A business travellers guide to Birmingham – including 10 must-see bleisure activities

6 min read

Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK outside of London and is an extremely popular place for Business Travellers to visit.

Whether travelling by air, train or by roadBirmingham is easy to reach:

Air: Direct flights are available to Birmingham Airport from selected UK locations, the ever developing airport offers a range of facilities for the business traveller, including 3 business lounges offering business facilities, food and drink. From Birmingham Airport, you can take a direct train into the city in around 10 minutes.

Train: Services to Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Snow Hill or Birmingham Moor Street are available from most UK cities. Birmingham New Street station is the largest and busiest of the 3 main stations in the city centre and offers a range of facilities including: public WIFI hotspots, food and drink facilities throughout the station, and access to a variety of retail stores.

Road: At the heart of the UK’s road networks,its an easy destination to drive to from most locations in the UK.


Birmingham offers the business traveller an abundance of choice for accommodation, from basic to luxurious, with a range of properties located within the city centre you will truly be spoilt for choice. Here are a few of my favourites:

#1 Hotel Du Vin and Bistro

The Hotel Du Vin and Bistro is a chic hotel situated in a Victorian building, featuring 66 bedrooms and suites, a gym, spa, and Bistro offering dining in an elegant and informal setting.

#2 Malmaison

A stylish hotel located in the Mailbox, offering 193 rooms and suites, a gym, spa, and same day laundry service.

#3 Park Regis

A 4* modern and contemporary hotel  located in the city centre, offering 271 guest rooms, suites and one/two bedroom apartments, a gym, spa, restaurants and bars, the skybar on the 16th floor is amazing! The Park Regis also offers conference and meeting facilities on a dedicated floor.

#4 Premier Inn

A number of locations throughout Birmingham, from Brindley Place, Broad Street and the City Centre, the Premier Inn offers comfortable great value rooms and facilities.

Eating Out

When it comes to Birmingham, there are plenty of  bars and restaurants to choose from. Brindley Place is a great choice for cocktails and evening drinks by the canal, as well as the excellent variety in the Mailbox. Here are my particular favourites:

#1 The Gin Vault

Situated on the canal between the Mailbox and Brindley Place, The Gin Vault offers a range of Gins, beers,wine, spirits and tapas dishes to get your taste buds tingling.

#2 The Alchemist

If you want to try somewhere a little different The Alchemist offers an amazing selection of cocktails and cuisine. The clue is in the name as The Alchemist offers cocktails served in weird and wonderful scientific ways – a real treat!

#3 Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill

Located at the top of the Cube building, this restaurant offers panoramic views of the city. This stylish venue offers a classic British menu and a great selection of cocktails a truly impressive place to be.

#4 Bistrot Pierre

Situated in a grade II listed building this restaurant offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and amazing french cuisine.

Home to the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) and the ICC (International Convention Centre), many organisations choose Birmingham to host their meets and events. Boasting excellent transport links from Birmingham Airport, Birmingham New Street station whilst also being at the heart of major road links, Birmingham has it all.

Here are 10 things to see and do in Birmingham if you find yourself with a bit of “bleisure time”:

#1 National Sealife Centre

The National Sea Life Centre lets you get get closer than ever before. Sporting over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life, and access to over 2000 creatures the National Sea Life Centre also boasts the UK’s only 360 degree Ocean Tunnel.

#2 The Bullring

Fancy a spot of retail therapy? With over 200 stylish stores featuring 2000 leading brands, the Bullring is listed as the premier destination for shopping in the Midlands. With restaurants cafes and eateries throughout, the Bullring is a must for shopaholics alike.

#3 Cadbury World.

We couldn’t have a top 10 without mentioning a visit to Cadbury World run by the Cadbury Chocolate Company. Described as a fun chocolate day trip, you can experience chocolate through the ages, have a 4d chocolate adventure, as well as taking part in chocolate making experience – if you love chocolate this is definitely worth a visit.

#4 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Housed in a Grade II* listed city centre landmark building. There are over 40 galleries to explore that display art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography.

#5 Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

Thinktank is Birmingham’s award winning science museum, it offers an enlightening and fun packed day out. From steam engines to talking robots, Thinktank has over 200 hands-on displays on science and technology.

#6 Birmingham Back to Backs

The Birmingham Back to Backs (also known as Court 15) are the city’s last surviving court of back-to-back houses. They are preserved as examples of the thousands of similar houses that were built around shared courtyards, for the rapidly increasing population of Britain’s expanding industrial towns.

#7 Aston Hall

Aston Hall is a Grade I listed Jacobean house in Aston, Birmingham, England, designed by John Thorpe and built between 1618 and 1635. It is a leading example of the Jacobean prodigy house.

There is a lot to take in here at Aston Hall and one of the most striking, is the damage received after an attack by Parliamentary troops in 1643.There is a hole in the staircase where a cannonball went through a window and an open door, into the banister.

#8 Birmingham Canals

With more miles of canal than Venice, there are plenty of beautiful views, stunning modern developments like the Cube and restored industrial heritage buildings to enjoy during a peaceful boat journey in Birmingham.

#9 BBC Birmingham Tour

Step inside the exciting world of broadcasting at BBC Birmingham! Peek behind the scenes of Midlands Today, BBC WM, Asian Network, and if you’re lucky, the famous Archers studio.

#10 Black Country Living Museum

Visit the award-winning Black Country Living Museum and join in with 300 years of history like no other. One of the most extraordinary open-air museums in the UK, the Museum immerses visitors into the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the past. Explore original period shops and houses and meet the Museum’s costumed characters along the way – they’ll explain what it was like to live and work in one of the world’s most heavily industrialised landscapes.