Travel guide - Birmingham

A very popular destination among those who like to shop – its shopping being among the best in the world – “Brum”, as Birmingham is affectionately known, is a city with a fascinating past. Its story is told among its museums, restaurants and along its miles of canals.

The Bull Ring has been the heart of Birmingham since it was first used as a marketplace in the Middle Ages. It was rebuilt in 2003, to a bold and futuristic architectural design, and is now in Europe's largest shopping mall. Within this shopping haven, which attracts millions of visitors every year, you will find many well-known high street shops and top end brands.

For more independent and original shops, head towards the Custard Factory. In this district you will find quirky boutiques, arty creative types and the trendiest spots in Birmingham, the home town of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

Food lovers should not miss the famous "Balti Triangle", an area in which you will find some of the best Indian restaurants in the country. An ideal start to the evening before you experience the Brummies’ love of partying, which is liberally expressed in Broad Street, one of the liveliest nightlife hotspots in Europe.

Don’t leave Birmingham without learning a little more about the history of this industrial city, with a visit to the Back to Backs Museum or the National Marine Life Centre, the perfect finish to your trip which will have combined shopping, going out, food and culture.

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12 ideas for visits and activities / 19 hotels

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