Night at the Birmingham Christmas Market – No big deal, but this is the largest German Christmas Market outside of Germany. I believe it, too, because it felt more crowded than Munich Oktoberfest ever did! This place was absolutely packed. Adults were drinking wine, kids were jumping around, strollers were running into people, and it was chaos. But it was delicious-smelling chaos. The pretzels, roasted pecans, and mulled wine did a number on my nose, and my belly was very satisfied. It was also the 50th year of the market in Birmingham, so all the more reason for a crowd! If you don’t go this year, I hope you do next year because Christmas time in Birmingham was quite special.
Dinner at Milan – When we got into Birmingham, it wasn’t quite dinner time but we were soon ready for a hot meal. We tried to go to three different Indian restaurants, and all were fully booked until after 10 p.m.! I was laughing; my husband was irritated. I couldn’t believe how popular Indian food was here. We finally found an Indian restaurant that had availability and was also super delicious. Milan is located in downtown Birmingham with plenty of seating if you have larger parties. Rated four stars on TripAdvisor, this is a place you do not want to miss. You can make a reservation through opentable here. Our favorites were the chenna chaat, saag, and dhal.
Coffee at Quarter House Coffee – One of our favorite ways to explore a city is to check out the local coffee shops. We try to stay away from Starbucks and Cafe Nero if we can help it, since those are chains. We looked up the best coffee shops in that area and found this lively space. The modern interior decor appealed to me, while the long list of coffee methods appealed to my husband. Both of our cups were empty before we knew it, but the caffeine was enough to keep us going the rest of the day. Definitely check this space out for some good coffee and OMG please order their fresh bread and butter. We almost fought over the last piece.
Tour of the Back to Backs – Okay so initially, I wasn’t too keen on checking out some “old buildings” as my mind put it, but this is an activity I would happily repeat. The Birmingham Back to Backs at 50–54 Inge Street and 55–63 Hurst Street are the last surviving court of back-to-back houses in Birmingham, England, now operated as a museum by the National Trust. Our tour guide wins the award for sweetest lady, and she shared her passion for these buildings with us! Her mood was contagious! The history behind these buildings is (literally) so unbelievable. They’re a picture of modernization as well as simplicity back in the day. Add this to your list; you do not want to miss it!
Tea at The Green Room Cafe – After our tour of the Back to Backs, we were ravenous. I think partially because we toured so many kitchens, and they had delicious-smelling candles along the way haha. This cafe has everything. You want a snack? Lunch? Dinner? Tea? Coffee? Dessert? All in a warm and well-lit space? This place kept us from becoming hangry, and for that I am so grateful. We grabbed a couple of teas and snacks here before we headed off to the next space.
Walking Near the Canal– Surprisingly, Birmingham has more miles of canal than Venice does. That tells you right there that you better spend some time walking around the canal in Birmingham. It is beautiful, and I’m not sure why, but it’s so peaceful to walk next to water. All along the canal you will find good restaurants, shopping, and photo op moments. If you’re not interested in just walking the whole time, you can also take a boat tour along the Birmingham Canal.
One Night at the AC Hotel Marriot – Oh how I love a good hotel room! This room was super spacious with enough room to actually stretch your arms out wide (a rarity in Europe). The view of the canal was stunning, the bed was comfortable, and the location was prime. We had breakfast in the hotel as well, which was a hot breakfast buffet—absolutely delicious. The staff were helpful and kind, and we really don’t have any complaints! If you’re interested in making a booking, click this link.
Shopping at Grand Central Station – We took a train to Birmingham and a train back to London from New Street Station. Above the station you’ll find Grand Central Station, aka a very grand shopping center filled with greats treats, eats, and shops. This centre is open till late all days of the week except Sunday and is sure to be a space you’ll want to spend some time in. I would suggest looking up on Google to figure out the peak times and then avoiding those because it can get quite chaotic if you are right in the middle of it. We learned that lesson the hard way!
Comment below and let me know your favorite spots in Birmingham, England! Something on my list for next time is the Peaky Blinders tour! Do you guys watch that show on Netflix? If not, you NEED to do that. I hope you find this Birmingham, England weekend guide helpful.