Something about Birmingham makes many students hang on once they've finished university. With a bustling city centre, an arty underbelly and a wealth of shops, restaurants and boozeries, Brum offers everything you could want out of city living.
If you're not straying too far from halls, a night out around Selly Oak or Aston University's Gosta Green Campus can be cheap and cheerful. While Moseley has long been a refuge of the asymmetric haircut crowd, in recent years it's taken a slide. However, it still boasts some pleasant pubs, most of which run regular club nights. Just up the road is King's Heath, where the Hare and Hounds pub attracts the cool-kid overspill. The Custard Factory and Rainbow pub in Digbeth host regular live music and club nights, the former putting on some pretty big events, and hooray, they've recently unveiled an ATM in the area. The future is now!
If you're a worshipper at the church of commerce then the Bullring is home to countless shops and eateries with a department store at either end. The lesser known Mailbox is a designer label haven with numerous fancy bars and restaurants. Look a little more closely and you’ll find over one hundred independent stores and boutiques.
There are plenty of places to grow fat in this fine city. You'll find a great selection of bars/restaurants at Brindley Place, with plenty of pubs, noodle bars and chain restaurants. St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter offers a handful of fine restaurants in a beautiful location - great for dates, if you can scrabble together the cash. And if you’re not too bothered about food hygiene, you'll find yourself in a wonderland of takeaways around most of the major student areas - perfect for the post-pub binge.
The O2 Academy is the city's main venue for major bands, though the recently built HMV Institute now competes for your cash. Larger concerts take place either at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) just out of town, or at the National Indoor Arena (NIA).
The city has an expanding creative scene which is well represented by a number of galleries including IKON, the Barber Institute of Fine Art, and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. There are numerous small, independent galleries dotted around the city too. We’re not as uncultured in Brum as you've been led to believe.
Selly Oak is a major hub of the city's student population - much to the chagrin of the locals. The area is well equipped with supermarkets, pubs and takeaways. Edgbaston is another popular destination. It’s a touch pricier but a bit more upmarket and a little leafier. Students studying at BCU or Aston University might find it an easier option to live closer to the city centre or around Aston. As a guide, the closer you are to the city centre, the more you’ll pay for your student accommodation, but living in Moseley and Harbourne will hit your wallet the most.
At the heart of the West Midlands, Birmingham doesn't fit well into the north-south divide, and draws a fair amount of flack from all around. But as neither one nor the other, the city has developed a distinct and vibrant personality of its own. If you can stand the accent you'll fall in love with the place.
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.