Birmingham: fun, exciting, forward-looking, fantastic. Second only to London in terms of population, it is the beating heart of England’s West Midlands. At the helm of the Industrial Revolution, Birmingham’s legacy as the world’s first manufacturing town is still evident today. Its economy is the second largest in the UK. With three universities and two university colleges, it is the largest center of higher education in the UK outside London. Shrugging off the ravages of WWII’s Birmingham Blitz, the city set itself the goal of ranking among the top 20 most liveable cities in the world. Its so-called ‘Big City Plan’ has already seen the redevelopment of the Bullring Shopping Centre and the regeneration of former industrial areas such as Brindley place, The Mailbox and the International Convention Centre. Old streets, buildings and canals have been restored, making the city a much safer, cleaner and inspiring place to live. The city lives for the night, and is a vanguard of the UK’s club scene. A 24-hour bus service makes getting to and from its plethora of restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs a breeze. Those who prefer a more relaxed pace can take in an opera at Symphony Hall, an exhibition at the stylish Ikon gallery, a show at the New Alexandra Theater, or a film at the city’s 30-screen Star City cinema complex. Sports lovers will find no shortage of activities, from indoor climbing walls, leisure complexes and gyms, cricket, rugby, swimming and loads of free sporting activities for children. Birmingham is rebuilding itself as a city that offers a modern and cosmopolitan lifestyle, and its accommodation does not disappoint. City center developments around the network of canals and in the traditional Jewellery Quarter provide a stylish residential option. Luxury residential developments can now be found in New Street and Hill Street, and more major developments are on the way. Families may opt for quieter, residential areas such as Edgbaston or Sutton Coldfield on the outskirts of the city. For families, kid-centric activities are in abundance, making weekends out in the city a real pleasure. Birmingham’s state schools are reputed for their excellent academic standard, and the city boasts a considerable selection of private schools.
What is special or unique about your city?
Birmingham is a large sprawling city made up of many different suburbs. Situated in the area of England known as the Midlands, Birmingham is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The area is also rich with history and packed with interesting places to visit and experience.
"Brum", as the locals call it, is also a centre for culture, sports and entertainment. You will definitely find something to suit everyone in the family! If you'd like to find out more about your new home, Crown Birmingham offers a range of programs either as part of a preview trip, or as an in-depth orientation for when you first arrive.
What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
At first glance, Birmingham appears to be an industrial city. But it has much to offer. This includes Canalside developments (the city has more canals than Venice) and heritage museums, as well as a fantastic nightlife!
Birmingham is also home to the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Symphony Orchestra. With such a thriving arts scene, it's no wonder that the city is now actively pursuing a European Capital of Culture Award.
Are these impressions likely to change?
The city is undergoing a 'facelift' and will be even more culturally exciting in the near future.
What is the local language?
English. A wide variety of languages are also spoken in the city due to its large immigrant population.
How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language?
It is recommended that newcomers learn at least conversational English.
What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?
"Brummies" have a great sense of humor. However, because there are a variety of nationalities, religions and beliefs represented in the city, it is best to always be courteous, polite and aware of the many different cultures you'll encounter.
How might the local weather affect my daily life?
England has unpredictable weather! Birmingham, in particular, receives a lot of rainfall and is cool from November to April. From May to October, the warm weather arrives and the city can experience some wonderful warm sunshine. Apart from infrequent gales and strong winds, the country does not suffer from extreme weather or natural disasters.
Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?
Birmingham has lots of shopping centres, industry and motorways. This makes it a busy, bustling place to visit or live in.
Birmingham Web Directory
Birmingham City Council
Official Birmingham website
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