Things to do in Birmingham
Birmingham was given the nickname "the Magic City" in the late 18th century due to its amazing industrial expansion, something that observers had never seen before. These days, it has a completely different kind of magic, along with plenty of great activities to keep visitors occupied during their stay.
Shopping Addicts can Spend all day at the Bullring
The Bullring is the city's iconic shopping centre and it has been superbly redeveloped since the late 1990s. Nowadays, this massive shopping centre is the Midland's upmarket retail highlight, thanks to the futuristic Selfridge's department store and a wide range of other shops. You can easily spend a day skipping between shops, dining on Spiceal Street and visiting the city cathedral next door.
Sports Junkies can Enjoy Football, Cricket and Much More
As the centre of the English Midlands, Birmingham was always going to attract major sports teams, and the city generally has at least one elite Premier League football team. If football isn't your thing, you can attend Test Cricket matches at Edgbaston or watch Warwickshire in the 20/20 Blast, while the Barclaycard Arena regularly hosts major international athletics meets featuring stars like Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.
Dine on some of the UK's Finest Curries
In the 1950s, the city accepted thousands of new arrivals from India and Pakistan, with huge benefits for the local food scene. Nowadays, areas like Hall Green are filled with enticing aromas from the local curry houses, so don't be shy. Head to local institutions like Lasan in the centre of town or the lavishly decorated Mughal e Azam in Sparkhill. And don't forget to try a Balti, the city's other great invention. Al Frash on Ladypool Road is thought to serve the best Balti in town.
Take Your Kids to a Real Life Chocolate Factory
No golden tickets are required to visit Cadbury World in Bournville, home to one of the world's biggest chocolate makers. Find out about the production process in the 3D cinema, learn about the Meso-American roots of chocolate and, more importantly, fill up on samples of the company's famous products.
History and Art Fans can Visit the City's Museums
The Magic City isn't just about confectionery, shopping and sport. There's a serious side to it too. Head to the Birmingham Museum to see its fantastic collection of artworks, including Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces by Dante Rosetti and works by Constable and Turner. Visit Soho House, a wonderfully restored Georgian house that was once home to thinker and industrialist Matthew Boulton, or find out about the city's jewellery making past at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.