Welcome to Birmingham, known as the first manufacturing town in the world and home to The Peaky Blinders!
Being one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, it’s no wonder Birmingham is a super popular destination for students to study in.
There’s always new fab bars popping up, with plenty of shops to visit with your pals for a cheeky splurge!
If you’re a student living in this cultural city, you’re in luck, because there’s a whole bunch of cool things to see and do in Birmingham with your mates, guaranteed to make your student experience memorable.
We’ve done our research and compiled a list of 8 things you need to see whilst studying here, you won’t regret it, we promise!
1. Narrow Boat Tour
Fun fact! The city of Birmingham actually has more canals than Venice, a whole 35 miles compared to the Italian city’s 26.
If that doesn’t persuade you to take a narrow boat tour through the city, we don’t know what will!
Taking a tour will give you a look into Birmingham’s industrial past, and a chance to view the city in an entirely different way.
The luxury narrow boats are from the canal side next to the International Convention Centre, and will only cost you £8, what a bargain!
Each trip is on weekends only, throughout November, January, February and March with a duration of around 65 minutes.
This is a perfect activity to do with your pals, your family, or a loved one if you’re feeling extra romantic, oh la la! If you’re staying in our Kensington House property, take a stroll down the canal, starting by the Canal House, and the ICC will be only a short walk away.
2. Cadbury World
Calling all chocoholics, if you’re a sucker for a sweet treat, Cadbury World is one of the things you absolutely need to see whilst studying in Birmingham!
You might not meet any Oompa Loompa’s, but you can definitely get your fair share of free choc, what more would a student want?
Enjoy a self-guided exhibition tour with a selection of chocolate bars to keep you going, and see a full-scale replica of the street where John Cadbury first opened his shop in 1824!
Get a glimpse of the chocolatiers working their magic and try not to drool too much and top off your day with a yummy cup of warm Dairy Milk liquid.
Cadbury World is a 15-minute stroll from Bournville Station, or you can grab the bus there which takes around 30-minutes. If you’re staying at our luxury 800 Bristol Road accommodation, you really don’t have an excuse – less than 15 mins on the 11C bus line and you could be eating your weight in delicious Cadbury chocolate.
Are you hungry yet? Because we are!
3. The Custard Factory
Let’s step back in time, this 15-acre area of riverside factories was built over 100 years ago by Sir Alfred Bird, the inventor of custard!
The former factories have now been restored into an inner-city neighbourhood with green space, sculptures and fountains.
Now home to digital enterprises, a thriving independent music scene as well as quirky independent retailers, around 5,000 people work in The Custard Factory Quarter.
You’ve got to check out the theatre, cafes, art galleries, and TV studios too because The Custard Factory is just a generally cool place you need to visit. Take a stroll around the back streets for some cool graffiti (and come again and again, they always change) or enjoy popular venues NQ64 and Birdies.
It’s also home to the popular nightclubs Warehouse and The Monastery, which we’re sure you’ll be visiting at some point during your time studying in Brum!
4. Digbeth Dining Club
Super close to The Custard Factory is Digbeth Dining Club, known for its tantalising street food with plenty of deliciousness on offer!
Founded in 2012, this place is one of the Midland’s most unique food venues, hosting Michelin-star chefs to enthusiasts who just love food.
Their aim is to provide a platform for the best street food retailers and let the food do the talking!
5. Shop Til’ You Drop At The Bull Ring
If you love shopping then a spree at the Bullring is one of the things you certainly must do while you’re in the Second City. The contemporary building is a state-of-art piece by itself, and one of the symbols of modern Brum. It was the busiest shopping center in the UK in 2004, surpassing even London!
The Bullring is home to Selfridges, Debenhams, and countless high-end stores and boutiques, meaning you’ll always find the latest fashion trends as well as generous discounts throughout the year. For a tasty meal or some of the best nightclubs in Brum, following a day of shopping, Birmingham’s famous China Town is just around the corner.
On a regular year, the Bullring also hosts one of the most popular student shopping events in the country – the Student Night Sessions, which treats students to discounts of up to 40% on shopping, food and drink as well as exciting freebies throughout the event.
Make sure to check regularly for the next one!
6. Villa Park
This 42,000-capacity stadium has been home to Aston Villa since 1897, with a fabulous atmosphere to match.
Enjoy a stadium tour for £15 on a weekend, or £18 on a weekend, and imagine the roar of the crowd as you emerge from the players’ tunnel!
Even if you’re not a massive footy fan, Villa Park is a must-see when studying in Birmingham, to get to know this vibrant city.
For an extra treat, you could make a day of it and choose the option for a Sunday tour with a spot of lunch, very nice! The Villa park is just a half-an-hour train ride away from the Canalside student accommodation.
7. Escape Hunt
If you fancy an adrenaline rush, you need to finish Escape Hunt Birmingham, where you can choose your mission, solve puzzles, and complete challenges before the time runs out!
You can choose between an escape room or a 3D world in virtual reality at Birmingham Central or Birmingham Resorts World.
Missions include Alice In Puzzleland, A Dalek Awakens, Blackbeard’s Treasure, The Fourth Samurai, and many more!
You can even play along at home if you don’t fancy leaving the comfort of your own student accommodation, another bonus of Escape Hunt Birmingham.
8. Ghetto Golf
Did someone say golf and cocktails? Ghetto Golf in Birmingham offers an 18-hole mini-golf experience, with moreish cocktails to go with it!
Located in the edgy Custard Factory, Ghetto Golf is littered with graffiti and incredible artwork.
With a DJ present playing all your fave tunes and drinks flowing, you’re bound to have a blast at Ghetto Golf, because what’s better than getting competitive with your mates?
Did you know? Ghetto Golf is actually a ‘Sprayground’ for graffiti writers, with golf courses built into buses, shop fronts, film studios, and even pubs!
It allows authentic street writers to express themselves without damaging property, pretty cool right?
It’s safe to say, visiting Ghetto Golf with your pals would be a night to remember, with plenty of drinks and laughs.