The Best Things to Do in Birmingham in 2024

The beautiful city of Birmingham has several lesser-known tourist attractions and experiences for you to explore in 2024. We’re not saying the iconic Bullring, Cadbury World and Jewellery Quarter should be missed, but there’s a whole world of other fascinating attractions, with something to please everyone.

In this article, we’ll be highlighting the must-see attractions, top experiences, things to do for free as well as some of the most awaited events in Birmingham in 2024.

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Must-See Attractions in Birmingham in 2024

Botanical Gardens

These beautiful gardens provide a peaceful escape near the busy city. As you wander the 15 lush acres, you'll be surrounded by over 7,000 plant species from around the globe housed in striking Victorian glasshouses.

For a real sensory experience, time your visit for the best of Britain floral showcase in late May when all the flowerbeds are reaching their vivid peak bloom. It's like stepping into an English garden wonderland!

Digbeth Neighborhood

If you're looking for Birmingham's edgier side, spend an afternoon exploring the gritty yet trendy Digbeth area. The former industrial area is now a hub for the city’s alternative arts scene and you'll quickly see why as you stumble across vibrant street art murals around every corner.

The best place to start is at the Custard Factory arts complex packed with indie shops, galleries, cafes, and buzzy event spaces. After taking pictures of the exceptional street murals, catch cutting-edge theatre, comedy, or live music at unique spots like the Mockingbird Theater or Dead Wax.

Brutalist Architecture

For a complete contrast to the city's ornate churches and Victorian architecture, take some time to admire Birmingham's striking examples of 20th-century Brutalist design. You can't miss the Central Library's massive inverted ziggurat silhouette with its bare concrete forms that give it an almost foreboding presence

Just as jaw-dropping is the bold curving form of the Selfridges department store at Bullring, completely enveloped in 15,000 shimmering aluminium discs that almost seem to dematerialise the building's mass. Even if the Brutalist aesthetic isn't your jam, you've got to admire the incredible feats of engineering.



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Top Experiences in Birmingham in 2024

St. Andrew's Stadium Tour

Most cities offer standard stadium tours that feel a bit dry and impersonal. Birmingham has something special for all you diehard football fans. At St. Andrew's, home of the Birmingham City Football Club, you can get the full behind-the-scenes experience.

They let you explore areas that are usually strictly off-limits to the public such as their television interview rooms, the dressing rooms, even the player's warm-up zone and tunnel. Imagine walking through that same tunnel, just like legendary footballers did before roaring crowds. Truly exciting.

Otherworld VR Experience

For a fun and unique adventure, you can put on a virtual reality headset and enter the trippy digital worlds at Otherworld.

You might find yourself exploring different planets one moment and fighting zombies the next. And if that’s not really your thing, it also has a self-serve drink wall. So you can always just grab a drink and enjoy the neon lights.

Bake Your Own Chocolate Bar

For a deliciously immersive piece of Birmingham's confectionery heritage, join a bean-to-bar chocolate making class at one of the city's artisan chocolatiers. You'll learn all about the chocolate-making process from sorting single-origin cacao beans to grinding, tempering, and hand-moulding your very own bars with gourmet flavors.

Not only will you get to take your custom tasty creations home, but you'll also gain inside knowledge into Birmingham's storied history as the birthplace of some of the world's most iconic chocolate brands.

Going to a gig

With the thriving music scene in Birmingham, going to a live gig is a must. Whether you’re a fan of dance and electronic music, jazz, pop or rock, there’s something for everyone.

Best free things to do in Birmingham

Museums and Art Galleries

You don't have to spend a fortune to experience Birmingham's incredible cultural institutions. The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery houses the largest public collection of Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces found anywhere on the planet. Even if 19th-century romantic paintings aren't your usual jam, you'll still be blown away by the vibrant colors and exquisite details that make the collection so renowned.

For a well-rounded experience, the museum also exhibits ancient artefacts and treasures from cultures across the globe. So you get to see Egyptian mummies, Greek sculptures, and Renaissance pottery all in one visit.

Parks and Gardens

Sometimes the best things in life really are free, like spending a sunny afternoon in one of Birmingham's gorgeous green spaces. The grounds of Cannon Hill Park offer plenty of room to take out a blanket and enjoy a picnic.

For a more rustic vibe, stroll the gentle trails looping around Edgbaston Reservoir or pack some snacks and relax with your toes dangling in the cool water. Both parks often host free concerts, festivals, and events too throughout the summer months.

Global Shakespeare Collection

Located in the Shakespeare Memorial Room, discover the world’s first place to open a public library dedicated to Shakespeare. This is the perfect opportunity for all you Shakespeare fanatics to discover the story behind how Shakespeare's collection still resonates with the city of Birmingham today. This exhibition is only open till the 31st of May 2024, so be sure to go well in advance!


Best Birmingham Events 2024

Birmingham Oktoberfest

If you're visiting in late October or early November, you've got to join the festivities at Birmingham's world-famous Oktoberfest celebration, the largest of its kind outside of Munich! This Bavarian party draws thousands upon thousands of revellers donning traditional lederhosen and dirndls who gather to sip frothy steins of ale while joyfully dancing to live bands.

Even if you're not part of the local German community, it's hard not to get swept up in the infectious celebratory atmosphere and have an absolute blast. But maybe don't overindulge on one too many of those boot-shaped beer glasses...

Birmingham Pride

Birmingham Pride, held on 24th and 25th May 2024, marks one of the UK's largest and most iconic LGBTQ celebrations. The annual May festival will be pulling out all the stops with an expanded roster of exuberant parties, performances, family events, speakers and more centred around the city's Gay Village area.

Of course, the absolute highlight is always the colorful and joyous Pride parade itself which has grown bigger and more fabulous with each passing year. So get ready to party, dance in the streets, and celebrate Birmingham's LGBTQ community with Pride.

Birmingham Literature Festival

All you book lovers wouldn’t want to miss the Birmingham Literature Festival in October (3rd-6th), showcasing new works of science fiction and fantasy writing. See famous authors give readings and join compelling panel discussions on imaginative new worlds.

There are also writing workshops for aspiring speculative fiction authors and even interactive experiences that bring the pages to life through immersive storytelling. Birmingham has a proud legacy of fostering fresh new voices in these genres.

Annual Street Art Festival

In the summers, Birmingham's incredible street art scene gets its well-deserved moment in the spotlight during the free City of Colours festival. Over a week, Digbeth's public spaces are transformed into open-air galleries with muralists painting live, guided walking tours exploring the area's impressive existing murals, and indoor exhibitions showcasing the form's top artists.

It's a fantastic celebration of an often-overlooked art medium and really opens your eyes to just how imaginative and powerful some of these massive photorealistic and abstract pieces can be. And it's fun to see the murals progress day by day during the festival.

Getting Around Birmingham

Public transport

Birmingham has worked hard to develop one of the UK's most integrated and eco-friendly public transit networks that make it an absolute breeze to explore every corner of the city.

The West Midlands Metro tram system has multiple lines running right through the compact downtown core and out to the surrounding suburbs. Best of all, you can purchase affordable daily passes that also cover the efficient bus network so you'll never be stranded.


Another fantastic option for exploring Birmingham is to join the legion of cyclists and rent a bicycle from one of the city's docking stations. Birmingham is super bike-friendly with over 100 miles of cycleways and canal paths crisscrossing the area.


If you prefer exploring the city in the convenience of your own vehicle, you can always drive to Birmingham or rent out a car within the city.

Birmingham also has numerous car parks scattered throughout the city. It can be tricky to find cheap parking in Birmingham - whilst convenient, Birmingham parking can be quite costly, making it essential to plan your visit and budget accordingly. Some popular multi-storey car parks include the Bullring Centre Car Park, the Mailbox Car Park, and Grand Central Car Park. Each offers different pricing structures and accessibility to various city landmarks.

To avoid getting stung with costly parking fees and wasting time circling for an open space, consider using Stashbee.
Stashbee allows you to easily rent convenient and affordable parking spaces from locals near your destination in advance, ensuring a hassle-free arrival. It's a brilliant way to stay mobile while visiting Birmingham's top attractions without overpaying.



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Where to Stay in Birmingham

Luxury Stay

If you're looking to splurge on accommodation with a wow factor, book the Belfry Hotel and resort for its lush green aesthetic accompanied by spectacular facilities such as an indoor pool, a hot tub and a spa.

For a taste of aristocratic country living, the posh Mallory Court Luxury Hotel knows how to pamper you. This 18th-century mansion sitting on ten acres of pristine landscaped grounds outside Birmingham provides a taste of gracious Regency-era hospitality complete with ornate plastered ceilings, roaring fireplaces, and fine dining befitting lords and ladies.

Affordable Living

But you don't have to go broke to enjoy Birmingham's incredible architectural heritage. The city is filled with adorably cosy boutique hostels and renovated centuries-old workshop homes listed on vacation rental sites like Airbnb, especially in the atmospheric Jewellery Quarter.

Not only will you enjoy charming surroundings at a fantastic value, but most local hosts are happy to share insider tips on the best under-the-radar cafes, pubs, and neighbourhood haunts frequented by Brummies themselves. Talk about an authentic experience!


Is Birmingham safe for tourists?

Like any major metropolitan area, Birmingham does have a handful of higher crime areas that are best avoided if you're unfamiliar with the city, especially alone at night. However, all the main tourist zones and top attractions are patrolled regularly by police and private security so there's little reason for concern just using normal urban smarts.

Stick to well-lit main streets after dark, keep valuables securely stowed out of sight, and avoid shortcuts through quiet alleys or parks once the sun goes down. Basically just remain alert and trust your gut, and you'll have a completely problem-free visit!

What's the best area to stay for nightlife?

To be in the middle of all the raucous late-night action, I'd recommend booking a hotel around the Broad Street and Arcadian areas as they have the highest concentration of bars, comedy clubs, live music venues, and dance clubs. From legendary mega-clubs like Pryzm to a laid-back pint at one of the canalside brew pubs, these areas have nightlife for all scenes and budgets.

The edgier Digbeth neighbourhood is also an up-and-coming nightlife district, especially for underground electronic music events at places like the Digbeth Drinking Club. It has a really youthful, creative vibe popular with artists and DJs.

How many days should I spend in Birmingham?

To see all the highlights and top attractions without feeling terribly rushed, I'd recommend budgeting 2-3 days in Birmingham itself. This gives you ample time to check out places like the Bullring, museums, and Botanical Gardens, and still have room for poking around fun neighbourhoods on a more relaxed schedule.

If you want to use Birmingham as a home base for day trips, tack on an extra couple of days to venture out to areas like Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, or the bucolic Cotswolds region. The city's central location makes it a perfect jumping-off point.

What's the best way to get to Birmingham?

Birmingham has stellar transportation connections thanks to its centralised location in England, with multiple methods for arriving. For many visitors, taking the train will likely be the most convenient option with frequent service from across the UK directly into the New Street station in the heart of downtown.

If you're flying in, Birmingham Airport offers non-stop flights from a wide range of domestic and international hubs. From there, it's just a 10-15 minute ride on the speedy Air-Rail link tram to be whisked straight into the city centre hassle-free.

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Written 21st Mar 2024