Places to Visit in Birmingham, England
According to Nexticle.net, Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom after London. The city has more than a million inhabitants in total and more than once that in the metropolitan area. It is the city of the industrial revolution in the United Kingdom. A role that gave the city and the region the dubious nickname Black Country. Birmingham’s flower didn’t really stop until it was hit hard by a Luftwaffe bombing raid during World War II. Nevertheless, the city regained itself once again as one of the most important cities in England. In 2008 it was even the European Capital of Culture. Today, Birmingham city center is a unique mix of historic and cutting edge buildings..
Birmingham ‘s Top 10 Things to Do
#1. Bull Ring
The Bull Ring is the largest shopping center in the heart of Birmingham. The modern building is one of the most beautiful in the city. The Bull Ring stands on the site of Birmingham’s markets as far back as the twelfth century. Today, the Bull ring is home to about 140 shops, including some of the best-known department stores. It is the place to shop during your visit to the city. The shopping center consists of two parts that are connected to each other via an underground connection.
#2. Library of Birmingham
The Library of Birmingham is one of the most beautiful and special buildings in the city. Designed by the Dutch architect Francine Houben. Opened in 2013, the building was one of the ten most visited buildings in the UK a year after it opened. It is the largest library in Europe, bearing in mind that the library concept is dying out. Yet they built this multifunctional building right in the center of the city and with great success. A visit to the library of Birmingham is a “must do” during a city trip.
#3. Black Country living Museum
The Black Country living Museum is an open-air museum in the suburbs of Birmingham. The museum consists of rebuilt houses in Dudley, the center of the so-called Black Country. A name that became part of England because of the many factories that were there during the time of the Industrial Revolution. Not only the air was black with emissions, but also the people who work in the factories. The Black Country living Museum gives you a good idea of the miserable life in part of the United Kingdom. The museum covers a total time span of about three hundred years, but mainly focuses on the period between 1850 and 1950.
#4. Sea Life center Birmingham
The Sea Life center Birmingham is the city’s aquarium. Sixty different water tanks can be seen in the aquarium, containing an enormous diversity of underwater life. You can see huge sea turtles and several sharks. In total, more than two thousand different animals from all over the world live in the aquarium. Latest addition to the Sea Life center Birmingham is the Piguin ice Adventure, which is home to a colony of gentoo penguins.
#5. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery often abbreviated as BM&AG is the city’s premier museum. The museum first opened its doors in the first half of the nineteenth century. Over the years it has become a beautiful and modern museum that has managed to preserve its old allure. One of the museum’s most important collections is the “Treasure of Staffordshire”. The largest archaeological find ever made on British soil. You will also come across an Egyptian department and beautiful paintings from different times. Like many other museums in the United Kingdom, admission is free.
#6. Jewelery Quarter
The Jewelery Quarter is a neighborhood in the center of Birmingham. The heart of this district is formed by the enormous clock. As the neighborhood’s name suggests, this part of Birmingham is home to notable jewelers and goldsmiths. This has been the case since the sixteenth century. Today, 40% of all jewelery made in the United Kingdom is still produced in this district. The district is developing further as the hip area of the city, where you will find pop-up shops, galleries and bars everywhere.
#7. Birmingham Back to Back
During the time of the industrial revolution, many residents of Birmingham and the rest of the United Kingdom lived in so-called back-to-back houses. These houses were built against each other and had a shared garden. In the garden were the toilets and the laundry room. Sometimes as many as ten or more families lived in such a “residential community”. The back-to-back houses are the only ones still existing in original condition. Those who want to know more about how the people of Birmingham lived at the end of the eighteenth century can take a guided tour.
#8. Birmingham Botanic Gardens
The Birmingham Botanic Gardens can be found in Edgbaston, a suburb of the city. The gardens are approximately fifteen acres in total and are among the finest in England. The gardens were laid out in 1829 and it opened its gates for the first time two years later. In total, seven thousand different flowers, plants and trees can be found in the garden. From exotic species from all corners of the world to flowers and plants that occur naturally in England. To visit the gardens you have to pay a small entrance fee.
#9. Cadbury World
In Bournville, one of the villages that make up the suburbs of Birmingham, is the factory of the famous Cadbury chocolate. Near the factory is a visitor center “Cadbury World” which is one of Birmingham’s most popular attractions. During a tour of the visitor center, visit fourteen different areas where you learn everything about chocolate, and of course about Cadbury. As a visitor you can choose between three different tours. The most important part, tasting the Cadbury chocolate is part of all tours.
#10. Gas Street Basin
Gas Street Basin is located in the historic center of Birmingham where the Worcester Canal and the Birmingham Canal meet. This used to be an important stopping point for boats carrying goods between the two places. Today it is one of the hotspots in the historic center of the city. It is a beautiful piece of industrial heritage that has been given a new purpose. There are many nice restaurants and pubs around the Gas Street Basin. In the evenings, the canals and streets are beautifully lit.