Birmingham, Britain’s second-largest city, is a dynamic center of beautifully restored Victorian-era buildings mixed with unique modern architecture. A town in mid-renaissance, the ever-changing skyline is a testament to Birmingham’s dedication to innovation while preserving its culture and history.
- Birmingham, or Brum, as the locals call it, began as a market village on Britain’s trading routes in the early Middle Ages. Warwick Castle, one of Brum’s many remaining historic structures, dates back to the 12th century.
- During the industrial revolution, Brummies built over 170 miles of transport canals — that’s more than in Venice, Italy. These waterways helped build Birmingham into the metropolis it is today.
- The Library of Birmingham is an architectural masterpiece with a spiraling interior, an underground theater, and a secret garden on the seventh floor. The Bullring, another iconic structure, is a futuristic retail and dining place, its facade covered with 15,000 aluminum discs.
- The Jewellery Quarter, a thriving urban village at the city’s edge, began as a center of goldsmithing. Some of those workshops still exist today and demonstrate traditional jewelry-making techniques.
- Brum’s local food scene is phenomenally great. One of the best places to feast is the Digbeth Dining Club, an award-winning street food fair in Digbeth. Dozens of stalls serve up creative and flavorful dishes in a laid-back, Bohemian atmosphere.
- The Balti Triangle, one of the UK’s most popular curry spots, is a neighborhood of colorful Pakistani shops and restaurants. Birmingham is the home of the balti, a type of curry made with fresh ingredients over a flame.