Birmingham is a popular student city and there is so much to see and do for university students. What’s more, you don’t need to spend lots of money to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer. Here are some of our favourite cheap things to do in Birmingham.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The museum offers free access, so it won’t cost anything to see the regularly changing exhibitions on art and history. The selected works tend to focus on the industrial history of Birmingham but you can find a diverse selection of fine art etc. There are many fascinating pieces on display, including Jacob Epstein’s depiction of Lucifer, which comes across as both alluring and menacing in the centre of the Round Room. The museum can be found in the city centre west of St Philip’s Cathedral.

Happy Hour

Cheap things to do in Birmingham for students
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Seeing as it’s such a popular student city, it will come as no surprise that Birmingham has plenty of happy hours to keep you entertained. Whether you’re after 2 for 1 cocktails at Be At One or Latin-style ‘drinks and a dance’ at Revolucion de Cuba, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Check out our top picks for Happy Hour here.

MAC Birmingham

Credit: Art Fund

MAC stands for Midlands Arts Centre. A multifunction arts centre, you can enjoy many things that are on offer free of entry at the MAC including exhibitions, concerts and workshops. Although some events do have an entrance cost, such as live performances, the theatre aims to remain accessible to all visitors. The variety of events and activities are suitable for all ages so you can definitely find something that is up your street. You can find the MAC next to Cannon Hill Park.

Digbeth Street Art

street art sheffield
Source: Yzabelle Bostyn

The walk stretches about 3 miles and the walk to see the vibrant, beautiful creations is free. As it is the most impressive in town, you can find dazzling images. This includes a dream-like depiction of Birmingham at night and a bizarre image of a spider with human fingers for legs. You can see for yourself the wonderful and fascinating images of Digbeth Street Art as the walk begins and ends around Moor Street station.

Tolkien Trail

This is an iconic trail through Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill once traversed by acclaimed author J.R.R Tolkien and inspired the imaginative world of his novels. The trail will walk you past the iconic places where the writer lived and studied in his years. For example, the bog and Joy’s Wood were taken particularly for inspiration for the Old Forest in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series. Access to the trail is free and can be found south of the town centre in Moseley and Hall Green.

Cheap eats

Cheap things to do in Birmingham for students
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There are so many great places to eat out in Birmingham- and you don’t have to pay a lot. Whether you’re after hangover-curing Indian food (for under £10) or comforting pasta, there are so many options when it comes to cheap eats.

Symphony Hall

A popular venue in Birmingham. Symphony Hall features something unique for visitors to enjoy quality musical performances at friendly, affordable prices. The ‘mystery seats’ feature allows you to purchase a number of tickets for a discount. By purchasing these tickets, you won’t know where you will be seated until the day of the performance. The theatre has some of the best acoustics in the UK. The theatre can be found in Theatreland, southwest of the City Centre Gardens.

Canal Walkways

Nottingham canal - 20 best things for students Nottingham
Credit: Canal and River Trust

Among the most scenic walking paths in the entire city, the Canal Walkways will take you through a network of canals with mesmerising views and easy to access boating. The walking paths next to the water are very well maintained and populated, thanks to the amenities that are available there. This includes fun shops and restaurants.

Thrift shopping

Birmingham has great vintage shops where you can get incredible things for a bargain. You don’t have to buy anything but chances are if you do, it will be cheap. From clothes to jewellery to books to items to decorate your student house and dorm, you never know what you might find. Although, it’s the easiest way to come home with a bunch of stuff you probably didn’t need so there’s that! We all do it.

For more activities that are doable on a student-budget, why take a look at our list of completely free things to do in Birmingham for students?

Last Updated on March 21, 2024