Birmingham is known as the secondary capital city of the UK. It is one of the most diverse, creative and multicultural cities known to the world. But like all cities, there are certain secrets and hidden gems that even locals to the city are yet to discover. So, where exactly are the hidden gems in Birmingham?

1. The Library of Birmingham’s Secret Garden

Address: The Secret Garden, 7th Floor, Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square, Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EP


Opened in September of 2013, the Library of Birmingham remains one of most treasured attractions of the city. Located in the city centre, beside the Birmingham Rep, Centenary Square hosts the Library of Birmingham. The beautiful modern building is home to more than the books it holds that according to Birmingham City Council “Laid end-to-end, the book collection alone would stretch from Birmingham to Edinburgh!”

However, it is on the library’s rooftop that visitors will need to look for the hidden gem of the secret garden.  It said that from the rooftop of the library, in the garden you can have a great view of the city of Birmingham. Free to enter, it is perfect for those who want peace and quiet whilst enjoying some beautiful surroundings.

2. Digbeth’s Art

Address: Find amazing street art all over Digbeth but particularly near: The Custard Factory – Gibb Street

Whilst you may not think that the art in Digbeth is particularly hidden, it changes frequently and that is a part of the fun!

Take a stroll on the streets of Digbeth to find out how the local artists use the city as their blank canvas. As you explore to see the variety of diverse pieces, take a selfie and let the amazing artists be seen. The best and worst part? If you visit again you might find that a piece of art that you loved last time has been replaced by something equally as special. So, make sure to get those snaps.

3. The Gin Vault

Address: Canal Edge (off, Gas St, Birmingham B1 2DS

The Library of Birmingham's Secret Garden
Source: The Gin Vault Instagram

In the heart of Birmingham’s canal area lies the gin vault. Home to 350+ types of gin and flavours this is perfect for all the gin lovers and perfect for university freshers. The Gin Vault offers more than a lovely bar atmosphere, it offers many opportunities to try something new. From a cocktail making masterclass to their unique “Gin Experience” which offers a gin cocktail, a three-gin paddle board, two tapas and a dessert. This is available everyday, and costs £30 per person, but it is a great way to spoil yourself as a student on those hard days.

If you’re not a keen gin drinker, then do not panic! The Gin Vault also serves the classic freshers drinks of cider, beer and wine, as well as mouth-watering tapas. They also support artists, having live music nights! A great way for meeting new university friends or bring a family member/gin lover and let them try what The Gin Vault has to offer.

4. Swordfish Records

Credit: Swordfish Records Facebook

Address: 66 Dalton Street, Birmingham City Centre B4 7LX

If you are truly into music, it has to be on CD or vinyl record. Collecting albums by the bucket load? Then head down to Swordfish Records, reminiscent of the record stores in 1990’s New York. With the millennial age making downloading digital music more popular, of course, little record stores took a massive hit. This shop is still going strong thanks to loyal customers staying with them. Starting off as a record shop in 1979 and then morphing into a record label in Birmingham known as “Rockers”, with two friends running the independent music shop.

Continuing to stock CDs as well as new and used vinyl, any music lover will be in pure heaven if they visit here. Some celebrities have also been rumoured to visit Swordfish Records including The Foo Fighters and Neil Diamond. It’s amazing to see an independent music shop like this that came from two guys wanting a record shop in the 70’s, still have that dream today. Four relocations across Birmingham later, the shop currently resides at 66 Dalton Street, Birmingham City Centre B4 7LX 

5. Tilt

Address: 2 City Arcade, Birmingham B2 4TX

Looking for a place to go out that’s quirky and with a difference? Then look no further than Tilt. Located in The City Arcade is a bar that allows you to have an amazing craft beer or a speciality coffee whilst playing pinball.

They also offer ten different variations and flavourings of loose-leaf tea for the on- coffee drinkers. in addition to five different flavours of Hot Chocolate, a range of soft drinks, wines and a small selection of high-quality spirits.

It’s weird, its quirky and whether you are a pinball newbie or a pro, once you’ve practised enough you can enter the league. Yes, there is a pinball league that Tilt hosts. Pop down to Tilt for more information

Wherever you are, if you are a local or a visitor to the UK’s second-largest city, come and check out the hidden gems in Birmingham and see if you can find some for yourself!