Birmingham is the most populous city in the Midlands. In fact, it even comes second only to London. The city has established itself as the cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands. It can provide you with almost anything that you would want from a metropolitan city, and it will treat your budget better than the cutthroat capital.

So if you are someone who:

  • Considers moving to Birmingham;
  • Is wondering how is life in Birmingham;
  • Is a master tradesman or craftsman;
  • Is soon to become a student in the city.

… continue reading.

Table of Contents:

Is Birmingham a Good Place to Live

Given the long list of benefits that come with living in Birmingham, including career opportunities and overall personal development, we can’t ignore the potential of the city. You can grow your business there, your children will have the chance to apply to some of the best universities in the country. You, yourself can get that diploma and move up the ladder at what you do. It is not that expensive, especially if we compare it to London. You can read more about the cost of living in Birmingham. It also has the potential to get even better, so an investment in a property here may pay for itself pretty soon.

We can’t find a reason not to move to Birmingham.

There is something for everybody in this particular city. For example, a couple of the more expensive areas would be Sutton and Coldfield. Yes, they are a bit more flashy, plus the rents are higher, but that is the price you pay for beautiful neighbours with which you can drink your afternoon tea and chat about poetry in peace. Mosely and Edgbaston fall in the “middle class” of reasonably priced areas to live in. Selly Oak and Bourneville are affordable and close to the University of Birmingham, which is a big plus. Even in the city centre itself, there are apartments for everybody. You just have to be ready for some compromises, of course. Those are just a couple of examples. Want to learn more about the city? Go ahead and read our “Best areas to live in Birmingham” article.

What you need to know before moving to Birmingham

Traffic is a nightmare… In most big cities you can expect from the traffic to be slow and nerve-wracking. That being said, if you are in a hurry somewhere, it might be best to take a bus. Public transport in Birmingham is well established and is often a much better solution than using your own personal vehicle.

Birmingham is multicultural and has a multi-ethnic background. It offers a large range of foods that come from all over the world. If you are not in the mood or you can’t afford a night out in a restaurant, you can simply walk the streets, enjoy the Victorian-style buildings and try out some of the fast-food options. And while you are at it, don’t forget to visit some of the markets. The “Bull Market”, the “Balti Triangle” or “New Street Farmers” are places you don’t want to miss. You can find almost everything in those places. Not to mention that there are some bargain prices on the markets, that no shopping mall or food chain can offer to you.

Be ready to meet new people, because the locals are quite friendly, some say even too much. You will be greeted everywhere you go, and the occasional conversation at the bus stop should not spook you out. Brummies are a friendly bunch, which will be out of huge help to you, considering you just moved in Birmingham and you don’t know anybody.

Interesting facts about Birmingham

  • The city was almost rebuilt after 1943. Because of, what is known in history as “the Birmingham Blitz” which was a bombing by the Nazis that started in 1940. Those years of devastation gave Birmingham a chance to completely rebuild itself into the modern connection hub it is today.
  • The city always had it’s bright minds, that it nurtures in its six universities.
  • A lot of different trades flourish in the streets of Birmingham. From leatherworking to jewel crafting. Some of the best jewel craftsmen once worked in Birmingham and there is even a whole area named after their workshops – Jewellery Quarter. Which is actually one of the best areas to live in Birmingham.
  • Till this day the city is a major manufacturing spot. It was once hailed as the first manufacturing town.
  • The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham.

Things you realise once you move to Birmingham

No, you didn’t board the wrong plane. You are not in Venice!

It turns out that Birmingham has more canals than Venice. This fun fact is due to the industrial past of the city. Because of a large number of heavy loads that had to be transported within the city, water canals were built to ease this task. In time the canals became impractical and now serve as a nice view in front of local coffee shops and as a way of transportation, of course. Which actually makes the getting around the city way easier.

Birmingham is not grey nor grim.

While reading about how it was bombarded for three years and how it was and still is a manufacturing city. Not to mention the glory it once had as an industrial pillar. You must think of Birmingham as this grey place filled with concrete asphalt and steel and nothing else. And that may make living in Birmingham a bit depressing, especially when you add the typical rainy weather. Well, you would be wrong. It might come as a surprise, but Birmingham is actually quite green and peaceful. We also mentioned the Victorian style of some buildings – their beauty is accompanied by modern architectural solutions, like the one for the city library for instance. The contrast between the two is stunning. You also get to enjoy Birmingham’s many parks, 500 to be exact, in which you can take a walk amongst nothing but nature and let your eyes rest upon the greenery.

The parks are well kept, and there are even animal farms in some of them. A great option for young families to have some fun at the weekend?

It is an honour to be called a Brummie

The term “Brummies” is what people living in Birmingham and around it are called. It comes from the old name of Birmingham – Brummagem, or Brum for short. So if someone ever calls you a Brummie, that means you’ve made it. You have blended in and you have successfully made Birmingham your home.

Brummies have their own dialect

You will be shocked at first. Pay close attention to what the locals are saying and keep in mind that every sentence is shot at you at a single breathe. So, soak in what you hear, try to repeat it slowly and you will figure it out. Not that you’ll have another option, after all, you’ve invested a lot to move to Birmingham. A silly dialect can’t stop you now, can it?

Takeaways

  • Birmingham is a big city with a slow pace. No one will push you around, you won’t be demanded to stay on the right side of the escalator. There won’t be any ques in the shopping centres, just because everybody is a bit more relaxed and let things flow naturally.
  • Birmingham is a city that combines the best of two worlds. It is big, it has many job opportunities and it is well populated, however, it is not crammed and stressful, it has a lot of parks and it is relaxed, not to mention that the locals are pretty friendly.
  • Carefully choose where would you live in Birmingham. Some areas are prefered by singles, other by young families. If you are planning to buy a property, think in advance.

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Have something to share? An interesting story from Birmingham, perhaps? If you are a local, don’t hasitate to give your advice in the comment section below. Thank you!

Image source: depositphotos / sakhanphotography

  • Last update: November 26, 2019

Posted in Moving and Packing Tips

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