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Fun Things To Do in Birmingham

30 August 2022

If you’re considering Birmingham for university, or you’ve already made the move, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of fun things to do in your downtime. With attractions such as Cadbury World, Botanical Gardens and Aston Hall to choose from, Birmingham might qualify as England’s most underrated city. 

In this article, we’re sharing just 15 of the fun things to do in Birmingham. So, without further ado, here are our top picks, in no particular order! 

 

Meet the animals at Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

If seeing red pandas, wallabies, and adorable otters sounds like a good time to you, make a trip to the Wildlife Conservation Park. 

Located near Cannon Hill Park, just a few minutes from the city centre, the park is a unique collection of animals such as lemurs, antelopes, and the rare European Lynx, which was once native to Britain. 

The highlight? You’ll be supporting the centre’s breeding program for endangered species, which helps preserve animals at risk of extinction in the wild

 

Emerge yourself in technology at Meetspace VR

Dubbed the ‘world’s greatest virtual reality experience’, Meetspace VR is a must-visit for any technology lover. You’ll enjoy hours of fun here with the Zero Latency VR experience, escape rooms, a VR arcade, and an immersive play zone to entertain you. 

As the world’s first multiplayer, free-roam VR arcade, you can team up with fellow players to take down zombies, explore alien worlds and investigate strange happenings on spaceships for a VR experience like no other.  

 

Wander the Botanical Gardens

Spanning fifteen acres, Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens make for an excellent day out. You can expect to find tropical plants, butterflies and tropical birds among the ornamental gardens, indoor and outdoor aviaries, and impressive glass houses. 

The gardens are home to over 1,000 species of plants from tropical & subtropical, Mediterranean, desert, and alpine climates. 

One of the most popular attractions is the butterfly house, full of tropical insects from far-flung locations, including Africa, Central America, and the Philippines. 

 

Get your chocolate fix at Cadbury World

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Satisfy your sweet tooth with a trip to the iconic Cadbury World. 

As Birmingham’s answer to Willy Wonka’s factory, you’ll discover how the famous chocolate is made, the origins of the cocoa, and so much more. 

The experience is pretty hands-on too. From having a go at tempering chocolate to adding your favourite treats to a pot of warm melted Dairy Milk, it’s a fantastic insight into life as a chocolatier. 

 

Wonder Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

If you’re keen to explore the city’s treasures, you’ll want to head to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. As one of the city’s most notable museums, BMAG is home to over 40 galleries housing archaeological finds, cultural items and meaningful artworks. 

Perhaps one of the most significant collections is the pre-Raphaelite paintings. You’ll also find works from the French impressionist and Italian Renaissance eras and artefacts from India, Ancient Egypt, and Central Asia.

 

Browse the charming Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter is the city’s vibrant, history-rich gem. Described as ‘a national treasure’, it’s a jewellery lover’s haven. 

With over 800 businesses, 100 specialist retailers and 50 designer-makers, it’s still the UK’s centre for jewellery. From timeless classic pieces to contemporary designs, expect to find jewellery to suit all tastes and budgets. 

Despite the name, there is more to the jewellery quarter than precious metals and gems. In between shopping, you can retreat to the many pubs or eateries. And that’s not all; once you’ve fuelled up, you can visit the art galleries, museums, and antique shops in the much-loved hotspot

Take the Peaky Blinders Tour

If you like the idea of following in the footsteps of Birmingham’s famous gang, the Peaky Blinders tour was made for you. 

Led by Prof. Carl Chinn MBE – one of the most reputable historians of our time – or Blue Badge guide Dave Fisher, this popular attraction will allow you to walk the very same streets as the Peaky Blinders. During the tour, you’ll stop by the lock-up at Steelhouse Lane, where some gang members were incarcerated, the Gunmakers Quater and more. 

If you enjoy the tour, consider venturing further afield and visit the Black Country Living Museum, home to the TV show’s sets. 

 

Take a trip to Custard Factory

Located just across the river from the Bullring is Digbeth’s hotspot, Custard Factory. Set within 15 acres of beautifully restored Victorian Factories, Custard Factory is home to independent shops, eateries, bars, and the iconic Mockingbird Cinema. 

Once a factory hub and the birthplace of Birds instant custard, the Custard Factory is said to have employed as many as 12,000 people. 

Today, Custard Factory is a melting pot of artwork, culture, and independent venues. In a nutshell, it’s a must-visit. 

 

Experience the famous Villa Park

Whether you take a tour or catch a game, the home of Aston Villa, Villa Park, is a must-visit for football fans. As the home of Villa since 1897, the 42-000 capacity stadium is one of the oldest and most famous venues in world football. 

Regardless of if you watch a game, sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour to watch a match in ultimate comfort at Eighty-Two, the stadium’s plush hospitality suite, you’ll leave impressed. 

 

Tour the famous National Motorcycle Museum

Birmingham’s National Motorcycle Museum is a must-see for all petrolheads. The Bickenhill museum has over 1,000 different motorcycles, making it the world’s largest collection of British motorcycles. 

From an 1898 Beeston Humber Tricycle to modern-day superbikes, the museum strives to preserve pieces of history for future generations, celebrating the nation’s engineering prowess, industry, and excellent work ethic. 

Top tip: book a guided highlights tour to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look courtesy of an experienced guide.

 

Eat until your heart’s content at Digbeth Dining Club

Fear, not foodies, we’ve got another attraction for you! Established in 2021, Digbeth’s Dining Club is one of the UK’s leading street food venues and events operators. 

The much-loved club works with a pool of the county’s best food traders to bring visitors a wide range of dining experiences. From Michelin-star chefs to first-time foodie founders, the Digbeth Dining Club is a real celebration of quality cooking and locally-sourced food. 

Choose from three venues; Herbert’s Yard, Hockley Social Club and The Open Arms, and enjoy!  

 

Experience the city’s homegrown sounds

While Birmingham is somewhat overlooked when it comes to musical talent, there’s much to be enjoyed in the city. After all, it’s given the world the likes of Duran Duran, UB40 and Black Sabbath. 

Immerse yourself in the thriving local music scene, and you could be lucky enough to experience the next big hit. Plus, with so many venues, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Not sure where to go first? Check out The Mill, Night Owl, The Sunflower Lounge or The Jam Café. No matter where you end up, you’re sure to be pleasantly surprised by the homegrown talent of Birmingham. 

Watch the incredible Birmingham Royal Ballet

Speaking of talent, the Birmingham Royal Ballet is packed full of it. As one of the five major ballet companies in the UK, the Birmingham Royal Ballot produces an awe-inspiring show. 

In January 2020, celebrated Cuban dancer, Carlos Acosta, began his tenure as Director. The result? A re-energised choreography featuring plenty of surprises, risks and a modern take on classical ballet. 

 

Explore the historic Aston Hall

Last but certainly not least on our list is the mighty Aston Hall. The Grade I listed Jacobean house, dating back to the 1600s, is one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings. 

As one of Britain’s finest treasures, the history-steeped attraction captures over 400 years of history. Furthermore, with a reputation for being one of England’s most haunted buildings, Aston Hall is also a popular choice among visitors looking to explore the city’s tragic tales and spooky stories.  

If you’re ready to explore the city’s historical and architectural delights, a trip to Aston Hall is a must.

There you have it, just 15 of the fun things to do in Birmingham. As a culturally diverse, history-rich, and charming city, you’ll never be short of things to do in Birmingham. So, whether you’re heading out solo, for a date night or with a group of friends, you’re sure to find something to suit your interests and budget. 

 

Take our word for it; no matter where you end up, you’re sure to have a good time in the welcoming city of Birmingham! Looking for a place to live in the city? Our student accommodation in Birmingham offers the perfect home base to explore.

 

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