Ten things to do as our City of Culture year begins

A neon pink mural of a child praying with electric sparks behind him

Today marks a huge milestone for Coventry - dreamed of by so many for so long - as we officially begin our year as UK City of Culture.

We're very excited to share many of the ways you can start to experience City of Culture from today as well as announcing the premier of a new film, Timeless Words Made New.

Here's a quick roundup of some of the things you can do around the city as the year gets underway. 

1. Pick up some merch in our new shop 
Our shop on Hertford Street is now open seven days a week selling branded merchandise, products by local makers and tickets. Pop down and say hello!

2. Uncover a city, awash with colour
If it's been a while since you visited, things are looking a lot more colourful in the city centre. Coventry City Council have been working with artists to design and install new artworks in the City Centre. Our favourites have to be by Morag Mysercough on Hertford Street and Matt Chu on Pepper Lane. 

3. Discover new spaces with In Paint We Trust and Show Windows
Head down to Bishopsgate to see a stunning neon artwork by David Speed (pictured), and spot Cov as Oz, by Ben Javens across the road at the Transport Museum. Make your way to The Watch Centre in Hillfields to check out an incredible new piece by N4T4 designed with local Police Community Support Officers and Primary Schools.

4. Visit the Belgrade Theatre after its multi-million pound makeover
The brand new cafe bar is now open and tickets are on sale for April in Paris(17 - 19 May) and Like There's No Tomorrow (online 19 May - 13 June).

5. Return to live theatre at Warwick Arts Centre
The Language of Kindness (20 - 22 May) is based on Christie Watson's bestselling memoir and is a joy-filled celebration of nurses and front-line healthcare workers.

6. Enjoy incredible art in Coventry Cathedral
Visit the Ruth Borchard Collection's Self-Portrait Prize (17 May - 28 June), the only art competition of its kind to focus exclusively on self portraits. The Cathedral is also hosting Concrete Collar (17 May - 30 June), an exhibition by Tom Illsley featuring photographs of Coventry Ring Road. 

7. Drop in to the new Visitor Information Centre and say hello to our City Hosts
Our City Hosts will be out and about from Monday welcoming you back to the city, and the new Visitor Information Centre at Friargate is now open to help you get back up to speed with what's on.

8. Explore Coventry's recent past and bright future at the Music Museum 
With Ghost Town 2 Host Town (from 20 May), the Coventry Music Museum will track the city and its boom time from post-Second World War to our winning bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. Don't miss your chance to sit in the original Ghost Town car.

9. Have the ultimate staycation the Coventry Telegraph Hotel
The iconic Coventry Telegraph Hotel opens its doors on 17 May and will be bringing 1950s glamour to the city centre. Stay overnight or have dinner at the new Forme & Chase restaurant in this fantastic new venue, brought about due to City of Culture.

10.  Listen to poetry under the trees
Observations on Being will be taking place in London Road Cemetery from 22 June. Head out now and explore the beautiful location beforehand with an audio walking tour from Historic Coventry Trust. Featuring poetry by Emilie Lauren Jones and a soundscape by sound artist Tim Seeley, directly inspired by the landscape.

We're just getting started, there's so much to come as our UK City of Culture year gets underway and as restrictions continue to lift. 

See you soon!