Birmingham is one of the biggest cities in the UK, there’s no shortage of things to do for entertainment. Heading into the future, Birmingham has adapted and changed beyond recognition in the past years. There’s been an increase in new shopping centres, bars and restaurants. If you’re one who likes to stray off the beaten path there are plenty of places to eat, drink, shop and soak up the culture which offer unique alternatives to the mainstream, typical tourist attractions. These places are a must-visit for a weekend away in this cosmopolitan city:
Digbeth offers many great places to eat and drink – but none more iconic than Digbeth Dining Club. DDC is a multi-award-winning location that hosts an amalgamation of events which have changed the face of Birmingham's alternative food scene since it began in 2012. It is home to many innovative food events such as: ‘Dutty Wine&Dine’. This food event consists of delicious Caribbean inspired street-food as well as reggae, rum, and dancehall vibes all day long. If this doesn’t take your fancy, then the ever-changing events at DDC means there’s always something for you.
In addition to great food-based events, DDC’s catering repertoire includes vendors as diverse as the city itself. Whether you’re in the mood for an Indian curry or an American stacked burger DDC is the place to go. It is hard to find someone who has ate at any of the 40+ street-food vendors there and has a negative review.
Digbeth itself is a place recommended to explore if you have any spare time on your weekend, as is one of the most distinctive part of Birmingham and is less than 2 miles from the epic New Street Station. It offers many great places to eat and drink if DDC's huge range of delicious food and tasty events is not enticing you.
There is no drought in Birmingham for fantastic and exciting places to drink – there are dozens of cocktail bars, beer gardens and pubs to explore on your weekend. However, one stands out from the rest: The Jekyll and Hyde cocktail bar. With Retro Quiz Nights, Film Clubs and a Gin Parlour on top, take a trip to the quirky and kooky Jekyll and Hyde on Steelhouse Lane.
There is an iconic ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed courtyard as well as a sophisticated Victorian Parlour upstairs, with Victorian themed decor, antiquarian charm and delicious cocktails. The bar is cool and unique, primed for gin and cocktail lovers alike. Inspired by the bar's name itself, Saturday nights in Birmingham are home to Dr.Jekyll's Potions, an energetic evening of Jazz Soul and Motown tracks from the best of Birmingham's soulful DJs.
Importantly, the bar is probably one of the best spots for a relaxed weekday drink in Birmingham. For those looking to push the boat out on their next night out in Birmingham, the Jekyll and Hyde is perfect, thanks to the bars inventive cocktails and unique, period style.
Birmingham is home to hundreds of retail stores – whether it’s the high-end, luxury shops in the Mailbox or the popular stores in the iconic Bullring Shopping Centre there is no doubt you cannot find a great place to browse during your stay.
One store that is a must-visit is Disorder: a fashion forward brand with tailoring in men and womenswear, designed and made in Britain. The Guardian hailed this award-winning boutique as one of the top five reasons to visit Birmingham. The Disorder boutique is a beacon for those who love creatively made clothes with design integrity. Everything in Disorder is made exclusively for the shop and are often one-off, thus guaranteeing you a unique experience. The store can be found on Needless Alley, B2 5AE.
Gosia Weber is a sustainable brand and the shop is a must-visit during your weekend in Birmingham. Using their own unique designs, they create handmade bags and purses from a range of discarded materials including leather and upholstery fabrics. They create products in a combination of functionality and pleasing design. Their products are bright with strong patterns in an aesthetic that can be described as a modern with a classic retro twist. If this sounds like your style, take a quick trip to Frederick Street on your stay.
One key place to visit on your 48 hours if you love art and culture is Birmingham's unique Jewellery Quarter, which is home to Europe’s largest school of jewellery. Consequently, there are a number of galleries showcasing work including the UK’s second oldest independent art gallery: The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. This is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of inclusive exhibitions. Other notable, must-see galleries in the Jewellery Quarter include St. Paul’s Gallery – notable for being the world’s leading retailer of signed record covers. As well as the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, home to works by Rubens, Gainsborough, Rossetti, Monet, Degas and Magritte. It has an outstanding collection of Old Masters alongside and modern classics.
The Jewellery Quarter is a beautiful place perfect for an afternoon stroll, the area is of unique character and has been described by English Heritage as a “national treasure”. If art and jewellery isn’t your thing, still take a trip to visit the Quarter’s non-jewellery independents ranging from drinks merchants, florists, chocolatiers and home furnishings.
Birmingham is a diverse and vibrant city, it's packed with great commercial attractions as well as unique, underground places to explore. There is no way you could be bored here, either in the city centre or the burrows like Digbeth or Moseley. The second largest city in the UK is home to experiences to keep you entertained for weeks so if you're ready for a jam-packed, excited weekend take the trip to Birmingham!