Like many other cities, Birmingham has a link with the Roman Empire. The city was mentioned as far back as 1086 in the Doomsday Book, and developed into an important trade centre from the 12th century onward. During the 17th century, a large weapons industry grew up. Among others, Birmingham provided Oliver Cromwell’s army with weapons and later on they supplied Napoleon. During the golden age of the Industrial Revolution, the city grew rapidly thanks to its supplies of iron, coal and labour. Subsequently, Birmingham became an important hub in England’s canal and train networks, and these days the city has a network of over 60 km of canals and other waterways, which is more than Venice. Today the canals are mostly used for pleasure boating, making it a perfect way to discover Birmingham.
During the Second World War, large areas of the city were destroyed, and the city centre was rebuilt. In recent years, however, an architectural renaissance has occurred and old squares, streets and waterways have been restored and renovated. Many typical British brands, and frequently world famous brands have been created here, including Bakelite, Cadbury’s, Brylcreem, HP Sauce and Typhoo Tea. The city’s inhabitants include J. R. R. Tolkien and Ozzy Osbourne.
Today, Birmingham is a fast growing tourist destination with a compact, pedestrian-friendly city centre and where many exciting attractions are waiting to get explored. A city full of surprises where the English old world charm meets the new and young vibrant atmosphere thanks to the many students in the city.
Dating back over 250 years, Jewellery Quarter is a conservation area with over 200 listed buildings and today one of Birmingham´s most vibrant locations with an amazing community spirit. This is also the home for more than 500 jewellery businesses, the beating heart of England's jewellery industry, making it a great place to buy some gifts and souvenirs. When here, you should also visit the award-winning museum on Vyse Street, called Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.
Birmingham Town Hall
Designed by Joseph Hansom and inaugurated in 1832, Birmingham Town Hall is a Grade I listed concert hall located in Victoria Square. Today, it is a cultural hub together with its sister venue Symphony Hall, where to enjoy a diverse programme with classical concerts, jazz, dance, comedy rock, pop, folk and more. If you want to learn more about Birmingham’s most iconic historic building, then take the Town Hall tour and get an insight over the backstage areas.
The Briar Rose
Located at Briar Rose JD Wetherspoon Hotel, this busy pub, in the city centre of Birmingham tend to draw a mix crowd of people, which creates a dynamic atmosphere. Also, boast a restaurant where food such as burgers, steaks, salads, burritos are served. Both drinks and food are reasonably priced and it is all served by the friendly staff.
Good to know
In Birmingham, public transport consists of an extensive bus network and the inner suburbs are linked by local trains and trams. There are several different types of travel passes from which to choose, including a one-day rover pass.
You can also pay your bus ticket when boarding the bus, but remember that you need to give the exact change. There are official bus stops scattered around Birmingham when wishing to board on a bus so hailing will not be necessary.
For online timetables and fare information, check Network West Midlands website (www.networkwestmidlands.com/ways-to-travel/bus)