The Birmingham city skyline.

Soak Up Birmingham’s Buzzy Arts & Culture Scene

2 March 2017

There’s a great independent spirit and pumping vibe in Birmingham. For classical culture vultures, there’s a world-class orchestra, the UK’s best concert hall (in my opinion!) and an amazing ballet – but there’s also a thriving contemporary scene, particularly in Digbeth, where new galleries seem to pop up every month.

There’s loads for the younger ones, too, particularly at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and at Thinktank, the science museum. Best of all, Birmingham is affordable: the dollar definitely goes much further here than in London.

A man plays the cello near a graffiti-covered wall in Birmingham, UK. A weekend of free outdoor performances, Birmingham Weekender is a calendar highlight.

For first-time international visitors, I’d recommend a stroll around the canals in Brindleyplace and a visit to Ikon, which is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. In the evening, take in a concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall. And if you’re there on the first Friday of the month, head to Digbeth First Friday, when the funky galleries open their doors for free events and performances with street food from Digbeth Dining Club.

The city’s biggest arts festival, Birmingham Weekender, returns from September 22-24. The city centre will be filled with performances and art events from leading organisations, plus artists from across the UK. You’ll find the city at its liveliest, friendliest best!

* Featured image: The UK city of Birmingham is brimming with arts and culture. Image: Getty

This article first appeared in Travel ideas – the WOW List 2017.


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Gary Topp

Gary Topp is director of Culture Central, Birmingham's cultural development agency.