The Birmingham Commonwealth Games is just around the corner, the city is looking forward to being able to show itself off and all the incredible sites and activities it has to offer.
With around 6,500 athletes and officials preparing to arrive from over 70 nations and territories, it’s expected the city will also have thousands of new and returning visitors to be able to experience the very best of what Brum has to offer.
We decided to put together our own list of some of the best things to do in and around the city to help guide visitors to some of our favourite spots and attractions for everyone to enjoy.
Tickets and games
There will be a total of 19 sports taking place during the 11 days of the Commonwealth Games from 28th July until 8th August.
The opening ceremony takes place at Alexander Stadium from 7pm on the Thursday, and is expected to be broadcast to 1.5 billion people around the Commonwealth – and hosted to a live audience of 30,000 people.
Tickets start from £8 for the under 16s and £15 for adults – and are on a first come, first serve basis. You can get your hands on them by clicking here but be quick, they are going fast!
For visitors to the city, there is going to be plenty going on throughout the time of the Commonwealth Games and so many sites to see which will make your time in our beautiful city extra special.
Below is a list of some of our favourite spots, and best things to do in Birmingham to see which we are sure you will enjoy.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – One of our favourite spots for going to see some of the most beautiful works of art, pop up displays and an incredible Edwardian tea room set within a stunning Grade II listed city centre landmark. It’s a great place to find a bit of culture, along with an assortment of exhibitions about Birmingham’s past.
Admission is free to the Chamberlain Square venue, and you can find out the opening times and more about what they have going on, here.
The Floozie in the Jacuzzi – Just around the corner from the Birmingham Museum is what we affectionately call the Floozie. The real name of the statue is The River and it has just been restored as a water feature – with a flow of 3,000 gallons per minute and is one of the largest in Europe. It has a quote by TS Eliot around the rim of the upper pool and is guarded by two Sphinx-like animals. Behind it are the Birmingham Council buildings, and just nearby is the Iron Man statue, which stands at the lower end of Victoria Square. There is also a new, temporary art installation which is using the Queen Victoria statue which has been created for the Commonwealth Games.
Selfridges and the Bull in the Bullring – Make your way to a different part of town to go and view the iconic Birmingham Selfridges store – which we would argue is one of the most impressive looking landmarks in the city. Not only does it house some of the world’s most established designers, from clothes to footwear and accessories, along with a tasty food hall – but it also is an impressive landmark for Brum.
The store was completed in 2003 and the exterior, which is made up of thousands of aluminium discs, was designed around the sequins of a Paco Rabanne dress. A truly unusual and impressive site.
You can also go and hunt for our famous Birmingham Bull which is also a great photo moment. The bronze sculpture of a running, turning Bull which is usually dressed for the occasion.
The Bull ‘guards’ the Bull Ring, a must for shopaholics who want to browse and buy to their heart’s content!
Botanical Gardens – further out of town is the 15-acre botanical gardens which showcase tropical rainforest to arid desert and was founded in 1829. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, relax and unwind and enjoy. Find out more about how to get there, prices and events, by clicking here.
Ikon Gallery – This is also a great, free art gallery which is worth a visit to see some of the most unusual yet inspiring work from established and emerging artists. A must is a visit to the singing lift (trust us) and also the tea room at the bottom where you can enjoy some well earned refreshments. Find out more by visiting here.
Think Tank – if you have children this visit is a must and is one of the fun places to visit in Birmingham. This award-winning science museum has everything from steam engines to talking robots, hands-on displays and even a chocolate wrapping machine. It’s great for all ages and always has plenty to see and do, it’s a must-see from us. Visit this link for more details.
Places to Eat and Drink
There are hundreds of places to eat, drink and explore while you’re in and around Birmingham, so we wanted to highlight some of our favourites.
Adams – of course this would be our number one selection for fine dining! Birmingham is lucky, and very proud, to hold quite a few Michelin star restaurants – and in fact, it has the highest number in the UK, outside of London. We are in illustrious company with others, including Simpsons, Carters of Moseley and Purnell’s! We also encourage those who have never eaten at such restaurants to come and give it a go. We recently had a journalist, who also had never been before come along to give it a try, and she gave us rave reviews so don’t’ be shy! You can see our menu by clicking here.
Oyster Club – the world is your….oyster when you’re eating in Brum. If it’s a fine lunch you are looking for, this is the place to be! One of the best places to get fresh oysters in town and some magnificent sea food can be found here, and as the sister restaurant to Adam’s you know the food is going to be top class! Find out more, here.
Loki Wine Merchant and Tasting House – This is one of the ultimate drinking destinations in the city, not just for wine, but for spirits too. They have over 40 different types of gin and a great range of craft beers. Loki is also a regular winner of Decanter Wine Merchant Awards and their knowledge of all things wine is beyond compare. You can find them in the Great Western Arcade and by clicking on this link.
1000 Trades – this is an independent neighbourhood bar and kitchen based in the Jewellery Quarter. Just a 15 minute walk from the city centre, this community pub not only has the most incredible POSH hot sandwiches (which you can eat in house or takeaway), but it also hosts a weekly click and collect farmers market. We are huge fans and urge you to take a visit. For more information, click here.
With so much going on in Birmingham this summer, and throughout the Commonwealth Games, we know you will just have the most incredible experience possible when visiting our beautiful city.