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Best museums in Birmingham

Sep 16, 2022
Best museums in Birmingham
Birmingham’s artistic heritage packs ancient and modern wonders, offering a unique combination of past, present and future. It showcases its long-standing history and art, from the jewellery-making era to innovative science and technology.

Art enthusiast, history buff, architecture connoisseur – Brum, as the locals call it, has it all. Here we’ve shortlisted what we think are the best museums and art galleries in this West Midland’s fascinating hotspot.

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Overlooking Birmingham Townhall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is the city’s centrepiece museum, first opened in 1885. Located in a Grade II-listed landmark building, it is home to over 40 permanent collections that showcase applied arts, archaeology, social history and ethnography. Expect ancient Greeks, Egyptian artefacts and beautiful Edwardian tearooms. 
Opening times: From Monday to Friday from 10:00-17:00
Ticket prices: Free entry; some exhibitions may charge
Find out more: https://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag


Travelling to Birmingham with your family? This interactive science museum is great for both children and adults. Found next door to Eastside City Park, it is divided into four floors, each dedicated to a special theme within the science and discovery field. Enjoy a hands-on experience at the Planetarium, visit the Science Garden and walk around the Marine World Gallery.
Opening times: From Monday to Friday from 10:00-17:00
Ticket prices: Adults £14; Children (3-15 yo) £10.25; Concessions £10.25; Children under 3 enter for free; Seniors £12
Find out more: https://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/thinktank

National Motorcycle Museum 

Calling all motorcycle enthusiasts! The National Motorcycle Museum is the largest of its kind in the world, first opened in 1984. It displays more than 1000 British two-wheeled vehicles, from ABC to Zenith. They cover every historical era, from the pioneer, veteran, vintage and post-war. You can also learn about the evolution of motorcycle manufacturing from World War II to today. 
Opening times: From Monday to Friday from 08:30-17:30
Ticket prices: Adults £15; Children £8; Seniors £13; Family £35
Find out more: https://www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk/

The Coffin Works

This is one of Birmingham’s quirkier museums in the Jewellery Quarter. Coffin Work was first opened in 1882 by brothers Alfred and Edwig Newman, who created a business out of building coffin furniture and providing fittings for funerals. They even made fittings for the funerals of Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria.
The business successfully worked for over 100 years until it was closed in 1998. A restoration project was launched to transform the site into a compelling museum that re-opened in 2014. 
Opening times: From Friday to Sunday between 10.45-16.00; Thursdays between 10.45-16:00 for guided tours only
Ticket prices: Adults £8.50; Children (5-16 yo) £4.50; Concessions £7.50; Children under 5 enter for free
Find out more: https://www.coffinworks.org/

Soho House

This elegant Georgian mansion was the home of industrialist Matthew Boulton from 1766 to 1809. It was used as the meeting point for the Lunar Society, with illustrious members including physician Erasmus Darwin and inventor James Watt. Soho House was also used as a hotel, school and hostel for police offers and is today one of Birmingham’s most intriguing museums. 
Opening times: From Wednesday to Sunday between 11.00-16.00
Ticket prices: Adults £7; Children (3-15 yo) £3; Concessions £5; Children under 3 enter for free
Find out more: https://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/soho

Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Lying on the University of Birmingham’s campus, Barber Institute of Fine Arts Gallery is a real treasure. It hosts temporary and permanent exhibitions, with famous masterpieces by Monet and Degas and an extensive collection of sculptures and rare coins - over 16,000! 
Opening times: From Tuesday to Sunday between 10.00-17.00
Ticket prices: Free of charge
Find out more: https://barber.org.uk/
Birmingham boasts a unique cultural and artistic heritage, but that’s not all. If you fancy a refreshing drink, browse our guide to the best cocktail bars . And if you’re up for a bite, don’t miss its diverse culinary scene .