Home to more canals than Venice, legendary architecture and beautiful parks, post-industrial Birmingham is one of the few large UK cities that still manages to cling to its village vibe. Its reputation as a working city is as true today as it was in the days of the industrial revolution. Although the city is known for its factories, curries, ‘spaghetti’ junction and that accent that nobody quite understands, there’s a lot more to the real Birmingham that warrants exploration.
Brummies are seriously friendly. Some find this refreshing, others find it intrusive. Either way, if you ask someone for directions, expect a conversation.
Public transport in Birmingham isn’t great but the city centre is well calibrated for pedestrians. Walk around, there’s much to be seen. Or get a taxi if you must.
If you want an alternative tour of Birmingham city centre, take a barge-tour on the canal. They leave daily from Brindley Place and always come with an informative guide.
Birmingham has one of the best road systems in the UK, but parking is scarce and expensive in the city centre. Do your research beforehand and don’t just expect to be able to street park in front of the Bullring or the Mailbox.
The Two-hour City Tour of Birmingham
Great Western Arcade
Right opposite Snow-Hill train station sits a little arcade that is home to some pioneering independent retailers. Loki (wine merchant and tasting house), Anderson and Hill (delicatessen), Liquor Store (curated rare clothing store) and Bistro 1847 (vegetarian restaurant) are all worth a look.
Started by a group of University of Birmingham Art Students 20 years ago, Ikon is the place to go for modern art, books and gifts. Or even coffee.
This beautiful suburb just south of the city centre is home to an annual jazz festival in a picturesque private park. It is also home to some truly brilliant pubs, bars, eateries and independent retailers.
Steeped in history, Birmingham’s trendy “JQ” is a must see national treasure. A vibrant area, with almost weekly bar and restaurants openings, this lively area of the city has everything to offer, from healthy brunches to one of a kind beer gardens and outdoor rooftops hidden amongst its small streets featuring over 200 listed buildings.
Where to Eat in Birmingham?
Quarter Horse – an independent coffee shop with freshly roasted beans with roasters in sight from the cafe.
Urban Coffee (Church Street branch) – an amazing coffee selection roasted by Origin, as well as home-made food & brunch.
Faculty – a small coffee and tea shop in Birmingham’s Piccadilly Arcade, highly focused on the quality of the drinks they serve.
Working lunch with colleagues
St. Paul’s House – a casual yet exciting Shoreditch like place located in the Jewellery Quarter on St Paul’s Square perfect for a quick bite.
Lasan – Voted best independent restaurant by Gordon Ramsay, this Birmingham venture offers an exquisite taste of India in all its glory.
Lunch on your own
Cafe Opus – eat what you fancy when you do, al fresco or inside at the Ikon’s restaurant cafe, overlooking the enchanting Brindley place.
1565 – located on the 4th floor of the Park Regis Hotel, 1565 Restaurant & Bar offers a copiously diverse Afternoon Tea for all afternoon drinks and delicacies enthusiasts.
Dinner on your own
Fumo – an Italian family owned chic restaurant, cocktail bar and late lounge part of the San Carlo group located just off Colmore Row, at the centre of Birmingham business’ district.
Dinner with colleagues
Pure Bar and Kitchen – a laid back environment offering exceptional matchings of ‘real’ food and crafted beers.
Two Cats Kitchen – a unique take on Baltic-Russian cuisine revisiting traditional dishes to offer an exceptional dining experience.
Drink after dinner
The Gin Parlour, Jekyll and Hyde – a decadent setting taking you back to the Victorian Era with an authentic Parlour and extensive knowledge of Gin.
Nosh and Quaff – a fun venue that makes lobster the star of their show alongside more traditional burgers, hot dogs and ribs for an evening full of flavours.
On the tiles
The Rainbow Venues – a vibrant place in Birmingham’s more alternative Digbeth area with a length long wooden-deck Mezzanine balcony ideal to enjoy a breeze of summer sunshine
Where to shop in Birmingham?
Out of the Ordinary
Birmingham’s city centre has much to offer, from places to eat and drink, visit or shop at. If you are visiting for the weekend, make sure to stay in the centre for a true insider’s experience.
Here is Birmingham’s city map with the nearest attractions you should make sure to visits:
Park Regis is not only ideally located on Broad Street, a few minutes walk away from the charming Brindley place, but also within a short walking distance to the renowned Grand Central, Bullring and Mailbox centres. Our amazing views of the city and our 1565 restaurant, bar and terrace make the Hotel the perfect place for your Birmingham weekend getaway, our rooms starting at under £100 for a double-room.
Get in touch with us to further discuss your needs and requirements or book your stay with us online today!