Can you believe it’s the end of August already? I can’t – where has the time gone? Summer might be ending (sob-sob) but it’s almost September, meaning a new year of uni to look forward to. Hope everyone is excited!
Did you know Rough Guides listed Birmingham in it’s top cities for 2015? The city made it to #9, being the only place in the UK on the list. Pretty cool, huh?. So, this week I decided to come up with a ‘Birmingham Bucket List’ of things to see, do, eat and ultimately tick off while studying and living in Birmingham. Besides, if you are spending the next few years of your life in the city, it’s only right you get the full experience living as a Brummie. I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I’ve explored very little of the city, so I’ll be trying to tick some of these off myself and see all the ‘bostin’ stuff Brum has to offer.
Wind down at The Library of Birmingham
It’s free to visit and smack bang in the middle of town – right by UCB and Broad Street. The library’s a great place to head to after uni for some quiet time, do assignments or just watch the city buzz roll past below.
For any of you guys who are into a bit of history and ghostly tales, Birmingham has a lot of supposedly-haunted buildings. One that’s quite well known is The Station Hotel in Dudley. Another rumoured spooky place to check out; The Old Crown pub in Digbeth, which is in fact Birmingham oldest pub. Fancy sharing a pint with spirits, anyone?
Learn to ski/snowboard
Just outside of the city, in Tamworth, how about taking up skiing or snowboarding? It might sound expensive, but the Snowdome offer an amazing student discount on lessons and recreational sessions. Winter sports are so so much fun, plus it gives you a head up if you decide to have a winter break on the slopes.
Spend Christmas in “Frankfurt”
Whatever you do, make sure you visit the German Market at least twice. It’s such a magical time of year in the city, with craft stalls, beautiful lights, cakes, frankfurters, German beer, more cakes… Instead of visiting home in November, why not have family or friends come and experience Birmingham’s German Christmas festivities, instead?
Rock down to the Electric Cinema
Visit the UK’s oldest working cinema, yet not everyone knows about it. I asked my friends and none of them had even heard of it before. It looks eerie on the outside, but I can assure you it definitely isn’t inside. How does watching a movie on sofas, complete with waiter service, sound to you? As well as the newest films, the Electric Cinema also shows foreign and timeless classics, something for everyone.
Quirky, cool Custard Factory
The Custard Factory is an amazing place to visit! It’s colourful and has TV and dance studios, quirky boutique shops and cute cafés. So many events held here throughout the year; such as vintage festivals, markets and food fairs.
Channel Venice in Birmingham
You might be interested to know the Brummies have a bigger canal network than Venice. Yes, we may be lacking in the Gondola department, but nevertheless, exploring the canals can be so much fun! Canoe, kayak, ride the barges and for water sport enthusiasts, why not try paddle-boarding!
Listen to local bands
It’s cheap and cheerful to see live music in Birmingham. While the big names head to the LG or NIA arenas, an alternative night out is to listen to local bands and artists. My favourite places to go are The Flapper, Actress & Bishop, The Institute and the Rainbow Venues. For students looking for freebie events and gigs, Live Brum is a recommended site to visit.
Eat deliciously at Digbeth Dining Club
Food lovers, you’ll definitely want to tick off this one. I’ve not had the chance to experience this yet, but I’ve heard incredible things. Friday evenings are when Digbeth Dining Club comes alive, with street-food traders cooking delicious meals right in front of you. It’s worth noting that Digbeth Dining Club have won the UK street food award for the past two years! Find out more on their website, and I’ll see you down there.
Indulge at Cadbury World
And finally, who doesn’t want to visit a chocolate factory? Don’t forget to use your NUS card for discounted entry fees.
Once again, I hope you found this helpful. Don’t rush to do everything at once, as these are just some ideas to help you get the most out of Birmingham. If anyone would like to suggest other items to add onto ‘Birmingham bucket list’, I’ll happily put them in, just send me a tweet or email.
P.S. – for more foodie experiences in Birmingham check out this article on the Metro. They even included UCB!