What are the beautiful neighborhoods in Birmingham

14 top-rated tourist attractions in Birmingham and Coventry

Birmingham is the UK's second largest city, and its location in the West Midlands makes it a great place to explore the beautiful Cotswolds and Malvern Hills Areas - especially by canal. Birmingham's canals were a by-product of the industrial revolution that saw the city boom, and today this extensive network of canals (the city has more canals than Venice) is mainly used for recreational boating. Nowadays the city is famous for its jewelry and food, as well as for its numerous cultural activities and festivals, including Europe's second largest St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Coventry, the heart of the UK automotive industry, is just 20 miles from Birmingham. A massive bombing raid in 1940 destroyed much of the city, including the old ones Coventry CathedralThe ruins were integrated into the new cathedral. Today, Coventry's beautiful open spaces, wide streets, and pedestrianized streets are well worth seeing and have lots of great things to do, including great shopping and dining.

See also: Where to Stay in Birmingham

1 Historic city center, Birmingham

Historic city center, Birmingham

In downtown Birmingham, the town hall was built in 1832 and is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture. This impressive structure is reminiscent of a Roman temple and features 40 ornate Corinthian columns made of Anglesey marble. It has been the center of the city's music scene since the premiere of Mendelssohn's Elijah in 1847. Today it's impressive Symphony hall, With its world-class acoustics and stunning auditorium, it regularly features A-list singers and artists and is also home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Two monuments can be seen in the forecourt, one to Queen Victoria and the other to the inventor James Watt in the Renaissance style Social housing (1874), with its famous "Big Brum" clock (a slang phrase for Birmingham) is nearby. Other attractions in Old Town include Chamberlain Square and the Central Library, which is the largest in the city Shakespeare Collection outside of the United States (50,000 volumes in 90 languages).

Address: Victoria Place, Birmingham

Official site: www.thsh.co.uk

2 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Opened in 1885, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is considered one of the best museums outside London. Art treasures include a collection of Pre-Raphaelite painters, as well as works of art from the 17th to 19th centuries and sculptures by Rodin and James Tower. There are also interesting exhibits on the city's history, including archaeological finds from the Stone Age, along with the impressive ones Pinto collection, with its more than 6,000 toys and other wooden objects.

Well worth a visit and is within walking distance Birmingham back to back Attraction, a unique collection of the little "back-to-back" houses that were once so popular in the city. They were built around a central courtyard in the middle of the 19th century and offer a unique insight into the conditions of the working class and their important contribution to city life (entry only with a guided tour).

Address: Chamberlain Square, Birmingham

Official website: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk

3 Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum Bs0u10e0 / photo modified

Families traveling with aspiring young scientists won't want to miss the think tank, Birmingham Science Museum. This award-winning museum includes a large number of fascinating exhibits related to science, many of which are hands-on and interactive. Highlights include an impressive collection of steam powered machinery, from locomotives to tractors to industrial machinery, many of which are linked to Birmingham's important role as an industrial hub over the centuries. Other fun displays include a chocolate wrapping machine; the Spitfire Gallery, with its authentic World War II aircraft (including one of 10,000 Spitfires made on site); the Science Garden with its human-sized hamster wheel; and the think tank planetarium with its fascinating tours through the stars and planets.

Address: Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham

Official website: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/thinktank

4 National Life Center, Birmingham

National SEA LIFE Center, Birmingham Roland Turner / photo modified

One of the most visited tourist attractions in Birmingham is the National SEA LIFE Center, which houses more than 60 impressive exhibits from the field of marine life. The pride of the place is the aquarium's huge ocean tank with its unique underwater tunnel that gives visitors an unobstructed view of the diverse marine life that ranges from reef sharks to giant tortoises. All in all, around 2000 animals call the aquarium home, including numerous rare seahorses, giant octopuses, lobsters, crabs, stingrays and otters (watch out for the Mango and Starsky!). However, the stars of the attraction are undoubtedly the penguins. These fascinating creatures, housed in the impressive Penguin Ice Adventure Habitat, are fun to play with. A 4-D cinema is also on site and offers regular educational programs. Hot tip: If time and budget allow, book one of the fun behind-the-scenes experiences or penguins.

Address: The Waters Edge, 3 Brindleyplace, Birmingham

Official site: https://www2.visitsealife.com/Birmingham

5 Jewelry District, Birmingham

Jewelry District, Birmingham

The Jewelery Quarter is a traditional area in Birmingham. More than 200 jewelers' workshops and silversmiths are concentrated here, mostly in the vicinity Bell tower on the corner of Vyse and Frederick Streets and around St. Paul's Georgian Church. Be sure to visit that Jewelry District MuseumAn inside look at trading at the fascinating Smith & Pepper Factory. Also worth seeing is the nearby Hall of Memory across from Baskerville House, built in 1925 to commemorate the 14,000 city dwellers who perished in World War I.

If time permits, you should go for that Stiftmuseum. This first-class museum in the old stationery factory of the Jewelery Quarter shows the former role of the city as a center of pen manufacture and the history of writing implements. A special treat is the possibility of making your own steel spring using the same machines and techniques that were used in the 19th century. The Victorian classroom is also fun, where guests can practice their writing skills with traditional quills.

Address: Vyse Street, Hockley, Birmingham

Official website: www.schmuckquarter.net

6 St Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham

St Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham

St. Philip's Cathedral (the third smallest in England) was built as a parish church in 1715 and raised to its current status in 1905. The cathedral was gutted by Burne-Jones (1884) during a bombing raid a few weeks earlier in 1940. Today these significant treasures, which were returned to their rightful place when the cathedral was rebuilt in 1948, are a highlight of any trip to Birmingham. Another religious structure worth visiting St. Martin's Church. It dates from the 13th century and has Burne-Jones windows.

Address: Colmore Row, Birmingham

Official site: www.birminghamcathedral.com

7 Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham

Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham Elliott Brown / photo modified

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is close to the University of Birmingham and houses an excellent collection of works of art from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Highlights include masterpieces by Botticelli, Bellini, Tintoretto, Rubens, Rembrandt, Watteau, Manet, Monet, Gainsborough, Constable and Degas. The building itself should also be explored, largely for its superb statue of George I. If time permits, be sure to check out the institute's schedule Classical lunchtime and evening concerts.

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Official site: http://barber.org.uk/

8 Cadbury World, Bournville

Cadbury World, Bournville Tony Hisgett / photo modified

Cadbury World is one of the largest (and most popular) attractions in the Cadbury area of ​​Bournville, just a short drive from Birmingham, and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year. With a focus on fun, visitors can discover the history of chocolate as well as the manufacturing process through a number of excellent themed interactive exhibits. Along the way, guests learn the history of the Cadbury store, one of the largest pastry shops in the world. Afterward, spend some time exploring the quaint village of Bournville itself, built after 1860 by the Cadbury family to house their large workforce.

Address: Lindenstrasse, Bournville

Official Site: https://www.cadburyworld.co.uk/

9 Black Land Living Museum, Dudley

Black Land Living Museum, Dudley

In the town of Dudley, just nine miles west of Birmingham, the Black Country Living Museum offers visitors a living glimpse into the history of mining (hence the "black one"). An old mine shaft and reconstructed industrial industry from the turn of the century can be explored, as can the neighboring network of canals (this part of the adventure takes place in an authentic narrow boat that was once used to transport coal). Other highlights include the chance to interact with costumed guides well versed in local history, plenty of unique shopping, vintage buses and utility vehicles, and a traditional 19th century English fair.

Address: Tipton Street, Dudley

Official site: www.bclm.co.uk

10 Broadgate, Coventry

Broadgate, Coventry Amanda Slater / photo modified

Broadgate, a spacious, pedestrian-friendly square in the heart of the city, is known for its allusions to Lady Godiva, the city's most famous resident. A statue of her stands in the middle of the square, and Broadgate House has a unique clock on it Lady Godiva appears in time with the hour, with peeping tom at a window above.

Trinity Church, on the northeast corner of Broadgate, has one of the city's three famous church spiers, built in 1166 and 327 feet tall. The church has beautiful windows, a stone pulpit from 1470 and interesting tapestries woven for the coronation of Elizabeth II. Also of note is a medieval painting from around 1430 entitled Doom (also known as the Last Judgment) depicting Christ as judgments for heaven or hell. Lost twice after being covered with layers of washing and varnish, the fully restored work of art can be seen again and is considered one of the most important discoveries in the field of medieval art in Europe.

11 Old Coventry Cathedral

Old Coventry Cathedral

Old Coventry Cathedral was built in 1373 and was originally one of the largest parish churches in England. It wasn't elevated to a cathedral until 1918, but only a few pieces of the outer walls remained after the devastating lightning bolt of 1940, along with the slender 303-foot spire. At the east end of the old cathedral, a cross made from two charred beams rescued from the ruins is a poignant symbol and reminder of the destruction. (Interesting fact: the sacristies were rebuilt after the war with the help of young German volunteers.)

Address: Hilltop, Coventry

Official site: www.coventrycathedral.org.uk

Coventry Cathedral map

12 St. Michael's Cathedral, Coventry

St. Michael's Cathedral, Coventry

A large covered porch connects the cathedral's ancient ruins with the modern St. Michael Cathedral, designed by Sir Basil Spence and opened in 1962. The walls of the 420-foot-long nave are built in a zigzag, the staggered concrete slabs alternate with windows in front of the altar. The most noticeable feature, however, is the huge pane of glass at the west end of the building. Engraved with figures of angels, saints and patriarchs, it creates an impressive visual connection, both with the old cathedral ruins and with the busy streets of the city. Another impressive feature is the baptistery with its script carved from Bethlehem and stained glass Sunburst window.

One building nearby that was lucky enough to have survived the bombing was in the 15th century St. Mary's Hallsince 1342 seat of the merchants' guild. The Great Hall (1394-1414) has an impressive oak vault and a tapestry depicting Henry VII's visit in 1500.

Address: Hilltop, Coventry

Official site: http://www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/wpsite/

13 Grayfriars, Coventry

Grayfriars, Coventry Amanda Slater / photo modified

The most interesting of Coventry's preserved half-timbered houses is Ford's hospital in Greyfriars Lane, a poor house established in 1509 for poor married couples. The Greyfriars Monastery, which was destroyed in 1539, is worth a visit because of its preserved church tower. The dormitory and the cloister of the Whitefriars Monastery have since been fully restored and today they house an interesting museum on the history of the region. Bablake Old School (1560) is also worth seeing, as is Bond's Hospital, a half-timbered poorhouse for older men founded in 1506.

14 Coventry Transport Museum

Coventry Transport Museum Gorgeous Lawford / photo modified

The Coventry Transport Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of road transport in the UK. Prepare to stay a while as this is a huge museum. Highlights include an impressive collection of more than 300 cycles, 120 motorcycles and more than 250 automobiles and utility vehicles, many of which are linked to Coventry's rich history as the center of the UK automotive industry. Notable collections include royal limousines; Cars of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s; as well as numerous fun interactive educational displays.

Another first class Coventry attraction is the excellent one Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Often referred to as Herbert and named after one of the city's most philanthropic industrialists, Alfred Herbert, the museum has numerous beautiful sculptures, paintings, and clothing from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Address: Hales Street, Coventry

Official website: www.transport-museum.com

Where to stay in Birmingham for sightseeing

We recommend these centrally located Birmingham hotels, close to popular museums and the National Sea Life Center:

  • Hyatt Regency Birmingham: luxury high-rise hotel, city views, modern decor, spa facilities, indoor pool and whirlpool.
  • Stay cool in the rotunda: mid-range pricing, sleek design, serviced apartments, floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable beds.
  • Staybridge Suites Birmingham: affordable all-suite hotel, pantry, free breakfast, fitness center.
  • Premier Inn Birmingham City Center: budget-friendly rates, central location, wonderful staff, great breakfast.

Birmingham Map - Attractions