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20 Things to Do in Birmingham in Your Twenties

20 Things to Do in Birmingham in Your Twenties

Picture of Richard Franks
Freelance Travel & Music Writer
Updated: 4 November 2017

Birmingham can be a wonderful place in your twenties. From its abundance of cocktail bars through to its sporting attractions and down-right silly activities, here are 20 things you should definitely do once you pass your teenage years in Brum.

Go to a rave in Digbeth

If there’s one thing Digbeth is great for, it’s a good old-fashioned rave. Head to venues like Lab11, Crane and the Rainbow Warehouse for some of the best all day and night events Birmingham has to offer, just beware that you’ll probably end up leaving when it’s light outside.

MADE Festival, Digbeth

MADE Festival, Digbeth | © Daisy Denham/Here & Now

Have a proper curry

It’s a well-known fact that Birmingham is the UK home of the curry, so make sure you check out the Balti Triangle. Here you’re no further than a hop, skip and a jump away from a renowned curry house, making this one of your definite must dos.

Drink loads of craft beer

Birmingham is fortunate enough to be home to some brilliant craft beer hangouts, including pinball bar Tilt and one of our favourites, Clink, which is in the Custard Factory. Try both, repeatedly.

Go to Ghetto Golf

There’s a bit of a Liverpool invasion in Birmingham at the moment with the arrival of Ghetto Golf at the Custard Factory. This rather unique and slightly crude take on mini golf has found its new home in Digbeth and with them comes Slim’s BBQ Express, dishing up some of the best street food around.

Have a laugh at The Glee Club

The Glee Club in Birmingham’s Arcadian is one of the best comedy clubs around, with both up-and-coming comedians regularly putting on a show here, as well as some of the most well known using the intimate spaces to test out new material before hitting the arenas. Check out what’s coming up at The Glee Club for a good old belly laugh.

Rent a sofa at The Electric Cinema

The Electric (not to be confused with a cinema by the same name in Shoreditch) is the UK’s oldest working cinema and is just a stone’s throw away from Birmingham New Street Station. This is not just any cinema though – here you can rent sofas and have sofa-service while you kick back and watch your favourite film.

Pretend it’s the 1920s at speakeasy cocktail bar, Bourne & Co.

Bourne & Co. – a New York-style, speakeasy cocktail bar – is slap bang in the middle of Birmingham and comes with an air of mysteriousness about it. Its dark and minimalistic cocktails combine with a 1920s-era atmosphere, as their suited-and-booted staff serve straight up classic cocktails at your table. Forget waiting for 20 minutes at the bar to be served.

Cocktails at Bourne & Co.

Cocktails at Bourne & Co. | © bourneandcompany.com

Try every guest ale at The Wellington

For one of the city’s largest collections of real ale, you’ll want to head to The Wellington. This proud haunt stands atop of Bennett’s Hill and regularly rotates its selection at the pumps. The only question is how quick can you get there?

Smash up old appliances in the Rage Room

These kind of activities are becoming all the rage (…get it?) lately. If you’ve got any pent up anger from work, or if you just hate people really, head to the Rage Room, pop a pair of goggles on and smash up some old televisions and photocopiers!

Watch an Aston Villa match

Though times may be a little hard for the club at present, Aston Villa is the city’s most successful football club by some distance. The 42,000 capacity Villa Park can be a marvel when it gets going and is less than 10 minutes away from New Street Station by train.

Villa Park, Birmingham

Villa Park, Birmingham | © pittaya/Flickr

Eat Birmingham’s best street food

Pioneers of the city’s street food, Digbeth Dining Club should be on your list. Taking place each Friday and Saturday in Digbeth, people turn up in their thousands to sample anything from dirty burgers to waffles.

Race your mates at Grand Prix Karting

There’s not much to say here other than do it. Because who doesn’t like a bit of competitiveness?!

Take a bike ride at Cannon Hill Park

Birmingham City Council offer free bike hire for the day to anyone with a Leisure Card, and we can’t think of anywhere better than Cannon Hill Park to take advantage of this. Birmingham’s most popular park covers well over 250 acres of ground and also houses arts space mac Birmingham, as well as a mini golf course, pedalo boats for hire and the weekly parkrun.

Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham | © Bob Hall/Flickr

Catch a new band at the Hare & Hounds

Birmingham is fortunate enough to have some of the best small venues in the region, but the Hare & Hounds is up there with the best in the country. This Victorian pub in the leafy suburb of Kings Heath is home to two upstairs venues that are equipped with probably the best PA in Birmingham too.

Go to the cricket

‘I don’t like cricket, oh no! I love it!’ Head to the world-famous Edgbaston Cricket Ground for a spot of international cricket!

Ride a barge (that’s a canal boat to you & me)

An itinerary for Birmingham wouldn’t be complete without a boat trip. Brum is at the epicentre of the country’s canal network and if you can, you should definitely hop on a barge over the summer months and take in the marvels of Gas Street Basin and beyond.

Narrowboats in Birmingham

Narrowboats in Birmingham | © Neil Howard/Flickr

Treat yourself to some fine dining

Birmingham is definitely a foodie paradise and fine dining should be experienced at least once here. With a handful of Michelin stars under its belt and other recommended restaurants like The Wilderness hot on the trails, there are plenty of places in the city to get stuck in to.

Drink 2 for 1 cocktails at Turtle Bay

Another top choice for cocktails (particularly rum!) is the Caribbean-inspired Turtle Bay on John Bright Street. Available every day up until 7:30pm, and then again from 9:30pm – close, it really is the perfect place to try something new. Or just try everything.

Try everything at the German Market

One of Europe’s biggest and most-visited Christmas markets – the Frankfurt Christmas Market – rolls in to town each November and brings German beer, sausages, pretzels, glühwein and handmade craft aplenty. It’s easy to see why so many people visit each year, and it’s our lifetime ambition to try absolutely everything on offer.

Gluwein, German Market

Glühwein, German Market | © Andrew Stawarz/Flickr

Spend an evening at the dogs

Pop over to Perry Barr Greyhound Racecourse for a unique evening. Whether you’re after a meal at the restaurant, to book a private room for a party, or simply enjoy a night trackside with a few bets, you’re guaranteed a great night out.