The city commonly known as Brum has never been anybody’s idea of a romantic location for a weekend away: arrival at the hideous New Street station always made for an eye-offending first impression. But like many cities in the UK, it has been transformed beyond all recognition over the last 15 years and deserves reassessment.
In fact, it is now truly one of the UK’s most enjoyable cities to visit, and the revamped centre – including the massive facelift to the Bullring area and the arrival of the stunning silver Selfridges building – has certainly beautified the place. Along the canal-side developments of Gas Street Basin and Brindley Place, you’ll find numerous classy new bars, boutiques and restaurants.
Meanwhile, those with a taste for something more spicy should hit the famous Balti Triangle. This is arguably the best place in the country to chow down on cheap, authentic British curry (they even claim to have invented many of the nation’s favourite dishes around here). Further bars, shops and eateries can also be found at The Mailbox, a huge converted postal sorting office.
And while Birmingham doesn’t have the culture and sights to rival Liverpool or Manchester, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is truly excellent (check out the Pre-Raphaelite collection) and the newer Ikon Gallery is usually hosting something interesting. The imposing St Philip’s cathedral is also worth a visit.
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