Welcome to Birmingham! Whilst you’re trying to decipher our accents and side-eye our strange jargon (e.g. ‘bab’, ‘babby’, ‘bostin’, ‘ta-ra a bit’), we’d like to share our best kept secrets here in Birmingham. Being the birthplace of Black Sabbath, the Chicken Balti recipe, Peaky Blinders, one hundred’s miles worth of canals, J.R.R. Tolkien, who drew inspiration from the Midlands landscapes (particularly Birmingham’s!), and the most recent host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, we couldn’t be anymore inland, but we DO have plenty of hidden gems here in Birmingham!
The Custard Factory
Set in the heart of Birmingham’s creative quarter, Digbeth, The Custard Factory hosts an abundance of independent shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Curious about the name? It was once the former HQ of Bird’s Custard! Nowadays, it is a buzzing creative hub with artwork and graffiti around every corner strewn across the post-industrial buildings. Some of our favourite hidden gems here in this Birmingham landmark are:
- Gaming-themed bar, NQ64. You will find retro arcade games and classic consoles to play the evening away, alongside game-inspired cocktails and craft beers.
- Boozy crazy golf at Golf Fang where you will find yourself in bizarre, themed rooms as you go.
- Baked in Brick. Where you will find the best pizza and street food in town – cooked in a converted Mini Cooper?!
- Chance & Counters which is a quirky board game café.
- Birdies Bar. An outdoor tropical-themed cocktail cavern.
- The legendary Mockingbird Cinema where you can dine and recline!
The list could go on and on, so you best get out there and explore the iconic Custard Factory for yourself. Also, don’t forget to be equipped with a camera! Located just a brisk walk from The Bullring.
Digbeth Dining Club
One for the foodies. Multi-award-winning Digbeth Dining Club began its story in Digbeth, Birmingham back in 2012. It attracted droves of hungry mouths who were eager to introduce their palates to new cuisines and ultimately, transformed the Midlands dining scene by shining the spotlight on the authenticity and the social element of street food dining.
In more recent years, following the closure of their original location, they branched out across the Birmingham counties and have opened several successful ‘dining club’ style venues. They have remained committed to showcasing the very best street food traders from Birmingham and beyond. Today, you can find them dotted all about the midlands in permanent locations: Hockley Social Club, Herbert’s Yard (located in Longbridge) and Coventry Dining Club. With monthly rotating vendors, which you can view their full list of traders here, these ‘local neighbourhood hangouts’ are highly recommended and suitable for all the family.
What’s more, there are no entry fee to these venues.
Hidden Bars: Bacchus Bar
Another amongst the hidden gems in Birmingham: the Greek God of Birmingham’s pubs and bars. Less than a 5-minutes’ walk from New Street Station, you may happen upon one of Birmingham’s oldest bars. Bacchus, aptly named after the Greek God of Wine, is a clandestine bar located beneath the Burlington Arcade on its basement floor. Atmospheric and dimly lit, the underground oasis lies beneath the bustling city street that dates to 1398. Bacchus Bar will cast its mark upon your memory with its unique interiors; from Greek and Roman mosaics cascading down its spiral staircase, you will find yourself hundreds of years into the past as you step into Medieval archways and corridors, an Egyptian-themed room, and a French-styled dining room. Bacchus Bar also prides itself on serving local real cask ales and beers which they change up regularly, as well as a menu brimming with hearty pub classics and pies.
The venue that never sleeps! Offering entertainment 7 nights a week, Bavarian bar and restaurant, Birmingham’s Albert’s Schloss, is roaring with entertainment, live music, drag shows, cabaret and more. When you’re not dancing on the benches, you can indulge in their Bavarian, Czech and Alpine-influenced menu. All alongside their in-house bakery, recently launched Boho Brunch AND a breakfast menu (see what we mean by it never sleeps?!), you can accompany their dishes with a tankard of their vast selection of European biers or their unique cocktails.
Located in Brindley Place, the Ikon Gallery is a restored Victorian school which now houses a contemporary gallery. Also, it is an architectural marvel as its former gothic exterior has been carefully preserved. With free entry and regular rotation of interesting exhibitions, events, workshops, and seminars, Ikon Gallery invites you to engage with captivating modern art. Ikon is also home to Birmingham’s only independent arts bookshop and café!
Also, if you’re lucky enough to be here in Birmingham in the Spring, Ikon Gallery sits nestled behind a sea of Sakura trees in Ozells Square which floods with gazing eyes and the clicks of cameras.
Peaky Blinders Tour
Peaky Blinders fan? Birmingham offers several attractions, tours, and landmarks where the popular Netflix series is filmed or draws inspiration from.
You can firstly head to the Birmingham canals. These weave their way throughout the city and are frequently spotted in most episodes. You can also visit The Black Country Living Museum to visit some of the filming locations! Escape Live has recently announced the launch of two official Peaky Blinders-themed escape rooms here in Birmingham: ‘The Raid’ and ‘Double Cross’. Become the newest recruits of the notorious Birmingham gang and be tasked with solving a mind-boggling set of challenges, tasks, and puzzles in 60 minutes! For more information or to book, visit: https://www.escapelive.co.uk/locations/birmingham/
The picture-perfect Brindley Place. It boasts an array of cocktails bars, eateries cafes and restaurants. These are perfect for date nights, brunch, they all come with the bonus of stunning views of Birmingham’s famous canals. Not only this, but it also homes the ICC and Symphony Hall and the IKON Gallery.
Fan of Black Sabbath? Keep an eye out for the Black Sabbath Bench in Brindley Place, above the bridge on Canal Street. This is a proud tribute to Birmingham-born heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. Furthermore, there is a QR code that can be found on the bench, giving you access to a camera system. This will allow you to take a photo of yourself on the bench and then download directly! More info on this here.
Where To Stay in Birmingham
Now that you’re equipped with a solid itinerary of the hidden gems in Birmingham, the question is: where to stay?
Situated at the head of Broad Street, Park Regis Birmingham rests on the outskirts of the city-centre. However, it is close enough to soak up the everything Birmingham has to offer. We are also very fortunate to be equipped with transport links on our doorstep. We are a 5-minute walk from Five Ways Station, a 3 minute walk to our closest tram-stop, Five Ways, and just a 10-minute walk into the city-centre.
Be sure to book direct with us via our SWITCH TO US offer to access exclusive benefits. These include 50% off car parking, complimentary breakfast during your stay, 5% off our Best Available Rate, early check-in (subject to availability), flexible booking conditions and more!