It's crazy how many people show up in Birmingham without knowing just how much to see and do there is - because there really are tonnes of activities and sights just waiting for you to come visit. Whether you're looking for something close at hand that you can just walk to, or something a little further abroad to visit on a day trip, Birmingham has it all!
Birmingham itself has more than enough things to keep you going back into town all week and still have more to see. If you're looking for a more specific type of attraction, we can help you there too. Have a look at the attractions on this page for some more ideasl. We also have a Stand in the common room full of brochures and ideas for how to spend your time in Birmingham.
At the hostel itself, there's even more things to keep you entertained. We have a PlayStation 3, an X-Box360 and a Wii - all free for use. We have boardgames and cards. Heck, we've even got loads of books for you to read.
Oh yeah, and there's over 600 movies and a projector screen.
Not sure what Birmingham has to offer? There’s a lot more than what you might think! Have a look at the following list to get a better idea of things to see that will help make your trip to Birmingham an unforgettable one.
Visit Cadbury World and find out about one of Birmingham’s most progressive companies. Tours run about two hours and include a history of the company, a short carnival ride, and the ability to write your name is liquid chocolate. A great way to spend a day, and the free chocolate you get doesn’t hurt either! And if you want to some great tips to make your visit even better, don't forget to ask at reception or drop us an email after you book!
The Bull Ring
The Bull Ring Shopping Centre is the crown jewel of Birmingham city centre’s regeneration project, which cost over 500 million pounds. The Bull Ring now has over 26 football pitches worth of shops, restaurants, and boutiques all in a condensed and pedestrian friendly area. It is the Bull Ring that has helped make Birmingham one of the top European shopping destinations.
Selfridges Food Hall
Enjoy the food hall located on the ground floor of the Selfridges store in the Bull Ring. This hall is consistently named in the top 25 of the world’s food markets. The beauty of the design and brightly coloured displays make it worth a visit, even if you aren’t hungry!
Check out a show at one of Birmingham’s top notch venues. The NEC, NIA, ICC & Symphony Hall, Carling Academy, Hippodrome, The Rep and The Alexandria Theatre offer the best in music, dance, theatre, exhibitions, and sporting events. So check the local listings for your favourite act and enjoy the show!
The name Broad Street is synonymous with night life in Birmingham. Home to clubs, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes, this street is the place to be in Birmingham. There is something for everyone’s taste on Broad Street so have fun, but keep in mind, smart attire is required for entry to a lot of the clubs (i.e. no trainers/a collared shirt required) and many clubs have queues and will charge an entrance fee, especially on the weekends.
Birmingham Backpackers Set on the canals, Brindleyplace is a great place to go for a nice dinner and an enjoyable night out. Just off Broad Street, Brindleyplace has dozens of restaurants and bars, some of which overlook the canals and the city centre, as well as being host to Birmingham's National Sealife Centre.
Check out the Mailbox complex if you want to add some luxury to your life. Located on the canals as well, it contains 50 exclusive shops, 15 stylish restaurants, 5 salons and spas that cater to your every desire - and this is all before its second phase, The Cube, is completed. The Mailbox is also home to the BBC Studios for the West Midlands; which you can tour.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is free to the public and renowned for its pre-Raphaelite collection - the world's biggest, quite seriously. Other pieces of art work on display include fine art, ceramics, metal work pieces as well as art from ancient civilizations. It’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
The Arcadian is located in the Chinese Quarter, Theatre District and Gay Quarter area of Birmingham. The Arcadian is home to trendy bars, clubs, outdoor eateries and lots of international restaurants.
Star City is one of the largest cinema complexes in Europe with thirty movie screens. The complex also contains the largest casino in the UK, shops, restaurants, a bowling alley and laser tag.
National SeaLife Centre
Birmingham's National SeaLife Centre brings the sea to life with its million litre tank filled with sharks, two giant sea turtles and other marine creatures. In addition there are also sixty displays of marine and freshwater animals for viewing. A fun and informative way to spend an afternoon in the city centre.
Jewellery Quarter Museum
Are you a jewellery lover? If yes, then a visit to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and museum is just the thing for you. Based in a factory that dates back to 1899, the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter tells the 200 year story of the jewellery trade in Birmingham, which gave rise to Birmingham being named “The Workshop of the World.” The Jewellery Quarter still houses 100 workshops which sell their wares, do repairs, and undertake custom jewellery orders.
Bull Ring Markets
The Bull Ring Markets are a terrific place to find a bargain. Altogether there are three markets: the Farmers Market, the indoor Rag Market and the Indoor Market. Composed of hundreds of stalls, take your pick of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, and items of all sorts from the rag market. The sellers at the stalls make this a truly English experience, and one not to miss.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens were first opened in 1832 for the purpose of encouraging the study of plants. The aim has now shifted to preserving plants threatened by extinction. Explore the idyllic 15 acre garden setting which includes four glasshouse environments, a cottage museum, rock garden, sculpture trail, waterfall and a café.
Millennium Point IMAX and Think Tank Museum
The Millennium Point IMAX theatre is a wonderful place to catch an IMAX movie. In addition to movies, the ultra modern Millennium Point also houses the Think Tank Science Museum, which is an interactive science museum. Though the intended age group of the museum is primarily for children, the content is still interesting for anyone young at heart.
Birmingham is home to one Premiership League Football team: Aston Villa and one Championship League Football team: Birmingham City. For an exciting afternoon, go and catch a match and see what English football is all about.
Aston Villa Ground Tour
Are you a Villa Fan? Villa Park is one of the best football grounds in the Premiership and it offers tours daily for fans. This tour includes seeing the players’ lounge and dressing rooms, taking a run down the players’ tunnel, and taking a seat on the manager’s bench. Prices for tours are based on whether or not lunch is included. The lunch is at the Corner Flag Restaurant overlooking the pitch. This is an experience not to be missed, so book your tour today.
The following sites are just a short journey from Birmingham. They are well worth a visit if you have the time and opportunity!
Warwick Castle is one of the best preserved castles in England. At Warwick Castle you can enjoy the magnificent programme they have to offer which includes: watching the world’s largest trebuchet in action, the birds of prey show, and the ghosts of Warwick re-enactment. The recommended visiting time for the castle is 3-4 hours.
BLACK COUNTRY MUSEUM
At the Black Country Museum be transported to a simpler time in England at the beginning of the 1900’s. Spread out over 26 acres, this museum brings history to life. Visit the horses, watch a 1920’s comedy, ride a tram car, experience a traditional school lesson, taste old fashioned fish n’ chips, explore an underground coal mine and enjoy your day at Britain’s friendliest outdoor museum.
If you like roller coasters and getting wet, this place is just for you! A must see, Drayton Manor was voted best UK attraction of 2006. Spend your day riding thrilling coasters, taking in shows and pigging out on lots of amusement park food. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit, you will need it for the water rides!http://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/
STRATFORD UPON AVON
A short train journey from Birmingham’s Moor Street Station in the heart of the Cotswold Country, lies Stratford Upon Avon. Home to the world famous writer William Shakespeare, Stratford is a quaint English town with plenty of charm and well preserved Tudor houses from long ago. Have a wander about the city and markets and catch a world-class Shakespearian play!
Lichfield is a sleepy little town a short distance outside of Birmingham. It has one of the UK’s most amazing cathedrals with origins dating back to the 7th century. It is the only medieval cathedral with three spires. In addition to the cathedral, the house of Charles Darwin’s grandfather is also located in Lichfield.
Easily accessible by bus or train, Gloucester is a friendly port town halfway between Birmingham and Bristol. With the National Waterways Museum, The Black Friars’ Priory, The House of the Tailor of Gloucester from the Beatrix Potter tale, Ghost Walks, The Guildhall, and the visually stunning Gloucester Cathedral, you certainly won’t run short of things to experience.
Apart from those, there are plenty of other things to do. You can pick some movies and have your own non-official movie marathon. You can grab a game and hit the machines. Curl up next to our fire with a good book or some good company.