Where to Go Shopping in Birmingham, England

futuristic building of Selfridges Birmingham

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Visitors to Birmingham will want to come prepared with a large shopping budget. The central England city, a thriving destination for history lovers, is filled with impressive retail options, from big department stores to quirky independent shops. The city center is packed with shops and markets, including the historic Birmingham Rag Market, and Birmingham's industrial past has been reworked into hip new shopping centers, like The Custard Factory. Whether you're on the hunt for a new outfit or a unique souvenir, here are the 10 best places to shop in Birmingham.

01 of 10

Bullring & Grand Central

Grand Central Shopping Centre - Birmingham, UK

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Moor Street, Birmingham B5 4BU, UK
Phone +44 121 632 1526

Known as Birmingham's premier shopping destination, Bullring & Grand Central can be found in the heart of the city, filled with shops and restaurants for all types of consumers. The Bullring, a contemporary mall that primarily hosts high street shops, attracts a whopping 36 million shoppers each year, while Grand Central Birmingham is known for its eateries. In total, there are more than 240 different shops, making this an essential first stop for any savvy shopper when visiting Birmingham. Look for special events, like festivals and holiday-themed days, when heading to the retail haven.

02 of 10

Mailbox Birmingham

Shoppers on a walkway over a canal near The Mailbox development in central Birmingham.

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Royal Mail Street, Birmingham B1 1RS, UK
Phone +44 121 632 1000

Mailbox Birmingham, located within a 10-minute walk from Birmingham's main train stations, is a newer development boasting shops, restaurants, and a movie theater. Its main draw is high-end department store Harvey Nichols, but there are plenty of other shops to satisfy most visitors. Look for British favorites like Paul Smith and Gieves & Hawkes then stop by for a bite to eat at Gas Street Social. Popular hotel Malmaison Birmingham can also be found adjacent to Mailbox Birmingham.

03 of 10

City Arcade

shops in a covered English arcade

Courtesy of Visit Birmingham

25 Union Street, Birmingham B2 4TX, UK

For a selection of independent retailers, head to City Arcade, found near Birmingham's city center. The historic arcade, originally built in 1989, is now filled with several shops, as well as vegan eatery Fressh, the trendy bar Tilt, and beauty salon Riley & Carruthers. Even if you don't plan to buy anything, the ornate architecture is worth a look. Around the corner, check out the famous graffiti art on Digbeth Walk.

04 of 10

Birmingham Rag Market

Several rolls of fabric

kaysgeog / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / flickr

Dean Street, Birmingham B5 4RB, UK

Those looking to buy something unique should start at Birmingham Rag Market, an indoor market packed with stalls. It's typically open four days a week (check online for current hours) and there's tons to look at, from independent clothing designers to craft sellers to wholesale fabric and yarn. It's the perfect spot to score a souvenir or a one-of-a-kind gift. The market has technically been around since 1154 and there's a lot of history within the walls. Birmingham Rag Market is part of Bullring Markets, which also includes a fish and meat market and a produce market throughout the week.

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05 of 10

The Custard Factory

Custard Factory Shopping Mall & Creative District Digbeth Birmingham England

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The Custard Factory, 521 Gibb Street, Deritend, Birmingham B9 4AA, UK

Formerly the Bird's Custard factory, Birmingham's hip Custard Factory is a collection of independent retailers, cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as the Mockingbird Cinema. It was first built in 1906 and retains a lot of the original historic touches. Look for Ridding & Wynn, which sells unique homeware and gifts, and the Sara Preisler Gallery, which showcases an array of artwork and jewelry. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy as well, like outdoor cocktail bar, Birdies Bar, or 670 Grams, a cool new spot from up-and-coming chef Kray Treadwell. The Custard Factory is within walking distance of the Bullring and Birmingham's main train stations, making it a good additional stop on any shopping excursion.

06 of 10

Piccadilly Arcade

General view of Piccadilly Arcade in Birmingham city centre.

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Piccadilly Arcade, Birmingham B2, UK

Piccadilly Arcade was once a cinema, first opened in 1910. It was transformed into a retail center in 1925 and now features numerous independent and chain businesses a quick walk away from central Birmingham. Retailers include Cotswold Outdoor, Piccadilly Jewellers and gallery shop Smithsonia. Be sure to grab a coffee at Faculty or sit down for lunch at 16 Bakery.

07 of 10

Selfridges Birmingham

Dusk shot of Selfridges building in Birmingham.

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The Bullring Upper Mall East, Moor Street Queensway, Birmingham B5 4BP, UK
Phone +44 121 600 6629

Selfridges is to England what Bloomingdales is to New York. The original outpost of the posh department store can be found in London but Birmingham's more contemporary edition, which opened in 2003, is a destination in itself. The four floors feature everything from clothes to shoes to makeup to technology to stationary, and there are also numerous treats to be found in the iconic Food Hall. Grab a drink or some food at FUMO, on level four, to sustain yourself before you scour the racks. This is the place to go if you're looking for designer fashion, but the department store also sells more accessible brands, as well as great gifts to take home with you.

08 of 10

Jewellery Quarter

Jewellery Quarter, the Chamberlain Clock

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Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, UK

Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter attracts thousands of visitors to its historical museums and quaint streets, but the area is also ideal for shoppers. There are more than 700 jewelers and independent retailers found in the neighborhood, including lots of cool restaurants and bars. Your best bet is to stroll around the area since there are so many jewelry stores, but if you need help narrowing down the search, try Diamond Heaven, Mitchel & Co or G.L. Bicknell & Sons. While in the Jewellry Quarter, grab lunch at The Button Factory or enjoy a glass of wine at The Rectory, which overlooks St. Paul's Square.

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09 of 10

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

Birmingham Christmas Market
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Embrace the holiday spirit at Birmingham's annual Frankfurt Christmas Market, styled after Germany's popular Christmas markets. It arrives at New Street and Victoria Square each November and typically runs for seven weeks leading up to Christmas. Along with market stalls selling crafts, food, and drinks, there is an ice skating rink and Ferris wheel. The market is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria, making it a must-visit attraction. Don't miss the free live music show, held daily in Victoria Square.

10 of 10

Resorts World Birmingham

Entrance to and exterior of Resorts World, a shopping and entertainment complex: Marston Green, Birmingham, UK

Liz Leyden / Getty Images

Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PU, UK
Phone +44 121 273 1000

Those who love malls will find a lot to enjoy at Resorts World Birmingham, which opened in 2015 several miles east of the city center. It boasts the biggest casino in the U.K., and offers a variety of restaurants, shops, and a movie theater. Retailers include Carhartt, Kurt Geiger, Levi's, making it a good pick for those looking for a bargain. There's also a Nike Factory Store, for those in the market for some new sportswear. Additionally, Resorts World is home to the four-star Genting Hotel.

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Where to Go Shopping in Birmingham, England