Birmingham – a city in the midst of a revolution, an uprising of local.

With new restaurants and bars opening by the score, flocking to Birmingham as if compelled by some foodie lodestone, inspiring projects taking off and awesome events occurring all over the city – there’s an indescribable electricity about Birmingham at the moment, a tangible excitement of new things on the horizon. All eyes are on us.

Indeed, with so much going on, knowing where to start can always be an issue. So, to lend a helping hand, we created an alternative bucket list – a glorious guide to all the things you must do in Birmingham before you die, inspired by the creative and the unique.

If you live and work here, study here, or simply plan on visiting for a few days one weekend, be sure to use this guide to rediscover your city and explore the real Birmingham. There’ll be a special Brummie passport waiting at the end for you.

In no particular order, here goes!

Watch the stars of Hollywood under the stars of Birmingham at mac Birmingham’s open air cinema

9cdf44f6-1cd7-4fed-a549-ba1d0fa80972-1024x680

Stuff your face with the best street food around at Digbeth Dining Club

14650057_682414288581508_6969736061733403989_n

Wander down the canals to see how far they go (we’ve got rather a lot you know…)

1013632_905280532845709_2132476215501892063_n

Eat Incredible Seasonal Dishes At The Wilderness

13245236_1340176389331966_4485061012414005932_n

Drink gin, and yet more gin, at the UK’s best gin bar – 40 St. Paul’s

20708261_1509741465786942_224939249373397474_n

Have a night to remember at Rainbow

11745605_1122393697776860_1143562670702410243_n

Have a night you probably won’t remember at Snobs

CPP9XtSUcAAg-og.jpg-large

Partake in an evening of culture at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

11059846_10153611810443678_8979059364603024428_n

Attend An Independent Birmingham Festival – The Last One Saw 2000 People Journey To The Iconic Aston Hall For A Day Of Feasting, Drinking, Shopping Local and Rocking Out To Live Music

21767964_1441004962613354_8556071979979195480_n-11.01.10

Indulge in Afternoon Tea at The Edgbaston

10462898_1029955570348190_5961188710488560335_n

Get artsy at Ikon Gallery

11070999_962801303760298_6397604748531654464_n

Make foodie pilgrimage to Laghi’s Deli and eat all the pasta

unnamed-8

Get your claws on a lobster at Nosh & Quaff, or the beef ribs – they’re good too

11866346_880009762083357_1749220893638124940_n

Take a loaf home from Peel and Stone

22089045_757385434465289_7584425725770182490_n

Work your way through all the beers at Purecraft Bar and Kitchen – although not all at once, that’d be sheer madness…

12705732_1665028257047662_9157895048803658813_n

Watch a cult classic at The Electric cinema

12250166_914304201950102_311804956523154599_n

Go nuts for the Birmingham Royal Ballet performing The Nutcracker

1424474_10205553789863380_571680665462405375_n

Go Play 18-Holes Of Ghetto Golf

19657108_798936403602417_309813679263770594_n

Buy all the cheese from Anderson and Hill and have your very own cheese and wine night

1010589_216486068562725_1861833855_n

Go eat sushi at either Gaijin or Otoro Sushi – both are ace and a ‘must visit’ for sushi fans

28166554_300215163837473_576657781690632493_n

Explore Birmingham’s hidden depths with Hidden Spaces

10446475_760913113931038_5784338893190658760_n

Drink gin from a bathtub at The Jekyll and Hyde

10325420_941845732503516_7619301337809418858_n

Get your caffeine fix in one of our many fabulous independent coffee shops

unnamed-7

Visit one of our four Michelin Star restaurants (Manchester still has none, suck it Manchester!)

carters-of-moseley-interior2

Go Eat Cubano Sandwiches And Drink Mojitos At The Cuban Embassy

20496571_10212279447474521_311113919_n

Revel in the glory of Birmingham’s street art – Digbeth, we love you

11064620_10206507492065339_2826843297468792725_n

Kit yourself out with some new street wear at Liquor Store

unspecified-3

Get folky at Moseley Folk Festival

10665872_740964579273844_6910907742365698714_n

Eat just anything from Baked In Brick, named the best street food trader in Europe (it’s official)

27972312_1581389095241606_3071105517614013485_n

Celebrate the changing of the seasons at The Seasonal Markets in Digbeth

22046067_1898771720343621_1429014644294177819_n

Stumble upon the hidden beach in The Prince of Wales beer garden (stumbling because you’ve probably had one too many zombies at the Mo-Tiki Bar…)

11045294_818720098195585_7537882286140199672_n

Eat this waffle from Bournville Waffle Company

11813528_10207735164476382_950104065666004271_n

Attend Taco Night At The Plough, Then Eat All The Tacos

18425364_1368698843211887_8350157815134938304_n

Enjoy a spiritual awakening at The Barber House with a traditional cutthroat shave

12004860_484027415092283_2596231583030973358_n

Rekindle your lost love for science and history at Vincent Van Doodle

10942612_810305232338593_7248115587312703133_n

Go veggie at The Warehouse Cafe

10945555_918316371532597_1332877634529231558_n

Drink gin above the city at The Bureau’s rooftop terrace

12003920_865417696874106_3660334882434352505_n

Stock up on vinyl and CD’s at Swordfish Records

P1010150-1024x683-1024x683

Rock out in the basement at The Sunflower Lounge

10921632_782324125149448_8693521438566567436_o-1024x684-1024x684

Eat these nachos at Bodega Bar y Cantina

17264956_1251639768216542_1706548569862918123_n

Play ping pong in The Lord Clifden’s beer garden (their cider slushy is immense, just so you know…)

1026051_363030197156929_47501510_o-1024x768

Run the Birmingham Half Marathon for charity

Birmingham_301650k

Eat all the fried chicken and drink craft beer at BoneHead

unnamed-1

Ask yourself at least once every 2 months where the Kong statue went – let’s start a petition to get it back right now!

BP1492786@

Eat A Life-Changing Burger At The Meat Shack. Just Choose Any Off The Menu, They’re All Incredible

qHTT7jn3

Become a zombie for the day at the Birmingham Zombie Walk

JS46251909

Soak up the culture as you enjoy the diverse architecture of our beloved Birmingham

11705372_10207752552631075_2073867592859970522_n

Eat These Cronuts From Medicine Bakery

26166543_1675834902487304_7065151497942058885_n

Catch your favourite live band at Hare and Hounds

560119_286578124769486_1964313138_n

Head to Original Patty Men on Wednesdays for Wing Wednesdays. If you know, you know…

28279263_2036710659678532_2828155901102395352_n

Drink some locally brewed craft beer from one of our many micro-breweries

16730639_613833492137370_9171334005579586972_n

Go Drink A Cocktail With A Skull Ice Cube At Bourne And Co.

unnamed-1

Go indulge your inner culture vulture and watch a play or musical at the nationally-renowned Birmingham Hippodrome

unnamed-82

Eat large amounts of small plates at El Borracho De Oro

12369153_426779600849966_1428870583058666956_n

Take a leisurely stroll through Cannon Hill Park – you could even picnic there too, what a great idea!

E30A5230-DEA9-11CD-5FD6B8918BF466CC

Visit Brum’s hidden cocktail bar with tasting menu format, Smultronställe

unspecified-3

Rekindle your love for Digbeth’s forgotten architecture

digbeth beauty IB-17

Search out Buddha Belly at our city’s best street food events and then stuff your face with their amazing Thai eats

18814312_1356303194468032_923839230199434838_n

Enjoy a room with a view at The Rotunda with Staying Cool

1442668693264

Learn all about whisky at the annual Whisky Birmingham Festival

Whisky Birmingham festival - Dram being poured (light)

Find the perfect wine for you at Loki Wine

27072297_157705878204313_4647910921989625805_n

Explore The Custard Factory and revel in Birmingham’s awesome creative sector

15337607_10154583856566259_5320769102805590537_n

Eat anything from BAKE

unnamed-1

Grab yourself a unique craft beer from either Stirchley Wines or Cotteridge Wines (both named as one of the very best bottle shops in England). Go Brum!

26195339_10156023241512661_1604197106768192386_n

We’re renowned for curry, but try Indian cuisine with a difference at Zindiya, Lasan, Viceroy Tandoori, The Indian Streatery and The Indian Brewery

24852603_382763212171224_7363329886087848290_n

Witness a cadre of creepy clowns just hanging around at the Birmingham Weekender arts festival

11822792_662963073838683_1287649769769432312_n

Drink Tiki cocktails at Island Bar whilst playing Super Smash Bros. on the N64 – just yes!

10418487_995252813821820_7529905641341867258_n

Eat this epic brunch platter for 5 all by yourself at Gas Street Social

11148394_769472576507526_9047706798541218509_n

Spend the afternoon wandering around BMAG pretending you know anything at all about art

10501609_10152623491967975_7003253383122219809_n

Mill some bread at Sarehole Mill

51f8cb01038d1-sarehole-milledited.l.m

Eat your fill of ribs at The Church

19701992_915716561904122_4767771795900873358_n

Learn how to become a witch at Zen

IMG_4930-1024x1024

Battle orcs (in your mind) at Perrott’s Folly

63541_501698186544732_1692406402_n

Celebrate Birmingham Pride

18670830_1330719083641943_2985742314155083934_n

Join Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things and merch up on all the Provide gear you can get your hands on

DXNhsubXcAE2J_W

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style at The Old Crown

unnamed-23

Spruce up your home with a jam jar light from The Workshop Below

9846_642226959173978_96941296_n

Get hooked on Low ’N’ Slow – and then post a picture of his food on Instagram to make everyone else jealous

29101057_1997832993578177_6635232174578597888_n-1

Dote on the growing cadre of awesome photographers in Birmingham – here’s one from our good friend Verity Milligan

1908281_759577080749389_1082752084_n

Up Your Home-Ware Game At Minima

unnamed-4

Spend the afternoon lamenting the destruction of our beloved Central Library

Heritage27_95381c

Eat, drink and shop at over 100 of the very best independents in Birmingham for less with the Independent Birmingham Membership Card (because we had to, right?)

DSC05924_preview

Shop local, celebrate the unique and rediscover your city!

Join over 18,500 Brummies and grab yourself an Independent Birmingham Membership Card. Enjoy fantastic year-long discounts and deals at over 100 of the very best independent cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, theatres and shops in Birmingham – including: Digbeth Dining Club, The Electric cinema, Simpsons, The Wilderness, Carters, Lasan, Birmingham Hippodrome, Adam’s, Zindiya, The Meat Shack, Harborne Kitchen, Smultronställe, Bodega Bar Y Cantina, Purnell’s Bistro, Buffalo and Rye, mac Birmingham, Fiesta del Asado, 40 St Paul’s, The Plough, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Lord Clifden, The Jekyll And Hyde, Nosh & Quaff, The Church, Bourne and Co., The Rose Villa Tavern, Cherry Reds, The Prince of Wales, The Loft, Laghi’s Deli, Medicine Bakery, The Paper Duck, Town Hall Symphony Hall and many more.

To grab your key to the city for just £15 (or at the amazing price of two for £20), click here.

Special thanks to Verity Milligan, Ross Jukes, Dave Musson, Suzanne Lea Smith and Jack Spicer Adams for some of the brilliant images featured above.