4 things to do in Birmingham

26 Apr 2022
By Sonam P., Student at Aston University

I found moving from home to Birmingham both exhilarating and nerve-racking. But regardless of the emotions I experienced, I knew it was an amazing opportunity not just to learn about myself, but about this new city I was about to make my second home.

If you’re like me and have chosen Birmingham - aka ‘Brummie’ - as your university city, you’ll inevitably be thinking about things to do and see while you’re there - most likely on a student budget. To help, I’ve rounded up the best, most affordable, things to do in Birmingham I’ve found over the three years I’ve now lived here.

Eat your heart out at Cadbury World

A visit to Cadbury World, home to the Birmingham-based confectionery company since 1824, is a must for all chocolate-lovers.

While there, I saw a copy of the street where John Cadbury had his first shop, learnt about the Ancient Mayans, and binged in the world’s biggest and greatest Cadbury shop.

How: Tickets cost £13.25 with student discount and need to be booked in advance.

Visit the Electric Cinema

Have you ever wanted to visit the UK’s oldest cinema? To be honest I didn’t know it existed, but thank goodness my friend told me about it because it’s definitely worth a visit. With new movies and old classics, there is plenty of choice depending on how you are feeling that day.

What makes this cinema so unique is the waiter service - the whole experience is the epitome of a chill sesh. So, if you are like me and love sitting down and snacking while watching a movie then come over to the UK’s oldest cinema for a cinematic experience like no other.

How: Tickets cost £8.20 with student discount and you can find out more on the cinema’s website.

Visit the Library of Birmingham

As students we’re supposed to love libraries, but I’m pretty sure we’re programmed to hate them. Why? Because they normally mean work, work and more work. However, the Library of Birmingham should absolutely be on your bucket list while studying in Birmingham. It’s not one of the city’s landmarks for nothing. The architecture is beautiful and, for all the book lovers, there’s an amazing array of genres to explore.

You can even have a few library sessions there if you need a nice break from the stuffy, overcrammed university library. It also has free Wi-Fi, a ground-floor cafe and terraces with great views of the city.

How: The library is open from Monday to Saturday (apart from bank holidays) and entry is free. Learn more about the library here.

Check out the creative quarter at the Custard Factory

I should probably mention that the Custard Factory is not actually a factory where custard is made, which is what I first assumed - it’s Birmingham’s creative quarter.

Whether you consider yourself creative or not, the Custard Factory will bring out your creative spirit. Not far from Bull Ring, it’s made up of a group of Victorian factories that were built 100 years ago by Sir Alfred Bird, the inventor of custard.

Once here you’ll find a lively, modernised community filled with creatives, digital enterprises, independent retailers and a thriving music scene. Not only that, but there’s Instagram-approved cafes, cool art galleries and a nightclub called the Warehouse (if you like clubbing I would recommend it… it has great vibes).

How: Find out more information on the Custard Factory at the official Visit Birmingham website.

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I’m a business management student nearing the end of my studies. Beside loving to write in my spare time, I enjoy traveling and exploring.