Best Things To Do In Birmingham

Whether you want to sweat buckets in a rowdy club or inhale the fresh air of a serene botanical garden, the second city has got you. Check out our list of the best things to do in Birmingham to ensure an unreal trip!

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 24th Jun 2022

Home of Peaky Blinders, pioneering hip hop outfit The Streets (and a million other bands), and Cadbury’s chocolate - we’re obviously talking about Birmingham

If you’re thinking of heading to the second city for a visit, you’re in the perfect place! We gathered a list of the best things to do in Birmingham, so you can plan the perfect trip. Check them out below! 


Catch a show at the theatre 


Photo: Birmingham Rep on Facebook 

Birmingham has had a significant impact on the world, including on the arts. Known for its innovation, The Rep is one of the city’s biggest and best theatres, with some world-class shows in its calendar. The Crescent Theatre is significantly smaller but has championed amateur theatre for years and is one of the city’s oldest theatre companies. 

The Birmingham Hippodrome shows ballet, musicals, comedy, opera, dance and more. And there are lots of other beautiful, historic theatres in Birmingham to check out if neither of these appeals to you.


Find tickets for theatre events in Birmingham - here



Appreciate the Jewellery Quarter 


Photo: Jewellery Quarter on Facebook 

Ah, where to begin? The Jewellery Quarter has over 200 listed buildings, over half of which are jewellers. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes (over 80, in fact), retailers, art galleries, and independent shops. Simply taking a stroll through the quarter, appreciating the atmosphere, and checking out a few bars, restaurants and maybe shopping for jewellery is a great way to spend an afternoon. 



Breathe in the fresh air at The Botanical Gardens


Photo: Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Facebook

The slight chaos of the city can be invigorating. But it’s good to step back and immerse yourself in nature every now and then. Visiting The Botanical Gardens is one of the best things to do in Birmingham with 15 acres of land covered in a diverse collection of plants, glasshouses, a butterfly house with butterflies from around the world, including the Philippines, and more. 

The gardens also host cool events on such as beginner photography courses, live music, guided tours, outdoor yoga, and outdoor theatre. 


Find tickets for events at Birmingham Botanical Gardens - here




Discover Birmingham on a walking tour 


Photo: Birmingham Heritage Walking Tours

Walking tours are a fantastic way to learn more about the city you’re visiting, making them a solid activity to start your trip with. And there are all sorts of tours available too. You could embark on a history tour, a Jewellery Quarter tour, ghost tours, and Peaky Blinders tours that lead you to the locations scenes were filmed.



Eat and drink your way through the Canal Quarter 


Photo: The Canal House on Facebook

The only thing that beats strolling alongside the canal on a sunny afternoon is being able to sit down beside the water for a nibble and a pint. Thankfully, the canals is where you’ll find some of the city’s best bars and restaurants. Head down there, put a refreshing drink in your hand, and watch as the boats pass by. 


Find tickets for food and drink events in Birmingham - here



Have the best gaming experience of your life at In A Box 3


Photo: In A Box 3 on Facebook 

If you've got kids with you, they might need something more than pretty buildings and relaxing canals. In A Box 3 is the UK's first free-roaming, 4D VR experience. That's a lot of words and acronyms, we know. In a nutshell, if, for example, you're in the Alps in a game, you'll feel the cold weather. If there's smoke, you'll smell it. And you can walk around freely. For gamers out there, this is undoubtedly the best thing to do in Birmingham. 



Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant


Photo: Carters of Moseley on Facebook 

Outside London, Birmingham has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in England. For those who are unfamiliar, a Michelin star is only awarded to the restaurants with outstanding cooking. It’s a pretty prestigious award. Choose between Carters of Moseley, Simpsons, Opheem, Adam's, and Purnell's. All look absolutely stunning, and you’re guaranteed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Find tickets for dining events in Birmingham - here



Unleash your wild side at Bear Grylls Adventure


Photo: The Bear Grylls Adventure on Facebook

Tackle a Royal Marines-inspired assault course, shoot a bow and arrow, try your hand at axe-throwing, scale a wall, dive with sharks, defeat your fear of heights on the high ropes, and so much more. Bear Grylls Adventure is the place to tap into your wild, active side and try some new thrilling activities, so why not check it out during your stay? 



Make your dreams come true at Cadbury World


Photo: Cadbury World on Facebook

Another perfect one for littluns (and bigguns), Birmingham is home to Cadbury World! Embark on a self-guided tour through Cadbury World where you'll learn how chocolate is made. Be sucked into the world of chocolate in the 4D cinema, and make your own chocolate before splashing some cash in the world's biggest Cadbury’s shop. It’s chocolate, you can’t go wrong!



Catch some live music 


Photo: The Sunflower Lounge on Facebook 

Birmingham is known for its impressive music exports, including Black Sabbath, UB40, Duran Duran, and Ocean Colour Scene. So checking out some live music is one of the best things to do in Birmingham. Or any city, for that matter.  

The Symphony Hall is the one for classical music, and The Sunflower Lounge is an independent intimate venue with a range of genres. Or head to The Spotted Dog for jazz, blues, folk, and similar genres. For a completely unique experience, Jukeboxers bar does duelling pianos, where the crowd requests music through an app. 


Find tickets for live music in Birmingham - here



Reveal your competitive side at Vortex Gaming


Photo: Vortex Gaming on Facebook 

Race on Mario Kart, win gold on Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, and dance your socks off at Dance Stage. Or see how many tickets you can win at classic arcade games such as skeeball, whack and win, Space Invaders, and 2p pusher. If you're looking for a different experience, check out the virtual reality sphere games and simulations. 

Overflowing with games, we’ve only scratched the surface here. No matter what kind of gamer you are, you’ll find a game you won't be able to step away from. 



Appreciate artistic skill in Birmingham’s art galleries 


Photo: Ikon Gallery on Facebook 

Showcasing work by both new and established artists, Ikon is an internationally acclaimed art gallery that’s free to enter. Expect a range of art, including paintings, sculptures, film, sound, photography and more. 

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is brilliant too, with a collection of artwork from the 13th - 20th century, including work by Monet and Van Gogh. The gallery also has a concert hall, hosting performances at lunchtime, in the evening, and on weekends.


Find tickets for art events in Birmingham - here



Delve into the city's history in the Library of Birmingham


If you think a library doesn't sound like a good tourist attraction, then fair enough. But this library is huge, has a crazy architectural style, and holds vast collections of rare books, newspapers, specialist music recordings, images, and over 8,000 books on world history. It’s a cool space to expand your mind while the kids hang out in the areas for young people and children.  



Visit StarCity when you don’t know what to do


Photo: StarCity on Facebook  

Filled with restaurants and attractions, StarCity is perfect for those moments when you're feeling indecisive. 

Will you get a hole-in-one at Adventure Mini Golf, unleash your inner ninja at Gravity, or get competitive at Fun Station? If that doesn't sound appealing, perhaps you'll try an Escape Room, get a strike at Tenpin, destroy all enemies at Lazer Battles or catch a great new flick at Vue? 

All that choice and we didn’t even begin to mention the food…



Appreciate the beautiful game 


Photo: Aston Villa on Facebook 

Peeking behind the scenes at an incredibly famous stadium is an unforgettable experience. An expert guide will take you through Villa Park, showing you through the home dressing room, and walk you through the player's tunnel. Then you can have a peek in the press conference area and media centre. But that's not all! Take photos with trophies and gain insights into the players' routines and the club. 



Get creative at the Midlands Arts Centre


Photo: Midlands Arts Centre - MAC on Facebook 

If you have an artistic flair, the Midlands Art Centre is the place to be! The centre celebrates film, poetry, comedy, theatre, music, and many other art forms. There are talks from artists, markets, performances, workshops, courses, and film screenings. If you want to get in touch with your creative side, the MAC is the best place for it. 


Find tickets for arts events in Birmingham - here



Jump around at Inflata Nation 


Photo: Inflata Nation Birmingham on Facebook 

If you haven't got kids, don't be put off! Inflata Nation is for adults and kids! Pairing the exercise with fun, it's much better than the gym and lets the littluns (or you) burn off some steam as they (you) cannonball in the ball pit, race down the slides, and tumble through the obstacle course. And if you’re worried about kids running around, they also have adult-only sessions! 



Expand your knowledge at a museum 


Photo: ThinkTank, Birmingham Science Museum

Thinktank is an award-winning science museum with lots of interactive displays. Picture talking robots, a planetarium, an Ichthyosaur on display for the first time, a science garden, a sensory area for babies, and a gallery on how humans have impacted the world. 

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has many vital exhibitions that touch on topics such as racism, legendary music venues, the life of women in the city. And you could even sit in a concert at lunchtime. Much is to be learnt in Birmingham’s impressive, fascinating museums. 



Stroll around Baddesley Clinton


Photo: National Trust Baddesley Clinton on Facebook 

One of the best things to do in Birmingham is appreciate its many stunning attractions. This 15th-century National Trust estate is, in a word, exquisite. The trail beside the canal will be perfect for those who love a gentle stroll. No matter the weather, the area is beautiful, quiet and peaceful. Kids will enjoy the play area, and history fans will love to tour the 500-year-old house with the help of the tour guides. 



Indulge in some retail therapy at The Mailbox


Photo: Mailbox Birmingham on Facebook 

Heaven for shopping addicts, The Mailbox complex contains Tommy Hilfiger, Malmaison, Calvin Klein, Harvey Nichols, Chez Mal, Gieves & Hawkes, and more. In this complex alone, you could spend the best part of a day diving in and out, looking for deals and stopping to grab a bite to eat.  



Tour the stately Aston Hall


Photo: Aston Hall on Facebook 

Drenched in history, the Aston Hall was built between 1618 and 1635. 400 years later, the mansion is believed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country. If that didn't put you off, there's a natural history museum on-site, a wildlife tour, and arts activities to get stuck into when you aren’t appreciating the hall itself.



Enjoy some side-splitting stand-up comedy 


Photo: The Glee Club Birmingham on Facebook

Birmingham has some cracking comedy venues, including The Glee Club, which has won 16 Chortle Awards since 2002. Fat Penguin is another brilliant club and is the city’s only crowd-funded club. Shows are free, but they recommend a £5 donation at the end. And if you’re looking for a Monday night show, Egan’s Comedy Club at Sommar Tap And Lounge is free entry!


Find tickets for Birmingham comedy events - here



Enjoy a gravy-soaked Sunday Roast 


Photo: The White Swan, Edgbaston on Facebook 

You can’t go wrong with a Sunday roast. But Birmingham’s pubs and restaurants know how to put together a roast that’ll leave you struggling to put your cutlery down. Even when you’ve already undone your trouser buttons. Some of Brums best can be found at The Junction, The White Swan, and The Plough. But seriously, these roasts are almost too good… be careful out there. 


Find tickets for food events in Birmingham - here



Check out Birmingham’s unique parks


Photo: Cannon Hill Park on Facebook

Ever had a go in a swan pedalo? Well, at Cannon Hill Park you can! There's also a mini-golf course, a nature centre, a mini amusement park, the MAC, and the Golden Lion if you fancy a pint. Sheldon Country Park is home to The Old Rectory Farm, where ducklings, cows, horses, pigs, sheep and other furry friends roam. Or you could head to Moseley Bog, the park that inspired JRR Tolkien’s old forest in The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, which will also host a jazz, funk, and soul fest in July 2022.


Find tickets for festivals in Birmingham - here



Race your own creations at LEGOLAND


Photo: LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham

Keep the kiddos entertained as they race their own Lego cars. Then they'll help save the princess on the chariot ride and be whisked away in a 4D cinema experience that engages their senses with wind, rain, and snow. Little ones will delight in the Lego Duplo Farm and the soft play area, and everyone will love Miniland. And for anyone with an easily excited inner child, there are occasional adult-only nights too. 



Appreciate St. Philip’s Cathedral’s architecture


Photo: Birmingham Cathedral St Philip's on Facebook

Adorned with stained glass windows by Birmingham’s own Burne-Jones, St. Philip’s Cathedral, consecrated in 1715, stands proudly in the centre of Birmingham. The baroque-style cathedral is a Grade I Listed building and is a lovely attraction for those interested in history, religion, or art. 



Let your hair down at the Custard Factory 


Photo: The Custard Factory on Facebook 

The Custard Factory has basically everything you could ever want. The most recent addition, Crazy Pedro’s, will fill you up with delicious pizza with whacky toppings before serving you some tasty mezcal. Sink a few bevs at Sobremesa before diving head first into an adults-only ball pit at Ball Park. Then channel your inner Tiger Woods at Ghetto Golf! 

Adorned with vibrant graffiti and with the coolest places in Brum, The Custard Factory is home to many of the best things to do in Birmingham.   


Find tickets for events near Custard Factory - here



Go back in time at Winterbourne House and Garden


Photo: Winterbourne House and Garden on Facebook 

Dripping in history, this Edwardian house and garden is lovely on the eyes and will certainly pique the interests of any history buffs. But aside from the house, there's the Grade II Listed botanical garden with a Japanese bridge and a Victorian nut walk, activity trails, and all sorts of artsy, horticulture, and crafts event and courses going down, too. It's one of those places that is so beautiful you have to see it for yourself. Words can't touch it. 



Have a drink or two in a bar or pub 


Photo: Luna Springs on Facebook

One of our favourite things to do when we head to another city is to check out the bars. They always offer something a little different to what you have at home.

Head to Luna Springs if it’s sunny or if you fancy some unusual entertainment such as bingo, brunch or a pup cinema (yep, really!). NQ64 is the one for any retro gamers, and BrewDog is perfect for beer enthusiasts. 

But if you prefer your good old-fashioned pub, Bacchus Bar, The Victoria, The Lord Clifden, and The Old Joint Stock will sort you out! 



Or tear it up at a nightclub or two


Photo: Lab11

Birmingham has some of the best nightclubs. Lab11 is an iconic, award-winning venue that sees some of the biggest DJs in the world on its decks. The Tunnel Club is another top shout. Situated in a tunnel, the club welcomes many genres and pulls out all the stops, such as LED lights, confetti, and more. And The Rainbow Venues was listed in DJ Mag's list of the top nightclubs in the world. And there are so many more worth visiting!


Find tickets for clubbing events in Birmingham - here



And that concludes our pretty huge list of the best things to do in Birmingham! It’s quite long, eh? That just goes to show how exciting, entertaining and fun Birmingham is. If you were considering a visit, we hope we persuaded you. And if you already had plans to go, we hope you found something you can’t wait to check out! 

Click or tap here for events in Birmingham. 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.