My City





Vibrant and diverse, Birmingham is a European centre for retail, commerce and culture. Appropriately, its civic motto is ‘Forward’, and it is the driving ambition and attitude of the city which makes Birmingham a great place to work, live and study.

Birmingham has a history of welcoming people from all areas of the world to meet, talk, trade and settle. It is a truly multicultural city and this is reflected in its restaurants, shops and cultural offerings.

With a proud heritage and modern outlook, the city boasts excellent entertainment for all tastes with a range of leading theatres, museums and galleries, including our own Barber Institute of Fine Arts and music venues from the LG Arena to the NIA.

A thriving commercial centre, Birmingham has been transformed into a city for young professionals. It is more than somewhere to study for our students; it's somewhere to build a sucessful future. 

The city has shaken off its industrial image with investments of around £9 billion and has emerged as a confident, modern, commercial centre. Around 40% of our students choose to stay in the region following graduation adding to the energy of our forward moving and forward thinking home.


Travelling in and around Birmingham

The city of Birmingham – ideally placed for travel:

  • Just 90 minutes from London by train
  • Only 20 minutes away from Birmingham International airport by train
  • Close to the countryside of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire
  • Within easy reach of historic Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • Great for visiting national landmarks such as Warwick, Kenilworth and Ludlow castles


Birmingham is serviced with strong transport links from all parts of the country. For rail travels, New Street Station acts as a large local hub, with train stations spread throughout different parts of the city, making local travel quick and efficient. Travelling to Birmingham by car is convenient from both the North (M6 motorway) and the South (M5 motorway). 

Birmingham International Airport has it's own attached rail station, with regular trains to the city centre. There is an extensive bus network running through the city as well, making travel very convenient. A word of warning though, Birmingham buses do NOT give change, so you will need to pay for your bus fair in exact change. 


More information on public transport is avaliable on the Sustainable Travel webpages of the University Intranet

Finding a Place to Live

The University is able to offer some guidance on finding a place to live, but is unable to sort housing for you.

The University has a small supply of accommodation suitable for staff. If you would like to consider this option then we recommend applying well in advance as there are only  a small number of properties and there sometimes is a waiting list. More information on this, as well as finding other accomodation, can be found on the Human Resources Intranet pages.

For a rough guide on different areas to live within Birmingham, please see the Smart Move UK Area Guide.

 Birmingham Attractions

Here is a couple of examples of attractions in and around Birmingham. See the "more information" section to find out about more attractions in and around Birmingham. 


In the city centre: 

Bullring is the glamorous heart of Birmingham with over 160 imaginative and desirable shops to explore.

  • National Sea Life Centre

Walk through a glass tunnel totally surrounded by an enormous one million-litre ocean tank where giant green sea turtles, black tip reef sharks and tropical reef fish swim inches from your head.

Ten themed galleries of immense, inspiring, interactive fun. It’s the most modern of science museums.

This contains a 12 screen Odeon 3D Multiplex, the 20 lane Bowlplex with Sega arcade and pool pit and the Broadway Casino.


Near the University: 

Take a tour and explore the home of Britain's most loved chocolate.

Whether you are interested in animal conservation or just having a fun day out with the family, Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park offers something for everyone.

                                                                              The Bullring, Birmingham's indoor shopping arena

Further afield:

The UK's No.1 Forest Adventure can be found at Cannock Chase and Wyre Forest.  Fly down a huge zip wire or leap off Tarzan Swings and enjoy high rope obstacles in some of Britain’s most breathtaking scenery.

Drayton Manor theme park features some of the biggest, wettest and scariest rides around.

 The Great Outdoors

If you like getting outdoors, Birmingham has a lot of space where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. From wandering around the canals that the city was built on, to the large country parks a little out of the city, there is plenty for everyone. 


Parks and Green Spaces:

A beautiful park very close to the University. Home to the Birmingham Wildlife and Conservation Park. 

  • Selly Oak Park

Again, very near to the University, this park was awarded Green Flag status in 2013 reconising it's high quality. 

The Lickey Hills Country Park is one of the oldest parks managed by Birmingham.

Sutton Park is an historic landscape that covers an area of over 2,000acres and attracts over two million visits every year.

Part of the University of Birmingham, it is located just off the main campus and is perfect for picnics in the summer.



Birmingham has an intricate network of canals, and you can walk/cycle along the towpaths of most of them, making for an easy way in and around the city without having to deal with traffic. The line from University to the city centre is the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

The Mailbox is Birmingham City Centre's premier shopping, lifestyle and restaurant location, located on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal line. 

Tree-lined squares, International cuisine and an enviable canalside location make Brindleyplace one of Birmingham’s most exciting destinations. 


 Annual Event Highlights

The following events are intended as a guide to some of the best annual events occuring in Birmingham, but are by no means a definitive guide. Birmingham is a cultural hub, with a vast number of different local and city-wide events run throughout the year. For more annual events, please see the Visit Birmingham Annual Event Guide


Chinese New Year is a festival enjoyed all over the world, and each year is represented by an animal from the Chinese zodiac calendar. Celebrations take place in the Arcadian Centre with free entertainment for thousands of visitors including lion dancing, Chinese inspired activities and of course fireworks!

Flatpack is a film gathering like no other which takes over Birmingham every March. Kicking off in the city centre and moving gradually towards the arches, warehouses and galleries of Digbeth, the festival celebrates cinema in all its forms.

Famed as being the UK's biggest 2 day Gay Pride Parade, the city centre comes alive with music and colours as the parade makes it all the way through New Street and ending in Birmingham's Gay Village. Expect lots of live music and events over the course of the weekend. 

BE Festival, Birmingham's festival celebrating the best of European theatre, returns year on year. Featuring over twenty electrifying performances from eleven European countries, plus live music, exhibitions, workshops, discussions and delicious food, this vibrant festival puts Birmingham on the map as the Theatre capital of Europe. 

This event takes place every July in the idyllic setting of Moseley Park. Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul is well known for bringing some of the best artists from the Jazz, Funk and Soul world to Birmingham. 

The Birmingham Comedy Festival has been drawing attention to the city's vibrant (and often unsung) comedy scene since 2001 when the debut festival hit the road running thanks to appearances from Peter Kay and Sean Lock. Since then, the festival has grown into one of the largest independent arts festival in the region.

Each November there are a whole host of spectacular fireworks and bonfires all across the region, helping you celebrate with a BANG! One of the best displays is the University's Guild of Students’ annual firework display at the Vale, which is free to enter. The event starts at 7pm with a funfair and the fireworks commence at approximately 9pm. It promises to be a fantastic evening and the event is open to all so you are welcome to bring any friends and family with you.

The largest authentic German market outside Germany and Austria and the centrepiece of the city’s festive event calendar returns to Birmingham each year in mid November for 5 weeks. Explore over 180 stalls selling gifts, jewellery, decorations, handmade toys, delicious German fare and of course the ever popular Glühwein!

                                                                                                  Late evening shopping at the Christmas                                                                                                          Markets

More information

Visit Birmingham is the official tourist information website for the city of Birmingham. From here you can find out about the wealth of opportunities available for those who live and work in Birmingham, including festivals, cultural events, where to dine and where to relax. See the Visit Birmingham website.



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