Birmingham is a brilliant place for a city break. It’s packed full of amazing places to visit, top quality restaurants and stunning architecture. Below I’ve listed everything you’ll want to see for any style of city break. But feel free to mix and match to plan your perfect Birmingham weekend breaks.
Birmingham weekend breaks for Culture lovers
There are plenty of museums in Birmingham to keep you entertained for a weekend. The most well known is probably the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Located in Chamberlain Square. Home to thousands of interesting artefacts and beautiful pieces of art. Including part of the famous Staffordshire Hoard. The museum is free to enter.
Aston Hall is a beautiful example of Jacobean Architecture and a fascinating place to explore. Set in gorgeous grounds with many rooms fully restored. History lovers will adore a visit. Hop on the train from Birmingham New Street to Aston Station then it’s just a ten minute walk.
Symphony Hall and the CBSO
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is one of the best in the world. Attending a concert at Symphony Hall, their custom built home is a goosebump inducing experience. They perform a wide variety of music from Classical concerts to family favourites and famous music from the movies. Symphony Hall is located in the ICC which is another lovely place to explore.
Birmingham is home to some amazing theatres and attracts the best acting talent from across the UK and the World. So why not add a trip to a show to your weekend in Birmingham. Firm favourites include the Hippodrome on Hurst Street, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Centenary Square and the Alexandra on Suffolk Queensway
Weekend breaks in Birmingham for Shoppers
Birminghams Jewellery Quarter is the place to head to if you want to snap up a unique piece of jewellery. It is home to over 100 retailers and Diamond dealers pus some lovely independent cafes and stores. It’s easy to walk there from the city centre or hop on the tram. It’s also here where you’ll find the beautiful St Pauls Square, boasting gorgeous Georgian fronted buildings, bars and restaurants.
The Birmingham Bulling shopping centre and neighbouring Grand Central is every shoppers dream. Home to all the big brands you can think of plus the brilliant Selfridges store if you fancy a weekend of retail therapy you can’t go wrong in Birmingham. It’s located right in the centre of the city so should be easily walkable from wherever you’re staying or from New Street train station. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes located in the Bullring meaning you can easily make a full day of it.
The Custard Factory is the place to head to if you’re looking for quirky independent retailers. Built in 1906 to make Birds custard this is now an industrial style retail space. Think skate shops, vintage clothing and small galleries. The Custard Factory is located in Digbeth, the citys creative quarter and is easy to walk to from all areas of Birmingham.
Frankfurt Christmas Market
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during the festive season then a trip to the Christmas market in Birmingham should be top of your list. This is a brilliant market to visit for unique German style Christmas gifts and covers a huge section of the city centre during December.
Birmingham weekend breaks for Families
Kids will absolutely love a weekend in Birmingham. It’s such a vibrant city with heaps of family friendly activities.
Birminghams Science museum at Millennium point will easily entertain the kids for a full day. Home to amazing interactive Science exhibits, kids will learn loads without even realising it. The newly opened Mini Brummie’s is a fabulous kids city where children can let their imagination run wild and the outdoor discovery space is brilliant for burning off any leftover energy.
Active kids will love a session at one of the indoor climbing centres in Birmingham. One of our favourites is Rock Up in Broadway Plaza. Home to over 26 climbing walls plus an adrenaline charged stairway to heaven jump. There are activities for all ages and abilities.
Birminghams brilliant Sea Life Centre is well worth a visit if you’re heading to Birmingham with kids. It houses the UKs only 360 degree ocean tunnel, an aquatic rescue centre, Penguin enclosure and much more. The Sea Life Centre is an easy walk from Brindley Place, full of restaurants overlooking the canal network and a lovely place for lunch.
Lego Discovery Centre
If your kids love lego then you’ll score serious brownie points for a visit to the Lego Discovery Centre. Packed full of lego based attractions including Miniland, some child friendly rides, a 4D cinema and a lovely soft play area. There are also plenty of opportunities for children to sit and play with some bricks.
Weekend breaks in Birmingham for Art Lovers
Birmingham is an incredibly creative city and has plenty to appeal to art lovers, buyers and creators.
This free to enter gallery is home to many brilliant examples of contemporary art and is one of my favourite places to spend an afternoon in the city. They are constantly updating their collection with emerging artists so there’s always something new to see. The Ikon Gallery holds regular workshops for both kids and adults. The onsite cafe serves some gorgeous food and is a brilliant place to people watch.
Street Art in Digbeth
If you’re a fan of Street Art then be sure to visit Digbeth on your city break. Seemingly everywhere you look there’s another beautiful, colourful, meaningful mural. You can easily walk here from the city centre and it’s home to some brilliant independent coffee shops and bars. The vibe is very relaxed and laid back.
City breaks in Birmingham for Architecture fans
Birmingham is a city rich in history and this is apparent everywhere you look. From the City Council House in Chamberlain Square to Methodist Central Hall on Corporation Street you’ll be blown away by the beauty, variety and age of the architecture around the city.
Selfridges at the Bullring
Opened in 2003 the building that houses Selfridges at the Bullring has become one of Birminghams most iconic images. With its gently curving design covered in 15,000 silver discs it is a sight to behold when reflecting the sun on a bright day.
One of the newest but no less impressive additions to the Birmingham skyline is the Birmingham Library. Affectionally christened the Wedding Cake by locals due to its tiered design the metalwork used on the exterior of the building links back to Birminghams industrial past.
Where to stay on your weekend break in Birmingham
Hotel Du Vin
Home to one of the best restaurants in the City with a gorgeous outdoor/indoor atrium and cosy bar this is one of my favourite places to stay in Birmingham. Hotel Du Vin is located in a beautiful Victorian building on Church Street making it close to all the top sights in the city. Rooms are luxurious, staff are friendly and the wine, as you would expect is plentiful!
The Grand Hotel
After almost 20 years lying empty one of Birminghams favourite buildings has been recently restored to its old glory. The gorgeous French Renaissance-style architecture and and tasteful interior makes this one of the best places to stay in Birmingham. The Grand Hotel is also centrally located and easily walkable to some of the best restaurants in the city.
Saint Pauls House
If you’re looking for something more boutique in style then I highly recommend Saint Pauls House. Located in St Pauls Square it’s a stones throw from the Jewellery Quarter and the famous Jamhouse. Bright and contemporary in design, the hotel bar is super friendly and the rooms are comfy and cosy, perfect for crashing after a night out in the city.
Where to eat on a city break in Birmingham
Birmingham is home to some amazing places to eat. From Michelin starred fine dining to delicious, great value street food you can easily find something to suit, whatever your palate. For Michilin stars in the city centre try Purnell’s on Cornwall Street or Opheem on Summer Row. The first Indian restaurant outside of London to be granted this prestigious award.
For a really indulgent treat why not add a bottomless brunch experience to you weekend in Birmingham. These bottomless brunch venues are some of the best in the city.
Dishoom Birmingham is my new favourite place for a curry in the city. Located in Chamberlain square it’s right in the heart of the action and the food is absolutely fabulous. Or if you fancy a Chinese then uber opulent Tattu Birmingham located in Barwick Street is a great option.
Street food in Birmingham has had a huge swell of popularity over the past few years. Digbeth is the area you’ll want to visit to sample some of the best. We love Baked in Brick at the Custard Factory which was originally a street food pop up and The Vietnamese Street Kitchen in the Bullring.
Where to escape the city
The Birmingham Canals
If you fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre then hop on a canal boat. Birmingham is home to more canals than Venice, playing a huge part in the Industrial Revelation meant this was the best way to transport goods around the city and beyond. It has left a huge network of waterways to explore. Viewing the beautiful buildings and surrounding countryside from water is a lovely escape from the city.
Just a 20 minute drive or train journey from the city centre is beautiful Sutton Park. A huge area of protected parkland, home to many hiking trails, lakes and playgrounds to keep the kids entertain. The Bracebridge Restaurant next to the Lake has one of the best views you can enjoy with dinner in the area.
How to get around Birmingham
Birmingham is a very easy city to explore by foot. Pretty much everything listed above can be walked to from Birmingham New Street Station. If you get tired there’s a compact tram network which can take you all around the city from Birmingham Library out to the Jewellery Quarter. For longer journeys there are regular trains out of Birmingham New Street or Moor Street Train Stations connecting visitors to the rest of the Midlands and beyond.
How to get to Birmingham
Being right in the centre of the country, Birmingham is easy to reach from all across the UK. It is on a superb train network with several modern train stations around the centre. It’s just an hour and a half on the train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street.
Birmingham International Airport is one of the best in the region with great value flights available from all over Europe and the rest of the world. From the airport just hop on the train at Birmingham international station and it’s 10 minutes into Birmingham New Street in the city centre.
Make sure you pin for later to plan your Birmingham Weekend Breaks.