One city, many worlds: Birmingham’s diverse precincts

It is known as the heart of England, but Birmingham has many different beats to it. From the bustling city centre with its theatres, museums, bars and restaurants, to the urban, arty Digbeth, here’s a taste of some of the different flavours of the city.

City Centre

Birmingham city centre. The modern architectural landmark, Selfridges department store. It has a steel framework with sprayed concrete facade, of white discs. There are walkways around the building.

Packed with bars and restaurants, the centre of Birmingham is easy to walk around and bursting with life. It’s here you will find its famed shopping district with its iconic Selfridges building and Bullring shopping centre and high-end Mailbox centre with its branch of Harvey Nichols. The cultural hub is centred around the landmark Birmingham Library building and Rep theatre and the gleaming new Paradise scheme development links it to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with its huge collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. 

1
City centre

Brindley Place

 The area of Brindleyplace or Brindley Place is a regenerated area of the city centre, along the route of the old canal.The Mailbox is the name now given to the BBC Birmingham.

Overlooked by the fabulously-named Black Sabbath Bridge, Brindley Place along the canal, is rocking at night. With bars and restaurants of all cuisines, it’s easy to walk to from the city centre and sits next to some of the city’s top concert venues, like Utilita Arena Birmingham and Symphony Hall.

2
Brindley Place

Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham’s industrial heart is alive in the Jewellery Quarter, which is full of diamond jewellers and craftspeople still producing 40 per cent of Britain’s jewellery today. If you’re planning on getting engaged, this is the place to do it. Look carefully at the Georgian houses in St Paul’s Square and you’ll see the original workshops tucked behind them. Book a walking tour of the Jewellery Quarter with the knowledgeable Mary Moore and visit the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, where you can also join jewellery-making workshops. Grab a coffee in award-winning community hub The Hive, and finish off with a G&T at 40 St Paul’s.

3
Jewellery Quarter

Digbeth

Custard Factory, Birmingham.

It’s been dubbed the “coolest neighbourhood in Britain,” and Digbeth is the place to be for a vibrant independent arts scene. Check out the street art with a self-guided tour and relax in the bars and shops of the Custard Factory – the regenerated industrial centre that was the former home of Bird’s Custard. You can also follow in the footsteps of the Peaky Blinders, as Digbeth was where the term was first coined. Join a tour, or get right into the spirit in a Peaky Blinders escape room.

4
Digbeth

Gay Village

Birmingham has a large LGBTQI+ community and its Gay Village is buzzing with life, packed with bars like Sidewalk and Equator and cafes and restaurants such as The Meat Shack. Grab a coffee at the city’s popular roastery Quarter Horse Coffee before dancing the night away at The Nightingale.

5
Gay Village

Edgbaston

You’ll know it for its world-famous cricket ground – which you can tour – but leafy Edgbaston is also one of Birmingham’s most upmarket districts. It’s home to the pretty Botanical Gardens, some excellent gastro pubs, as well one of Birmingham’s five Michelin-starred restaurants, Simpsons.

6
Edgbaston

Moseley

Another of the city’s Michelin-starred diners is Carters of Moseley – tucked in the leafy suburb south of the city centre. This hip area is full of venues like One Trick Pony Club and The Dark Horse as well as the home of popular Birmingham music festivals Moseley Folk and Arts Festival and Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul.

7
Moseley

Balti Triangle

Birmingham is famous for its curries and rightly so. The home of the balti, the dish was invented in restaurants around Ladypool Road. Taste for yourself at the traditional Shababs Balti Restaurant, Adil’s or Al Faisals and then burn off all the calories with a running tour of Birmingham with Run of a Kind.

8
Balti Triangle
04 Apr 2022(last updated)

Related articles