With its tree lined streets and historic architecture, Birmingham is one of Alabama’s most enchanting cities. It was once the beating heart of America’s iron and steel industry and is also known for its prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement. The historic downtown core is dotted with fantastic bars and restaurants, as well as inspired urban renewal projects. Birmingham is also home to a handful of universities and colleges which give the city an upbeat, energetic feel.
Things to do in Birmingham
Downtown Birmingham is a great place for a stroll, stopping to admire historic buildings and important civil rights sites along the way. The trendy Loft District is home to some of Birmingham’s best bars and restaurants while cobblestone Morris Avenue is lined with art galleries and antique shops.
For a glimpse into the city’s past don’t miss the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The Birmingham Museum of Art is another cultural highlight, with a stunning sculpture garden featuring works by Rodin, Botero and Dali.
Once a keystone of Birmingham's iron economy, the Sloss Furnaces are now listed as a National Historic Landmark. A small museum showcases its history, though the real highlight is wandering around the abandoned workshops, production lines and towering smokestacks.
Birmingham may be small, but it maintains some great public parks. Vulcan Park is the city’s flagship green space and is watched over by world's largest cast-iron statue. Railroad Park is another urban oasis located in the heart of downtown Birmingham.
Getting around Birmingham
In the downtown core, walking is the best way to soak up the atmosphere. Local buses are also a quick and easy way to get around Birmingham. The city runs a great bike share programme with stations dotted across the city. If you’re heading to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, the drive should take around 10 minutes.