As the second largest city in England, Birmingham is largely known for its industrial heritage. In fact, thanks to the genius of James Watt, who patented the steam engine, the Industrial Revolution began here in the mid-eighteenth century. But the city is far more diverse than many realise. With a number of fine museums, art galleries, and a division of the Royal Ballet, Birmingham is one of England's top cultural centres, second only to London. And with the new National Exhibition Centre, the city is now a big draw for convention goers. Leisure visitors should visit the Jewellery Quarter, which produces a third of England's jewelry; as well as the famous Cadbury World, which began making chocolate in 1824. Also check out the historic Bull Ring market; and Victoria Square, home to one of the largest fountains in Europe.
The Birmingham restaurant scene has all the usual national chains and fast food joints, but also some superb locally owned restaurants and ethnic restaurants. And when the sun goes down, Birmingham gets its second wind. Enjoy great nightlife and an excellent selection of clubs and bars. And no matter the time of year or the day of the week, the Birmingham events calendar has always something fun going on.