Birmingham is a wonderful city which offers visitors so many different things to do. It would be impossible to fit everything that Birmingham has to offer into one trip, so we’ve compiled this list detailing the 10 best things to do in the Second City, so that you don’t miss out on any of Brum’s biggest highlights while you’re here.

 

Visit Cadbury World

Whether you love chocolate, or you enjoy chocolate but your first love is history; Cadbury World has everything you need to make the most of a day-out with the whole family. Journeying to this chocolate planet allows you discover not only how chocolate is made, but the different ways in which it has been made, sold and marketed over the years by Cadbury, one of the biggest brands in the industry. You can also discover how chocolate made its way from the Aztec jungles to Europe, thanks to a series of interactive exhibits. 

A visit to Cadbury World is a journey through Birmingham’s business history as much as it is a chocolate discovery tour. The Cadbury family made a seminal contribution to workers rights in this city. As devout Quakers, they felt that it was their responsibility to not only provide their staff with great working conditions, but to look after them outside of the factory as well. As a result, they built the village of Bournville to accommodate everyone who worked for them in a safe, comfortable environment. As well as building quality homes throughout the area, the Cadburys also created green spaces within Bournville, as well as a number of local shops.

While there was no pub in Bournville, due to fears over employees drinking alcohol and then working in the factory, Bournville contained many things for employees to see and do after work. Apart from being an impressive feat of Birmingham’s architectural history; the construction of Bournville gave Cadbury workers a far more comfortable lifestyle than was enjoyed by workers in other factories across the UK at the time. Visitors to Cadbury World can learn about the construction of Bournville and the village’s importance and influence in Brummie business history, in immense detail.

Cadbury World is also known for its shop, which as you might imagine, is the largest Cadbury’s shop in the entire world. The shop’s proximity to the Cadbury factory gives visitors the opportunity to buy chocolate in bulk at amazing prices that can’t be found anywhere else. As it is quite literally the tastiest museum in Birmingham, we had to include Cadbury World on this list of the 10 best things to do in our city.

 

Visit The National Sea Life Centre

The National Sea Life Centre is famous for many things, including its celebrated 360 Ocean Tunnel. No other aquarium in the UK comes close to having one. Many have tunnels which visitors can walk through and see some fish behind glass on either wall. The National Sea Life Centre’s famous tunnel allows visitors to see some of the ocean’s finest creatures above, below and on either side of them. Nowhere else in Birmingham gives visitors the chance to get nose to nose which a shark, or see a giant sea turtle enjoying some lunch under their feet. The fun doesn’t stop there. From stroking sea anemones, starfish and crabs in a rockpool, to letting the phenomenal 4D Splash & Bubbles immersive cinema experience wash over you, the National Sea Life Centre offers so many great opportunities for the whole family to discover what really happens under the sea.

 

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

The BMAG is not like any other gallery you’ll come across. As well as having some wonderful artistic collections, including some celebrated Pre-Raphaelite paintings; the museum is also home to the Staffordshire Hoard. This is the largest haul of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. Fragments of fine jewellery, helmets and wonderfully ornate military equipment dating to more than 1,300 years ago can be viewed by visitors to the BMAG. To provide its visitors with the most authentic experience possible as they are viewing the Hoard, some of the museum’s specialists spent 18 months making replica helmets based on the fragments, so that visitors could gain a better understanding of how the hoard’s fragments were used, and the lifestyles that the soldiers and nobility that wore the jewels of which they were part, lived.

The Museum also has highly impressive collections of Baroque art and Ancient Egyptian artefacts. Once you have finished exploring the BMAG, you can enjoy a cup of tea or two in its fantastic café which gives visitors everything they need to relax and chat about the wonderful art, sculpture and artefacts that they’ve seen during the day.

 

Watch Great Live Sport

Whether you love football, cricket or athletics, Birmingham will keep you entertained for hours on end. Aston’s famous Villa Park, home of newly promoted Aston Villa allows football lovers to watch one of the UK’s most famous clubs return to the Premier League for the first time in three seasons. With a number of seating options for the whole family, as well as some truly luxurious hospitality packages, Villa Park has everything you need to create a wonderful day-out.

The stadium also hosts a number of conferences and business networking events, which demonstrate how important sport can be in pushing communities forwards. Molineux, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have just finished one of the most successful seasons in their recent history, is easily accessed by rail, tram and bus from Birmingham city centre. With Birmingham City F.C. and West Bromwich Albion also having stadiums within easy reach of Central Birmingham, whichever team you support or guaranteed to enjoy or the thrills and spills of the beautiful game right up until the final whistle.

Athletics fans can watch the biggest stars on the planet sprint to victory in the Diamond League at Alexander Stadium in the Perry Barr area of Birmingham. Champion sprinters such as Usain Bolt have dazzled crowds at the Alexander as they’ve raced to victory on more than one occasion. The British Championships are also held at the Alexander. When they come to the Alexander, the UK’s greatest athletes don’t just want to win, they want to put on a show, and the crowds that fill the stadium’s 12,000+ capacity love watching them entertain. The stadium is being refurbished to become bigger and better than ever before for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.  A new capacity of 20,000 will allow even more people watch elite-level athletics in Birmingham. 

Cricket lovers have enjoyed watching many world-famous overs at Edgbaston Stadium. From phenomenal County Cricket, to the Ashes, to the Cricket World Cup, this stadium has witnessed some of the greatest moments is Warwickshire’s and England’s cricketing history. The best batsmen, bowlers and fielders in the world dream of playing at Edgbaston. Cricket enthusiasts dream of having a front-row seat to watch their favourite teams play there. As well as premium sport, Edgbaston Stadium also offers world-class conferences and events, complete with excellent catering. If you are travelling to Birmingham on business, then this stadium would be a great venue for your meetings.

 

Visit Cannon Hill Park

There’s so much to do in Cannon Hill Park. Many boutique festivals celebrating the diversity of Birmingham’s food and culture take place here over several fun-filled days. The bright lights of these festivals are just one of many reasons why Birmingham’s residents and visitors love Cannon Hill Park so much. Sunday afternoons are perfect for long walks through the park’s scenic paths, along which you can enjoy some beautifully colourful flowers and immaculately maintained shrubbery. The park is so large, that you couldn’t possibly take in all of it in just one walk.

That’s where the land train comes in handy. This train helps visitors to see as much of the park as possible, without having to miss out on any of its sights or sounds. While you’re at Cannon Hill Park, why not enjoy their 36-hole Golden Putter mini golf course? Whether you have an ace putt or not doesn’t matter. Whether you can navigate the twists, turns and occasional waterfalls is crucial to putting your way to victory on this imaginative and above all, extremely enjoyable course.

Once you’ve finished golfing with family and friends, Cannon Hill Park’s Swan Lake Boating is an experience that needs to become part of your life as quickly as possible. Why walk around the lake, when you can travel through it on these two and four-seater pedalos. Whether you’re in a large group, or you’re enjoying a more intimate trip for two; these pedalos are a relaxing way to experience the park from the water, without compromising on safety. Each boater is provided with a life jacket, so that they never have to worry about any safety issues while they’re on the lake, and can focus on admiring the park’s wonderful scenery while trying not to get too wet.

 

Visit The Mailbox

The Mailbox is one of Birmingham’s best locations for luxury living and shopping. Harvey Nichols is the place to go to find the very latest designer clothing. From sensationally stitched sneakers to precisely tailored suits, this shopping oasis has everything you need to enjoy the finer things in life as often as possible. The luxurious beauty products and services that are found around the corner from these fashions at The Mailbox’s branch of Harvey Nichols allow you to give you skin the pampering it deserves, while you’re picking out that perfect outfit. Once you’ve finished shopping until you’ve not quite dropped, visit Harvey Nichols Foodmarket to discover a treasure trove of fine cheeses, chocolates, charcuterie, condiments, wines, spirits and far, far more.

Many of the brands stocked here pass on years of heritage and craftsmanship in each of their products. However, you’ll probably be to busy imagining the odyssey of flavour that you’re about to experience to pay too much attention to the labels on the products. Visiting Harvey Nichols is an experience that you won’t forget for some time.

This one of a kind department store is just one of The Mailbox’s many elite retailers. Whether you need a made-to-measure suit, a fine painting, or furnishings that will give exceptional properties even more character, the Mailbox allows you to create shopping trips so epic, that they should be mentioned on the BBC’s Midlands Todayshow. Fortunately, therefore, the BBC Birmingham HQ is also located there. By prior arrangement, you can book a tour of this exceptional broadcasting facility and discover how some of your favourite programmes, radio productions and films have come to life. 

After your tour has finished, you only need to walk a few short paces, until you reach Birmingham’s wonderful canals. Why not hire a boat and create your own voyage of discovery through Birmingham’s storied waterways? You won’t need to worry about your car while you’re on the water, as the Mailbox is home to H20 valeting. Their team can ensure that as soon as you’ve finished navigating the canals, you’ll step into a car that gleams like new and smells lovely.

Combined with a selection of spas, the Everyman cinema, hotels, and so much more; The Mailbox will deliver you first-class experiences whenever you visit.

 

Visit The Jewellery Quarter

No trip to Birmingham would be complete without a visit to the city’s world-famous Jewellery Quarter. It’s true that you can buy jewellery from many, many locations across Brum. However, the Jewellery Quarter offers some truly special pieces. Here, you can commission bespoke jewellery. What’s bespoke jewellery? It is the process of meeting with an artisan jeweller and working with them to create one or more truly special pieces, than nobody else in the world has or will ever have. When you’re designing your own pieces, the sky is quite literally the limit. From fine diamonds to gold, sapphire, platinum and a whole range of other precious metals, you can create pieces that truly reflect your personality as well as any light that you’re standing in proximity to while wearing them.

The Jewellery Quarter has many other amazing attractions for the whole family. From museums that bring the area’s rich industrial heritage to life, to the Blue Orange Theatre which showcases an enormous variety of performances, the Jewellery Quarter transports visitors to a unique world of entertainment.

It is impossible to visit the Jewellery Quarter without visiting St Paul’s Church. In the summer months, the beautiful Georgian square which surrounds the Church offers the perfect green space for relaxing, reading, chatting with friends, or simply going for a nice walk in the sunshine. Inside St Paul’s, visitors can admire an exceptional stained-glass east window showing the conversion of St Paul, which was installed in 1791 and is considered by numerous art experts to be glass painter Francis Eginton’s greatest work. Another highlight of St Paul’s Church is the spire designed by Francis Goodwin. It’s a must see piece while you’re there.

The craftsmanship involved in creating St Paul’s reflects the enormous creative talent and skill which is present in the Jewellery Quarter generally. If you want to view, create or purchase a truly special item, this will be your new favourite area of Birmingham.

 

Enjoy premium shopping experiences at The Bullring & Grand Central

This go-to shopping location for Brummies is so much more than just a shopping centre. For a start, there are numerous spots to take that perfect selfie both inside and outside this wonderful commercial complex. Whether you want to boost your follower count with a photo next to Birmingham’s famous bull; or outside John Lewis, the possibilities for taking those perfect snaps are endless. Once you’ve picked your favourite filters and finished uploading, explore one of this retail paradise’s many, many shops.

Whether you want to buy some amazing speakers from HMV, or find that one of a kind outfit in Selfridges, you can find truly special items in this Brummie shopping haven. Once you’ve finished indulging in some much-needed retail therapy, a short trip down one of Grand Central’s escalators leads directly to Birmingham New Street Station, from which you can enjoy a day-out to almost anywhere in the UK and get back to Birmingham easily.

 

Enjoy a great concert or play

With The Hippodrome, The REP and Symphony Hall all within walking distance of New Street Station, you’re assured of finding the perfect performance for you whenever you visit Birmingham.  

Symphony Hall is globally-renowned for showcasing some of the most talented classical musicians in the world. However, it would be wrong to think that Symphony Hall is home to just one or two genres of music. For example, enormously talented jazz musicians travel internationally to give Symphony Hall’s diverse audiences an experience of their soulful saxophone sounds.  

Tour dates from household-name pop stars regularly included at least one stop at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena. Acts such as Khalid, Little Mix and Christina Aguilera will perform at the arena before 2019 ends. If you want to see the biggest stars on the planet in concert, then Birmingham is a city that you urgently need to visit.  

Theatregoers are spoilt for choice when they visit Birmingham. The REP Theatre stages shows that the whole family will love. They also put a uniquely Brummie twist on stage adaptations of classic novels and poems. This great theatre will provide you with memorable moments that you won’t be able to experience in any other city.  

Birmingham’s famous Hippodrome is the place to go to see some of the world’s biggest shows and musicals, as they make their way around the UK’s greatest theatres. The Hippodrome also hosts a vast number of workshops with the aim of getting kids interested in going to the theatre and in drama more generally. Whether you’re at the Hippodrome in the morning, afternoon, or evening, you will almost certainly want to include a wonderful meal in your memories of the day. Birmingham’s Hippodrome is only a short walk from the city’s China Town. Here you will find cuisine that surprises, amazes and fills your stomach with joy. 

 

Build a Great Wall of flavour around your taste buds

As you might expect, there are many Chinese restaurants in Birmingham’s famous China Town. However, only one has stood in this same location, providing authentic Cantonese cuisine for over 30 years. Only one has the largest selection of Dim Sum in Birmingham. A lot has changed since the 80s. A constant has been that Chung Ying Cantonese has been serving some of the most celebrated Oriental cuisine in Birmingham from its home on Wrottesley Street. No matter what political changes have happened over the years, no matter what economic and personal challenges people have faced, Birmingham's diners have always been assured of a fantastic meal at Chung Ying. Such is the brand's success, that over the years they have opened two additional restaurants on Thorp Street and Colmore Row.

From their first bite of fluffy, meaty Char Siu Bao, to their last bite of Chung Ying's sweet 'Liquid Gold' buns, diners will experience what real, authentic Chinese food tastes like. A myriad of other flavours is present on Chung Ying's many menus. From traditional Cantonese dishes that Brits have come to know and love, such as tender, succulent sweet and sour pork; to more exotic dishes such as Chung Ying's Thai-style chicken feet salad, this remarkable restaurant has a dish that everyone will love.

However long you are staying in Birmingham for, pop into one of our celebrated restaurants to take your taste buds on a delicious voyage of discovery. Chung Ying Cantonese opens from 10am daily. Chung Ying Central on Colmore Row is open Mon-Fri from 11.30am and from 12pm on Saturdays. Chung Ying Garden on Thorp Street is currently closed for refurbishment.