This year I visited Birmingham in the most exciting time of the year – the Christmas festive season.
Birmingham fully embraced the Christmas cheer! The city looked like a magical wonderland with lively Christmas markets, twinkling lights, snowmen sculptures, and gigantic Christmas trees.
Here is my guide to the top 6 Christmas attractions in Birmingham that will light up your Christmas spirit and make you feel like a big kid (guaranteed!).
Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt Christmas Market was the main reason why I decided to hop on a train from London to Birmingham. This biggest German Christmas market outside of Germany inspired my curiosity.
Does it really look like a traditional Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt? You bet! It almost tricks your brain into believing you are in Frankfurt 🙂 All the signboards are in German, and even the famous talking moose head (one of the biggest attractions in the market!) talks in German and sings German carols.
Don’t miss it once you visit the market! It’s the moose head with X-factor (it attracts all the eyeballs), and the market’s absolute star.
Once you’ve listened to the singing moose, you can continue wandering around the atmospheric wooden stalls selling a wide range of German goodies – from Bratwurst, Schnitzels, and Pretzels, to Gluhwine and Weissbier.
The scent of roast almonds and chocolate wafting through the market will get even the grumpiest person into the Christmas mood.
You may indulge yourself in Christmas treats here (I couldn’t resist Spanish Churros – yes, they have them too!), browse Christmas gifts and decorations, take some shots with a snowman statue, or jump onto a traditional carousel.
The market is quite big, even with a reduced number of stalls spread out over a larger space due to the pandemic this year. It runs from New Street to Victoria Square. I would highly recommend coming here early in the morning on the weekend or on a weekday when the market is not crammed with visitors.
When: 4 Nov – 23 Dec 2021, 10am to 9pm
Where: Victoria Square and New Street
Christmas Market in Cathedral Square
If you need some extra dose of the Christmas spirit, you should also visit the Christmas Market in Cathedral Square.
You will find many lovely stalls here selling crafts and local products so you can stock up your bag with even more gifts and sweets.
If you are looking for fun, you can climb to the top of the Helter Skelter and slide down straight to the pop-up pub serving Chech beer and mulled wine.
And if that’s not enough, you can stop for another drink at the pop-up pub called Pigeon in the Park. It was designed by experts in TV and film production (you can tell!) and has a lovely terrace with a view over the area.
I loved more local and intimate atmosphere of this market. I also took a glimpse of the interiors of the old St Phillip’s Cathedral.
It’s the 18th-century Baroque parish church and one of the most beautiful buildings in the city centre.
Once you’re here, you can’t miss a chance to take a photo with a lovely snowman, too!
When: 17 Nov – 19 Dec 2021, 11am to 8pm
Where: Cathedral Grounds, Colmore Row
The Snow Village at House of Fraser
Following my visit to the Christmas market in Cathedral Square, I headed to the 5th floor of the House of Fraser store to see the stunning Snow Village.
Entering the Snow Village felt like getting into Narnia through a wardrobe.
It was definitely my favourite attraction in Birmingham. The entry is free, but you can donate money to Birmingham’s Children Hospital.
The whole space was magically transformed into a sparkling and twinkling Christmas imaginary land. It was a photo-perfect setting with magical winter scenery and decorations.
Again, some shots with a snowman are a must!
The Snow Village is one of those places where you really feel immersed in the Christmas atmosphere. You will want to stay there forever!
When: 17 Nov – 23 Dec 2021
Ice Skate and Big Wheel
Ice Skate and Big Wheel are next on my list of the top Christmas attractions in Birmingham. They are both located in Centenary Square, a short walk from the Frankfurt Christmas Market.
I came to Birmingham only for a day and unfortunately didn’t have time to go skating on the ice. But if you are lucky to spend more time in Birmingham, you should definitely give it a go. It’s a covered ice rink so no excuses not to skate even in bad weather.
You can also ride Big Wheel to get a bird’s eye view of the city and take a well-deserved break from your long walks around the markets. Ferris wheels always remind me of the amusement parks of my childhood. There is no way I would have missed out on a ride. It’s always fun and relaxing. But if you want some adrenaline rush and more excitement, you can choose a ride on a 55-metre tall City Flyer instead. It’s located just next to Big Wheel.
A few steps from Big Wheel and City Flyer, you can find the Birmingham Library. It’s one of the most popular attractions in the UK and you can’t leave Birmingham without exploring its interiors.
I walked all its floors and didn’t get bored. The library has a unique high-tech and modern design and is an interesting building to photograph (…and do a book search of course!). You can also go to one of its outdoor terraces for beautiful panoramic views over the city.
Jewellery Quarter Christmas Trail
Jewellery Quarter is a historic and very charming neighbourhood in Birmingham. It is the UK’s centre for jewellery with hundreds of jewellery retailers and designers.
It’s a great place to visit if you are on the lookout for unique and handcrafted jewellery pieces. But even if you are not interested in diamond rings, you will find this area fascinating for a different reason.
There are many beautiful Christmas window displays to explore during the festive season and two gigantic Christmas trees to see. To say nothing of many lovely bars, restaurants and cafes.
I went there late in the evening to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It was romantic to walk along the streets of the Jewellery Quarter illuminated with 100 jewellery themed Christmas lights. I especially liked the huge illuminated diamond ring located in the JQ. Have your camera ready!
There are 12 cute and colourful sculptures of snowmen to find on the Walking with The Snowman Trail in Birmingham this year. They were created as a tribute to Raymond Briggs’ children’s picture book: The Snowman.
The local artists painted all the snowmen based on the carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. Each snowman represents a different element of the song. Needless to say, they are perfect for selfies!
It’s real fun to search for snowmen in different locations across the city. For someone who doesn’t know Birmingham, it’s also a great way to explore the city following the Christmas in Birmingham Map (You can get a map at the Christmas Market).
Where: across Birmingham city centre
When: 17 Nov – 6 Jan, 2022
I hope reading this article made you excited to visit Birmingham this Christmas to soak up the festive atmosphere and celebrate the most beautiful time of the year.