Things to Do Near Birmingham New Street Station

things to do in Birmingham New Street

Home to heavy metal music, a nationally adored chocolate company and three million legendarily hospitable residents, Birmingham offers something for everyone. This bustling city has plenty to do and see, from a vast shopping centre that is located above New Street Station to a museum with more than 1000 motorcycles.

The Bullring Shopping Centre

If you have a few hours to kill before your next train, there’s plenty of things to do near Birmingham New Street Station. Whether you’re looking to shop for high-end fashion or want to check out the area’s vibrant nightlife, you’ll find it all here.

The Bullring shopping centre is home to hundreds of shops, including the flagship department stores of Selfridges and Debenhams. It also has a selection of popular restaurants. You can even get a quick bite at one of the many fast food establishments near the mall.

Those interested in art can check out the Birmingham Museum of Arts and see works by local and international artists. There’s also the acclaimed Thinktank Science Museum that focuses on a range of topics from robotics to outer space. Or, you can visit the Pepper Place Saturday Market and sample some of Alabama’s best artisan food. This market runs year round and features a range of small producers.

Kelly Ingram Park

Kelly Ingram Park is the epicenter of Birmingham’s Civil Rights history, where demonstrations and confrontations took place in the 1960s. It’s here that you can see the Four Spirits sculpture, a memorial to the young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. There are also a series of powerful sculptures depicting snapshots of the civil rights struggle, including ferocious police dogs and water cannons being aimed at the crowds.

This is one of the stops on my Self-Guided Birmingham Civil Rights Tour, which you can download as a free GPSmyCity app on your mobile device. It turns your smartphone into a personal guided tour and works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Other Birmingham New Street highlights include the Vulcan Statue and Museum, where you can learn about the iron industry that made Birmingham rich. Enjoy barbecue or soul food at Saw’s, or grab a cup of ice cream from the Railroad Park ice cream shop.

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

If you find yourself with a bit of time to kill between trains at Birmingham New Street Station, there are plenty of things to do. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many fast food restaurants, or check out the shops and attractions.

If art is more your thing, check out the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. This historic cultural institution is home to an impressive collection that spans centuries. From classical paintings to edgy contemporary sculpture, you’ll find it all here.

The BMA also hosts special events like The (Spring) ReFRAME, a community celebration of the gallery’s permanent collections and recently-opened exhibits, including Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma. You can even attend a lecture with the artist!

Pepper Place Saturday Market

Featuring local farmers, makers and retailers, Birmingham’s Pepper Place Saturday Market is one of the city’s most popular things to do on a weekend. Held in the Pepper Place Entertainment District every Saturday morning, this event features vendors selling everything from fresh heirloom vegetables to handmade jewelry and artisan gifts.

If you’re hungry, grab a bite to eat at the Market’s many restaurants and food vendors. Afterward, head over to the pretty cobbled Morris Avenue for a traditional Southern snack – try a cup of hot boiled peanuts served with classic salt or a dash of Cajun spices or dill pickle that somehow manages to permeate through the shell.

If you’re an history buff, don’t miss out on the chance to tour the historic Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which houses paintings by world-famous artists like Pissarro and Constable as well as a collection of Civil Rights memorabilia. For outdoor lovers, head south of the city to Oak Mountain State Park where you can hike and mountain bike over 50 miles of scenic trails.

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