Birmingham’s vibrant canal quarter is home to some of the city’s best bars and restaurants, as well as the National Sealife Centre and IKON Gallery. Regular events take place here throughout the year and its location right next to the ICC and NIA makes it ideal for pre- (or post-) concert meals and drinks.
Drift out onto the water and relax in one of the new swan boats on the boating lake at Cannon Hill Park. Available as either two or four seaters, they’re perfect for either romancing couples or fun with the family. Life jackets are provided; all you need to bring is a bit of pedal power!
Get away from it all, without straying far from the city centre, with an amble around this beautiful Victorian reservoir. Running for just over a mile and a half, give yourself a couple of hours to explore and take in the stunning views across the water.
One of just a handful of open-air, salt water lidos left in the country, jump on a train to Droitwich Spa for a fun-packed day in the water with all the family. There are sun terraces for catching rays and a wet play area with water cannons and fountains to keep the kids busy. Open until September 3.
Birmingham really does have more canals than Venice, so a trip aboard a narrowboat through the city’s historic waterways is a must-do for visitors and locals alike. Voyages take around an hour and depart daily from the marina next to Brindleyplace.
Located in Brindleyplace in the heart of the city’s canal network, IKON is one of the UK’s finest contemporary and modern art galleries. Housed in a stunning converted neo-gothic boarding school, entry is free to the regular exhibitions from the cream of the international art world.
With over 80 different theatrically served cocktails on the menu, this decadently decorated canal-side bar can be found beneath Gas Street Social in the city’s upmarket Mailbox mall. Great service, affordable food and a fantastic atmosphere make it the perfect post-sunset retreat.
More great things to do around the city
As the UK's second biggest city, Birmingham has emerged from its industrial past to become a thriving cultural beacon, with plenty of top-notch attactions on offer. So whether you're hunting for trinkets at Birmingham's best museums, fulfilling your childhood fantasy by visiting a chocolate factory, or revelling in the masterpieces at some of our best art galleries, we've got you covered.