I live in the UK’s second city, Birmingham. Most people I know from rural areas find Birmingham ever so big and exciting. I find that the majority of people I’ve met that live somewhere other than Birmingham only know about the Bullring and ‘The Bull’. There is so much more to Birmingham than the Bullring, Birmingham has many ‘hidden gems’ to be explored.
I would say Birmingham’s biggest ‘hidden gem’ is the music scene. There are so many great music venues in Birmingham and so many up-and-coming artists and bands. If you’re in Birmingham any time I’d recommend going to see a gig at The Rainbow or The Flapper, two venues that are lesser known and are certainly hidden gems! I’d also recommend going to see Establishment, a Birmingham based band. After all, there are a few well known bands from Birmingham, such as Black Sabbath, Duran Duran, The Streets and UB40. Local bands are definitely worth a watch!
If you love a bit of history, Birmingham’s back-to-backs are not far from the city centre. They are Birmingham’s last surviving back-to-backs and are run by the National Trust. They show you life in back-to-backs from 1870 through to 1970 with a guided tour. It’s amazing to see what city life was like back then, especially for under £10 per person!
One of my favourite hidden gems is the canal. In every season, it’s lovely to walk along the canal or through Brindley Place, but it’s particularly beautiful in summer! It’s a great place to get in the sun and enjoy the weather, there are also a large amount of restaurants around there and the Sea Life Centre is around there too.
The Library of Birmingham is a great place to visit. You’re probably thinking, ‘Why a library?’, but this library is huge and the bookshelves on some floors look like something out of Harry Potter. Around Christmastime you can see the German Market from the outside balcony, it looks absolutely amazing.
The last hidden gem I have to share is the Electric Cinema. It’s the UK’s oldest working cinema, round the corner from Birmingham New Street and the new Grand Central. They have settees and an amazing selection of food and drink, including cocktails! This is an amazing cinema as it shows newly released films but also classics, foreign films, independent films and live streams. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re having a weekend away, you can say you’ve been to the UK’s oldest working cinema too!
A Travelodge is a great place to stay in Birmingham. There are 5 within walking distance of the city centre and train stations. They have super cheap rates, so you can spend more money enjoying your weekend break than on a room to sleep in. It is also under £8 for an all-you-can eat breakfast buffet! You’ll be able to explore Birmingham’s #HiddenGems without breaking the bank. Travelodge have created an interactive here, which shows you Birmingham’s landmarks in the past and present!
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