When you google “City of canals”, guess what shows up? Venice. But actually, Birmingham, in England, has more miles of canals than Venice or Amsterdam This is Britain’s second largest city, only after London Hello everyone! Today I’m bringing you on a walk to the main areas of the city centre of Birmingham in England You’re going to be able to see what are the things to do in Birmingham and how you can enjoy the city I love how easy and great it is to walk here There are so many pedestrian streets full of shops, restaurants, entertainment Everything seems to be interconnected and easy to reach This is Cathedral Square and the Cathedral here is one of the oldest buildings in the city still used for its original purpose The construction finished in 1715, which makes this more than 300 years old And until 1859 they used to bury people here in the church yard More than 60 thousand people were buried here During summer, ‘Brummies’ relax on the grass, enjoy the sun… it’s nice! So now let’s walk to another nice square in town Victoria [Renata] Were you trying to scare the birds?
[Gordon] Yeah Well, it didn’t work! Here we are, just five minutes away This square is named after Queen Victoria And here you can see two of the most beautiful historical buildings in Birmingham This is the Council House, which is the seat of the local government And over there, the Town Hall, which is a concert hall During the Victorian England, various monumental town halls were built all over England, but this was the first Also this building revives the Roman architecture with the columns, do you see? And it was the first significant construction in the 19th century to do that Museum and Art Gallery… Look at that, free entry This is New Street, one of the most famous streets in Birmingham If you go straight here you arrive at the Bullring, which is a major commercial area Actually, that’s where we’re ending this downtown tour, later But first Look at this now, Centenary Square Three very important and modern buildings Symphony Hall and the Convention Center over there And right here, the Library This is the largest public library in Europe. A million printed volumes, pretty impressive Inside the Convention Center From here we reach the canals and it’s a whole new place To explain the importance of the canals here, let’s go back a few centuries Birmingham was in the heart of the Industrial Revolution, which led to trades, to growth,… And as a consequence, all this that we see today The canals saw the beginning of it all and contributed for that So, traditionally they were associated with this industrial past, but look at it now It’s one of the nicest areas in Birmingham This is how it was in the beginning and with all the changes they made, how nice it became You can come here for a stroll, to enjoy a nice meal, for a canal cruise Here they’re famous for these narrow boats, this is really the name, ‘Narrowboat’ We’re going for an hour long tour It’s so interesting that the boats are covered like this This means that you can have a tour no matter the weather Look at how narrow this passage is here Now I understand why the boats have to be narrow The audio guide explains what we’re seeing and how the canals were used Each company back then had a different color for their boats. It was part of their branding Marketing 101 Thank you very much! All right, cheers, bye! So many options here to eat. I’m gonna choose somewhere now [Gordon] Outside? Inside or out? Let’s go outside. Let’s go. Hi! [Waitress] A seat for a drink?
[Gordon] No, for lunch [Waitress] For lunch? Yeah?
[Renata] Yeah Very nice, very nice place to sit down, have a meal, look at this! They have Balti here, we’ll have to try this Probably next time [Waitress] Thank you so much
[Renata] Thank you Thank you [Gordon] You got two beef patties and it’s juicy
[Renata] Yeah! [Gordon] Oh yeah! This is huge! Our first meal in Britain had to be fish and chips Let’s go up real quick to see Broad Street This is Birmingham’s party street, where bars, restaurants, pubs are located [Man] How lovely is she?
[Gordon] Lovely! [Renata] Very! Back to the canal! If you want to come for a stroll the best area is between Brindleyplace and the Mailbox, a high-end shopping center An 8 minute walk from the Mailbox and here we are, at another historical area These are the Back to Back houses. This is how people lived a hundred years ago Do you see how small the houses are? This totally reminds me of Peaky Blinders, the TV show. It’s in Birmingham! There are only 11 of these remaining here in Birmingham, and they did something so cool They opened up two of them for people to stay like an Airbnb I checked to see if one of them would be available during this time, but no. Someone is staying there We’re almost ending the tour and some people will say I saved the best for last This is Saint Martin’s Square, about seven minutes from the Back to Back houses And this is Saint Martin in the Bullring It’s a church and Bullring is the name of this area here But for a city with such historical importance, you don’t see a lot of historical attractions in the city center In fact, most of the city center was destroyed during World War II Birmingham overcomes this mainly with arts and shopping. Shopping here is considered the best in the UK outside of London And this is what this area is all about Welcome to the Bullring! I just saw a jewelry store there and remembered. Birmingham is also very famous for jewelry Actually, 40% of the jewelry in the entire UK are made here. There’s even a place here called Jewelry Quarter, with more than 100 jewelers Lots of shops and even a museum When you hear ‘bullring’ what comes to mind? A bull, right? There he is. The symbol of Birmingham An important British newspaper – The Independent Recently listed the world’s top ten public works of art and the bullring bull is right there Bullring is a major commercial area of central Birmingham In one shape or another it has been a market basically since the Middle Ages And today it is so full of shops here Outdoor, indoor, there’s an open market Hello! [Driver] Renata!
[Renata] Yep! So to close the day we left the city center and came to an area here called The Balti Triangle, which is famous for Balti, of course. This is a dish inspired by dishes from India and Pakistan And Birmingham is actually considered the Balti capital of England, as the dish was invented here in the seventies There are some fifty restaurants where you can try this here [Waiter] Are you OK with the spice?
[Gordon] Medium… mild [Waiter] Try this one then Thank you! So what is yours, again? Lamb Happy face! Seriously, this was the best dish I’ve tried in a long time My dish was mild, not very spicy. And it was a mix of chicken with cashew nuts and this cream It was delicious! When you come to Birmingham, you have to try Indian food. That’s the thing here [Driver] Thank you! And have a good night!
[Renata] Thank you! You too! I’m here in the UK to visit several destinations, ending in London So subscribe, if you want to see more of England In the next two vlogs, two amazing day trips from Birmingham. One has to do with a castle and the other with Shakespeare Hit the bell to be among the first ones to see It is so cool to be here seeing these historical houses, especially if you watch Peaky Blinders because the show is in Birmingham But, you know, don’t worry. You can actually understand what people say here! Their accent is not that strong