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19 Places In Birmingham You Must Visit Before You Die

Burgers, Balti and Brum.

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1. Eat burgers at Digbeth Dining Club.

Digbeth Dining Club / Via digbethdiningclub.co.uk

Winners of the UK's best street food event for the last two years running, DDC is the ultimate in urban dining, bringing the best local traders and attracting top street food vendors from far further into one spot, every Friday.

Try and pick one at which the Original Patty Men are present. Winners of the nation's best street food burger, try their patty served inside a Krispy Kreme donut.

2. Go all Tolkein at Perrott's Folly.

Flickr Commons: Tony Hisgett / Via Flickr: hisgett

Commissioned in 1758 by the wealthy and eccentric land-owner John Perrott this tower is rumoured to have inspired a young Brummie, J.R.R. Tolkien, to create the tower of Minas Tirith in the Lord of The Rings.

Keep you eye on Hidden Spaces as they do occasional beer tastings from the top, in conjunction with Brum's aptly named Two Towers Brewery.

3. Wander through the tunnels beneath the Mailbox.

Birmingham Post / Via birminghampost.co.uk

There's a 400m underground connection between what was the Royal Mail sorting office (now the Mailbox shopping destination) and New Street Station.

It's now largely closed off to the public, but Brum's revealers of all things concealed, Hidden Spaces, are running a competition that could get you down there.

4. Dine at Purnell's.

Purnell's / Via purnellsrestaurant.com

We've got Michelin stars coming out of our ears in Brum, but if you visit just one holder of that finest of foodie gongs before shuffling off this mortal coil, make it Purnell's.

The most playful dishes with emerge from the kitchen with the standout monkfish masala being an immaculate nod to the city’s history of South Asian cuisine.

5. Take in an outdoor movie at our Colosseum-esque cinema.

the mac / Via macbirmingham.co.uk

The mac's gloriously gladiatorial amphitheatre is converted into an outdoor cinema every summer, so if cold beer, warm air, Ghostbusters, Alien, Back To The Future and Jaws sound like a plan, head this way.

6. Raid the underground vaults of the Municipal Bank.

Tom Bird / Via infinityproject.co.uk

Now cruelly unused, the Bank was set up in 1919 by Neville Chamberlain, who was Lord Mayor of the city at the time, with the stunning building completed in 1933. In the basement, along a mirrored corridor and through a 12 inch thick steel door is the vault and safety deposit strongroom.

Eerily brilliant, tours will be run as part of Heritage Week in September, so keep you eye on here, closer to then.

7. Slurp at The Edgbaston.

The Edgbaston / Via theedgbaston.co.uk

Some of the most flamboyant and staggeringly good cocktails that you'll find anywhere in the country.

The mixologists are awards magnets and the atmosphere is never as stuffy as London bars of similar repute tend to be. Food's great n'all.

8. Get nicked at Steelhouse Lane Custody Suites.

Birmingham Post / Via birminghampost.co.uk

If you get nicked (for an offence you didn't commit) fingers crossed you end up at Steelhouse Lane Custody Suite – one of the oldest remaining operational custody suites in the country and an important part of Birmingham’s heritage.

In the basement an underground tunnel provides a secure link to the adjacent Victoria Law Courts.

9. Get freed at Victoria Law Courts.

Birmingham Post / Via birminghampost.co.uk

In contrast to the cell block, the law courts are always open to the public. You can freely access the public galleries of the six remaining heritage courtrooms which are stunning – even court five, where people were sentenced to hanging up until 1965.

10. Sleep at The Rotunda's penthouse apartments.

Staying Cool / Via stayingcool.com

It's a little embarrassing to admit that we don't have a five star hotel, here in Birmingham. But if you're looking for luxury then the Staying Cool penthouse apartments at the iconic Rotunda Tower are available to rent by the night.

Expect eye-opening views across the city and eye-closing views straight down.

11. Have a pint at the Prince of Wales.

The Prince Moseley / Via theprincemoseley.co.uk

The Prince beat 50,000 other pubs across the country, last month, to scoop the prestigious British Institute of Innkeeping's award for Licensees of the Year.

The beer garden is the best in the city and the tiki bar cocktails out back are as good as the real ales in the front.

12. Have dinner at Carters.

Jack Spicer Adams / Via jackspiceradams.com

Brum was overlooked entirely by the The Good Food Guide last year, but Moseley restaurant Carters struck back by winning the Good Food Guide’s Readers’ Restaurant Of The Year. Have that!

13. Have a quiet moment at the Shakespeare Memorial Room.

Library of Birmingham / Via libraryofbirmingham.com

A wood-panelled room originally built to house Birmingham's Shakespeare collection in the late 19th Century.

Since Brum's main library moved the room was carefully taken apart piece by piece and rebuilt at the top of the new library in Centenary Square.

14. Feast at the Balti Triangle.

instagram.com / Via shababs.co.uk

Our world famous Balti Triangle isn't the home to our most refined plates of food, but it is home to some of our most authentic and delicious.

Only a handful of places still cook the Birmingham-born balti in the way it was decades ago, and almost all of them are clustered in this triangle along Ladypool Road, Stoney Lane and Stratford Road, to the south of Brum city centre. Shababs (pictured) and Al Frash are my recommendations.

15. Peruse the Museum Collections Centre.

Tom Bird / Via infinityproject.co.uk

The Museums Collection Centre is a colossal 1.5 hectare site that holds 80 per cent of Birmingham Museums’ stored collections under one roof.

Mark my words, it's Indiana Jones-esque stuff. There are open afternoons on the last Friday of every month, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

16. Get cultured at Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Birmingham Royal Ballet / Via brb.org.uk

Based at Birmingham Hippodrome since 1990, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the UK’s leading classical ballet touring company performing a range of traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as groundbreaking new works.

Triple bills are the perfect way to test the water because you see three completely different ballets for the price of one and tickets to Variations (a triple bill in October) start at just £10.

17. Learn something at ThinkTank.

ThinkTank / Via birminghammuseums.org.uk

Brilliant for young and old, there's a sensational indoor and outdoor play area for the little'uns and then full on trains, motorbikes and retro cars in the museum.

Oh and there's a Spitfire hanging from the ceiling. Spitfires were built in Brum. You're welcome.

18. Mill Your Own Bread at Sarehole Mill.

Sarehole Mill / Via birminghammuseums.org.uk

Described by J.R.R. Tolkein as a "lost paradise" this 200-year-old mill, on the River Cole, is one of the two water mills still standing in Birmingham. There were once more than 70 such buildings along the city’s river banks.

Rather brilliantly they're looking for volunteers to help them mill their bread, something they continue to do by hand to this day, the old-fashioned way.

19. Warm your heart at Love Lock Bridge.

instagram.com

Okay, okay, so it's not exactly Paris, but our little canalside corner of love, where starstruck couples are padlocking their feelings to a bridge by The Cube, is heartwarming stuff.

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