As much as I love living in the countryside with it's peaceful greenery I adore a bustling city too. I'm not sure if I could live in one after so long in a tiny village that doesn't even have a shop, but spending a day exploring a city finding little independent shops, wandering around galleries and making pitstops at lovely cafes is one of my favourite things to do when I have some time off.

Birmingham is a city that I have a soft spot for because I've been there so often ever since I was a little girl. My dad was born there so we often went on shopping adventures and to have an amazing balti dinner. It's changed a lot since those days but I still think it's a brilliant place to spend a day or two, so in this post I'm sharing with you some of my favourite spots in the city. If you fancy spending some time there too you can find some great Birmingham hotels here.

I like to start my day out in the city with a bit of am aesthetic treat so my first stop is often a gallery or a museum. I'm a huge fan of the pre-raphaelites so Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is a favourite of mine with it's galleries dedicated to this decadent style of painting. They also have regularly changing exhibitions and some other great permanent collections like The Staffordshire Hoard and some stunning areas celebrating the city's cultural heritage. You can also treat yourself to tea and cake in the Edwardian Tearoom.

Some other culture spots in the city that I love are:

Every explorer needs a sugar hit to keep them going and there's no better to place to get this than Medicine which just happens to be moments from the museum. It's a gorgeous place with baked goods artistically arranged at the top of the stairs which then opens out into a bright and airy gallery space and dining area. Do yourself a favour and grab a cronut and a coffee and take a few minutes to yourself to recharge, then if you're like me grab another treat to take home with you!

Some more of my fave eating and drinking spots are:

The Button Factory - anything off the robata grill is a banger
The Lost and Found - one of six locations in the UK, my favourite dish is the poppyseed battered hake with spiced chips
The Wilderness - I've not actually been here myself yet but everything I hear is very very good!
Gaijin Sushi - Super fresh sushi in a teeny location just like Japanese sushi bars
Opus - The most amazing fish dishes and more from two Brummie babes

I love bringing a few goodies home from my adventures and I'm a self confessed shop-a-holic so I had to recommend a few great places to spend your hard earned cash. I'm a red wine lover but I don't drink vino on the regular, I like to have it as an occasional treat and get something really good. Wine shops can be pretty intimidating places but Loki Wine is the opposite - the team are always really friendly and love sharing their wealth of knowledge to help you find the perfect bottle. The city centre location also has an impressive spirit selection and a beautiful upstairs floor where you can enjoy wine by the glass or join in on a class to further your booze knowledge. 

Some more places where I like to spend my pocket money are:

Swordfish Records - An institution that my dad has been taking me to all my life
Liquor Store - Great quality clothing and homewares with a hidden speakeasy bar in the basement
Kin Home - I basically want all of the ceramics and glassware in this lovely shop!
The Custard Factory - You can't visit Brum without heading to this gem full of shops, cafes and bars
The Electric Cinema - Why not take in a movie at the UK's oldest working cinema while you're here? I love coming to the Electric for special showings of both new and old cult classic films.
The Bullring - Yes it's chain shops but they have a great selection including more high end offerings and in a modern, spacious setting. They even have the only Morphe location other than London for you make up fans like me.

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*This is a collaborative post - the spending money for this day out was gifted by Hotels.Com but all inclusions were chosen by me and all opinions are my own and 100% honest as always. For more information head to my disclaimer page.