Boulton, Watt and Murdoch Statue in Birmingham against modern architecture

Things to do in  Birmingham

Industrial heritage, cosmopolitan culture

Formerly an industrial powerhouse, Birmingham is hailed as the UK’s second city—but it certainly doesn’t sit in London’s shadow. Home to a vast canal network, myriad museums, sports grounds, outdoor trails, and culinary hotspots, there’s no shortage of things to do in Birmingham. Attractions such as Cadbury World, the National SEA LIFE® Centre, and the Bullring are among the city’s most popular, while Peaky Blinders-themed tours and after-dark adventures on Broad Street offer a fresh perspective of Birmingham’s best bits.

Top 7 attractions in Birmingham

Winterbourne House and Garden

Just outside the city center, Winterbourne House and Garden is a natural oasis and time capsule of the Edwardian arts and crafts era. The restored home is filled with antiques and historic timepieces, and the surrounding 7-acre (3-hectare) botanical gardens contain more than 6,000 plant species from across the globe.More

Cadbury World

The perfect destination for chocolate lovers, Cadbury World offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of one of Britain’s most famous chocolate brands: Cadbury. Located on the site of the original Cadbury factory in Bournville, it’s a fun family attraction with interactive exhibits and chocolate-making demonstrations.More
Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum

Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum

Brimming with interactive science and technology displays, Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum is home to everything from talking robots and steam engines to a planetarium and marine life gallery. The hands-on exhibits span four stories inside the Millennium Point building, and offer entertainment and education for visitors of all ages.More

Pen Museum

Birmingham’s historic Pen Museum celebrates the city’s instrumental role in expanding communication and literacy worldwide. Set in a 19th-century Renaissance-style factory that once manufactured the majority of the world’s pens, the museum offers educational exhibits and interactive workshops.More

National SEA LIFE® Centre Birmingham

Inhabitants at the National Sea Life Centre range from penguins and otters to piranhas and jellyfish, displayed in antarctic pools and rain forest habitats. At the dynamic center, viewers can learn about marine life from around the globe in a series of exhibits such as an underwater tunnel, tropical forest, and penguin enclosure.More
National Motorcycle Museum

National Motorcycle Museum

With more than 1,000 machines from 170 manufacturers, the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham has the world’s largest collection of British motorcycles. Visitors can gain insight into British engineering, learn about the vehicle’s history, and see motorcycles from classic models to 21st-century superbikes up close.More

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Birmingham

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Birmingham combines massive collections of LEGO® bricks with amusement park–style action to create the ultimate LEGO playground. At the park, designed for kids ages 3 to 10, families can enjoy LEGO-themed rides, explore a LEGO re-creation of Birmingham’s top attractions, and practice their skills in the build and test zone.More

Top activities in Birmingham

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All about Birmingham

When to visit

Birmingham’s 18th-century canals are most beautiful during the spring and summer months of April through September. This is when narrowboaters set sail and outdoor enthusiasts take advantage of the traffic-free towpaths to bike and hike around the city. If you’re visiting in fall, don’t miss the autumnal scenery around Winterbourne House and Garden, or Cannon Hill Park. Winter wanderers can warm up at the Frankfurt Christmas Market—the largest such market outside of the German-speaking world.

Getting around

Like in any large British city, driving is best avoided in Birmingham—it’s home to the original Spaghetti Junction, after all. Luckily, Birmingham’s status as a major public transport hub ensures hassle-free journeys, with three major railway stations and a comprehensive bus network offering access to all corners of the city. Taxis are also an affordable option here, while out-of-town tours often include transfers from the city.

Traveler tips

If you’re a fan of fantasy, don’t miss the Tolkien Trail—a family-friendly route around rural Birmingham that pays homage to the world-famous writer’s Birmingham-based childhood. The route covers some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s childhood haunts and sights that bear a resemblance to Middle-earth landmarks, including Sarehole Mill and the Chamberlain Tower. If food is more your thing, head to the Balti Triangle in Balsall Heath for an authentic taste of Birmingham’s very own curry recipe—the balti.


People Also Ask

Is Birmingham UK worth visiting?

Yes, Birmingham UK is worth visiting. It’s home to Britain's most famous chocolate, Cadbury, making it a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth. Plus, it’s steeped in a rich variety of history and culture—you’ll find everything from Victorian-era canals to international sports grounds such as Villa Park, plus museums, theaters, galleries, and restaurants.

What is Birmingham UK famous for?

Birmingham is famous for being the birthplace of Britain’s most famous chocolate, Cadbury, and the balti curry dish. It’s also famous for its music and arts scene—the heavy metal band Black Sabbath come from here—and for its industrial past. Plus, it’s the setting of the popular British TV show, Peaky Blinders.

How do I spend a weekend in Birmingham?

On your first day, tick off city-center landmarks such as the Bullring, the Jewellery Quarter, and Birmingham Library. Then, wander into Digbeth, the city’s creative quarter, home to independent restaurants, shops, bars, and clubs. On Sunday, take a day trip to either Cadbury World, the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, or Warwick Castle.

Is Birmingham a cheap city?

On the whole, Birmingham is much cheaper than London, but it’s still a city with prices to match. Fortunately, a high student population means there are lots of second-hand stores, cheap cafes, and some free-to-enter attractions, such as the Ikon Gallery, Soho House, and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (reopening in 2024).

Is Birmingham UK a walkable city?

Yes, Birmingham is very walkable. The city center is compact enough that strolling between the main sights is easy, so keep an eye out for walking tours. If you want to explore further afield, nothing is more than a train or bus ride away, so you won’t need to hire a car.

What are the top attractions to visit in Birmingham?

Birmingham’s top attractions include the Back to Backs, a row of 19th-century terraced houses that represent bygone Britain; the Birmingham canals; and Sarehole Mill. Other top attractions include Cadbury World, Villa Park, Edgbaston Stadium, and the Bullring. Family-friendly attractions include the National SEA LIFE® Centre, the Thinktank Science Museum, and the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre.

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