Flights to Birmingham (BHX)

Flights to Birmingham reveal that industrial cities can be impressively cosmopolitan and welcoming. The birthplace of the steam engine innovates constantly.

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Flights to Birmingham

Creativity and invention are in Birmingham’s DNA. At the height of the industrial revolution, the English city was known as the "workshop of the world"; it has registered three times as many patents as any other city. A flight to Birmingham will take you to the city that gave the world the modern steam engine, Cadbury’s chocolate, lawn tennis, HP Sauce, the Mini, Dunlop tires, the first professional soccer league, Brylcreem, and lots more.

Today, as one of the youngest cities in Europe, Brum, as it’s affectionately known, continues to reinvent itself. It’s packed with cultural attractions, from historic sights such as the Grade I listed Jacobean mansion Aston Hall to Villa Park, home of the Aston Villa Football Club. Then there are the world-class acoustics of Symphony Hall and the Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Hippodrome Theatre.

It’s a city on the rise, as you can see from its acres of green spaces and miles of rejuvenated canals leading to the stunning new Library of Birmingham and the modernist structure of the Selfridges building at the iconic Bullring shopping center. In fact, Brum is one of the top destinations for shopping in the UK, with an eclectic retail scene that ranges from the renowned Jewellery Quarter to its exclusive mall, the Mailbox.

You’ll want to save some of your pennies for Birmingham’s food and drink, too, and the diverse dining scene that reflects the city’s cosmopolitan population. There’s everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to a vibrant street-food culture. Add a thriving network of independent coffee shops, and it’s clear Birmingham is a culinary force to be reckoned with.

Each of Brum’s eclectic neighborhoods has something to offer. In post-industrial Digbeth, you’ll find a vibrant creative community; trendy Moseley has more of an indie vibe, and King’s Heath is pure suburbia. At the heart of Birmingham’s appeal are the good-humored, down-to-earth "Brummies."

Join Digbeth Dining Club

Birmingham’s street food scene has taken off in the past few years with the arrival of Digbeth Dining Club. Every Friday, hungry revelers congregate under the blackened railway arches of the city’s creative quarter to enjoy street food from a roster of food trucks, from the Original Patty Men to the Vegan Grindhouse.

Spot*light
Unit 2 (opposite Air Nightclub)
Lower Trinity Street
Digbeth
B9 4AG
+44 1216032524
digbethdiningclub.co.uk

Take the Tolkien trail

Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit author JRR Tolkien was inspired by his childhood in Birmingham. Of his old haunts, idyllic Sarehole Mill is now a museum and the Moseley Bog Nature Reserve is a true hidden gem. Nearer the city center, Perrott’s Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks tower inspired The Two Towers.

Sarehole Mill Museum
Cole Bank Road
Hall Green
B13 0BD
+44 121 348 8000
birminghammuseums.org.uk/sarehole

Explore the Jewellery Quarter

As well as boasting 200 listed buildings, Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter has Europe’s greatest concentration of jewelry businesses, making over 40% of all the jewelry in Britain. At the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, you’ll learn that items made here include the original FA Cup trophy and the silver whistles used on the Titanic.

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
75-79 Vyse Street
B18 6HA
+44 121 348 8000
birminghammuseums.org.uk/jewellery

Explore Brum’s industrial past

Birmingham’s canals were the super-highways of the industrial revolution, so it’s worth taking the one-hour Country in the City canal tour through Gas Street Basin and beyond. Other industrial attractions include Thinktank Science Museum as well as Soho House (home of industrialist Matthew Boulton).

Thinktank
Millennium Point
Curzon Street
B4 7XG
+44 121 348 8000
thinktank.ac

Experience Birmingham Back-to-Backs

Step back into Victorian Birmingham, and see how everyday families lived and worked in this courtyard of historic houses. They’ve been painstakingly restored to evoke the atmosphere of a bygone age. Highlights include a tailor’s workshop and an old-fashioned sweet shop. Tours must be booked in advance.

55-63 Hurst Street
50-54 Inge Street
B5 4TE
+44 121 666 7671
nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs

Eat at Birmingham’s Balti Triangle

Birmingham may have more Michelin-starred restaurants than any English city outside London, but at the other end of the scale there’s the balti. Simple, cheap, and delicious, this curry dish served in a steel bowl was invented by Pakistani Brummies in the 1970s. Brum’s Balti Triangle, from Sparkbrook to Moseley, is where to try it. Ladypool Road is a good place to start—check out Al Frash Balti.

Al Frash Balti
186 Ladypool Road
Sparkhill
B12 8JS
+44 121 753 3120
alfrash.com

Restaurant VMF (International)

This award-winning fine-dining restaurant uses local produce and overlooks the pitch at Aston Villa Football Club. It not only sources 80% of its ingredients from the surrounding area; it also recruits staff from within a short radius of the club. The results are very good, with excellent ethnic food, smooth service, and a unique setting.

Villa Park
Witton Lane
B6 6RP
+44 121 326 1570
avhe.co.uk/vmf-restaurant-birmingham

Pure Bar & Kitchen (Gastropub)

Warwickshire’s Purity brewery and Birmingham’s Michelin-starred Simpson’s restaurant joined forces to create this brilliant gastropub in a Grade II–listed building off Victoria Square. You can enjoy superb British plates and classic snacks in a stripped-back industrial interior.

30 Waterloo Street
B2 5TJ
+44 121 237 5666
purebarandkitchen.com

Purnell’s (Modern British)

Self-proclaimed "Yummy Brummie" Glynn Purnell presents Michelin-starred food with a playful twist at this red-brick restaurant in the heart of the city’s financial district. Brought up on a Birmingham council estate, Purnell litters his menu with cheeky references to his childhood, and the food is first class.

55 Cornwall Street
B3 2DH
+44 121 212 9799
purnellsrestaurant.com

Lasan (Indian)

Gordon Ramsay named it the best local restaurant in the UK; Aktar Islam’s Lasan takes authentic, traditional recipes and brings them up to date with locally sourced ingredients and 21st-century expertise. Who says you can only get good Indian food in the Balti Triangle?

3-4 Dakota Buildings
James Street
St Paul’s Square
B3 1SD
+44 121 212 3664
lasan.co.uk

Adam’s (Modern British)

The fourth Birmingham restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star, this modest 22-seater was opened by Chef Adam Stokes in a former sandwich shop just off the city’s bustling New Street. Its appetizers alone will get you raving, but the tasting menus are also excellent.

21A Bennett’s Hill
B2 5QP
+44 121 643 3745
adamsrestaurant.co.uk

Sushi Passion (Japanese)

A true Birmingham success story, this sushi restaurant owned by Polish chef Adam Glamacinski has upgraded from a small stall at the Bullring market to a quirky new space in a Victorian arcade. A model train set delivers your food.

31 Great Western Arcade
Colmore Row
B2 5HU
+44 121 238 2933
facebook.com/Sushi-Passion

The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel

With six luxurious rooms and three lounges, this boutique hotel in leafy Edgbaston sets the standard for understated luxury in Birmingham. Housed in an impressive Victorian townhouse built in 1847, it accompanies Michelin-starred restaurant Simpson’s in a quiet street just a short walk from the Botanical Gardens.

18 Highfield Road
B15 3DU
+44 121 454 5212
theedgbaston.co.uk

Indigo

This cool and colorful hotel occupies the 23rd and 24th floors of the Cube. This striking modernist building overlooks the heart of Birmingham’s canals and the Mailbox complex, with its lounges, restaurants, and boutiques. As well as a health club and spa, there’s a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill on site, which boasts panoramic views of the city.

The Cube
Wharfside Street
B1 1RS
+44 121 643 2010
hotelindigobirmingham.co.uk

Hotel La Tour

Overlooking Birmingham’s regenerated Eastside and its public park, plus the Thinktank Science Museum and historic Curzon Street Station (the oldest railway terminus in the world), Hotel La Tour is also within walking distance of the Bullring shopping center. Rooms are contemporary and comfortable, and the La Tour Grill restaurant is well worth staying in for.

Albert Street
B5 5JE
+44 121 718 8000
hotel-latour.co.uk

Staying Cool Serviced Apartments

This iconic, Grade II–listed Rotunda building, which towers over the city, has serviced apartments with stunning views. The suites, which are named after models of another Birmingham 1960s icon, the Mini car, have a pop-art vibe and look down on the Bullring shopping center.

The Rotunda
150 New Street
B2 4PA
+44 121 285 1290
stayingcool.com/birmingham

Hotel Du Vin

Built in 1884, the grand Victorian red-brick building that was once Birmingham’s eye hospital is now home to a luxury four-star hotel. Inside you’ll find wrought-iron staircases, imposing granite pillars, a bistro, and a lounge. Right on the doorstep, there’s also the independent Urban Coffee Company and Michelin-starred restaurant Purnell’s.

25 Church Street
B3 2NR
+44 844 736 4250
hotelduvin.com/birmingham

Bloc Hotel

At the heart of Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter and minutes from the Georgian elegance of St. Paul’s Square, this chic capsule hotel has forward-thinking design at its core; it's perfect if you’re on a budget or enjoying a flying visit to the city.

Caroline Street
B3 1UG
+44 121 212 1223
blochotels.com

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