Birmingham

Enjoy a stay at a Best Western hotel in Birmingham and experience all this vibrant English city has to offer - its attractions, great night-life and immense shopping variety.

Birmingham is a fascinating, stunning and diverse city. The striking modern architecture nestled alongside renovated Victorian buildings makes for a uniquely charming landscape, and vibrant atmosphere. The city offers activities to suit every taste. During your stay you’ll enjoy cutting-edge museums, a wide range of galleries, pioneering theatres and excellent shopping opportunities. We’d particularly recommend a visit to the little-known Francine Houben-designed Library of Birmingham - it boasts a secret garden, panoramic views and Britain’s most important collection of Shakespeare’s works.

For a superb hotel break in the UK’s second largest city, book one of our fabulous hotels in Birmingham. You’ll be able to choose from our healthy list of hotel locations, both in the city centre and a little further out, if you’re looking for a relaxing escape.

Birmingham – the beating heart of the country

A certain kind of renaissance has been going on in England’s second city.

Once maligned for urban chaos and monstrous modernism – major redevelopment has made it a sheer pleasure to visit, if only to gaze upon its sumptuous new architecture from close-up. Once you’re here, you’ll find first-class shopping, entertainment and dining everywhere you turn, with historical flourishes in the most unexpected places.

Prefer Venice at this time of year? That’s fine… if you’re happy settling for second-best. Yes, Birmingham has exactly nine miles more canals – and while Venice has played host to Casino Royale and The Italian Job, Birmingham’s canals have enjoyed their moments in their limelight too – in everything from Peaky Blinders to Rosie & Jim.

Having grown from a quaint market town into an industrial powerhouse, and then into a modern city that continues to innovative to the present day, Birmingham is its own living museum. As the heart of the West Midlands (and indeed, England), it’s a vibrant area full of sparkly shopping centres, awe-inspiring architecture and a cultural scene that’s hard to match.

Perhaps the best evidence of the city’s progress is in the Bullring and Mailbox shopping centres, where you’ll no doubt spend much of your time – and money too. The iconic Selfridges building is definitely one for your photo album, as is the brand-new library. If mid-century modernism is more your sort of thing, be sure to check out the iconic Rotunda building, the Grade II listed Church of Our Lady Help of Christians and the monumental Alpha Tower.

It’s not all about the new though. A short wander into the Jewellery Quarter will greet you with plenty of history – not to mention some tantalising window shopping. If art’s your bag, be sure to visit the renovated Custard Factory which now produces fascinating exhibitions instead of Great British puddings. Getting thirsty? The Old Crown in Digbeth is not only one of Birmingham’s most inviting pubs, but also its oldest.

As well as having one of the grandest global Symphony Halls, Birmingham’s local pubs and clubs play host to an endless stream of talented musicians. If you prefer drama, perhaps you’ll fancy a little bit of Shakespeare? If so, you’re only a short trip from Stratford-Upon-Avon. Or how about literature? It’s not hard to see how Birmingham inspired J. R. R. Tolkien to create his Lord of the Rings series, and you can explore many of the locations – such as Sarehole Mill – that he later wrote into his books.

When all that’s done, you’ll probably be hungry. This is when you’ll discover a whole other side to Birmingham. As well as some of the best curries in the country, you’ll find a long list of eclectic dishes sourced from all over the world. Birmingham’s culinary scene is testament not only to the brilliance and originality that keeps the city moving forward, but to its warm and accepting culture that people from invites people from all over the world to call it home.

In short, England’s second city has everything you could want from a short break. Book your stay in a Best Western hotel and travel by car (Birmingham is, after all, the city built for the motor age) to start exploring.

Back to basics at Soho House

Tucked away in a quiet northerly corner, Soho House is the once-home of renowned industrialist Matthew Boulton; a beautifully-preserved work of Georgian architecture replete with a collection of fanciful Georgian trinkets, and the birthplace of many exciting and historically important things – including the Lunar Society.

Soho House is today recognised as one of the most significant buildings in the history of the Midlands Enlightenment, and therefore the Industrial Revolution – but you’ll have to see it for yourself to discover why.

With a love of all things new and technological, the innovative Boulton installed the first central heating system since Roman times. He even had flushing toilets – the height of luxury in those days – and a private workshop.

But all of these things pale in comparison to the home’s decorated interior. Inside, you’ll find not only some fantastic examples of the products created at Boulton’s local factory, one of the first of its kind in the world, but much of the fine art and sculpture he collected too. The prime piece is a pair of 18th Century sphinxes.

For lovers of history, nature and just good stories, Soho House is a highly recommended visit during your stay in Birmingham.

View of Birmingham skyline

Shopping in Birmingham

There’s so much shopping to do when staying at a hotel in Birmingham. You’ll find luxury brands, high street brands, independent clothing gems, music stores and five extensive department stores, all within Birmingham’s vibrant city centre. The city is also home to one of the most distinctive Selfridges in the country, which has become an architectural landmark in its own right.

  • Bullring Shopping centre: The volume of shops inside this iconic shopping centre can astound first time visitors, housing over 160 individual retailers. The Bullring also offers an incredible number of food and drink spots.
  • The Mailbox: The Mailbox is the most exclusive shopping, lifestyle and eating destination in Birmingham. You’ll be able to shop till you drop in the stylish, luxury stores (such as Paul Smith and Armani), then pamper yourself in one of the several spas.
  • The Balti Triangle: The unique Balti Triangle shopping district was named after the popular Asian dish, which originated in Birmingham. The district offers both traditional and up-to-date Asian clothing designs, as well as prints and fabrics. Purchased garments can be altered in stores, so you can expect one of the most tailor-made shopping experiences around.
 

Building in Birmingham city centre

Things to do in Birmingham

When you stay at one of our Best Western hotels in Birmingham you’ll have freedom to explore the city's many attractions. Hotspots include the National Sea Life Centre, the Winterbourne Botanic Garden and some of the best shopping centres in the UK.

  • Cadbury World: This family attraction is perfect for those with a real sweet tooth, as you’ll uncover a magical world of all things chocolate. You’ll learn how your favourite bars are created, enjoy a 4D cinema experience and try plenty of delicious samples.
  • Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum: Think hands-on displays at Thinktank, as this popular museum offers a great variety of science and technology exhibits to excite visitors.
  • The Electric: This quaint independent cinema is nationally renowned, showcasing some of the very best mainstream, independent, foreign and classic films.

Image of Repertory Theatre in Birmingham

Culture and nightlife in Birmingham

Birmingham is renowned for exhibiting a rich, diverse, and non-conformist culture. This can be seen in its ground-breaking architectural landmarks, such as the Library of Birmingham and the iconic Selfridges. Every other cultural aspect of the city, from its vibrant music scene to its vast art scene, proves just as inspiring.

  • Birmingham Repertory Theatre: This theatre is dedicated to giving young newcomers the chance to take centre stage alongside theatre veterans, and show exactly how much talent they have. A large number of productions are created from scratch, as well as performing many well-known works.
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: You’ll find over 40 galleries inside this attraction, exhibiting art, social history, ethnography and archaeology. A renovated Edwardian tearoom can also be found, providing a delicious respite to guests.
  • The Jam House: The Jam House is an utterly unique venue, offering eclectic live music, fine dining and great selection of drinks. It stretches over three floors, meaning there’s plenty of room to bring your friends.

 

Beautiful selection of colourful food displayed on a wooden serving board

Eating and drinking in Birmingham

Birmingham is home to a vast range of restaurants and bars, for all tastes and budgets. Options include Michelin starred eateries, casual dining bistros and quaint farmer’s’ markets, to leave you with a very happy stomach. Recently, the city has become renowned for its independent food scene, with many small restaurants and street-food hotspots gaining popularity with critics and diners alike.

  • The Wilderness: This fantastic restaurant offers a completely new fine dining experience, as dishes are created from only seasonal produce that has been foraged from our island. Trust us when we say, the results are incredible.
  • Habaneros: As street food trucks captivate the nation, this Mexican street-food vendor is certainly keeping the buzz alive in the West Midlands. Their fresh, ethically sourced ingredients create burrito’s that can only be described as culinary masterpieces.
  • Adam’s: With a string of accolades including a Michelin star, young chef Adam Stokes has transformed this old sandwich shop to a pioneering restaurant at the forefront of British fine dining.  Adam’s makes familiar combinations surprising and exciting again, which is worth the price tag.

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