Whether you are a native having a staycation, or a tourist coming to the UK for a vacation, it seems that Birmingham has become one hot choice. A recent survey has put Birmingham in the Top Ten of UK cities for tourists, with people flocking to enjoy the range of restaurants, theatres, cool shopping destinations and iconic buildings.
I love Birmingham and am fiercely proud of the new developments and changes that make it such a vibrant city. I’ve put together a little list of things to see and do and places to stay in the second city.
Where to stay
Birmingham has plenty of great hotels to stay that will suit every budget. If you are looking for a hotel in the centre of the city, the Holiday Inn, a Cairn Group Hotel, is within a couple of minutes walking distance from New Street Station, the Bullring and the Birmingham Hippodrome. Other great hotels include celebrity haunt Malmaison, and the striking Radisson Blue.
Birmingham has a thriving food scene, with every kind of cuisine, from Michelin starred restaurants to great street food. The Stable has been a great addition to Birmingham, with Pizza’s named after local attractions and 80 different sorts of Cider. Lasan is a local legend, with the best Indian Cuisine around, and if dessert is your thing, you must check out Pirlo’s, for pancakes, gelato and all kinds of naughtiness. For coffee breaks, I love Yorks Bakery, and Pho in Grand Central does scrummy Vietnamese vermicelli and Saigon Beer.
Birmingham is heaven for those who love retail therapy. Selfridges, John Lewis and Harvey Nichols all have stunning stores in the city, and there is the new Grand Central complex which has introduced Joules, MAC, Kiehls and Neals Yard to the city. There are also great independents in the Great Western Arcade and lots of vintage stores in the Digbeth and Custard Factory area.
The At One Day Spa in the Great Western Arcade is great for a quick fix treatments including hydro- facials, express nail treatments, brow treatments and de-stress massages. The Spa is open until 7pm on weekdays, and has a complimentary lunch order and collection service with Treat Greek Deli.
There are plenty of theatres to chose from in Birmingham and the surrounding areas, with some great shows coming up soon, including Footloose with Gareth Gates at the New Alex Theatre, The Birmingham Royal Ballet Summer season with a Shakespeare triple bill at the Birmingham Hippodrome, and the BE Fest at the Birmingham Rep.
Have you ever been to Birmingham?