January 21, 2015

CITIES AND TRIPS: WHERE HAS BIRMINGHAM BEEN HIDING?

I am not considering myself an expert on the UK but I have literally never heard anyone raging about a city trip they took to Birmingham nor have I ever been recommended to go there. At least not until the city was named one of the ten best cities to visit in the world. And that's strange, because you know what? It's the SECOND BIGGEST city in the UK. I know, the news was a shock to me too. So when I had the chance to go there for a spontaneous and very short visit, I was intrigued. 

First of all I have to tell you that we only spent about a day in the city. We were on a ruthless time limit and had spent the morning driving through London (something I can never say no to) so by the time we arrived in Birmingham it was late afternoon. Still, it was great to have the last hours of sunshine left to walk around and get a first glimpse of this vibrant city. 

View from the library
The Public Library

According to the travel handbook who put the city on that list, 2015 is the ideal time to make a trip to Birmingham and I'm glad I did - even though I didn't know I was following their advice at the time. The city just feels very young and creative with hyper modern buildings being put right in front of century old churches. Somehow it works and it gives the area a very unique feel.  

The Custard Factory

So from my very short acquaintance with Birmingham it's a perfect destination for a quick city trip - a few days to discover the city are plenty - and I would love go back. Going to the Bull Ring (shopping!), Custard Factory (more shopping!), visiting the impressive public library (the largest in Europe) and walking along the canals (apparently more than in Venice) are a must when you find yourself in the center of the city. But what I loved most about this city is that there didn't seem to be that many tourists... It's only a matter of time though before the masses set there eyes on this hidden gem so get you butt over there before everyone else beats you to it!

Any other travel discoveries I need to know about for 2015? And have you ever been to Birmingham? 

8 comments :

  1. A cousin of mine did her study exchange in Birmingham and had a great time there. But if it wasn't for her I would have never heard about the city. And all I know is that it is the second biggest city in the UK and a shopping paradise with huge shopping centres :) maybe one day I can plan a quick trip there!

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    1. I can believe it's an amazing city to do your student exchange ;) The shopping is indeed glorious and I didn't get the chance to really take advantage of it!

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  2. Back when I worked in Dublin, I used to have to fly to Birmingham about once a month for meetings. Now I'm regretting the fact that I didn't spend any fun time there too.

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    1. I know the feeling... I really wish I could have spent a couple more days there!

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  3. Birmingham looks like a great place to visit!

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    1. It really is, I didn't know what to expect at all but it turned out to be an amazing city trip :)

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  4. HURRAH FOR THIS POST!!! Honestly, I have had so many fun shopping trips and most especially, nights out in B'ham. And the NEC is a great place to see bands. Loving your photos. I love how old that little church always looks against the ultra modern shopping centre. Thanks for the memories, I miss living in the midlands!

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    1. Oh I didn't know you grew up in the area! Lucky you ;) I'm glad you liked it! I've heard the city has a great music scene, unfortunately I didn't get to check that out while I was there... Here's to next time!

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