Things to do in Birmingham

I’ve always considered it to be massively lacking in terms of things to do, entertainment, popular culture and that. I think part of my prejudice is from spending hours on end stuck in traffic when passing. I’m sure it has more to offer, but whenever i’ve prooerly visited i’ve found it a bit shite.

Always seemed a bit mad that a place so bit could be such a backwater for good music particularly, one or two very recent bands aside, etc.

Good current bands, small and medium sized venues, breweries, good craft ale bars or well-kept traditional boozers, nice restaurants and hidden gem eateries, etc, noteable museums, galleries, independent cinemas, must-see architecture, etc, etc, if you will…

What this thread isn’t for:

  • Serious chat.

  • Londoners getting insecure about Manchester again.

Thanks in advance.


I proof-read that four times as well, ffs.

Catch the train to somewhere else.

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Recreate this video in modern day Birmingham for everyone’s amusement.

Apparently is the second largest city in the UK - so I hear

Birmingham’s great for this stuff.

Museum & Art Gallery is good
O2 Academy for gigs
Would also recommend a visit to Digbeth Dining which is an indoor/outdoor ‘street food’ place in an old industrial unit. Food is really varied and good and there are several bars there as well as music.

i think it gets exactly the correct amount of stick


Electric Cinema near New St Station is good


Depends on your criteria but the new library and the Bull Ring are impressive


Good aquarium.

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Yeah, Birmingham is one of those places that suffered from car-oriented redevelopment post-war, rapid deindustrialisation in the 80s, topped off with the effects of austerity and a focus on the M62 corridor, which has left its city centre a bit lacking in identity when you consider the size of the wider city. Having said that, it’s classical music venues and orchestras are still very good, and it has a bunch of fine galleries, buildings and squares around the city centre.

The Ikon Gallery and around that area (eg Brindley Place) is good for a wander, heading down past Centenary Square (new library), Chamberlain Square (Museum & Gas Hall Gallery), and Victoria Square (Town Hall).

I can’t really tell you about good places to eat or drink though - I’ve not been there in the evenings for well over 15 years.

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I can’t say “Birmingham” without going full “BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRMINGHAM” in the accent.

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I have been to Birmingham three times:

  1. Uni open day. Saw someone vomming at lunchtime.
  2. To see Lou Reed murder a load of songs. On the way back we had abuse hurled at us by some yoots from another platform until our train turned up.
  3. Some meeting in an industrial estate about bus shelters.


did you start your powerpoint with the rolling stones?

I grew up with Birmingham as my nearest big city, but despite having been there loads over the years I still don’t feel in any way familiar with it really. Definitely don’t hate it and sure it’s better if you live there and make the effort to find the good stuff, but it definitely feels like it’s lacking something in comparison to pretty much all the other larger cities in the UK. Think part of that is that it’s harder to find the good stuff by just walking around.

A few pretty good pubs in the Jewellery Quarter and I’ve got a lot of time for The Wellington (really old-school boozer with 15 or so rotating ales) right by New Street. The Academy still seems to get a few gigs, and there’s some independent promoters putting on DIS-style bands at some pretty good, intimate venues outside the centre like the Castle and Falcon and Hare and Hounds. Mates who still have Birmingham as their main city for gigs say numbers playing Birmingham are really declining though, and those that do are often nowhere near sold out. Saw Cloud Nothings at the Castle and Falcon on Saturday and it wasn’t sold out even though they were doing two for £20 tickets (they were shite though, in fairness.)

Also, Moor Street is a fucking gem of a station and genuinely well worth poking your head in at even if you’re not actually getting a train from there. The Marylebone – Moor Street journey with Chiltern is about as nice a journey as you’ll ever have. Good vegetarian café round the back too.

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Pop in and see Rich in Ignite Records in Oasis Market, buy some records. Massive selection.

The wellington in the city centre has some cracking ales. Likewise the anchor in digbeth.

Digbeth dining is a bit hip and expensive, but tasty food. Some good gigs at Mama Roux next door, and centrala round the corner.

Hare & hounds also good for gigs out in Kings Heath, and Polar Bear Records just down the road. A couple of stupidly expensive bars down there also. Few cracking curry joints.

The library is nice to have a chill, and sit up on the roof if the weather is nice. Ikon gallery has some cool things on and always worth checking out. Likewise the mac by the cricket ground is cool, and in a nice park for a stroll. Museum & art gallery is cool also.

some places gigs some decent gigs occasionally happen - Sunflower lounge/Wagon & Horses/the mill/custard factory/muthers studio/hare & hounds/centrala/the victoria/the flapper/o2 institute

Sorry NoahVale but i wouldn’t recommend the 02 academy for gigs to anyone. Horrible venue!

Nice walks around the canals in the city centre, and some nice parks around south birmingham also.


I’ve just moved to Birmingham from Bristol . Brum town love their redmeat carverys and pulled pork sarnies . I will report back with further musings

This was my post in a Brum thread a few years ago. It’s definitely a bit out of date, a few things don’t exist anymore or have moved.

Places to add: Botanical Gardens, Winterbourne House and Gardens, 1847 (fancy veggie food), Damscena (cheap middle-eastern).

forgot there! funny venue. Seeing …trail of dead there on Saturday.

Gigs have always been funny in Birmingham. real odd numbers. Seen some amazing bands with no one there over the years. Off the top of my head Cursed stands out as being a total farce.

Been here for years and never wanted to say “Fuck you, Japes” before