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Birmingham City Guide

Birmingham

It’s Britain’s second largest student city, holding five universities within its reach. You’ll be in a 65,000 strong student community and in one of the top ten voted friendliest cities in Britain. Friendly people tend to be happy people, so what’s everyone doing to make them so happy? Probably some of the following:

Culture

Birmingham’s 10,500 year History belongs to Stone Age hunters, Anglo-Saxon settlers and those who lived amongst its transition from market town to Britain’s midland core of industrial power. In fact the Brummy history is as important to the city as its growth in culture and industry and as a student, you’ll be at the centre of it all. In order to step into the city’s story, you could start at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Don’t be fooled, The Library of Birmingham, the biggest public library in Europe, houses more than just a few books. Deemed the ‘cultural heart’ of the city, its ten levels of archives, photography, studio spaces, outdoor amphitheatre, wildflower terraces and architectural excellence are ready to be explored. Look out for its wealth of events throughout the year.

When uni work is getting you down and you’re having difficulty finding that Friday Feeling, get to Symphony Hall for their weekly Jazzlines Free Gigs from 5pm; there’s nothing like some killer keys to have you sliding into your weekend.

The Custard Factory - In its 15 acres, this cultural hyper-hub is the city’s creative and alternative Mecca housing over 500 businesses, independent shops, cafes and restaurants. It also hosts fairs and festivals throughout the year. Take a look at their website for the specifics.

Meet and Eat

Here’s a helpful start to your eateries adventure:

Digbeth Dining Club for street food, DJs and good times. It’s the place to be every Friday and Saturday.

6/8 Kafe - Voted Best Coffee Shop in the Midlands 2017.

Saint Kitchen - great food and great brews.

Damascena - Middle Eastern delights with a delightful price alongside.

200 degrees - cool, quirky, coffee craft. A delicious food menu too.

Urban - Have a look at their TimeOut review, and then go.

Daytime Playtime

When work is getting overwhelming, or by some small miracle you find yourself with some spare moments to fill, it’s important to get out and Birmingham has your back with things to do.

Cadbury World it needs no real explanation. It’s easily accessible by car, bus and train from the city. See the site for details.

Floozie in the Jacuzzi - in Victoria Square, she is one of the largest fountains in Europe, so hard to miss and certainly worth a visit.

Brindley Place, where leisure and pleasure reside. For walks along the canal, in the place of Chocival (yes, that is a festival dedicated to chocolate), markets, and music events, you can easily find yourself passing happy hours here. Look on the site for special offers at their restaurants.

For something a little more active, check out the extensive bike routes, especially by the canals.

Birmingham has a number of great parks to wind down in. Here are a few notable ones:

Cannon Hill Park - ’80 acres of formal parkland and 120 acres of conservation woodland and plantation’, let nature do its work and take away those deadline stresses. You’ll also find a pedalo boating lake, a 36 hole mini golf course, tennis courts, and an art centre.

Lickey Hills Country Park whose many habitats have formed a rich biodiversity in its 524 acres and Sutton Park which encompasses a massive 2400 acres (and wild ponies!)

Getting around Birmingham couldn’t be easier with it’s frequent and extensive transport systems. By foot, designated bike paths, buses and trains, there’s no excuse not to make the most of exploring this diverse and historically abundant city.

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