Friday, July 18, 2014

Travel Guide: A Look At Birmingham (England)


One of the best things about summer is traveling. Whether it’s a road trip, cross-country flight, or a European vacation there is plenty to see and do during your summer break. Maybe it’s my recent trip to Puerto Rico, or my eternal lust for wandering that has ignited a strong desire to travel abroad. Whatever the case may be, Lately, I’m feeling the need to explore and plan out a new journey.

Spain, Italy, and Greece are all countries that appeal to me, but the United Kingdom does as well. In fact in a previous post I laid out what I would love to do during a weekend stay in London. However there other British cities I would like to explore, including Birmingham, or “Brum” as its playfully nicknamed. It’s England’s second-largest city and even though it’s a vibrant cultural metropolis, it goes mostly ignored by American travelers.

Why Birmingham? 

One of the main reasons Birmingham appeals to me is for its architecture. As a building aficionada, I marvel over man-made structures like the Selfridges store at the Bull Ring or the Library of Birmingham. Both remarkably modern creations that should be recognized and admired. Birmingham strikes me as a concrete jungle, much like New York City. It may not be for the faint of heart, but its striking in its own right. Especially for those who look beyond the industrial landscapes and see the history and culture that beams from the city. It’s a mix of old and new. With buildings like The Cube and 10 Holloway Circus serving as backdrop to more traditional landmarks like the Council House, Town Hall, or nearby Aston Hall.

What to do? 

When mapping out a new travel adventure, I like to find my lodging first. Luckily Hotel Direct is a great tool I can use when choosing where to stay by comparing reviews, ratings, and prices. Once I choose my hotel, I research local hot spots and eateries to visit. Birmingham was hailed as the food capital of the UK, so I have high hopes for its food scene. Dinning at one of its renowned restaurants like Purnell’s and Opus would pretty fantastic if you ask me. Doing a little shopping at the world famous Jewellery Quarter and Rag Market would also be my idea of fun. But if gazing at ancient treasures and Victorian art is more your style, The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery houses an impressive collection of works by Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and others.

Whatever your travel taste may be, The Second City seems to offer something for everyone. Even the New York Times is a fan. (They placed Birmingham 19th on its list of 45 must-see destinations back in 2012.) Even if it might not get the international attention as other European cities like London, Brum is starting to intrigue and inspire tourists everywhere. I know it certainly has caught my attention! With its diverse attributes and growing culinary reputation, it’s no wonder Birmingham is fast becoming a travel destination for savvy globetrotters everywhere.


{Disclosure: This is featured post for Hotel Direct. See disclaimer/disclosure for more info.} 

Image Source – View of the city - https://flic.kr/p/gfiHJP 
Image Source – Rag Market - https://flic.kr/p/dnALej 
Image Source – The Cube - https://flic.kr/p/dy1gWT
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