Birmingham is one of the UK’s biggest cities and it’s famous for its world class shopping, offering shoppers everything from designer department stores and modern shopping centres to unique arcades full of independent boutiques. Given the size of the city, it’s a good idea to plan your day in advance so we’ve created a guide to some of the main shopping centres, department stores, arcades and streets to make it easier.
With more than 200 shops and three department stores (Selfridges, Debenhams and John Lewis), you can really shop until you drop at the Bullring and Grand Central. Since opening in 2003, it has become one of the UK’s most visited shopping centres.
The Bullring and Grand Central are joined by a footbridge, which is often referred to as Birmingham’s Carnaby Street, and this is where you will find niche independent pop-ups that are constantly changing.
When you’re done shopping, grab a bite to eat at Brown’s, Five Guys, Wagamama, Nando’s or any one of the numerous eateries on offer.
It’s located in the very heart of the city, which makes it easy to access and opens until 8pm most days.
If you love designer labels, The Mailbox is the place to go. Housed in a former Royal Mail sorting office, it’s known as one of Birmingham’s luxury shopping destinations and is now home to lots of premium brands, like Hugo Boss, Paul Smith, The Wedding Club and more. It also has a great selection of homeware in its first-floor showrooms where you’ll find products from Made.com, BoConcept and others.
If you want to make a day of it, The Mailbox also has a full spa and luxurious independent boutique cinema.
Opening hours are 10am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sundays.
Whether you are looking for unique gifts or just something different to the high street, there are countless gems to discover in these beautifully restored historic buildings. If you go to the Burlington Arcade, be sure to stop off for a drink in Bacchus Bar, an underground venue where you can also grab a bite to eat.
All the arcades are located around the city centre, making it easy to combine with a day in other shopping centres or on the high street.
If you are looking for something off the beaten track, the Custard Factory is sure to satisfy. Built in 1906 by Alfie Bird to Bird’s Custard, it’s still retains the original Crittall windows, exposed steelwork and high ceilings today. Now, instead of custard, you will find a packed schedule of events all year – from festivals to foodie meet-ups and more.
There are also a number of independent stores selling crafts, baked goods, artwork, clothing, jewellery and more.
If you want to witness history and see how Birmingham used to trade back in the good old days, take a stroll around the famous Bullring markets. Whether you are looking for fresh vegetables, cheese and meats or textiles, you will find everything and anything in the Bullring. It’s also the perfect place to practice your haggling skills as bartering is still very much the norm in the marketplace.
Once you’ve finished in the markets, you can easily access the city’s Chinatown area and grab a bite to eat in one of the many noodle bars on offer.
The high street
No trip to Birmingham would be complete without exploring the high street and really getting to experience the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Birmingham has more than one shopping street to explore too – there’s New Street, Corporation Street and High Street. Start your day off on New Street, which has the largest offering of stores with everything from Primark, H&M, Apple and Muji to the world’s largest Lush store located here.
When you’ve finished on New Street, you can branch off onto High Street and explore one of the world’s biggest Waterstones, as well as Monki, Boots and M&S.
Corporation Street is located in the middle of New Street, making it easy to finish off your day shopping in the likes of Urban Outfitters, Superdrug or House of Fraser.
Looking for more things to do around Birmingham? Use our Clayton Hotel Birmingham Online Concierge for tips and recommendations to see the best of what Birmingham has to offer.