Britain’s second city boasts all manner of excellent attractions, creative hubs and world-class shopping but where do you go when you want to learn more about the world that shaped us? Birmingham museums and many and varied; no matter what your interest, from art and history to pens and coffins, we have it all! Here is our pick of the best museum in the city, close to PREMIER SUITES short stay apartments in Birmingham
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is our biggest and most popular cultural attraction for good reason. Within the hallowed walls of this gorgeous Grade II listed building, 40 impressive galleries display treasures including the largest Pre-Raphaelite collection in the world. You’ll find art, artefacts, relics and treasures from at home and across the world. If you’re visiting with family, the little ones can enjoy a child-friendly mini-museum while you enjoy a bite in the delightful Edwardian tearooms. The gallery is the centrepiece of the Birmingham museum scene and is free for all to enter and enjoy.
Birmingham was known as the 'City of a Thousand Trades', one of the most popular trades being jewellery manufacturing. We still have a Jewellery Quarter with many jewellers supplying bespoke and handmade pieces. If you love jewellery and learning how things are made, the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is one for you. The museum is based around a perfectly preserved jewellery workshop and offers a unique glimpse of working life in the industry. You are guided along on this lively tour by an experienced goldsmith and you’ll get to see a live demonstration at the jewellers’ bench.
If you’re more interested in how the world works than events from the past, Thinktank is the museum for you. Thinktank is an award-winning science museum, perfect for fascinating and fun-packed days out for all the family. It has over 200 hands-on displays and historical collections that will amaze and inspire you for hours on end. They now have a brand new 4k Planetarium, a Science Garden, a gallery especially for under-8s and a changing events calendar so no two visits are alike. Best of all it’s less than 10-minutes’ walk from your serviced apartment in Birmingham.
One of our more unique attractions is the Pen Museum, Britain’s premier museum dedicated to the history of making pens. Imagine a world without smartphones, laptops and tablets. It may seem completely alien to younger readers but until relatively recently, pen and paper were the most effective means of communication. In the 19th century, Birmingham was behind 75 percent of all pens made anywhere in the whole world, meaning that most of the world’s communication and literacy depended on the hard work of our pen making skills. Take a tour and explore Birmingham’s contribution, told through the manufacturers, owners and workers. You can also see over 5,000 objects related to the Birmingham Pen Trade.
Another workshop-turned-museum and one of the weirder places to put on your Birmingham bucket list is The Coffin Works, a state-run museum dedicated to the trade of constructing our final resting places. You’ll learn all about the processes and history of coffin making and learn about the famous Newman Brothers, who were the last coffin makers to work from here. They even made the fittings for the funerals of Joseph Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother. It’s not all doom and gloom however, the guides are cheery, knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions you may have, however morbid they may be
If you’re looking for a break from the madness of the Bullring, head to the north of the city for a day out at Aston Hall. The stunning red brick building, set in a gorgeous park, is one of the best examples of Jacobean housing in Birmingham. It is truly a home fit for royalty and has a rich civil war history; it has even survived cannonball attacks! Spend your day learning the history of the house or relaxing in Lady Holte’s beautiful gardens.
It would be a shame to visit and not spend some time getting to know the city in one of Birmingham’s fascinating museums. If you need flexibility, comfort and value from your accommodation in Birmingham, book your stay in PREMIER SUITES today.