Shopping in Birmingham is a genuine highlight of the city with plenty of different options to choose from. The city is renowned for jewellery, with many fine objects produced in the Jewellery Quarter. 

    High-street shopping along New Street and inside the space-age Bullring shopping mall will please the whole family, while more refined options can be found within the Mailbox’s Harvey Nichols department store. Most of Birmingham’s shopping options are within walking distance too, meaning you can seek out whatever takes your fancy on foot. 

    1

    The Bullring

    Shop for designer gear in Selfridges department store

    The sci-fi-looking Bullring is one of Birmingham’s first modern marvels and is among the city’s best places to shop. Check out the gear of some of Britain’s best designers in Selfridges department store, with plenty of other prominent boutiques from the likes of All Saints and Karen Millen to choose from. High street brands include H&M and Foot Locker.  

    If you’re out and about in central Birmingham, you’re almost guaranteed to come across the Bullring as it’s walking distance from New Street station and surrounded by several other prominent attractions. Come mealtimes, you can choose from French bistro snacks to Asian noodles and plenty in between.

    Location: Moor St, Birmingham B5 4BU, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

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    photo by John Horton (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Birmingham Rag Market

    Explore the indoor and outdoor sections

    The Rag Market has been a fixture of Birmingham for generations, although it looks rather more modern following a complete refurbishment in the early 2000s. Thankfully, the echoing calls of shop traders and plenty of budget shopping still remain. 

    Don’t miss the chance to browse the 350 stalls at Birmingham’s Rag Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Snap up vintage 1950s shirts, bridal fabrics, unusual hats and even retro toys at this eclectic Birmingham shopping spot. The outdoor section of the market hosts rows of fresh produce. 

    Location: Edgbaston Street, Birmingham, B5 4RB, UK

    Open: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1213 030208

    Map

    photo by Chellbie (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Jewellery Quarter

    Browse the shops and soak up the history

    • Shoppers
    • Couples
    • History
    • Luxury

    This close-knit community of 150 jewellers and craftspeople lets you experience the industrial heritage of Birmingham. It’s said that up to 40% of Britain’s jewellery business is traded through this enclave of manufacturing on the northern edge of the city centre. You can easily walk to the Jewellery Quarter from New Street station in less than 20 minutes or take the train 1 stop to Jewellery Quarter station. 

    Interspersed between specialist jewellery shops, you’ll find pubs, museums, art galleries, auctioneers, and other boutiques specialising in everything from wedding arranging to home furnishings. The Jewellery Quarter Festival takes place every July, featuring live music, parades, and lots of shopping opportunities.

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    photo by Brian Clift (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    Great Western Arcade

    Stunning Victorian arcade lined with boutique stores

    • Shoppers
    • History

    The Great Western Arcade is a popular shopping spot for fashion, accessories and high-end whiskies. More than shopping, you can revisit Birmingham’s majestic Victorian heritage at the elegant Great Western Arcade, which dates back to 1876.

    Admire fine art at Temple Gallery, treat yourself to artisan chocolate at Chouchoute Chocolaterie and splash out on high fashion at Jaeger. At the northern end of Great Western Arcade, you‘ll find some of Birmingham’s finest restaurants along Colmore Row and the beautiful view of St Phillip’s Cathedral.

    Location: 23-24 Colmore Row, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham B2 5HU, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9.30 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 5.30 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1212 275119

    Map

    photo by Tony Hisgett (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Mailbox

    Luxury shopping in Birmingham

    • Food
    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Luxury

    The Mailbox – the old central post office – features high-end restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, and the BBC television studios. There’s also a row of around 20 venues serving fancy drinks and dishes from across the globe. 

    The biggest draw for shopping at The Mailbox is the world-renowned department store, Harvey Nichols, where you will find many designer brands. You can enjoy contemporary art in The ArtLounge gallery, luxury interiors in the Aga Shop or designer fashions in Hugo Boss at the canal-side Mailbox mall in central Birmingham. After a spot of window-shopping, lunch on classic British cuisine in Pennyblacks or Japanese teppanyaki at Shoguns.

    Location: 7 Commercial St, Birmingham B1 1RS, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1216 321000

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    photo by Bs0u10e01 (CC BY 3.0) modified

    6

    Grand Central

    Shopping in Birmingham’s main train station

    Grand Central is found within New Street Station, Birmingham’s major transport hub. It’s always bustling and there’s a fantastic range of high-street shopping and trendy dining options to enjoy. The large John Lewis anchor store is perhaps the biggest draw in Grand Central, a British department store full of clothes for all the family along with home furnishings.

    Grand Central is in the very centre of Birmingham, connected to New Street and The Bullring to make one of Britain’s finest shopping districts. You can spend the whole day here and still not see everything.

    Location: Grand Central, Birmingham B2 4BL, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)3458 358181

    Map

    photo by Alex Liivet (CC BY 2.0) modified

    7

    Birmingham Christmas Market

    The largest Christmas Market outside of Germany

    The Birmingham Christmas Market has been a mainstay in the city for many years and it continues to grow in size and scope every year. In fact, it’s now the largest Christmas Market outside of Germany! 

    Officially known as the Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham, it runs from early November right up to Christmas. Have your fill of schnitzels and bratwursts, drink hot chocolate and Glühwein (mulled wine), before browsing the 80 different shops and stalls to pick up a whole range of artisanal presents – from toys to jewellery and plenty of kooky homeware.

    Location: Birmingham B3 3AA, UK

    Open: Late November–23rd December from midday to 11 pm

    Map
    8

    Resorts World Birmingham

    Discount shopping next to Birmingham Airport

    • Shoppers
    • Budget

    Resorts World Birmingham is home to several clearance stores so you can bag some absolute bargains here. Located next to Birmingham International Airport in the east of the city, outlets include sports brands Nike, New Balance and Skechers, jeans company Levis, and high street fashion brand Next. Discounts vary from 20% off up to 80% in rare cases, however, most reductions are more modest.

    There are several hotels surrounding Resorts World Birmingham, making it a popular place to shop for travellers having a short layover in Birmingham. A casino, several restaurants and a cinema are other attractions available at Resorts World.

    Location: Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PU, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1212 731000

    Map

    photo by Vauxford (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Custard Factory

    Funky, fashionable shopping in Birmingham’s creative district

    • Food
    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife
    • Budget

    Custard Factory is a bustling creative and digital hub with independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants in the restored Victorian Factories near the Bullring. Many notable businesses had shops in the district, including North One Television, Punch Records, the Gadget Show, ASOS.com, Codemasters, Powershop, and Rhubarb Radio.

    In addition to the diverse shopping, the 6-hectare Custard Factory also has unique sculptures and artwork and dance music events. From vinyl records to second-hand clothes and 20th-century antiques, the atmospheric Sunday Flea market is a veritable treasure trove for vintage shoppers. The market kicks off at 11 am every Sunday.

    Location: Gibb St, Deritend, Birmingham B9 4AA, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm

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    photo by HelenCobain (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    New Street

    Birmingham’s main shopping street

    New Street is the main shopping street in Birmingham, lined with famous brands on either side. It’s fair to say you can find pretty much everything you expect to find on the high street here, from a new suit to a new phone. This area of Birmingham is the city at its bustling best.

    Popular shops found along New Street include Urban Outfitters, Clarks' shoe store and a large Apple store. If you get hungry, there’s a huge number of coffee shops and restaurants to choose from. We usually opt for one of the eateries in Grand Central that is halfway along New Street.

    Location: New Street, Birmingham, UK

    Map

    photo by Rept0n1x (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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