The Bullring Shopping centre, where shopping is a great thing to do alone when in Birmingham.

15 Things To Do In Birmingham Alone: The BEST Solo Travel Guide

Looking for things to do in Birmingham alone?

As a local to Birmingham in England, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the city by myself, so I’m the ideal person to list the ultimate guide for solo travellers on things to do alone in this fantastic city.

Having enjoyed a transformative rejuvenation over recent years, the second city of England is now regarded as one of the country’s major cities and attracts a lot of travellers from the UK and abroad.

It can be a daunting place to visit by yourself, but there are plenty of activities to do in Birmingham as a solo traveller. If you’re thinking of visiting this lively city on your own, then read on for my list of the 15 top things to do Birmingham alone.

15 Top Things To Do In Birmingham Alone

So without further ado, let’s dive in to what the 15 top things to do in Birmingham alone are, in no specific order:

1. Go on a Walking Tour

One of the best ways of getting to know a new city is by going on a guided walking tour to discover the history and sights that it has to offer.

Birmingham walking tours provide exactly that; the opportunity to learn and visit some of the city’s key buildings and monuments around the city centre, such as St. Phillip’s Cathedral, Symphony Hall, Victoria Square and more.

There are many walking tours in Birmingham to take part in and in which you can learn how Birmingham has been transformed from a small market town to England’s second city.

You’ll also get to learn about the local culture, modern day life in Birmingham and discover some hidden gems along the way.

2. Visit Birmingham Library 📚

The Library of Birmingham is one of the most unique buildings in Birmingham (or anywhere in the UK for that matter) and is worth visiting even if you’re not a book lover.

Opened in 2013, it is one of the biggest public libraries in the world and features 10 levels to explore. The exterior of the library features quite a strange, striking, unique design of interlocking metal rings over golden, silver and glass facades.

👉 Pro Trip: Visit the library’s secret outdoor garden terrace on the 7th floor to enjoy the most stunning views of the Birmingham skyline that you’ll find anywhere in the city.

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    3. Go Shopping! 🛍️

    Birmingham is famously known as being one of the major cities in the UK for shopping, and is often referred to as a shopper’s paradise.

    If you are a shopaholic then Birmingham is the ideal place to spend a day or two enjoying some retail therapy.

    The Bullring Shopping centre is the city’s main hub for shoppers, with over 160 stores of every kind here and is my favourite place to shop when in the city.

    The Mailbox close by also features luxury boutique clothes stores, high quality restaurants and bars and is definitely worth checking out.

    4. Discover the National Sea Life Centre 🐢

    There are 12 National Sea Life Centres throughout the UK, with my favourites being located in Weymouth and Blackpool. Birmingham’s Sea Life centre is another favourite and makes for a fantastic day out for families.

    There are over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life and over 2,000 creatures in total at Birmingham’s Sea Life Centre, featuring every type of sea animal you can imagine, with penguins, giant turtles, sharks and sea otters being the top attractions.

    Birmingham’s Sea Life Centre is quite unique compared to all the other Sea Life Centres in the UK as it feature’s the only 360 degree Ocean Tunnel where you can get up close and personal with some of the friendly fish and more.

    5. Tour Cadbury World – A Must For Chocoholics! 🍫

    Birmingham is also known as being the home of chocolate making in the UK, with Cadbury (the nation’s most popular brand of chocolate) having their chocolate factory based in the historic village of Bourneville just outside the city.

    Cadbury first started producing chocolate here over 100 years ago, and at ‘Cadbury World‘ you can take a tour of the factory and learn just how chocolate is made nowadays.

    It’s a great place to visit for families, you can have a go at tempering chocolate yourself and there’s a 4D Chocolate Adventure cinema experience too. And at the end of the self-guided tour of the factory you get some free chocolate!

    6. Learn about the gangs that inspired: ‘Peaky Blinders’

    Birmingham is famous for being the city that inspired the hit British TV series: ‘Peaky Blinders‘, so it should come as no surprise that you can learn all about the gangs from the 19th and 20th century that inspired this excellent show.

    A Peaky Blinders walking tour guides you through the streets of Birmingham as you learn all about the history of actual gang members featured on the show, as well as visiting local pubs and historical sights.

    You’ll get to see parts of Birmingham you wouldn’t normally visit and learn about the city’s fascinating unknown history that you wouldn’t otherwise get to discover.

    7. Explore Winterbourne House and Gardens

    Birmingham is also home to some beautiful historical buildings and gardens, the most famous being the Winterbourne House and Gardens located in Edgbaston.

    This is a unique heritage attraction that dates back to 1903 and is a brilliant example of Edwardian architecture, offering a unique glimpse into what life was really like during this era.

    You can stroll around the home and the lovely gardens, and there is a tea room on site that is open daily too. A perfect activity in Birmingham for any history lover, it is not to be missed!

    8. Discover the Jewellery Quarter

    Just a short walk outside of the city centre is arguably the most fascinating area in the whole of Birmingham; the Jewellery Quarter. This historic neighbourhood made its name in the early 1900’s as the home of jewellery making in the UK.

    It still remains a hub of jewellery making, with over 700 jewellers and independent traders based in the neighbourhood. It is easily one of my favourite areas to visit in Birmingham and I fully recommend you give it a visit too!

    The Jewellery Quarter has also become a fashionable, trendy area to visit in recent years with lots of nice cafes, bars and restaurants, while keeping its interesting history alive and intact.

    So make sure to pay a visit next time you’re in Birmingham to see what all the fuss is about.

    9. Go to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 🎨

    Showcasing Birmingham’s vibrant art and history, the city’s Museum and Art Gallery is one of the finest collection of international importance you’ll find anywhere in the UK.

    Featuring world renowned Pre-Raphaelite art exhibitions, the museum is a beautiful building and houses everything from classical art, ceramics, metalwork and local and industrial history of Birmingham.

    This is without a doubt one of the city’s main tourist attractions and should be at the top of your list of things to do when visiting Birmingham alone.

    10. Stroll around Birmingham Botanical Gardens 🌲

    Another getaway in Birmingham which is an ideal activity if visiting the city alone is to pay a visit to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This is one of the city’s top attractions and most beautiful sites.

    This is a 15 acre site full of landscaped gardens, lush exotic flora and fauna. It features stunningly elegant Victorian glass houses, with over 7000 plants, trees, shrubs, a bird collection, bonsai garden and a butterfly house too.

    This is an ideal place if you’re craving some nature, peace and quiet and relaxation when visiting the lively city of Birmingham.

    11. Visit Birmingham’s Trendy Neighbourhoods

    Birmingham has several really interesting neighbourhoods outside of the city centre which are definitely worth a visit.

    Here are my top three neighbourhoods to visit when in Birmingham:

    📍 Digbeth – Just a short 15 minute walk from the city centre, Digbeth is known as the trendies place in the whole of Birmingham. It is the creative hub of the city with a lot of awesome street art everywhere you go.

    It is in my opinion the coolest neighbourhood in Birmingham; I often visit there and think it’s a welcome change from the rest of the city – I highly recommend you visit there too!

    📍 Moseley – Based 3 miles south from the city centre, Moseley is a cool cosmopolitan part of the city, full of relaxed independent cafes, bars and high quality restaurants. It’s a delightful area well worth a visit.

    📍 Edgbaston – Known as the city’s affluent, leafy suburban area, Edgbaston is a thriving, homely place.

    It is known for Edgbaston cricket ground, one of the best cultural venues in the UK; the MAC (Midlands Arts Centre), as well as some lovely park areas such as Canon Hill Park.

    12. See a concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall 🎵

    Birmingham Symphony Hall is an amazing world class concert venue that has a seating capacity of 2,262 and is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

    Hosting around 270 events each year, going to a classical concert, a rock concert or comedy show here is a great night out when in Birmingham. Events feature world renowned acts, so make sure to check out who is playing at here next time you’re in the city.

    13. Watch a play at the Birmingham Hippodrome 🎭

    Another great venue in Birmingham is the famous Birmingham Hippodrome, a well known performing arts centre based in the Chinese Quarter of the city.

    From amazing theatre shows to world class ballet productions, the Hippodrome is a cultural highlight in a city that is thriving with cultural events.

    Similarly to the Symphony Hall, the Hippodrome seats around 2,000 people. It was originally opened back in 1895 and has a stunningly beautiful neo-classical auditorium.

    14. See a Premiere League game at Villa Park ⚽

    Birmingham is home to two football clubs; Birmingham City who are in the Championship league (and part owned by Tom Brady) and Aston Villa, who are currently enjoying success at the top end of the Premiere League.

    A ticket to a game at Aston Villa against the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester City promises an awesome atmosphere and is quite an experience if you’ve never been to a premiere league football game.

    Make sure you buy a ticket online way in advance as most games are a sell out at Villa Park. You can also take a tour of Villa Park stadium during none match days, which is a great way to learn all about the history and success of the club.

    15. Explore Aston Hall

    And last but definitely not least in this list of top things to do in Birmingham alone, is to take a visit to the stunning Aston Hall. Situated in Aston very close to Villa Park, Aston Hall is a historical building and museum.

    It is a Grade I listed Jacobean house that was built between 1618 and 1635. It is known to be one of the last remaining buildings in the UK that was built in a Jacobean style and is also supposedly one of the most haunted buildings in the country too.

    It really is a beautiful red brick mansion where you can explore the 30 rooms on show and learn all about its history. It is easily Birmingham’s most iconic historical treasure and well worth a visit.


    Birmingham FAQs

    Still not sure if Birmingham is a good vacation as a solo traveller? Let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this topic:

    Is Birmingham safe for solo travellers?

    Yes, I can attest in my own experience that Birmingham is very much a safe city for both male and female solo travellers.

    I have visited the city by my self more times than I can remember and have never had an issue. Of course, petty crime does very much exist in Birmingham just as it does in any other UK major city.

    But this shouldn’t deter you from visiting the second city. I would advise being vigilant during your stay and be aware of your belongings at all times, just as you would anywhere else you’re travelling to.

    How many days should you visit Birmingham for?

    Personally, I would recommend 1 to 2 days to get the most out of your stay in Birmingham, although a day trip is also a good option.

    A day trip from London for example is a good idea as it only takes around 2 hours to reach from the capital via train. Though you may be a little bit rushed for time to explore the city fully.

    A long weekend in the city would be ideal, allowing you enough time to visit all the interesting places here and really get a feel for what Birmingham is really like.

    How to get to Birmingham?

    With Birmingham being based very centrally in the West Midlands region of England, it is very easy to reach either by car, train or bus. Birmingham International Airport is located quite close to the city centre too.

    This also means that it’s easy to visit the rest of the UK from Birmingham, you’re spoilt with countless day trip options from here to other major cities or even seaside coastal towns.

    👉 Pro Tip: If travelling by train, then there are regular trains from all other major cities in the UK, from London in the south to the likes of Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh in the north.


    Conclusion: 15 Top Things To Do In Birmingham Alone

    So that’s my list of top things to do in Birmingham alone! The second city is a really cool place to visit especially as a solo traveller, with plenty of activities and places to see in and around the city.

    Whether you want to check out the historical Jewellery Quarter, enjoy trendy Digbeth, visit Cadbury World or the National Sea Life Centre, there is a plethora of options of things to do in Birmingham.

    I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through all the great things to do in Birmingham alone, you now have some awesome options to choose from for your next visit!

    You might also like these blog posts about Birmingham:

    ➡️ The Best Canal Walks In Birmingham and Beyond: From A Local
    ➡️ The 25 Best Day Trips From Birmingham That Are A Must In 2024
    ➡️ Birmingham vs London: Which City Is Better To Visit In 2024?
    ➡️ Is It Better To Visit Wolverhampton or Birmingham? Review By A Local
    ➡️ Is Birmingham Worth Visiting? Top 27 Things To Do – By A Local


    ➡️ Planning your trip? Here are my favourite resources:

    🏨 Accommodation: I recommend using Booking.com
    🚙 Rental Car: Use Discover Cars for the best car rental prices
    ❤️ Travel Insurance: I recommend using Visitors Coverage
    ✈️ Flights: Use Kiwi.com for the best prices on flights

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