located on the edge of Cannon Hill Park, this fun city establishment is a small zoo and home to a variety of animals including red pandas, lemurs and meerkats.
Established in 1964, the zoo is also important for research and breeding programs. There are a variety of fun experiences for children, including some unique hands-on experiences based on the care and maintenance of various gentle species. At the very least, be sure to check the zoo’s website for detailed information on feeding times, as you can see these adorable animals at their most active.
Address: Pershore Road, Birmingham
Official website: www.birmingham.gov.uk/conservationpark
9. Cadbury World in Bournville
Located at Cadbury’s Bournville manufacturing facility, just a short drive from Birmingham, Cadbury World is one of the largest (and most popular) attractions in the area. It welcomes more than 500,000 tourists every year. Entertainment-oriented visitors can learn about the history of chocolate and how it’s made through a series of excellent themed interactive exhibits.
Along the way, guests can learn the story of the Cadbury Company, one of the world’s greatest confectioneries, and have the opportunity to enjoy family-friendly theme park-like attractions. Exploring Bull Street’s sights is a highlight, with replica stores reminiscent of the 1820s.
Try making your own candy and shop at the world’s largest Cadbury candy store. Next, be sure to take a moment to explore the picturesque village of Bournville, built after 1860 by the Cadbury family to house a large workforce.
Address: Lyndon Road, Bournville
Official website: www.cadburyworld.co.uk/
10. Black Country Living Museum
In the town of Dudley, just 9 miles west of Birmingham, the Black Country Living Museum occupies 26 acres and provides visitors with a vivid insight into mining history (hence the name “Black”). An old mine shaft and industrial community rebuilt at the turn of the century can be explored, including 50 real buildings to explore – most of which have been demolished and rebuilt on the property.
It’s also fun to explore the nearby canal network as part of an adventure in really narrow boats that were once used to transport coal. Other highlights of this fascinating open-air museum include the opportunity to interact with costumed guides knowledgeable in the history of the locals. There are also many unique shopping opportunities, old trams, buses and commercial vehicles, as well as a traditional 19th century English amusement park.
Located between Birmingham and Coventry, the Sarehole Mill Museum is a former watermill dating back to the mid-1500s. Located on the Cole River in Hall Green, it’s interesting if you can get there, and has fascinating exhibits about its history and J.R.R. Includes exhibits related to As a child, Tolkien lived a few hundred meters away.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Birmingham. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Birmingham, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.