Travel | A Beginner's Guide To Birmingham


As I mentioned in yesterdays post, myself and my other half moved our entire life from up north in Yorkshire to the bright lights of Birmingham and I never thought I'd picture myself here of all places but I'm slowly falling in love with the big city life and everything that Birmingham has to offer.

That being said, I was excited when Hotels.com contacted me to collaborate on a post letting you all know about my favourite places and things to do in and around Birmingham, and as a newbie to the area, I'm looking forward to sharing with you what I've been up to since the summer!
If you're not quite nearby, Birmingham is so easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in the country by train (or the trusty megabus if you're skint and don't mind spending 6 hours on a motorway), but if you fancy spending a couple of days here there are a whole load of Birmingham hotels in the city centre to pick from and get a good night's sleep!

The Bullring

The first thing I base any trip on is the shopping and Birmingham city centre has pretty much everything you could ever want! The Bullring is the main shopping centre to head to with everything from high end to high street and more places to eat and grab a good cup of coffee than you could ever need. There's a massive Selfridges store that takes centre stage as well as a brand new Morphe boutique that I can't wait to blow all of my student loan in and just outside on New Street is the home to the worlds biggest Lush and Primark stores! I was really blown away by Grand Central when I moved here though - not only is it a MASSIVE train station but it's also a shopping centre in it's own right that has loads of pop up boutiques at one end and a huge John Lewis at the other!


If it's food you're after though then I'm defo you're gal and I've taken one for the team and road-tested a few different places that I'd highly recommend.

Digbeth Dining Club

The first and probably the top venue on my list would have to be Digbeth Dining Club* which is only a 10 minute walk from the city centre. I FINALLY had the opportunity to try this out on Friday night and I was not disappointed. It's basically an old nightclub and terrace space converted into a street food extravaganza with loads of different vendors that change every week and let me tell you now, the food is INSANE. Feel free to head on over to their Instagram and have a look if you don't believe me and thank me later! It's such a cool vibe with a few different bars offering different sorts of drinks to match the mood and there's DJs set up in each room too so it's basically one big party but with an absolute feast to work your way around! If I hadn't already sold you on it, they're also doing a dedicated vegan night on a Thursday with specially picked vegan vendors so there's definitely something for everyone to enjoy and I challenge you not to have a good night!

Urban Café

Whenever I go anywhere, I'm always on the hunt for a good brekkie or brunch and Birmingham definitely doesn't disappoint - there's so much to choose from but in my hunt for good coffee and avocado, I've managed to narrow it down to two of my faves! If you're staying dead in the city centre and you don't want to travel much, I'd 100% recommend Yorks cafe which is a stones throw away from the train station. It's a quirky coffee shop that is very Instagram friendly and does amazing coffee and the brunch menu is to die for!
If you don't mind a little walk just outside of the main city centre area, then the Urban Café* in the Jewellery Quarter is a great shout for an amazing latte and a fluffy stack of pancakes! It's only 20 minutes or so away from the heart of Birmingham but the Jewellery Quarter has a much more chilled vibe and is also home to a load of great bars and pubs if that's more your kind of vibe. The Button Factory is my fave - they do great cocktails and craft beers as well as a yummy food menu and I can't wait to make use of their terrace in the summer!

Birmingham Arena / Brindley Place

Broad Street and Brindley Place is definitely the place to be if you're here and up for sampling the night life with pretty much every bar and club you could possibly want, all nestled close to Birmingham's canals. One of Birmingham's  big arenas is situated on Brindley Place too so if you're in town for a show, you won't be disappointed with the surroundings and again, it's only a 10 minute walk away from the main city centre area.


The Library of Birmingham

Probably my favourite place of them all though and one that will cost you nothing at all (unless you're tempted by the cute little café that is) is the Library of Birmingham which is well worth paying a visit to. I have an epic view of it from my living room window and it's definitely a sight to behold - anyone else think it resembles a wedding cake? - but it's what's inside that is most impressive. Being a library, it's obviously full to the brim with every book you could ever want or need but the real selling point is the "secret" garden terrace on the 7th floor that offers the most amazing views of Birmingham and is also the most perfect place to escape the buzz of the city centre outside and cosy up with a good book for a while. I'll definitely be taking advantage of it when my uni work is getting too much and I need a break!

I've still got so much more to explore of the city I now call home, and while I've kept this post pretty confined to the Birmingham's city centre, there's so much to see in the surrounding areas too which I'll definitely keep you updated on as I discover it all for myself!

I hope you liked this post - it's something a bit different for me but I hope you like my recommendations and my little tour of the city and if you're planning a trip here soon, I hope it helps!
Also if you're a Brummie or just know the city well and have any recommendations of your own, please leave them in the comments cos I'd love to find out more!


Until next time,
Always, Alice x



*This post was made in collaboration with Hotels.com and while spending money was provided, all opinions and recommendations are my own.

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