Birmingham is the second largest city in England at around 1 million residents,
but it’s not usually number two on the typical traveler’s itinerary.
This city in the west Midlands is more known as an industrial center than a tourist
destination, but there are plenty of things to keep you busy here. Birmingham
has more miles of canals than Venice, but they aren’t quite the same thing
so don’t come expecting a romantic gondola ride.
What To Do
The city center has undergone a major transformation in the last decade or two.
Since it was flattened during World War II it was rebuilt with rather plain buildings,
but lately new architecture is spouting up that makes things interesting again.
Many roads in the center have been closed down to traffic so now this large pedestrian
area is a pleasant place to stroll and enjoy the diverse shopping and dining opportunities.
Being a major city, Birmingham has its fair share of museums and galleries. Speaking
of which, the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is highly regarded and contains
works by many European masters. The Barber Institute is another highlight for
its collection of Renaissance masterpieces as well as modern pieces by Picasso
Birmingham can obviously be reached by train, but the rails are not cheap
in England. If this is your main destination you can book
a flight into Birmingham International Airport
(code BHX). Direct flights
are available from all over Europe as well as a few from Asia and North America.
Of course you should compare prices with flights
, especially on longer routes. The Birmingham airport is connected
to the city center by a cheap and frequent train.
Where To Stay
There are plenty of hostels
as well as loads of hotels
as well. The center is the most pleasant place for travelers so it might be
worth paying a bit extra to be there instead of saving a bit booking a far-out
place and spending half your day going back and forth.