With world-class art, drama, music, festivals and events, Birmingham is the place to be for exciting and diverse arts and culture in the UK.

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Arts, Design and Media

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Art Galleries and Museums

The city has some of the finest art galleries and museums in the country. The world renowned Ikon Gallery showcases contemporary works and is well worth a visit.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is known for holding an outstanding collection of Renaissance and Impressionist art. You can see stunning works by Botticelli and Van Gough to Monet in the galleries.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery holds art ranging from the 14th to the 20th century and features some of the Staffordshire Hoard collection, along with part of the largest public Pre-Raphaelite collection in the world.

For anyone who wants to find out more about the history of the area or learn something new, there’s an array of museums and heritage sites around the city. Aston Hall is a 17th century mansion house packed with civil war stories, Thinktank at Millennium Point is an award-winning science museum, and Lapworth Museum of Geology houses the most extensive collection of fossils, minerals and rocks in the region.


The major theatres are the Hippodrome, home of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Alexandra Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre – all offering a mix of classical drama, ballet, opera, and musicals.

The Midland Arts Centre (MAC), in Cannon Hill Park, stages a range of theatrical events and films, as well as workshops and exhibitions. The Old Rep has a varied programme of music, plays and comedy.

For fringe theatre and a more intimate atmosphere, check out the Old Joint Stock Theatre or the Blue Orange Theatre.


If you’re a film fan, Birmingham offers everything from the latest blockbusters to independent releases.

You’ll find plenty of multiplex cinemas including the 30-screen cinema at Star City, the UK's largest cinema. We even stage film premieres – Tom Hardy’s Locke, George Clooney’s The Perfect Storm and Will Smith’s Hitch have all had their UK premieres in Birmingham.

If you’re looking to splash out on a more boutique experience, try the Everyman cinema at the Mailbox, or if you’re into independent or arthouse films, check out the Midland Arts Centre or the Mockingbird in Digbeth’s Custard Factory.

Birmingham Film Festival showcases film makers and films from around the world, offering workshops, seminars, Q&A panels and networking opportunities for emerging talent.

Flatpack Festival takes over venues across the city every spring showcasing an eclectic mix of offbeat films, animation, documentaries and cult favourites. It’s been described by The Independent as “the UK’s most creatively curated film festival”.

Jewellery Quarter

A visit to the city’s world-famous Jewellery Quarter is a must. It’s home to our renowned School of Jewellery and over 700 jewellers and independent retailers, where you can see craftspeople making traditional jewellery.

The Jewellery Quarter is also home to the renowned Jam House, a long standing, award-winning venue offering live music and great food, founded and frequented by jazz legend Jools Holland.


Digbeth is widely known as the Creative Quarter of Birmingham, only a stone’s throw away from our City Centre campus. From vibrant street art and quirky bars to the UK’s largest Zero Wate supermarket, Digbeth is well worth exploring.

Festivals and Events

Birmingham has a packed calendar of events celebrating everything from swing dance and spoken word, to comedy and electronic music.

Held over three days in June, Birmingham Design Festival champions and supports the city’s creative community and bringing together West Midlands based designers with global organisations through workshops and talks.

Fierce Festival is one of the UK’s most respected live art festivals, showcasing an exciting mix of avant-garde performances. Events take place in theatres and galleries around Birmingham, as well as unusual spaces such as disused warehouses, swimming pools and car parks.

Simmer Down is a free family fun-day located in Handsworth Park, celebrating Birmingham’s vibrant cultural diversity and paying tribute to reggae and other musical genres that have contributed to Birmingham as an international city of culture.

Set in the beautiful Moseley Park, Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul festival is a true community event. The festival brings an eclectic weekend of music with a whole host of international and local artists.

Birmingham Pride is the biggest two-day LGBTQ+ party in the UK, with a carnival parade through the city centre and Southside District, and a vibrant line-up of music, cabaret and dance artists.

The city's St Patrick’s Day Parade is the third largest in the world and it’s a fun filled festival celebrating the diverse culture and communities of Birmingham.

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