Regardless of whether your purse strings are suffering or you have a stash of Sterling to splash, there’s plenty to see and do in England’s second city. 

Here’s the low-down on the best Birmingham experiences for every budget.

Birmingham Aerial View

Budget Birmingham: Enjoy a free culture fix in Birmingham

Culture need not cost a thing in Birmingham. Completely free cultural venues include the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where you can wander among a world-class collection of Pre Raphaelite works, and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. 

Owned by the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, making it one of only a handful of galleries to be owned by artists and run for artists, the latter offers an ever-changing programme of exhibitions across two floors.

Had your fill of art? Look to the Library of Birmingham. Designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo, the futuristic space has a shimmering facade, sunken amphitheatre, rooftop gardens and an Instagram-worthy golden rooftop rotunda. It’s anything but your average library!

Birmingham Library

Budget Birmingham: Park life don’t cost a thing 

Surprisingly – given that Birmingham was built on the back of heavy industry – Brum, as it is affectionately known, boasts more parks than any other European city of the same size and some six million trees.

Check out Cannon Hill Park, which has been awarded green status, before wandering to Woodgate Valley Country Park where you’ll find 450 acres of meadows, woodland, hedgerows and wetland alongside a visitor centre complete with a cafe.

Parks in Birmingham

Cost-effective Birmingham: Canal cruising

Back in the industrial age, Birmingham was a key hub on the English canal network. Consequently, the city continues to have more miles of canals (313 to be precise) than Venice, and boarding a narrow-boat and discovering Birmingham’s hidden corridors remains a quintessential Brummie experience. 

Even better? A canal cruise need not break the bank. Sherborne Wharf offers boat trips that take passengers from the International Convention Centre Quayside in the bustling heart of Birmingham to quiet stretches of the canal, which first brought commercial life to Birmingham, for as little as £8.

Birmingham Canals

Cost-effective Birmingham: Checking out Cadbury’s World

Of course, you can’t very well visit Birmingham without taking a trip to the area’s top attraction, Cadbury’s World. 

Situated on the site of the original Cadbury factory in Bournville, established in 1879, the chocolate haven is divided into 14 zones where you can discover how the UK’s favourite chocolate is manufactured. Take a walk through time in the life-sized Chocolate Street and try a few samples along the way.

Cadbury's World

Blow the budget: Shop to it

Shopaholics should seek out Birmingham’s iconic Bullring shopping centre, a gleaming £500m retail complex replete with a glass roof that opened in 2003.

However, if you hit just one shop, make it the £60m branch of Selfridges. The store which has earned its place as an architectural landmark for its Paco Rabanne-inspired exterior is home to some of the world’s most established designers – whose wares are showcased over four floors.


Blow the budget: Bon appetit

Birmingham is famous for its balti (a stir-fry curry) that’s both made and served in one stainless steel bowl, and traditionally eaten with the fingers using naan bread.

That said if you fancy a more upscale dining experience, Birmingham doesn’t disappoint. No fewer than seven Brummie restaurants have been named among the best in the UK by Harden’s Best Restaurants Guide 2019.

Dining destinations to hit include Michelin-starred Adam’s, Purnell’s, Carters of Moseley, Lasan, The Wilderness and Simpsons in Edgbaston. 


Choice Hotels in Birmingham