Birmingham is England's second-largest city and the UK's center of science. Here they have once invented a steam engine model and a bicycle bell, and now there is a tram named after the frontman of the Black Sabbath band. The uniqueness of this city is also in the fact that it was here that the writer John Tolkien was inspired to write an epic novel, "Lord of the Rings", and the events of the series "Peaky Blinders" took place. The cinematography, sophistication, and splendor of Birmingham conquer from the first minutes of arrival. It is incredibly emerald, thanks to its parks and gardens, and cut by the many channels with surgical precision where gondolas and canoes move, just like in Venice. The local "Brummie" (that's how they call the locals) is always ready to help, even with a very incomprehensible accent. Such a hospitable and friendly atmosphere makes you come to this cozy corner of England over and over again.
Attractions of Birmingham
This city has all the architectural styles that complement each other perfectly. Modern buildings highlight their beauty and sophistication. And the film-looking of the surrounding area is impressive and inspiring. Here you can walk leisurely, visiting museums, parks, and shopping malls.
A brief history
By the XVI century, they started to produce ironwork, small arms, and jewelry. Workers manufactured nails, copper goods (such as bed frames), nuts and bolts, screws, and buttons. In the XVII century, around fifteen thousand people lived here, and a century later, the figure reached seventy thousand. Birmingham became a large industrial city, where the best engineers and scientists lived and worked.
In 1856, the first city park and public baths were opened. Closer to the XX century, military and chocolate factories began to appear. During the Second World War, the city was heavily damaged by bombardments, which killed more than 2000 people.
The city was significantly rebuilt in the 1950s and 1960s. The internal ring road, shopping centers, and one of the largest regional libraries in Europe appeared.
Nowadays, Birmingham is a progressive and contemporary metropolis with glamorous shops, bustling pubs, and trendy clubs, attracting millions of tourists every year.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
The best time to visit Birmingham
Another interesting event takes place in July. It is a festival of strange and unusual cinema in The Electric Cinema. Its name is Shock and Gore, and it is truly ready to surprise and shock.
People in Birmingham speak with the most complex and incomprehensible accent in Britain — the Brummie. It even became popular after the "Peaky Blinders" series. Sometimes it's very difficult to understand the speech of the citizens of Birmingham. You should not be shy and ask them to repeat it until contact is established.
Prices in local places are quite high. Therefore, it is better to take food in supermarkets or look for more budget bars and cafes in remote areas to save money.
Buses in the city run even at night. So you can easily get to the right place after 00:00. The fare may be one and a half to two times higher.
You should go to Tolkien's watermill on Wednesday or Sunday to catch it at work.
What should a tourist do in Birmingham
- Explore the city's main square, Victoria Square. It is the center and artistic highlight of Birmingham. It is home to a statue of Queen Victoria and The River Fountain.
- Visit the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, which features works by Rubens, Bellini, Canaletto, and Claude Lorrain. An interactive museum introduces you to the history of the city. Many of the exhibits can even be touched by hand.
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Botanical Gardens. In the greenhouses of the protected area, there are plants from different climatic zones. There is also the House of Butterflies, where you can see the whole life cycle of these insects.
- Head to the Sarehole Mill Museum. Just across the street from the building, the writer Tolkien lived, who created the Lord of the Rings world. He said that the view of the watermill at this very house was his inspiration.
- Find yourself in Worlds Apart (known as Nostalgia & Comics till 2019), Britain's oldest comic book store. It was opened in 1977. Hundreds of fans of this culture come to buy the desired magazine every year.
- Try the balti curry at one of the restaurants in the Balti Triangle district. In Birmingham, it's cooked and served in a wok with lots of green peppers and coriander.
- Visit the oldest functioning cinema in Britain, The Electric. They sell gourmet snacks instead of popcorn and replace cola with wine. Real cinematographers from all over Europe come here to get closer to the history of cinema.
- "Drown in chocolate" in the famous factory and entertainment center Cadbury World. It is one of the world's leading companies producing confectionery. Besides the factory, there is a museum dedicated to the history of the brand and the peculiarities of the process itself.
- Visit the largest regional library — the Library of Birmingham. This huge complex with several floors and millions of books will make any tourist stay here at least for an hour to read the "Hobbit".