What to do in Birmingham in 48 hours

If you’re choosing a city break destination, Birmingham may well be your unassuming hero. Best known for its multi-cultural diversity, a buzzing nightlife, a playful arts and music scene – not to mention the 600 parks that surround the city and its iconic shopping centres.

With great train and airport connections, the best of Birmingham can be seen in just a 48-hour weekend city break, so buckle your seatbelts and let’s take you through a whistle stop tour of Birmingham in 48 hours.

Our suggestions have been designed to keep you in the city centre, walking by foot, but the city is well served by trams that can get you from A to B a little faster.


Arriving into Birmingham

Arrive by train into Birmingham New Street, or if you are coming by car, park at B4 Car Park on Weaman Street, located in between Snow Hill Railway Station and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.  

Birmingham Cathedral

Birmingham Cathedral photo
Photo by ahisgett What to do in Birmingham in 48 hours 1

Head down Colmore Row to Birmingham Cathedral – a fine English Baroque parish church designed by Thomas Archer. Completed in 1725, it is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the city centre.

Address: Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2QB

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 5pm. Saturday: 8.30am to 5.00pm. Sunday 8.10am to 5pm

The Great Western Arcade

The Great Western Arcade is a Victorian shopping arcade situated within the heart of the city centre. Visit during the Christmas period and you’re in for a real treat; the decorations are simply stunning, giving a classic feel to this beautiful place. Featuring many independent retailers, spas and shops specialising in many different food areas it really is worth a visit on your trip.

Address: Colmore Row, Birmingham. B2 5HU

Opening Hours: 06:30am-10pm Monday-Saturday. Sundays 10:30am – 5:30pm

Evening Drinks: Jekyll & Hyde

Head to Jekyll & Hyde on Steelhouse Lane. They serve amazing cocktails and an array of exclusive gins. The food is also truly scrumptious!

Address: 28 Steelhouse Ln, City Centre, Birmingham B4 6BJ

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 12-11pm. Friday & Saturday 12pm-12am. Closed on Mondays

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

In the evening, take the chance to see an evening show. The REP’s programme includes something for everyone, and tours several shows that highlight Birmingham as a city of contemporary culture nationwide.

Address: Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EP

Opening Hours: Contact the theatre directly


Start your day at the Ikon Gallery, a contemporary art gallery showcasing work by artists from around the world and a variety of media is represented, including sound, film, mixed media, photography, painting, sculpture and installation. If you need a refreshment head to the newly-opened Yorks Café that serves great coffee, as well as stone baked pizzas, and an inspired selection of mezze and salads.

Address: 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am-5pm. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Birmingham museum photo
Photo by jaredkoh What to do in Birmingham in 48 hours 1

This museum might just be the one that wins you over during your trip. Featuring beautiful collections of art, social history, archaeology and ethnography there really does seem to be something for everyone. It covers centuries of European history and culture, as well as being home to collections of international importance.

Address: Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH

Opening Hours: Daily: 10-5

Now, if you don’t fancy wandering around on your own for the rest of the day, Birmingham Tours provides guided tours every Saturday and Sunday from the end of April until the end of September 2017. Jump on board at the corner of Colmore Row or Waterloo Street (next to the Council House in Victoria Square) at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm and use the bus as a hop-on, hop-off service, by request.

The Alchemist Restaurant

After all that sightseeing, you deserve a bit of a treat and The Alchemist will treat you well. A gothic style bar that makes full use of the historic features of the famous Grand Hotel with exposed brickwork and 18ft ceilings covered in a canopy of lights. Catering for food and cocktail enthusiasts alike, The Alchemist offers the discerning foodie an array of tasty dining experiences.

Address: The Grand, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2DA

Opening Hours: Monday-Wednesday 9am-12am. Thursday-Friday 9am-1am. Saturday 10am-2am. Sunday 10am-11pm

Don’t forget, if you’re planning on visiting Birmingham over a weekend, you can take advantage of B4 Car Park’s free weekend parking offer which runs until the end of September 2017.

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