Commonwealth Games: how to spend 48 hours Birmingham
Catch a free Commonwealth Games event
Over the course of the games there are several events that you can turn up to for free, without a ticket, so you can get even more out of your trip. That includes parts of the marathon, cycling road race, triathlon, para triathlon and mountain biking routes. Take a look at the full list of sports to see what’s happening while you’re here, and make sure you arrive nice and early on the day to bag a good spot.
See more sport at one of the official Festival Sites
As part of the Commonwealth Games fun, there are special sites across the city where you can watch the sporting action on the big screen, including the opening and closing ceremony, alongside lots of live entertainment. Pay a visit to the one in Victoria Square – AKA the beating heart of Birmingham – or the one at Smithfield. This is also the venue for the beach volleyball, basketball 3x3 and wheelchair basketball 3x3 events, so it’s a great tie-in if you’re here for any of these.
Head for dinner in Digbeth
Birmingham has no shortage of places to eat, from Michelin-starred diners to street food stalls. But if you fancy a change of scenery, head out to dinner in Digbeth. This up-and-coming neighbourhood just outside the city centre is home to Digbeth Dining Club, a buzzing weekend street food market. It’s also where you’ll find foodie gems like Original Patty Men, serving up arguably the best burgers in town.
Sip a cocktail at The Lost and Found
After dinner, head for a nightcap at this grand pub and restaurant housed in a former bank. The Lost and Found cocktail menu ranges from house specials like The Bubble Popper and The Tangled Teapot – which looks more like a steaming cup of tea – to sharing cocktails and classic tipples. They do a great bottomless brunch if you’re staying in Birmingham over the weekend, but make sure you book ahead.
Relax at the Botanical Gardens
Woken up needing a break from all that sport? Get a breath of fresh air at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens. The glasshouses are full of rare and exotic blooms you won’t see anywhere else, and the pretty Pavilion Tea Room serves up a great breakfast. And if that all sounds a little too sedate, shop ‘til you drop at the Bullring instead. This vast shopping centre is so full of places to splash the cash that you could easily spend a whole day here before heading home with all those shopping bags.
Planning a trip? Read our Birmingham city guide for more inspiration and get your megabus tickets booked.