If you’re planning a trip to the second-biggest British city, Birmingham, then you’ve definitely made a wise decision. There’s something for everyone in the city, ranging from Guinness beer to art museums. However, it’s easy to (literally) get lost in the huge city, so it’s critical to take certain steps to make your moving around the city as smooth as possible. Here are some helpful tips for your stay in the city:
Tip#1: Hop on a bike
The most obvious modes of transportation in Birmingham are by train, bus, and metro. However, for health and environmental reasons, you should also consider taking a bike around the city. Be warned that Birmingham isn’t a “bike-friendly” city per se. However, you can certainly zip around the city without too much trouble.
Where should you go? A bike in Birmingham will allow you to enjoy country parks, the canal network, and even attractions right outside the city proper. In the city centre, you’ll find tons of places to lock up your bike, and some bike lanes as well. Just be cautious because pedestrians and other obstructions could appear on your path.
Tip #2: Consider a water bus
This is a fairly slow way to travel along the canals of Birmingham, but definitely a unique mode of transportation you should consider while in the city. The main function of the water bus is to tour the city, so don’t expect to zip around town.
Tip #3: Bring a good pair of walking shoes
Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. The Birmingham city centre is partially “pedestrianised” so the city is certainly designed to get around on foot without much trouble. From Bull Ring to Symphony Hall, and from Central Library to the Museum and Art Gallery, you shouldn’t have too much trouble walking between the different destinations in the city centre.
Tip #4: Include museums and art galleries on your itinerary
You can find several museums and art galleries peppered throughout the city centre. The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is a large museum that includes big permanent collections and many temporary exhibits. Meanwhile, Aston Hall includes period artwork such as from the English Civil War. It was also visited by Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame.
Tip #5: Enjoy city architecture and country parks
You can certainly enjoy some unique architecture in the city centre, and country parks in the countryside. These sites are aesthetically some of the best options in and near the city. Some of the natural wonders include:
• Birmingham Botanical Gardens
• Birmingham Nature Centre
• Cannon Hill Park
• National Sea Life Centre
• Woodgate Valley Country Park
Tip #6: Don’t miss the pubs and clubs
If you’re a night owl, then Birmingham is the right place for you. The city arguably has some of the best pubs and clubs in the country. The clubs include cheap drinks during Student Nights, and also various special events. Also, no visit to Birmingham would be complete without visiting some pubs and guzzling some Guinness beer.