Birmingham is a vibrant and diverse city in the heart of the midlands that has a lot to offer its visitors. From its rich industrial history to its modern cultural scene - and with its multicultural population, Birmingham is home to an array of different world-class cuisines, from British staples to international classics, and the trademark Birmingham Balti. There is something for everyone in Birmingham, and the Brigad team have assembled a few highlights and must-see attractions in the great city.
No trip to Birmingham would be complete without a visit to Cadbury World. Cadbury really is the U.K.’s favourite chocolatier, and the company has been a staple of Birmingham since it began as a small storefront in the 1800s. Birmingham would not be the city it is today without Cadbury’s which has employed thousands of Birmingham locals over the years.
Cadbury World is an iconic attraction that takes visitors on a journey through the history of chocolate, with plenty of opportunities to taste some of Cadbury's delicious creations along the way. The interactive exhibits are fun for all ages, and there is even a 4D chocolate adventure ride.
Birmingham has become renowned in the UK for serving some of the nation’s best curries - and there’s a good chance you will find one in the Balti triangle, an area in the city that is known for creating the now-iconic dish. Some of the most popular balti houses include Shababs and Shahi Nan Kebab House - locals will tell you that it isn’t a true Birmingham Balti unless you follow some key rules. You can find out what makes a Balti a Balti by reading a handy BBC guide.
Digbeth Dining Club
Founded in 2012, Digbeth Dining Club has quickly made a name for itself as one of the leading street food markets in the UK, and has “transformed the Midlands food landscape by turning some of the Midlands most unique venues, into vibrant, street-food destinations.” The market now has two permanent venues: Hockey Social Club, and Herbert’s Yard.
Digbeth Dining Club works with a rotating selection of street food vendors offering everything from burgers and hot dogs to Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine - whether its passionate start-ups, industry veterans or Michelin-starred chefs, Digbeth Dining Club ensures that the vendors serving food are top quality.
Digbeth Dining Club also hosts events throughout the year, including beer festivals and live
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
For those interested in history and art, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is a must-see. The museum boasts an impressive collection of artwork and artefacts from around the world, including the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world. Among the most popular exhibitions are the collections from Greece and Egypt. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, making it worth a visit even for repeat visitors.
The Bullring and Grand Central
Chances are that you won’t visit Birmingham without stopping off at the Bullring of Grand Central. Grand Central is a shopping centre located above Birmingham's New Street Station, with over 60 shops and restaurants. However, it is the Bullring which is Birmingham’s premier shopping destination and is home to over 160 shops, including high-end retailers like Selfridges and Harvey Nichols - with so many retailers packed into the Bullring, you’re sure to find what you need, and we bet that you’ll find a few surprises along the way.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
With all the shopping under your belt, you might be needing to find a little green space. Nature lovers will appreciate the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city. The gardens feature a variety of themed areas, including a tropical rainforest, a Mediterranean garden, and a Japanese garden. Visitors can also explore the glasshouses, which house exotic plants from around the world - with more than 1000 plant species in their collection, the glasshouses house many exotic and unusual species not found anywhere else in the U.K.
The Custard Factory
Set in 15 acres of beautifully restored Victorian Factories, the Custard Factory is the creative hub of Birmingham and home to a variety of independent shops, galleries and studios. The area also has plenty of food and drink options, with cafes, bars, and restaurants. Some of the most popular spots include The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, a cinema that serves food and drink, and Kanteen, a cafe that serves fresh, healthy food. Around the Custard Factory, you can also find Golf Fang, 670 Grams, NQ64, Chance & Counters, Passing Fancies, and Crazy Pedro’s.
Simpsons Restaurant & Purnell’s Restaurant
If high-end food is your thing, then Birmingham hosts two fantastic Michelin-starred restaurants. Simpsons Restaurant is located in the Edgbaston neighbourhood of Birmingham and offers a tasting menu of modern British cuisine. Purnell's Restaurant is another Michelin-starred restaurant that is known for its tasting menu of modern British dishes, with a focus on seasonal ingredients.
Birmingham is a bustling city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment. From stunning architecture to world-renowned museums and galleries, and world-renowned food and drinks culture - Birmingham is an exciting destination that has something for everyone.
If you’re a hospitality business looking for talented self-employed professionals, or if you are an experienced hospitality worker looking for work, get in touch with the Brigad team today.