Birmingham – a city where old and new are intertwined in a beautiful mix of culture, creativity and passion.

Birmingham is a city packed with history and culture and at the same striding toward the future with a purpose. With scores of glorious independent restaurants and bars to entice the avid foodie, inspiring projects taking off and awesome events occurring all over the city – there’s an indescribable electricity about Birmingham at the moment. 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 ultimate 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.

In no particular order, here goes!

Note: Whilst many businesses have now reopened, some are yet to do so. Social distancing is still in place and very important, please check each individual business’ website for their up-to-date opening times and safety measures prior to visiting. Some businesses may require you to make a booking in advance.

Watch the stars of Hollywood under the stars of Birmingham at Midlands Arts Centre’s open air cinema


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

Photo: The Fat Foodie UK

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


Photo: Ross Jukes

Enjoy Rock ‘N’ Roll Fine Dining At The Wilderness

Have a night you probably won’t remember at Snobs


Partake in an evening of culture at Birmingham Repertory Theatre


Attend An Independent Birmingham Festival

Indulge in Afternoon Tea at The Edgbaston

Get artsy at Ikon Gallery


Photo: Verity Milligan

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


Feast on life-changing bao buns at Tiger Bites Pig, and fall in love with this tiny restaurant doing big things in the city

Photo: The Fat Foodie UK

Drink locally-brewed craft beer in one of the city’s micro-brewery taprooms

And if you love craft beer, then you definitely need to check out the Stirchley Beer Mile. And just Stirchley in general – so many incredible independents, all in one incredible place.

Watch a cult classic at The Electric cinema


Go nuts for the Birmingham Royal Ballet performing The Nutcracker

Photo: Bella Kotak

Go Play 18-Holes Of Ghetto Golf

Go for a swim at the iconic Moseley Road Baths

Wander down this amazing corridor in Aston Hall

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


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

Visit one of our five Michelin Star restaurants (Manchester only has one, suck it Manchester!)

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


Explore Birmingham’s wonderful suburbs, they’re packed full of amazing independents and glorious green spaces


Explore The Bullring Indoor Market

And then explore The Bullring Open Market and check out all of the incredible fresh produce on offer

Photo: Bite Your Brum

Discover and support Birmingham’s many independent shops


Explore Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and the stunning architecture of its doors and windows

Photo: Chris Fletcher

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


Get drunk in The Prince of Wales beer garden


Drink wine and eat cheese at Kings Heath neighbourhood wine bar Grace + James

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


Stuff your face with grilled cheese sandwiches and drink natural wine at Kilder

Become a gelato popsicle artist and create-your-own gelato lolly at LA-POP

Get tipsy and watch a cult classic at one of The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen’s Bottomless Brunch Screenings

Stock up on vinyl and CD’s at Swordfish Records


Buy every single one of these legendary Brummie hot sauces by Pip’s Hot Sauce

Make your own chocolates at The Chocolate Quarter

Eat nachos at Bodega Cantina

Have a beer (or three) in the Old Crown’s beer garden

Get your dancing shoes on and head to The Night Owl

Eat all the fried chicken and drink craft beer at BoneHead

Photo: Jake’s Food Bible

Support local creatives and producers at a craft market

Discover Brum’s incredible green spaces

Photo: Verity Milligan

Get lost in nostalgia playing retro arcade games at NQ64

Slurp on a locoshake at Eis Cafe

Step into the jungle at Isherwood & Co. and pick up a houseplant or two

Stuff Your Face With Delightful French Macaroons At Miss Macaroon

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

Photo: The Fat Foodie UK

Eat A Birmingham Balti in The Balti Triangle (We Invented The Balti Did You Know? P.S. You’re Welcome)

And while you’re at it, sample the hugely diverse array of cuisines available in the Balti Triangle – you can eat around the world without ever leaving dear old Brum

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

Photo: Beth Astington

Eat These Cronuts From Medicine Bakery And Gallery


Play pinball as you sip on beer at Tilt

Rock a YES BAB t-shirt from Punks and Chancers

Catch your favourite live band at Hare and Hounds

Eat a Bacon Cheese Burger At Original Patty Men

Drink locally-brewed craft beer at Dig Brew Co.

Take on this gigantic sushi platter served in a wooden ship at Sushi Passion

Snack on cute cartoon macarons at Twist

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

Marvel at the stunning architecture of Symphony Hall as you take in a concert


Photo: Verity Milligan

Rekindle your love for Digbeth’s forgotten architecture

digbeth beauty IB-17

Photo: Dave Musson

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

Photo: Patty Master

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


Photo: Verity Milligan

Get lost and eat great food in Chinatown

Drink ALL the whisky at The Whisky Club

Find the perfect wine for you at Loki Wine


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


Photo: Suzanne Lea-Smith Photography

Seek out the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Prince Lazar in Bournville and marvel at the incredible hidden gems Birmingham has (trust us, there are so many!)

Photo: Beth Astington

Eat anything from BAKE


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

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


Stuff your face with Dim Sum at Chung Ying Central

Save the planet and do your grocery shop all in one go at zero-waste supermarket The Clean Kilo


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

Mill some bread at Sarehole Mill

Deck out your house with glorious purchases from indie homeware shop Kin Home

Eat a street food burrito from Habaneros

Stuff your face with delicious brunch at The Early Bird Bakery

Photo: OCUK Photography

Celebrate Birmingham Pride


Show your love for Brum and merch up on all the Provide gear you can get your hands on

Stuff your face with this epic meat and cheese board at Arch 13

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


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

Drink this mint tea at Damascena

Join local charity Love Brum and help support the city and its local charities

Enjoy up to 20% off (alongside exclusive 2-for-1 offers, freebies and more) at over 125 of the very best independents in Birmingham, with the Independent Birmingham App – and then go rediscover your city, one hidden gem at a time

If you like to discover new hidden gems and support local, download the Independent Birmingham App.

Enjoy up to 20% off (alongside exclusive 2-for-1 offers, freebies and more) at over 125 of the very best independent cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, theatres, cinemas, hotels, shops and experiences in Birmingham – including: Digbeth Dining Club, The Electric Cinema, Carters, Indian Brewery Snowhill, Birmingham Hippodrome, Adam’s, Zindiya, The Meat Shack, Baked In Brick, BoneHead, Purnell’s Restaurant, Chakana, Tiger Bites Pig, Bodega Cantina, Stirchley Wines And Spirits, Wayland’s Yard, Purnell’s Bistro, Midlands Arts Centre, 40 St Paul’s, The Plough, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Jekyll And Hyde, The Rose Villa Tavern, Cherry Reds, The Prince of Wales, The Loft, Laghi’s Deli, Medicine Bakery, The Paper Duck, The Clean Kilo, The Early Bird Bakery and many more.

To download the IB App for just £1.99 a month on Apple, click here.

To download the IB App for just £1.99 a month on Android, click here.