Often regarded as ‘England’s second city’, Birmingham is the largest metropolitan area (besides London) in the United Kingdom. Although its skyline is impressive to behold, it’s what’s on the inside that makes Birmingham so interesting.
While Birmingham was once the powerhouse of the 20th Century automotive industry, today its economy is driven by the retail and medical sectors. You need only look at the Bullring & Grand Central for a taste of Birmingham’s success. The shopping centre is not only one of the most visited city-based centres in the UK, but also one of the most unconventional. The curved roof of the Spiral Cafe, for example, is enough to make anyone look twice.
Being unconventional is partly why Birmingham has produced some of the best musical talent in recent memory (Ozzy Osbourne and UB40 to name a few). This buzzing reputation continues with both famous and upcoming musicians playing regularly at Birmingham’s many music venues.
There are over 8,000 acres of green areas distributed throughout the city, with over 571 parks. This means you’re never far from fresh air. The most popular of these is Cannon Hill Park, a 250-acre area containing the Wildlife Conservation Park and Grade-II listed building, the Golden Lion. But that’s not all - thanks to its industrial past, over 35 miles of winding canals lace through the city, trumping Venice’s record of 26...READ MORE
The crime rate in Birmingham is one of the highest in the UK. Urban areas tend to have higher crime rates, due to the higher population density. Birmingham, as the second largest UK city, conforms to this trend.
Very high crime
The local area
Located on Moor Street, the Bullring & Grand Central shopping centre contains all the best high street stores. If you’re looking for more independent wares or a good cup of coffee, the city centre contains some of the best in the UK, especially along Piccadilly Arcade. ..READ MORE
Things to do
10 restaurants in Birmingham
Rio's Piri Piri
Celebz American Diner
Aisa Try It Love It
Cost of living
£149.77 - £522.66
£600 - £1,300
Buy: 2 Bed house
£20K - £465K
Rent: 2 Bed house
£576 - £2300
£368 - £748
The best way to get around Birmingham quickly is by train. There are 8 local rail lines that connect the city and provide quick access to all venues and attractions. Of course, these stations are also useful for connecting services to other parts of the UK, with regular trains from Birmingham New Street to London, Manchester, Nottingham, and Birmingham International Airport.
Birmingham also has dedicated traffic-free cycling routes, including road cycle lanes, signed routes on quieter roads, and canal towpaths. Otherwise, contactless buses, via NX Bus West Midlands, run regularly throughout the city.
£2.40 - £3.00
£60.00 - £80.00
Taxi starting tariff
£2.20 - £2.20
Having played a key role in England’s Industrial Revolution, the city of Birmingham has a variety of cultural activities that could appeal to history lovers. ‘The Thinktank’, Birmingham’s science museum, for example, contains a range of locomotives dating back to the early 20th Century, as well as a selection of steam engines.
One of Birmingham’s most famous attractions, the Roundhouse Theatre, offers visitors the chance to watch a production where William Shakespeare’s own company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, once performed. For sunny spells, Cannon Hill Park allows for a relaxing stroll through nature, and a visit to one of the UK’s best wildlife conservation sites.
£15.00 - £40.00
£8.00 - £12.00
£5.00 - £20.00
Moving to Birmingham
Birmingham has a huge variety of properties for sale. Many new movers choose to live in the leafy suburbs of Edgbaston and Selly Oak, areas also favoured by the university’s students. If you’d prefer some distance between your home and the university, the Harborne area has everything a family might need.
The cost of living in Birmingham is slightly lower than the UK’s other major cities, such as Manchester, London, and Edinburgh. The average house in Birmingham costs around £280,000, while the average monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre is £1,300.
Help and information
Settling into a new neighbourhood can be tricky, but there’s lots of support out there.