The UK's second largest city, headbanging Birmingham offers diversity at every turn and has one of the youngest populations in Europe.

Birmingham is a fab place for students because it has everything you need in one place. Travel links are amazing, with New Street station and Moor Street station. You can go literally anywhere! The shopping is so fun with The Bullring and Rag Market, and there's a ton of stuff to do. (Second year student, Birmingham City University)

What Birmingham's famous for...

The Balti Triangle

Head to the south for Indian food at some of the UK's oldest Balti restaurants.

Birmingham nightlife, according to students

Most first years spend a lot of time on Broad Street, which has a wide range of nightclubs and bars as it is so close to the Vale village of accommodation. Other locations, like Lab11 and Snobs are favourites for the upper years. Of course, we can’t forget Fab ‘n’ Fresh at the Guild on Saturdays, and the infamous Sports Night Wednesday... (University of Birmingham student)

Heavy metal

Birmingham has spawned some of rock's hardest bands, including Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.

Birmingham nightlife, according to students

Broad Street is like a wildlife documentary on a Friday and Saturday night. Lots of clubs – more traditional pop etc. Digbeth is great for electro/dance/house nights, and has some great warehouse clubs. [There are] lots of activities, like ‘Ghetto Golf’, darts, and escape rooms, in the city. Great pubs by the canal. Moseley has great live music and bars, if you want to escape the city centre. (Third year student, University of Birmingham)

Chocolate

Brum is the home to Cadbury World – the closest you'll get to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory!

Chocolate

Student life in Birmingham

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Treat yourself
The Alchemist and Dirty Martini are my favourite, more high-end bars. There’s so many nice restaurants around Cathedral Square. (University of Birmingham student)
Low on cash
There are several free galleries (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ikon Gallery) [plus] nice walks along the canals. (Third year student, University of Birmingham)
Sunday chilling
The Birmingham Library has an amazing viewpoint, which shows the entirety of the city. The Jewellery Quarter is peaceful, but still [has] lots of lovely shops and cafes. (Second year student, Birmingham City University)
When family visit
The Mailbox for slightly nicer shopping and dining
Grab a bite
Emma’s Pantry in Selly Oak is easily the most hidden gem in Birmingham. Really unassuming from the outside, they have the best Caribbean food in Birmingham, maybe the UK. (Third year student, University of Birmingham)
Catch up with mates
I recommend Mr Egg in Selly Oak, a great place which offers Chinese street food, fluffy Japanese pancakes, and most importantly, the most amazing selection of bubble teas you could think of. (Third year student, University of Birmingham)
Friday night out
If you’re looking for something more chill and 'foodie', there’s Digbeth Dining Club which has pop-ups every Thursday to Sunday. (Second year student, University of Birmingham)
Feeling cultural
The MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) in Edgbaston has art expos, workshops, classes, and concerts. The REP (The Birmingham Repertory Theatre) has smaller productions, next to Symphony Hall. (Third year student, University of Birmingham)

Birmingham in pictures

The Bullring

The Bullring at night with friends. [It's] usually very busy, but [I] managed to capture a quiet moment. (Danielle, second year student at University of Birmingham)

Living in Birmingham, according to students

Harborne – I really like living here. It’s quieter than Selly Oak, a bit safer, [has] better parking, but close to uni. It's a ten-minute walk to the big Sainsbury’s. [The] lovely high street has some great restaurants. (Second year student, University of Birmingham)

Symphony Hall

This is the Symphony Hall. As a music student, I spend a lot of time here watching various concerts. We get cheaper student tickets, which is incredible, and I am so grateful for this! It’s a great way to spend a free evening. (Ella, University of Birmingham student)

Old Joe

This is 'Old Joe', the clocktower in the middle of campus at night. It makes it easier to find your way around campus, and is a big part of the uni.
(Jess, second year student at University of Birmingham)

 

Living in Birmingham, according to students

I chose to live in Selly Oak because that's where a good 95% of second and third years live. The housing situation is really broad: there are shared houses, studios and one-bedroom apartments, and prices are very low. The area has so many restaurants, fast food, and dessert places to choose from. For groceries, most residents head to Aldi, but there are also three Asian stores, a Tesco which is open 24/7 (great for late night cravings), and a retail park a little further on. (Third year student, University of Birmingham)

Lickey Hills

Lickey Hills – great for a long walk. (University of Birmingham student)
 

Living in Birmingham

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Average weekly rents*
  • Private landlord
  • £71 - £127
  • Average
Housing value for money*
  • Fair deal
Local transport*
  • £17.90
  • West Midlands mTicket (weekly)
  • (Bus)
Where you'll find students*
  • Selly Oak
  • Harborne
  • Hamstead
*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

Student money tips

Use the £1 bus into town, rather than Uber!!! I would have saved so much money if I had heard about it sooner. (University of Birmingham student)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in Birmingham with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.