Welcome to Birmingham!

Evelyn OngBirmingham, Britain’s Second City, is a thriving cosmopolitan in the heart of the West Midlands. With a population of over 4million, it is the second largest urban conurbation in the United Kingdom after London. In 2022, as well as being the venue of the first face to face BAPS Congress since 2019, it will also play host to the Commonwealth Games this Summer. The city will be buzzing!

The city centre is compact and you can walk to most of the sights.

Top 10 things to see and do

  1. The Back to Backs are a unique piece of history. Run by the National Trust (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs ), visitors can experience life of the 19th and 20th century working classes. Please note, visits should be booked in advance.
  2. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (https://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag) houses the famous Staffordshire Hoarde. Entrance is free of charge.
  3. Bourneville is not just a chocolate bar, it’s an actual place and home to Cadbury World (https://www.cadburyworld.co.uk/en) where you can tour the factory and sneak a taste of the good stuff. Outside, the community is full of Arts and Crafts architecture.
  4. Like a bit of bling? Then visit the Jewellery Quarter. Home to the largest concentration of jewellers in Europe and producer of 40% of all jewellery made in the UK, it also has the world’s largest Assay Office, hallmarking over 12 million items per year. Several walking tours go through this neighbourhood but you can also download a self guided tour from http://jewelleryquarterbirmingham.com/birminghams-jewellery-quarter-pavement-trail/. If you build up an appetite, there are no shortage of restaurants in the neighbourhood (see below).
  5. The Coffin Works (http://www.coffinworks.org/) is the newest dead interesting museum for those who enjoy a little alternative history.
  6. Land Rover (https://www.solihull.landroverexperience.co.uk/experiences/index.html ) is a proudly Midlands based company and run off-roading experiences in Solihull to test your mettle.
  7. For Peaky Blinders fans, you can relive the series at one of the filming venues, the Black Country Living Museum (https://bclm.com/ ) It is an outdoor living museum that celebrates the Black Country’s industrial heritage.
  8. Winterbourne House and Garden (https://www.winterbourne.org.uk/ ) is an Edwardian Arts and Crafts home in leafy Edgbaston with seven acres of botanic gardens. Well worth a visit and if you’re in the area, you might also want to visit the Barber Institute of Fine Arts (https://barber.org.uk/ ), one of the finest small art galleries in Europe.
  9. With more miles of canal than Venice, why not take a slightly different view of Birmingham. You can pick up a Canal tour (https://sherbornewharf.co.uk/boat-trips/daily-public-boat-trips/ ) or if you want to try self hire, you can try the newly launched GoBoat (https://goboat.co.uk/birmingham/ ). Both conveniently leave from just outside the ICC.
  10. With the city centre so compact, a walking tour is ideal to take it all in. There are general tours (https://positivelybirmingham.co.uk/ or https://www.birminghamwalkingtours.co.uk/ ), but some are themed (https://www.peakytours.com/ )

 

Eats and Treats

£££

  • Carters of Moseley – slightly in the suburbs but worth the short cab ride. Book ahead
  • Adam’s – fine dining in a refined atmosphere. The service isn’t stuffy though. Always interesting
  • Simpsons – one of the original Michelin stars and set in Edgbaston. If you have time, you can stay for the cookery course.
  • Purnell’s – Another starred venue from our own Yummie Brummie, Glynn Purnell. Yes it’s fine dining but with a sense of humour.
  • Harborne Kitchen – one of the best neighbourhood restaurants

££

  • Pulperia – Argentinian steaks and possible the best ones in the city centre
  • Asha’s – great ambience and delicious Indian food.
  • Fumo – cicchetti but be careful. All those little plates can add up!
  • Sushi Passion – if you can believe it, half decent sushi and tatami mat seating. Check out wine merchants Loki which is also in the same Edwardian arcade
  • Land Restaurant – modern plant based casual dining
  •  The Oyster Club – lower budget offering from Adam Stokes, stylish and dependable

£

  • Indian Brewery – excellent selection of brews and bar snacks
  • Hockley Social Club  http://hockleysocialclub.com/ – live music and street food in the evenings
  • Original Patty Men http://originalpattymen.com/ – best burgers in town
  • Balti Triangle, Ladypool Road – not a restaurant but an area with lots of choices for  Asian food including Halal
  • Ken Ho – Chinatown stalwart for Sunday dim sum. Queues start at 11am!
  • Indian Streatery – good Asian street eats at reasonable prices
  • Malaysian Delight – for that authentic laksa and lots of homestyle cooking
  • Asia Asia Food Court – a food court with plenty of choice opposite the famous Birmingham Indoor Market
  • Edwardian Tea Rooms at the Birmingham Art Gallery – nice venue with good bakes
  • York’s – for good cakes and better coffee
  • Kitty Café – you don’t have to travel to Japan to experience this café slash cat rescue centre in Grand Central Station