I bet you think Birmingham is all dismal grey buildings and noisy roads. Well, Birmingham isnít exactly packed with things to see and doÖ but there are some things that are well worth a visit.
To begin with, to get all those bad thoughts about Birmingham out of your head, go and take a look at the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Itís very close to the centre, and itís been there since 1832 Ė modern life really doesnít intrude into these lovely gardens.
If you like chocolate, youíll love Cadbury World. Itís situated where Cadburyís chocolate started, in Bournville, and itís a huge exhibition about the history of chocolate and the Cadbury company. You can walk around the factory, see the chocolate being made, and even taste some at the end. Sure, itís advertising in a way, but kids absolutely love it.
Another great Birmingham attraction is the National Sea Life Centre. It is one of Britainís largest aquariums, with a million-litre Ďsea tankí where all sorts of sea animals can be seen, including turtles and sharks. A sure-fire family success.
If youíre looking for something a little more grown up, then there are a surprising number of art galleries in Birmingham. Thereís the Ikon, a gallery for modern art, and the Birmingham Museum, which has a good selection of older pieces. Birmingham University has a very good art gallery, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which features many paintings by old masters like Monet and Picasso.
If youíre into trains, make sure to stop by the Birmingham Railway Museum Ė as Birmingham was one of the first places in the world to get railways, many particularly old and notable trains and other railway memorabilia are housed here.
Finally, even if youíve been to Birmingham before, you might not have seen the Millennium Point complex, which only opened in 2002. Itís a leisure complex that includes Thinktank, an excellent science museum, an IMAX cinema and a shopping centre.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of birmingham guides
For more information on Birmingham check out http://www.birmingham-did-you-know.info