An ultra-modern complex, this shopping destination is built on the site of a centuries-old marketplace, continuing Birmingham’s tradition of commerce and ambition.
The Bullring is a historic shopping center that befits Birmingham, which is known as the “city of a thousand trades.” Once a market square that ran a busy trade in meat and horses, the Bullring is now a vast retail complex with an ultra-modern design. Admire its sleek architecture, shop in boutiques and enjoy a snack in the food hall.
When Birmingham first emerged as a major European city, it built its reputation on commerce. The Bullring site, which was named after the grassy area where bulls were baited before slaughter, hosted its first market in the 12th century. As Birmingham grew in importance as a center for textiles, the market changed its focus accordingly. By the 1960s, the Bullring had been developed into one of the world’s foremost enclosed shopping centers.
As you walk around the sleek, modern Bullring of today, keep look for remnants of this glorious past. Admire the statue of Lord Horatio Nelson overlooking St. Martin’s Square. Have your photo taken with the 7-foot (2.2-meter) bronze bull sculpture at the main entrance to the west building.
The Bullring may be historic but by no means is it a museum. With more than 160 shops and some 40 million visitors per year, this retail complex is positively buzzing with action. Shop for all your favorite designer brands, including Swarovski, Hugo Boss and Karen Millen. Admire the architecture of the Selfridges department store, which is covered with 15,000 aluminum discs, inspired by a Paco Rabanne sequined dress.
Wander through the enormous food hall and discover the range of restaurants and cafés. Make sure to stop by Spiceal Street, a historic locale lined with modern eateries.
The Bullring is open every day, with shorter hours on Sundays. The center is easily accessible by bus and train. Ample on-site parking is available for a small fee. Attractions such as Birmingham Town Hall and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery are within walking distance.