Let’s be honest, with glamorous places such as Paris, Rome and Madrid on offer, it is probably fair to say that Birmingham doesn’t feature at the top of many people’s list of great cities to visit. But with its sleek hotels, plentiful museums, modern architecture and exhibitions, perhaps it should.
Ok it doesn’t have 40 degree temperatures, palm trees or a breathtaking mountain vista, but it does have a lot of other enticing attractions.
Looking for somewhere glamorous to stay? Birmingham’s luxury accommodation on offer includes the iconic new city centre complex, The Rotunda. This grade II listed cylindrical building has been part of Birmingham’s skyline since the 1960s and now boasts some of the most luxurious accommodation available.
If that is not enough to whet your appetite, then there is also an array of drinking and dining venues and a plethora of one-off events to keep visitors entertained between now and Christmas. It seems Birmingham is well and truly living up to its name as the UK’s second city.
Still not convinced? Perhaps you think you have to travel thousands of miles or spend hundreds of pounds on flights to visit some of the tourist hotspots of the world? The truth is you don’t. A trip to Birmingham will help you save the pennies without forsaking those cultural tourist experiences.
Visitors to Birmingham can wander through the cobbled streets of the well-known Jewellery Quarter to get that Dubai effect, more commonly known as ‘The City of Gold’. Sports fans might like to note, that the original FA cup was also made in the Jewellery Quarter as well as the Lonsdale and Commonwealth belts for boxing and the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Trophy.
Think Birmingham is short on culture? You couldn’t be more wrong. If you can’t get to the Musee de Louvre in Paris to see the largest and richest collection of art and antiques, you can take a trip to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which has one of the finest collections of 19th century paintings in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, a permanent exhibition of the work of Edward Burne-Jones can only be seen in Birmingham, New York and Paris.
Similarly, when it comes to world renowned fountains, most would conjure up an image of the Jet d’Eau in Geneva, one of the largest fountains in the world. However, Victoria Square in Birmingham happens to hold one of the largest fountains in Europe, with a flow of 3,000 gallons per minute, it is officially known as ‘The River’.
And finally, the oldest film festival in the world may be the Venice Film Festival but if you don’t happen to be a world famous celebrity, you can catch the Short Cuts film programme at Birmingham’s ArtsFest, held every September, where a range of features produced by local budding filmmakers will be showcased.
If this isn’t enough, Birmingham is also home to Cadbury World, otherwise known as chocoholics’ heaven! Here you will find all your chocolate needs fulfilled, as you eat, drink and watch chocolate being made. Afterwards you can stock up on all your favourite bars with a trip to the world’s largest Cadbury shop.
If cute and cuddly is more your thing then a trip to the West Midland Safari Park could be in order, where a vast selection of wildlife spans the 100 acre enclosure. It boasts four miles of safari trail and park homes, the only white lion pride in the UK, as well as elephants, rhinos, tigers and zebras among many others.
If you are looking for a fun break in a glamorous city with plenty to eat, see and do then Birmingham won’t leave you disappointed.