Culture in Birmingham – Galleries & Museums

There are hoards of art galleries and museums in the city of Birmingham, suiting all tastes and styles – art from the classic to the contemporary, interactive science museums and, even, a historic jewellery workshop.

The most popular museum in Birmingham has to be The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Famous for its art collections that span over 40 galleries, this museum will take you across the ages as well as across the world. Home to the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and currently exhibiting the Staffordshire Hoard, The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is a must-do for those who are passionate about British and European history. The museum hosts talks and temporary exhibitions throughout the year so be sure to check out what’s on when you’re next visiting Birmingham.

For those who prefer their art to be from this century, pop into Ikon, one of Europe’s finest contemporary art galleries. With art —including sculpture, installations, film, photography and painting— from around the world, Ikon creates an environment where art is interactive and ignites conversation and debate… so there’s none of that usual hush that you get in traditional galleries! What’s more, admission is free!

The Custard Factory is another corner of Birmingham where contemporary artists showcase their work. Although not quite a gallery, this is a destination for all things creative. The Custard Factory allows the public and artists to chat about the pieces – you may even be able to buy your favourites – as well as pop into independent shops, bars and restaurants to really soak up the hip and cool vibe in this alternative hotspot.

For something unique, make sure to head to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter – a lively part of the city that dates back over 250 years. Steeped in history, the Jewellery Quarter is recognised as a designated conservation area that has over 200 listed buildings and is described as an English ‘national treasure’ by English Heritage. There’s more than enough to explore; tours, events, pavements trails, and shopping are all available to do in this integral part of Birmingham.