Birmingham City Centre Highlights

The highlights of my brief visit to Birmingham, during my recent travel to the UK, was visiting the Birmingham museum and art gallery and the Frankfurt Christmas market.

Victoria Square was the venue of both highlights. The public square had been originally called Council House Square, when the Council House had been built in 1870, but was renamed Victoria Square in 1901.

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The 19th century Town Hall also overlooks the square and has been hosting music events since it was built. It had also hosted political meetings till the Council House had been built.

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Walking past the Town Hall, I entered the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where a friendly staff handed me a map of the layout of the museum. I decided to focus on the history of Birmingham exhibition on the top floor of the museum. The interactive museum gave an insight into how the area evolved over time and especially how the region became a prosperous commercial center, once Peter de Birmingham purchased a market charter in 1166.

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I liked how the exhibition presented information in a humorous manner. For example, there was a section titled “the Stranger’s Guide to Birmingham 1700 – 1830” which presented information and artefacts from that period in the form of a guide to a visiting traveler with suggestions of places to stay, sights to see etc. I particularly liked the footage of actors dressed in period costume and acting out different roles of people who would have lived in or visited Birmingham.

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The Bullring redevelopment section had an old painting of the Bullring area, with England’s first statue of Admiral Lord Nelson and the church of St. Martin in the Bullring.

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It was lovely to see the originals later. The statue of Nelson in the centre of the bullring had been unveiled in 1809.

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The church of St Martin in the Bull Ring has been long at the site but the current church building was built in 1873.

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Upeksha of Diary of a Tourist had recommended the Frankfurt Christmas market, when she learnt that I would be visiting Birmingham in early December. Since I was staying in the neighbourhood of the Christmas market during my visit, I did try out some of the different stalls, especially the crepes and pretzel stalls for several of my meals.

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I enjoyed my brief stay in Birmingham, particularly the food at the Christmas market and learning about the history of Birmingham exhibition at the museum. I would have liked to have also gone on a boat trip along the Birmingham canals but could not fit it on this visit.

Have you visited or would you like to visit the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham or the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery? 

[I am linking this post to Weekend Travel InspirationThe Weekly Postcard and City Tripping #63]

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29 thoughts on “Birmingham City Centre Highlights

    • Thanks, Rhonda. Hope you had a lovely holiday season as well. The ‘history of Birmingham’ at the museum is well done and very enjoyable. Birmingham does have some other interesting museums as well like the pen museum, Back to Backs etc., which I was not able to visit this time.

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  1. I haven’t been to Birmingham yet! Will have to add it to my list of places in England. The museum looks really nice, thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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    • Birmingham does have some interesting places to see at its city centre. However, since it was the last couple of days of my visit, I focused on relaxing with a book and visiting just a couple of places so didn’t fully experience the diversity that it had to offer.

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  2. I live just outside Birmingham – we have been to the Xmas market there a few times but not last year sadly! I think I would like to visit the museum – I am not originally from the area at all (a Geordie girl from Newcastle) so it would be interesting to know more about it!

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    • I only had a very brief glimpse of Birmingham so would enjoy revisiting and exploring it better – especially the canals and the Jewellery quarter. I was intrigued by the description of the Pen museum and Back to Backs, but both were closed on monday – the full day I had in the city.

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  3. The truth is that I much prefer exploring “alternative” city destinations like Birmingham than the more frequented stops on the tourist trail. I love discovering unexpected delights like the City Museum, and it’s great that you were able to act on the advice given by a fellow blogger. Birmingham is a place that I would love to discover sometime, preferably on foot following the old canal networks.
    #CityTripping

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  4. You have given me a different perspective on Birmingham! It isn’t somewhere I have been to loads before, mainly just for shopping or for conferences. You’ve made me realise I should explore more next time I visit. Thanks for linking #citytripping

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    • I had not really considered visiting Birmingham before, but when I started reading about it, while planning for my visit, I found lots of interesting places that I wanted to explore. I hardly had much time but enjoyed my first glimpse of the city.

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  5. I have not been to Birmingham or to a proper Christmas market. I visited some in New York but I am sure they have nothing to do with the European markets. So nice you got a good recommendation from a fellow blogger. #citytripping

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    • The Frankfurt market in Birmingham is supposed to be the largest Frankfurt market outside of Frankfurt. It was lovely, especially the numerous food and drink wooden chalets at Victoria square and the surrounding streets.

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  6. Lovely post and wonderful photos. Glad you got to visit the German Market. I’ve been visiting Birmingham for many years now and have seen the city grow into a confident cross cultural hot-pot that it is today. It has a lot to offer and often gets overlooked. Have written a little about other things to do and especially places to eat in Birmingham on the blog so have a look.

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  7. I haven’t been to Birmingham for ages – the museum and exhibition sounds really interesting, love the idea of a visitor getting an introduction to the city of a few centuries ago. I’ve heard the Christmas market there is fantastic too. #citytripping

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