Last Updated on 11/11/2023 by secretmoona
The second biggest city in the United Kingdom, Birmingham, offers lots of things to do. From a designer library to luxury shops and canal boat trips, you would not run out of things to do when spending just one day in Birmingham.
One Day in Birmingham: Morning
Start at Birmingham City Centre:
As mentioned, Birmingham is a cultural hub. After dropping off your belongings at your hotel, start your day by exploring the city centre. Take a trip to Victoria Square to appreciate the remarkable architecture, which includes the Birmingham Town Hall and the Council House.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Visit the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for an extensive collection of art and artefacts, including the renowned Staffordshire Hoard. The building is stunning, and the surrounding area is lovely as well.
Note: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is closed for essential maintenance until 2024.
The Library of Birmingham is not your average library; it offers not only books but also events, exhibitions, and even a hidden garden. The building, which opened in 2013, is impressive both inside and out. The angular exterior, combined with detailed decoration, makes it a unique piece of architecture that is not typically associated with libraries. The interior is modern and spacious. Once you’ve explored the ground floor, which is similar to most libraries, head to the Shakespeare Memorial Room, where Victorian decor contrasts with the modern library. If you have time, take the elevator to the Skyline Viewpoint for a panoramic view of Birmingham.
One Day in Birmingham: Late Morning
Bullring and Grand Central
Birmingham is a shopper’s paradise, and a visit to the city is incomplete without indulging in a shopping spree. Head to the Bullring Shopping Centre and the adjacent Grand Central. Bullring, which opened its doors in 2004, is undoubtedly the heart of Birmingham’s shopping centres. With more than 160 shops and concessions, it would be hard to leave empty-handed. From high street shops to designer boutiques, food halls, and restaurants, everything is designed to make your shopping experience enjoyable. However, if shopping isn’t your thing, you might not find it as charming. But if you do decide to avoid Bullring, at least make a stop to admire the façade of Selfridges. This steel-framed building is an architectural masterpiece.
If you enjoy supporting independent businesses, then the Custard Factory is definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Birmingham. Located in the “Creative Quarter” within the industrial district of Digbeth, the area is bustling with independent shops, cafes, and bars, as well as creative and digital businesses.
The Mailbox was previously the primary sorting office for Birmingham’s Royal Mail. However, since 2013, it is now a great destination for those who enjoy shopping, working, drinking, and having fun. The Mailbox provides a more intimate shopping experience than the traditional shopping mall, and it boasts high-end designer shops such as Harvey Nichols, Hugo Boss, and Jaeger.
One Day in Birmingham: Lunch
Lunch at the Custard Factory:
When it’s time for lunch, you won’t be short of options in Birmingham. The city offers a diverse range of culinary experiences to cater to all tastes. One of the most well-known dishes in Birmingham is the Balti, and it is widely believed that the best Indian restaurants can be found here.
You can choose to have lunch at the Custard Factory, a workspace for creative and digital businesses that features independent shops and cafes. Additionally, there are plenty of chain restaurants available, such as Zizzi and Cote Restaurant.
For those seeking vegan and gluten-free options, I recommend Saint Kitchen. It’s an excellent cafe that serves delicious food in a welcoming atmosphere.
One Day in Birmingham: Afternoon
If you’re looking for some interesting places to visit in Birmingham, consider taking a short trip to the historic Jewellery Quarter. Here, you can explore the many independent jewellery shops, visit the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, and even take a guided tour of the famous Birmingham Jewellery Quarter.
Alternatively, if you have a sweet tooth and are interested in the history of chocolate, you may want to visit Cadbury World. This attraction is located just a short distance from the city centre and offers an interactive experience that is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
One Day in Birmingham: Evening
Take a canal boat tour
Did you know that Birmingham boasts more canals than Venice? With 35 miles of canals compared to Venice’s 26 miles of waterways, Birmingham has more waterways to explore. However, as Birmingham is much larger than Venice, it may not be immediately apparent that it has more canals. To experience the beauty of the canals for yourself, take a stroll along the Birmingham canals.
If you want to explore more of the canal network, you can take a boat ride. The boat ride will take you between Brindley Place and the International Convention Centre quayside, giving you a chance to discover Birmingham’s industrial past. Sherborne Wharf and Away2Canal offer unique tours. After your ride, be sure to stop by one of the many restaurants and bars at Gas Street Basin.
Dinner at Brindleyplace
Once you finish your ride, I recommend heading to Brindleyplace for dinner. There are many restaurants and bars located along the canal, which provide a pleasant atmosphere to dine in. If you prefer traditional British cuisine, the Gentleman & Scholar Pub and Terrace is an excellent choice. They offer some of the best British inspired dishes and can cater to those who require gluten-free options.
One Day in Birmingham: Night
Nightlife at Broad Street:
If you’re looking for some vibrant nightlife, Broad Street should be your go-to destination. The street is lined with numerous bars and clubs that offer a great atmosphere for a night out with friends.
Additionally, if you’re seeking more options, head to Brindley Place, where most of the city’s clubs and bars are located. The area comes alive in the evening with lively music and a variety of dining options. It’s interesting to note that this area was once a site of factories until the manufacturing industry went into decline in the 70s.
Where to stay in Birmingham
There are many accommodation options in Birmingham. Here are three hotels that have been tried and tested:
- The Aparthotel Adagio Birmingham is situated in a convenient location close to the Bullring Shopping Centre.
- Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC: This hotel is modern, stylish and centrally located.
- Hyatt Regency Birmingham: For a relaxing stay close to most city attractions, choose Hyatt Regency Birmingham with its spa and swimming pool.
Thank you for taking the time to read our itinerary of things to do within one day in Birmingham. Please note that this is just a suggestion, and you may need to make adjustments depending on your preferences and the season. Birmingham offers a broad range of attractions, including cultural, historical and contemporary sites, all of which are covered in this plan. Enjoy your travels!
Travel Tips and Resources 🧳
Here are some of my favourite travel tips and resources.
- 🛫Flights: I’m all about snapping the best deals when booking flights. Therefore, I use Google Flights and Skyscanner to get the best deals each time. I also use AirHelp to receive compensation for delayed and cancelled flights.
- 🚆Trains: I love using Trainline and Omio to book trains within Europe.
- 🛏Accommodations: Booking.com, Agoda, and Trivago are my favourite sites for great hotels and private home deals. They offer many hotels, including luxury accommodations and private homes.
- 🚙Car Rentals: Renting a car is ideal when travelling to remote destinations. For these, I love renting cars through Discover Cars. They offer some great options for affordable rentals, and their customer service is one the best.
- 🎟Tours and Experiences: Visiting a new place also means getting to experience and do many things. I usually book tours via GetYourGuide or TripAdvisor. If you like doing things solo, WeGoTrip offers audio tours and excursions.
- 💳Travel Insurance: Travelling without proper travel insurance is not recommended. I always travel with one. Use VisitorsCoverage to compare and get the best travel insurance policy for you.