From Victorian industrialists to world famous authors like JRR Tolkien and Conan Doyle, Birmingham is a city that embodies hard work and ceaseless reinvention. Find out first hand all that this West Midlands hub has to offer with a stay at one of our boutique Birmingham hotels. With central and suburban locations, booking with IHG means always being close to the action.
Birmingham is the United Kingdom's second largest city and was once at the heart of the country's industrial revolution. This is a legacy you can explore for yourself with a tour of the city's extensive shipping canals, which traverse even more miles than those of Venice and Amsterdam. Much of the city center was razed in WWII, eventually replaced with shopping centers, ring roads and tower blocks that gave the city a reputation as a cement jungle.
However, in recent years new construction has lead to an array of striking glass and steel behemoths dominating the skyline. Discover Birmingham's revitalization efforts for yourself with a stroll through the now pedestrianized city centre. Or, get a glimpse of days gone past in Victoria Square, which features some of the world's most impressive examples of 19th century civic architecture.
Art buffs will be well catered for in Birmingham. The iconic Aston Hall, for example, features 500,000 objects in its collections, and is housed a Jacobean mansion. Keep your eyes peeled for the cannon damage sustained in the English Civil War. Alternatively, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery also make fine destinations, featuring a wide array of pre-Raphaelite art.
Have something a little tastier in mind? Head just south of the city centre to Cadbury World for a look into the company's history and for free samples that are sure to get those taste buds popping. For more wholesome fare, choose from a delectable array of Indian, Asian or cafe fare, or splurge on any number of Michelin-starred restaurants sprinkled throughout the city.
Once you've indulged your belly, there are plenty of ways to sneak in a bit of movement and fresh air. At the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouse there's always something in bloom, while the six-acre Birmingham Nature Centre will satisfy your wildlife fix, from owls and otters to red pandas. For those looking to exercise their credit cards instead, head to the famous Jewellery Quarter, where you can choose from any number of handcrafted baubles, or to the Bull Ring Markets, where you can browse hundreds of stalls for inexpensive wares. Alternatively, let the professionals do the hard physical work when you catch an Aston Villa or Birmingham City "football" match, or a cricket game at Edgbaston Cricket Grounds, where there's always a game on and a home team to root for.
After a long day of touring, head back to the city centre to explore a high density of classic British pubs, where there's always a pub quiz to win or a local to chat to. Or, for a night of culture, see what's on at the Repertory Theatre in Centenary Square, catch a movie at the cinema, or enjoy a concert at Symphony Hall, the HMV Institute or the O2 Academy Birmingham.
With trains running as frequently as every 20 minutes between Birmingham and London and regular bus services to boot, the city is well linked to transport hubs across the region. However, with so much history and contemporary innovation to offer, you'll want to devote a good amount of time to discovering this bustling city. Make the most of your visit by booking to one of our boutique hotels in Birmingham, where friendly staff are await with helpful tips and a host of amenities to ensure you receive the rest and relaxation you deserve throughout your time away.