Birmingham (Brum) is a vibrant city with an endless choice of things to do. From family fun days to sporting events, discovering historical attractions or wanting to 'shop till you drop' - all is possible from the convenient location of Holiday Inn Express Birmingham Oldbury.
It may not be the first destination that springs to mind as a tourist destination; however, there are all sorts of reasons to visit the second largest city in the UK.
Whether you're travelling on business, as a couple or with the family, our modern rooms provide a home-from-home experience, perfect for unwinding after a busy day exploring/working.
We've listed a few ideas we think you'll love!
A CHOC-TASTIC DAY OUT
If you love chocolate, you won't find anywhere better than this!
A visit to the factory of the world's most famous chocolate brand is a must for chocoholics all over the world. It's a close as you can get to a real life Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.
It's a genuinely interesting tour, allowing visitors to discover the journey of your favourite treat takes from the jungle to your taste buds. Oh, you might be interested that you get plenty of chances to sample the delicious chocolate while you make your way through the factory!
A visit to Cadbury World is engaging, educational and most of all fun! Learn how the Cadbury brothers built their famous brand with a tour that's very interesting, full of colour and interactive experiences.
Visitors of all ages will thoroughly enjoy watching demonstrations of how the famous chocolate is made and you can even have a go at decorating some tasty chocolate of your own.
After the tour, the young ones can burn off the extra energy in the play park, while the adults can do away with the diet in Cadbury World's huge shop – choc'd full...of various yummy Cadbury goods.
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
This fascinating neighbourhood in Birmingham is synonymous with the British Jewellery manufacture and has been for over 200 years.
Once you've spent time admiring the beautiful designs from the many independent jewellery specialists, a very worthwhile visit to the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is recommended.
It's a remarkable museum to explore, depicting life in very profitable, family owned business that barely changed its processes throughout its 80 years of production. When a longstanding jewellery factory, Smith & Pepper Jewellers, decided to close its doors in the early 80s, they left visitors an interesting glimpse to the past.
The workers' tools, overalls, machinery and even their mugs of tea were literally abandoned and now form the museum's exhibitions. With an entertaining hour-long tour, while giving a great insight into the proud heritage of Birmingham's jewellery metalworkers and the guides really bring the factory to life.
A real highlight of which is the demonstration of the "circular breathing" techniques that the workers used to make their soldering flame in order to produce the amazingly crafted charms.
After the tour you can stop by the café for some lunch, tea and homemade cakes or have a browse inside the museum's shop – stocked full of locally made designer necklaces, bracelets and rings.
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
75-79 Vyse Street
SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP
For a city in the UK that is only behind London in terms of size, Birmingham unsurprisingly has a vast selection of stores to please all shop-a-holics.
There is a great mix of modern malls, full the limit with high-street names and the best brand labels as well as elegant, Victorian arcades for the more boutique, independent designers.
Birmingham also has a renowned reputation for its traditional city markets that take place frequently throughout the city. Birmingham's markets are always great for a bit of bargain hunting with some banter thrown in for good measure. All traders are passionate, helpful and more than happy to haggle, so it's well worth popping down to see what treasures you can pick up.
A SPOT OF CULTURE
Town Hall and Symphony Hall
There are many iconic building's dotted around the Birmingham Skyline, Birmingham Central Mosque, the Selfridges Building, St Philip's Cathedral to name a few, however the duo of Town Hall and Symphony hall are treats for both the eyes and ears.
First opened in 1991, every detail of Symphony Hall was design specifically to produce incredible acoustics. The acoustics are so good in fact that its recognised throughout the orchestral world as one of the finest auditoriums of its kind.
Part of which is due to an acoustic canopy above the stage that can be raised or lowered depending on the style of performance to heighten the sounds. Another staggering feature of the hall is the installation of a 6000-pipe symphony organ, which to hear at full majesty is a memorable experience.
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities in which to do so. Both the Town Hall and Symphony Hall a diverse events programme throughout the year. With a wide range of musical genres catered for, including classical, jazz, soul, R'n'B, folk, rock as well as some family entertainment sprinkled in for good measure.
Box Office and information: 0121 780 3333
Birmingham is a brilliant city in many ways, thanks greatly to its rich multiculturalism.
A stroll through St Paul's Square is recommended. The pretty Georgian square is where you'll find some of the best restaurants, cafes and bars in the city. There are choices for every taste and budget, from well-known chains to Michelin Star establishments.
You enjoy a lively night if you wish, with the backdrop of the church is lit-up in the night sky. For drinks and dancing, shuffle your way to the Jam House, the soulful venue of musical maestro, Jools Holland.
If you fancy spending an evening listening to great live music you have plenty of places in Birmingham to choose from. To laugh away to some West Midland wit, there is a great selection of comedy clubs to sample, including the famous Jongleurs Comedy Club on Broad Street.
No matter what evening entertainment you'll looking for on your city break in Birmingham, you are sure to find a fun way to see away the night-time hours.
FUN FACTS ABOUT BIRMINGHAM
- Birmingham means home (ham) of the people (ing) of the tribal leader Birm or Beorma
- Victoria Square hosts one of the largest fountains in Europe. Known as 'The River' 3,000 gallons pour from it every minute
- Bingley Hall opened in 1850 and was the world's first exhibition hall
- Alec Issigonis designed the world famous 'Mini' car in Birmingham
- The huge Longbridge factory first put the Mini into production in 1959 and the model is still in production today
- Birmingham is home to the historic Bull Ring - site of a market for more than 800 years
- Major John Hall Edwards took the first x-ray in Birmingham in 1896
- Birmingham's Centenary Square is made up of more than half a million individual bricks - all laid by hand!
(Source credit: Birmingham City Council)