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23 Best Things to Do in Birmingham, UK – a Local’s Guide [2024 edition]

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Looking for the top things to do in Birmingham today?

Birmingham is one of England’s most vibrant and diverse cities. The UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham (known by the locals as Brum), offers visitors a huge array of attractions and activities to enjoy.

Families in particular will find an abundance of kid-friendly things to do in Birmingham to keep the little ones entertained for hours.

From world-class museums and galleries to fascinating heritage sights, thrilling theme parks to peaceful gardens and parks, Birmingham packs plenty of varied and diverse things to see and do for everyone.

Planning your trip? Use my favorite resources!

🏨 Accommodation: I recommend Booking.com
✈️ Flights: for the cheapest flights, I use Skyscanner
🚗 Rental Car: I recommend Discover Cars
🛡️ Travel Insurance: for the best deals I rely on SafetyWing

Birmingham Essentials Checklist:

✅ A good quality raincoat (it tends to rain a lot in the UK)
✅ A decent pair of walking shoes (there’s a lot of walking in this city)
✅ A hoodie or warm sweater (to wear under your jacket, it can be cool or chilly here)
✅ A good quality compact camera (for taking great pics)

And with so many free and budget-friendly attractions, you can experience the best of Birmingham without breaking the bank.

Birmingham is currently seeing an influx in tourism thanks to the hit TV drama Peaky Blinders, based on the real-life gangsters that dominated the Gas Street Basin region in the early 20th Century.

Being a Brummie myself (the term for a lifelong Birmingham local), means I know the city like the back of my hand, so I can recommend all the best spots to visit, where to find the hidden gems, and all the top things to do in Brum.

🌆 Do you like Peaky Blinders? Then this offer is for you!

The tour gives you an opportunity to learn about the history of gangs in Birmingham and other cultural and historical facts about this city. Plus, a distant cousin of the real-life Birmingham Gang will show you around the city and teach you the ropes of being a Peaky Blinder. Don’t miss such a unique opportunity!

👉 Overview:

Short on time? Though I thoroughly enjoyed all the activities here, these stand out as my top personal picks in Birmingham:

📍1: Cadbury World

Get an inside look at the history and making of Cadbury chocolate – the UK’s favorite chocolate, at one of the region’s most popular attractions. Don’t miss the tasting room! Book your tickets HERE

📍2: National SEA LIFE Centre

One of the city’s hottest attractions: SEA LIFE is home to over 2,000 sea creatures. Features interactive displays and underwater tunnels for 360-degree views of the deep. Book your tickets HERE

📍3: Walking Tour of Gas Street Basin and Canals

Take a walking tour along the Victorian canals of Gas Street Basin where the Peaky Blinders once ruled and discover the cultural heritage and industrial history of Birmingham. Book your walking tour HERE.

There are four categories of places to visit I want to highlight in this article:

➡️ 19 General Things to do in Birmingham
➡️ Other things to see and do around Birmingham
➡️ What to do in Birmingham when it’s raining
➡️ Free things to do in Birmingham

Let’s examine each of these top activities in Birmingham more closely, and see why they suit different visitor interests and personalities.

Top 23 Things to Do in Birmingham England

The ultimate locals guide to all the most fun things to do in Birmingham for adults, kids, families and couples, what to do in Birmingham today, and more.

Let’s examine each of these top activities in Birmingham more closely, and see why they suit different visitor interests and personalities.

1. The Custard Factory & Street Art Scene

The Custard Factory is home to a range of independent shops, cafes and bars as well as a variety of creative and digital businesses.

photo of the street down the center of the custard factory

The site was originally a large factory complex built by Alfred Bird, the 19th century inventor of egg-free custard.

One of the best things you can do in the city is explore Digbeth – home to Birmingham’s growing street art scene – there are countless murals and wall art of all sizes all over the district: on old factory buildings, in the hidden alleyways, on the bridges and archways.

The beauty of this place is that new murals and artwork are being spray-painted all the time, often replacing/overlapping existing murals, which means the region is constantly visually changing on a weekly basis.

Personally, this is one of my favorite Birmingham sightseeing activities as there is always something new and different to see every time I’m there. Digbeth is truly one of the hidden gems in Birmingham for tourists.

If you’re a fan of vibrant, impressive and politically-charged graffiti art like myself, this is a place well worth checking out. You can book tickets for a guided city tour of Birmingham here:

📍 The Custard Factory (Google Maps location)
Admission: Free
Opening times: Mon – Fri: 8am til 5pm
How to get there: from Grand Central: 12-minute walk down to Digbeth. By bus – numbers 2, 3, 4A, 5, 6, 17, 60 and 97 stop in Digbeth (10 mins journey)

Digbeth street art
Digbeth street art 2

2. Discover Cadbury World

For chocolate lovers, a trip to Cadbury World is a must on any list of things to do in Birmingham with kids.

bright purple cadbury world main entrance sign

Situated in the city’s southern district of Bournville, Cadbury World is one of the major tourist places in Birmingham.

Get an inside look at the iconic chocolate company on this self-guided museum tour. Walk through interactive zones tracing the history and evolution of the Cadbury brand. See how deliciously smooth Dairy Milk chocolate bars are made, watch the pouring of molten chocolate, and smell the enticing aromas.

👉 Pro Tip: Book tickets ahead of time online during peak seasons. Make sure to grab a warm melted chocolate drink and stock up on discounted chocolate in the gift shop!

You’ll discover the origins of the cocoa bean amidst the trees and waterfalls of the Aztec jungles, add to that magical Cadabra rides, a 4D Chocolate Adventure zone, and free chocolate for all, its easy to see why Cadbury World is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Birmingham.

📍 Cadbury World (Google Maps location)
Admission: from £18.95. Book your tickets HERE
Opening Times: Mon – Fri: 10am til 3pm | Sat & Sun: 9:30am til 4pm
How to get there: from Grand Central, the train to Redditch stops at Bournville station. Bus numbers 61, 63, 11A and 48 take 35 minutes and stop at Chapel Lane. By car – it’s 25 minutes.

3. The National SEA LIFE Centre

Within the Brindleyplace development along Birmingham’s picturesque canal network, you’ll find SEA LIFE Birmingham, home to over 2000 beautiful, fun and cheeky sea animals. It’s among the city’s top indoor attractions for families.

national sea life centre front view

SEA LIFE Birmingham is very hands-on and interactive for kids. Touch pools, puzzle trails and virtual reality experiences make it entertaining as well as educational. Check out talks and feeding demonstrations to learn about the animals.

A perfect day out for all, the SEA LIFE Centre is not only one of the most popular family-friendly activities in Birmingham, its also ranked one of the best aquariums in Britain! It’s easily one of the must-see attractions of Birmingham.

📍 National SEA LIFE Centre (Google Maps location)
Admission: £19 (Order your tickets here:)
Opening times: Mon – Fri: 10am til 4pm | Sat: 10am til 6pm | Sun: 10am til 5pm
How to get there: from Grand Central, the metro takes you to Library in 14 minutes. On foot it’s 19 minutes, and by car is 11 minutes.

4. Stroll around the Jewellery Quarter

No visit to Birmingham is complete without exploring the historic Jewellery Quarter and seeing master craftspeople at work. A former industrial district, the Jewellery Quarter is home to over 100 retailers, diamond dealers, and workshops, as well as the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, and the Coffin Works.

An 18th Century church sits in the centre of St. Paul’s Square, and the surrounding area is rejuvenated with Indie stores, trendy bars, chic cafes and art galleries, along with modern Indian, Spanish and Italian eateries.

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

Muesum Of The Jewellery Quarter

A perfectly preserved 18th-century jewellery workshop that offers a unique glimpse into working life in the Jewellery Quarter. It’s an excellent place to get yourself a beautifully personalized, hand-crafted jewelry gift on request. You can book a Jewellery Quarter guided tour here:

I’ve taken many walking tours through the Jewellery Quarter over the years and can attest to the fascinating blend of heritage, arts, and dining here.

📍 Jewellery Quarter (Google Maps location)
Admission: Museum (Factory and the galleries) – adult £7, child £3
Opening times: Tue – Fri 10:30am til 5pm

The Coffin Works

A fully restored, Victorian coffin fittings workshop that’s also home to the Newman Brothers Museum. Costumed guides lead you around the factory where you will experience the sights, sounds and smells of factory life and hear the stories of workers, owners and trade.

📍 Coffin Works (Google Maps location)
Admission: Adult £7.50, child £4.50 (under 5s FREE), family (1 adult, 3 children) £12.50
Opening times: Wed – Sun 10:45am til 3:15pm (closed Mon – Tue)
How to get there: From Grand Central, the metro stops at Jewellery Quarter (9 minutes). Bus 101 takes 12 minutes from Newhall Street. By car: 11 minutes.

👉 Read more: 130+ Charming Quotes about England

Situated in the heart of the city next to the Town Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is a large Victorian building with a domed, Round Room.

birmingham museum and art gallery

Seeking the best galleries and museums in Birmingham? Look no further.

The Art Gallery has an extensive collection of Pre-Raphaelites paintings from the 14th Century onwards, and the Museum hosts huge exhibits of antiquities and artifacts from Ancient Egypt, Ancient India and Central Asia, the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, as well as the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, making this one of best museums in Birmingham for art lovers.

📍 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (Google Maps location)
Admission: Free (except some exhibitions)
Opening times: Mon – Sun: 10am til 5pm
How to get there: from Grand Central, the metro takes you to Town Hall in 6 minutes. Its 8 minutes walk up Stephenson Street and then Pinfold Street.

🚶🏽‍♂️ Birmingham day trips & excursions:
Check out this Guided Walking tour of Birmingham:

6. Take a Canal Boat Trip

There’s no better way to experience Birmingham than by cruising the city’s canals and discovering the rich heritage of the city that sparked the Industrial Revolution more than 200 years ago.

birminhgam canals black and white photograph of gas street basin

Without a doubt one of the more unique Birmingham activities, starting from Sherborne Wharf, take a trip on one of three luxury passenger narrowboats as it winds its way around the bustling heart of Birmingham.

Fans of the Peaky Blinders will get a chance to witness the old coal factories and cobbled streets around Gas Street Basin, that once brought the city alive with blazing fires, smoke and noise as seen in the hit TV series.

Alternatively, you can take the Victorian Canals to Today’s City Walking Tour for a guided walk where you’ll learn the importance of the canals to the Industrial Revolution, or if you like, you can even go paddleboarding on canals in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

📍 Sherborne Wharf (Google Maps location)
Admission: Adult £8, senior £7, child £6. Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children): £22
Times: Canal Boat trips depart from the International Convention Centre Quayside at 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, and 4pm daily, from Easter to end of October. Trips run at weekends only throughout November, January, February and March.
How to get there: from Grand Central, bus numbers 9, 12, 13, 13A, 23, 24, 126, X8 and X10 stop at Crescent Theatre (15 mins)

🛶 Did you know: There are more canals in Birmingham than in Venice! For more fun facts, head over to 38 Interesting Facts about Birmingham

7. Explore the Bullring Shopping Centre

Situated right in the heart of town, the Bullring is the UK’s largest city-based shopping center and one of the best malls in the country.

bullring birmingham photo inside the mall

It has a host of well-known high-street fashion stores and household shops, as well as popular restaurants and cafes. Its convenient location makes it easy to drop by lunch or a quick coffee break while on your day tour, and there’s free wifi too.

For a breathtaking view of the city, I recommend ascending to the observation deck of the iconic Selfridges building, which opened in 2003.

The Bullring and surrounding area are also well-known for international food outlets, and you can discover some of the best Italian restaurants here.

📍 The Bullring (Google Maps location)
Admission: Free
Opening times: Mon – Fri 10am til 8pm, Sat 9am til 8pm, Sun 11am til 5pm
How to get there: from Grand Central, it’s right across the road, 2 minute’s walk.

8. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

For LEGO fans, the Legoland Discovery Centre is a must on your Birmingham itinerary. Located right beside the Bullring shopping center, it offers hours of LEGO-themed fun.

a photo of the front entrance of the legoland discovery centre in birmingham, uk

There are rides like the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride and Merlin’s Apprentice Ride. Multiple built worlds use over 1.5 million LEGO bricks to create sites from famous landmarks to fantasy lands.

Let kids run wild in the brick pits with tons of LEGOs to build their imaginations. Check out MINILAND, showcasing Birmingham in LEGO form.

Book your tickets below and save money when you book in advance!

📍 LEGOLAND Discovery Centre (Google Maps location)
Opening times: Mon – Sun 10:30am til 2:30pm, Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5:30pm
➤ Book your tickets to LEGOLAND here:

9. Thinktank Science Museum

Birmingham’s Thinktank Science Museum makes learning incredibly fun and interactive for both adults and kids.

a photo of a spitfire plane raised inside the thinktank museum

With four floors spanning science and technology, there are thousands of hands-on exhibits to try. From steam engines to robotics, there’s something for every interest.

The state-of-the-art Planetarium offers an otherworldly experience. Especially popular with kids are the Science Garden with giant outdoor science experiments and the Kids City roleplay zone.

📍 Thinktank Science Museum (Google Maps location)
Admission: Adult £15, child £10 (concessional tickets available)
Opening times: Wed – Sun 10am til 5pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
How to get there: from Moor Street station, walk to the museum in 10 minutes.

10. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens

One of the city’s most popular attractions, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens features four unique glasshouses as well as 15 acres of sprawling stunning gardens.

birmingham botanical gardens

Wander through formal rose gardens, an arid Tropical House, herb gardens, rock gardens and more. Have a picnic on the lawns, and let kids run free in the adventure playground.

Located beside Westbourne Road just outside the city centre, the Botanical Gardens provide a tranquil escape. Make time to visit the Tea Room for home cooked lunches and cakes.

As one of the top free things to do in Birmingham, the gardens are accessible for all. Donations are welcomed to sustain this oasis.

📍 Botanical Gardens (Google Maps location)
Admission: Adult £7.40, concession (children, seniors, students, disabled & helpers): £5.25
Opening times: Mon – Sun 10am til 5pm
How to get there: from Grand Central, buses 23 and 24 stop at the Botanical Gardens (23 mins). By car it takes 9 minutes.
➤ Book your tickets to Winterbourne House and the Botanical Gardens here:

11. Watch a Movie at the Electric Cinema

Why not catch a movie at the UK’s oldest working cinema?

front view of the electric cinema in birmingham, uk

Built in 1909, the historic Electric Cinema offers movie listings of all the latest releases including 3D showings. There’s optional upgrades to sofa seating at the front or right at the back, and there’s even a waiter text service during the film.

📍 The Electric Cinema (Google Maps location)
Admission: £11.50 (standard), £8.50 (concession), £12.80 per person (front row sofa), £15.20 per person (back sofa, minimum 2 persons)
Opening times: Mondays: 5:30pm til late, Tue-Sun: late morning til late evening
How to get there: from Grand Central, it’s just across the road (on Station Street).

🗺️ Want free printable PDF maps and guides for traveling around Birmingham? Head over to Birmingham Tourism & Travel Guide (Free PDF Maps)

12. Spend a Day at Drayton Manor

For a theme park experience, Drayton Manor is a top contender for best things to do in Birmingham with toddlers and young kids.

people on the shockwave rollercoaster at drayton manor theme park

Just 30 minutes from Birmingham by car, Drayton Manor packs in themed lands, rides for all ages, live shows and a zoo.

Thomas Land brings the beloved tank engine tales to life with 25 tot-friendly rides. Bigger thrill rides like Shockwave and Apocalypse get the adrenaline pumping.

Younger kids love the Carousel, Jolly Buccaneer ship and Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster. With tickets from £34 for adults and £29 for kids, it’s an easy fun-filled day trip.

Considered one of the best theme parks in the UK, Drayton Manor Resort is one not to be missed. Book your ticket using the link below to save 30%!

📍 Drayton Manor (Google Maps location)
Admission: Adults £29 (when booked in advance). Book your tickets here.
Opening times: Mon-Tue: 10am-3pm, Wed-Fri: 10:30am-4:30pm, Sat: 10:30am-6pm, Sun: 10:30am-5pm

13. Visit the RAF Museum

Aircraft enthusiasts of all ages will be in heaven at the Royal Air Force Museum. See over 100 aircraft from WWI biplanes to supersonic jets and military helicopters.

a spitfire plane on display at the raf museum

Located in Cosford, The RAF Museum is also one of the top things to do in Wolverhampton. Get up close views onboard the aircraft and chat with knowledgeable RAF veterans.

Interactive exhibits let you try aviation simulators, a 4D motion ride and an official RAF aircraft ejection seat.

Best of all, standard admission to the RAF Museum is free, making it one of the best things to do in Birmingham on a budget. You only pay for extras like simulator rides.

📍 The RAF Museum (Google Maps location)
Admission: FREE
Opening times: 10am-5pm daily.
How to get there: take a taxi or bus from Birmingham Grand Central to the RAF Museum Cosford. It’s a 40 minute drive.

14. Savor the food of Chinatown

As one of the most diverse cities in the UK, Birmingham’s Chinatown is a sprawling melting pot of cultures and cuisines.

view of one of the restaurants in chinatown birmingham

With everything from food markets, restaurants and cafes to bars, clubs, hotels, a casino, and entertainment venues, the Chinese Quarter is a gem in the heart of the city and boasts some of the top restaurants in Birmingham for foodies.

Theaters like the The Alexandra, The Victoria, and the Hippodrome host world-class musicals, operas, dance shows, stand-up comedy, and Birmingham’s favorite pantomime. Also in Chinatown is Birmingham Royal Ballet – the UK’s premier touring ballet company.

Having sampled cuisine all over Birmingham, I can confidently say Chinatown offers some of the most mouthwatering and authentic Asian food in the city.

Aside from sprawling indoor food markets, there’s Chinese hand-made noodle bars and sizzling Korean hotpot restaurants, Cantonese all-you-can-eat buffets and many more – Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian, you’ll be spoilt for choice. I highly recommend dropping by one of several cute Taiwanese cafes for a hot, bubble milk tea.

My current favorite eatery is Dezhou Style Braised Chicken which serves delicious authentic homemade Szechuan style noodles, I always go for the cumin and coriander beef stir fry. Check out their rave reviews here:

📍 Chinatown (Google Maps location)
Admission: Free (charges apply for events at the Hippodrome and Alexandra theaters.
Opening times: All hoursHow to get there: Chinatown is located just 5 minutes walk from Grand Central and is adjacent to the Bullring.

👉 Read more: Here’s a guide to all the closest beaches to Birmingham

Top 10 Budget Restaurants and Independent Cafes in Birmingham

15. Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

For a fun day meeting exotic animals, head to the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park. Home to over 200 species, it focuses on endangered animals.

front entrance of the birmingham wildlife conservation park

Walk through Amur tiger and red panda enclosures and the lemur wood forest walkway.

Don’t miss feeding time opportunities and keeper talks to learn about the animals. Kids will love letting lemurs eat from their hands!

General admission is £9.95 for adults and £8.95 for kids, with annual passes available for repeat visits to see new arrivals.

📍 Chinatown (Google Maps location)
Admission: Adults £9.95, children £8.95
Opening times: 10am-5pm daily
How to get there: take a taxi or bus from Birmingham Grand Central, around a 35 minute drive.

16. Explore the Black Country Living Museum

Immerse yourself in England’s Industrial Revolution at the Black Country Living Museum.

28 Unique Things to Do in the West Midlands

This impressive open-air complex recreates a 19th century workers town with historic buildings, shops, and coal mines. Costumed guides share stories of what life was like.

Interactive experiences like riding a vintage fairground carousel, exploring the mines, and having fish and chips in a traditional chip shop bring the past alive. Admission is £19.50 for adults and £11.25 for kids, providing a full day’s edutainment.

📍 Black Country Museum (Google Maps location)
Admission: Adult admission £19.50, Child admission £11.25
Opening times: 10am-5pm daily
How to get there: take a train from Birmingham Grand Central to Dudley Port station (20 min ride). Then take a 15 minute taxi or bus to the museum.

17. Take a Trip to West Midlands Safari Park

West Midlands Safari Park combines a safari drive-through with theme park elements. Drive your own car or ride the Safari Skyway on a tour encountering elephants, tigers, giraffes, white rhinos and more roaming freely.

a giraffe arching its neck over a car at west midland safari park uk

Then enjoy attractions like the Land of the Living Dinosaurs with giant moving prehistoric creatures. Thrill rides, stage shows, a sea lion presentation and lemurs also feature.

West Midland Safari Park also ranks among the 20 best zoos and safaris in Britain, all the more reason to bring the family along for a memorable day out.

Tickets start at £25 for adults and £20 for kids, making it one of the pricier but worthwhile family days out near Birmingham.

📍 West Midland Safari Park (Google Maps location)
Admission: Adult admission from £25, Child admission from £20
Opening times: Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun: 9:30am-6pm
How to get there: located in Bewdley, around 1 hour drive from Birmingham.

18. Visit the Lapworth Museum of Geology

Dinosaurs and rare fossils take centre stage at Birmingham University’s Lapworth Museum of Geology.

a t-rex skeleton on display at the lapworth museum of geology

One of the UK’s finest geology museums, it houses over 250,000 specimens spanning 3.5 billion years of the Earth’s history.

Marvel over dinosaur skeletons, massive mammoth tusks, and meteorites. Interactive displays engage kids in learning about minerals and fossils.

Best of all, standard admission to Lapworth Museum of Geology is free, making it one of the top things to do in Birmingham on a budget.

📍 Lapworth Museum (Google Maps location)
Admission: Free
Opening times: Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun: 12pm-5pm
How to get there: take a train to University Station from Birmingham Grand Central (12 min ride). The museum is a 10 min walk from the University.

Lovers of modern art will appreciate Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery. Housed in a striking Victorian building in the city’s creative Brindleyplace district, it hosts constantly changing exhibitions.

view of the front of the ikon gallery birmingham

Expect to see thought-provoking conceptual installations, paintings, photography, and sculptures from British and international artists.

Ikon Gallery’s Family Saturdays program offers free art workshops for kids. While no permanent collection is displayed, the temporary exhibitions provide adose of culture and creativity.

📍 Ikon Gallery (Google Maps location)
Admission: Entry to Ikon Gallery is free, making it accessible to all art fans. Donations are encouraged.
Opening times: 11am-5pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
How to get there: it’s a 16 minute walk from Birmingham Grand Central.

Other Things to See & Do in Birmingham:

20. Birmingham Symphony Hall – enjoy live music at one of the world’s best and most magnificent concert halls.

23 Best Things to Do in Birmingham, UK - a Local's Guide [2024 edition] 1

21. The National Motorcycle Museum – for motorbike fans, this museum holds the world’s biggest and most impressive collection of antique and modern British motorcycles. Buy your tickets in advance HERE.


22. Cannon Hill Park – this sprawling national park sits in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham and is one of the biggest parks in Europe.


23. Alton Towers – outdoor activities in Birmingham for adventure seekers doesn’t get any bigger than Alton Towers – considered the UK’s #1 theme park. Perfect for kids, families and young couples alike. Read how to get to Alton Towers from Birmingham here.


Related post: 20 Best Family-Friendly Things to Do in Derby

Read more: Thors Cave Walkers Guide in the Peak District

What to Do in Birmingham When It’s Raining

Searching for the best things to do in Birmingham when it’s raining? These indoor destinations make for fantastic rainy day fun:

➡️ Visit an indoor museum or gallery – Birmingham has several good options like the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Thinktank Science Museum, or the Ikon Gallery. They offer a chance to explore the city’s culture and history out of the rain.

➡️ See a show or concert – Catch a play, musical, concert, or comedy show at venues like the Birmingham Hippodrome, Symphony Hall, or The Alexandra.

➡️ Go shopping at the Bullring – This large indoor shopping center has over 160 shops from department stores to boutiques. You can browse for hours protected from the elements.

➡️ Take a class – Look for indoor activities like cooking classes, pottery workshops, or martial arts lessons. It’s a good way to pick up a new skill.

➡️ Relax at a spa – Treat yourself to a spa day at places like Malmaison Birmingham or the Woodhouse Day Spa. Saunas, massages, and pools provide the perfect escape.

➡️ Grab a drink or some traditional grub at a pub – Historic English pubs like The Old Crown or The Woodman let you enjoy Birmingham’s social scene with a pint.

➡️ See the Sea Life Centre – This aquarium houses over 2,000 creatures including sharks, penguins, otters, and more. Great for kids and adults.

➡️ Try an escape room – Test your puzzle-solving skills at an escape room like Escape Live or Escapologic. It’s an interactive indoor activity.

➡️ Go bowling – Hit the lanes for bowling, darts, and arcade games at places like Hollywood Bowl or the Utilita Arena Birmingham.

So don’t let the rain dampen your Birmingham visit! The city has plenty of indoor options to keep you entertained.

Things to Do in Birmingham for Free

Seeking out what to do in Birmingham for free? The below cost-free options from this collection offer epic fun without emptying your wallet:

Take a walk along the Birmingham Canals – The city has 35 miles of canals to explore on foot, great for scenic strolls.

Visit the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – This museum houses an impressive collection of international art, artifacts, and interactive exhibits. Free entry.

Check out the Library of Birmingham – Newly renovated, England’s largest public library offers interesting architecture, an outdoor amphitheater, gardens, and free exhibitions.

Tour St. Philip’s Cathedral – Dating back to 1715, this historic cathedral has beautiful stained glass and stonework and even offers free guided tours.

Relax at Cannon Hill Park – Ride the mini railway, rent a boat, play sports, or just enjoy nature walks in this 250-acre park.

Window shop at the Bullring Markets – The indoor and outdoor markets have over 200 stalls of crafts, fashion, and delicacies to browse.

Enjoy views from Lickey Hills Country Park – Great hiking trails and panoramic views just 10 miles southwest of the city center.

Catch free entertainment at the Mailbox – This upscale shopping destination offers free comedy, jazz, and cinema events.

Find street art and cool cafes in the Jewellery Quarter – Birmingham’s creative hub with unique public art installations.

Attend free festivals – From ArtsFest in September to Birmingham Pride in May, the city hosts many free festivals.

Soak in Birmingham’s culture, sights, and entertainment without emptying your wallet!

Whats on in Birmingham this weekend?

For all the top cultural events in Birmingham this weekend, click here to view a calendar of the latest and most up-to-date events and festivals happening in and around Birmingham this weekend.

You can also head down to Broad Street to experience the liveliest nightlife in Birmingham for partygoers.

Places to visit near Birmingham

For more days out West Midlands and the Black Country area offers a broad range of activities, for those looking for things to do further out from Birmingham. Here’s some of the best things to see and do:

📍Twycross Zoo (near Tamworth)
📍Drayton Manor Theme Park (Tamworth)
📍Shakespeare’s Birthplace &  Butterfly Farm (Stratford-Upon-Avon) – one of the best kid-friendly day trips from Birmingham
📍Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & The Cotswolds
📍Warwick Castle (Warwick)
📍Cannock Chase Forest – Area of Outstanding National Beauty (Cannock)
📍Explore the City of Caves and National Justice Museum of Nottingham

Birmingham Attractions Map

Check out the highlights of Birmingham city center and their locations on this map below:


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General Information about Birmingham

  • Area: 267.8km squared
  • Weather: 8C (winter), 24C (summer)
  • Population: 1.1 million (2nd in UK)
  • Founded: 600AD
  • International Airport: Birmingham (BHX)
  • Famous Residents: Ozzy Osbourne, Led Zeppelin, UB40, David Edgar (poet), Benjamin Zephaniah (writer)

Birmingham FAQs:

Below are some commonly-asked questions about Birmingham, UK.

How to spend a day in Birmingham?

To spend a day in Birmingham, visit top attractions like the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, take a canal boat tour, dine at the Balti Triangle, and end with drinks at independent bars in the Jewellery Quarter.

Is it worth visiting Birmingham?

Birmingham is worth visiting for its free museums, extensive canal network, unique Jewellery Quarter, excellent food scene featuring Michelin-starred restaurants and Balti cuisine, and lively nightlife.

What is on in Birmingham for free?

Free things to do in Birmingham include exploring parks like Cannon Hill Park, admiring the library architecture, joining a free walking tour, people-watching at the Bullring, and visiting the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.

Is one day in Birmingham enough?

While more time in Birmingham is better, one day is enough to see some key sights by following an efficient itinerary of its compact city center. Top picks are the canals, Balti Triangle, Cadbury World and the Museum & Art Gallery.

Is Birmingham a walkable city?

Birmingham city center is very walkable, with most attractions located within close proximity. Several pedestrian routes like the Hip Hop Heritage Trail connect major sights.

How long is Birmingham City Walk?

The Birmingham City Walk is a signed 2.3 mile self-guided trail around the city centre, passing 19 highlights like Victoria Square and the Town Hall. As a local, I’ve taken visiting friends and family on the Birmingham City Walk countless times over the years and can confirm it takes about 2 hours.

Is Birmingham a cheap city?

Birmingham is one of the most affordable UK cities. Free museums, cheap public transit, and food/drink deals make it accessible. Hotels and Airbnbs are also very reasonably priced.

🏨 Where to Stay in Birmingham?

Below are my top recommendations on where to stay in Birmingham:

📍$ Budget option: Wray and Whyte House (double & twin room, family-friendly) – Fabulous 8.6

📍$$$ Luxury option: The Class Place (Apartment with Terrace) – Good 7.9

Birmingham tourist information

How to get there

Air: The main airport is Birmingham International (BHX), 14 miles away from Birmingham. Click here for airport transfers to Birmingham.

Getting around Birmingham

There are a number of excellent public transport options around the city, as well as an extensive road network with the M5 and M6 being the main motorways passing through the region.

Cycling: There are new and updated networks of cycle routes in the city center.

Bus: Buses are easy to use and run regularly from numerous stops. An adult trip costs £2 (cards are accepted).

Train: The main station is Birmingham Grand Central (New Street) right in the heart of the city and has great transport links to the rest of the UK. You can get a train from London to Birmingham in just 1.5 hours!

Car: Birmingham’s roads are very easy and convenient to navigate. You can hire a rental car here.

Tram: there is an excellent tram network that connects Birmingham to the Black Country region (Wolverhampton, Dudley, West Bromwich).

Best time to visit Birmingham

Early May to late September is the best time to visit, with July-August the warmest months. Rain falls throughout the year, with the wettest month being November, and the driest month being July.

Conclusion: Birmingham Things to Do

Birmingham is a superb city to visit for anyone traveling to the UK and I would recommend an itinerary of at least three days.

It’s such a flexible and ideally located city being in the heart of England, and close by to London (1.5 hours by train or car), as well as being in the heart of the Midlands region, and close to other major cities like Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool – all 2 hours away!