What to Do and See in Birmingham

What began as a modest 6th century Anglo-Saxon village, is now one of the cultural hubs of the UK, boasting some excellent places to eat, shop, party and learn. Our Selly Oak properties are perfectly positioned for you to easily access all Birmingham has to offer.

We’ve split this short blog into some different categories to highlight the breadth of things to do during your time in Brum!



Group Adventures



Food and Drink

Students in Birmingham will be pleased to know that when it comes to food, they are spoilt for choice and all at a reasonable price. The melting pot of cuisines will be sure to delight.

Brindley Place

Generally, Brindley Place (next to the ICC) is the ideal place for foodies. It features a large selection of chain restaurants such as Wagamamas, Café Rouge, Pizza Express and Handmade Burger Co. All of which are nestled alongside the canal, making for a lovely backdrop.

The High Street

In and amongst the vast Bullring there are also some great chain restaurants the likes of which you’d typically find in larger cities such as Birmingham. Ideal for breaking up a day of shopping and exploring the city.

The Balti Triangle

A renowned boon to Brum and a favourite with Students, the Balti triangle is a cluster of Balti Houses around Ladypool Road, and since 1977 it has been the home of the Balti. Subsequently, Birmingham has seen a growth in Eastern cuisine and locals are spoilt for choice when it comes to ordering their next spicy takeaway.


The most upmarket listed, but a treat nonetheless and one to consider for an end of exam celebration, or for pre-Gradball! The venue itself is spectacular, featuring a ceiling covered in the famous Japanese cherry blossom, and the food is just as memorable. It also serves some eccentric and delicious cocktails that you won’t want to miss.

Group Adventures

Socialising whilst at university is key for maximising your experience and keeping your mind and body in tip-top shape. Have a look at the below and ask the group chat if they fancy an outing!

The Bullring and Grand Central

A hallmark of Birmingham, the Bullring boasts a wide array of shops and eateries to visit and is connected to Grand Central train station. From experience, students in our properties often make visits to the Bullring and it’s a great place to take friends visiting from outside of Birmingham.

Cannon Hill Park

Coined, ‘Birmingham’s Best Day Out’, this green expanse features a lake for pedalos, a mini golf course and even a nature reserve featuring the likes of Red Pandas, rare birds and monkeys. It is also a great spot for a picnic or wintery walk. Located a short Uber ride from Selly Oak (or a forty minute walk) it is a must for students.

Cadbury World

For those of you fortunate enough to be in our excellent Heeley Road properties, Cadbury World really is on your doorstep – just a short wander to Harborne. Another must-see for Birmingham students, this attraction features the history of the chocolate we all know… and you also get a lot of free samples!

Birmingham Christmas Market

I’m sure all Birmingham students are all too aware of the Christmas Market that descends upon the city. This festivity-crazed period turns the high street into a sea of people, but is great fun as it is premised on the classic German Christmas market. Venture into the heart of it with some friends, Bratwurst and beers in hand!


Unfamiliar to many, Birmingham features a vast canal network (56km of them!) so boat tours to explore the city are readily available and will help familiarise you with the city.


Back to Backs

Named after the tour’s focus, step back in time to explore the lives of mid-19th and late 20th century inhabitants and the back to backs in which they lived. A must for fans of the Peaky Blinders!

Music Venues

As a cultural hub, Birmingham is great for music lovers, whether their interest lies in classical symphonies or the best new artists. Keep your eyes peeled for tickets at these venues (to name a few):


02 Academy Birmingham

Symphony Hall


Birmingham’s rich history and development throughout the industrial revolution means that it boasts some fascinating and unique museums, all of which are worth a visit:

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Lapworth Museum of Geology

National Motorcycle Museum

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter


A few ideas for impressing that special someone.

Bannatyne Spa

Bannatyne Spa in Brindley Place is reasonably-priced (especially if you can find a deal!),but features a range of treatments for switching off that exam and coursework stress. You can use the spa all day, which includes a gym, sauna and relaxation room.

Sealife Centre

Just next to the spa is the Birmingham Sealife Centre which, whilst not being the largest of venues, has a great selection of specimens to see, from Penguins and Seals to rare prehistoric rays.

Winterbourne house and garden

Perfect in any weather bar rain, this Edwardian heritage attraction is set in seven acres of botanical splendour, with over 6000 plant species from around the globe. The Japanese Bridge is a great photo opportunity so be sure to make the most of that on the social media streams.