Despite its status as the second-largest city in the United Kingdom, Birmingham isn’t a major destination on many itineraries. Nevertheless, Brum (as it’s known by locals) has a lot to offer visitors seeking a more authentic side of modern England!
It is quite a large city which sprawls from a hectic centre. Recent redevelopments have made it hard to navigate the city – especially for those more used to the old layout of the area.
That’s why we’ve built this guide! We’ve figured out the five best neighborhoods to stay in Birmingham, as well as who they are best for. Whether you want nightlife, culture or history we have you covered.
So let’s jump right into it!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Birmingham
- Where to stay in Birmingham for your first time – City Centre
- Where to stay in Birmingham on a budget – Digbeth
- Best area to stay in Birmingham for nightlife – West Side
- Coolest place to stay in Birmingham – Jewellery Quarter
- Best neighborhood in Birmingham for families – Bournville
- Head to Victoria Square – the main gathering point in the city where you can soak up the vibrant atmosphere
- Head to the top of the Rotunda and take in the panoramic views of the city centre and West Birmingham
- You absolutely need to check out Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to learn about local history, culture and art
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in Birmingham
- Birmingham Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Birmingham
- #1 City Centre – Where to Stay in Birmingham for your First Time
- #2 Digbeth – Where to Stay in Birmingham on a Budget
- #3 West Side – Best Area to Stay in Birmingham for Nightlife
- #4 Jewellery Quarter – Coolest Place to Stay in Birmingham
- #5 Bournville – Best Neighborhood in Birmingham for Families
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Birmingham.
Best Hostel in Birmingham: Birmingham Central Backpackers
Whilst Birmingham is fairly sparse on hostels, Birmingham Central Backpackers still maintains excellent levels of service. Of the backpacker picks available on Hostelworld it comes with the best rating thanks to their excellent facilities!
Alongside a free light breakfast, they also provide regular city tours. It is also well located on the boundary between Digbeth and the City Centre.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Birmingham: Nova Luxury Apartment
There are some fantastic options all across the city on AirBnB, however, this apartment blends comfort and style in such an effortless way that it had to take our top choice!
Despite being centrally located, it is well priced – fitting easily into the budget of couples and small groups of up to four people.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Birmingham: Jurys Inn Birmingham
It’s no wonder the Jurys Inn is consistently rated one of the best hotels in the city! Its location on Broad Street takes you right to the heart of the action, and the popular accommodation chain have used their years of experience to create a comfortable living space with great facilities and levels of service.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Birmingham
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Birmingham is a modern city that has undergone some major developments over the past five years! Whilst it once had a reputation for being one of the least desirable cities in the country, it now boasts a rejuvenated City Centre that can easily compete with the more well-known centres of London and Manchester.
Though part of Birmingham’s charm is its lack of tourist monuments, there are still plenty of historic attractions waiting to be discovered. The Jewellery Quarter, in particular, is a great neighborhood for learning about the city’s past as a major city in England.
For those seeking culture or nightlife, the West Side and Digbeth are both excellent options! Digbeth is a little more budget-friendly, whilst the West Side has the most established nightlife venues.
Otherwise, there are plenty of interesting districts outside of the city centre – including the famous Bournville neighborhood! This is the home of the UK’s best-known chocolate factory, and the neighbouring Selly Oak is a popular residential district for students.
Like much of the rest of the city, these are both great picks for those wanting a budget-friendly base in a major UK city.
Still undecided? Read on for some more detail on how we picked the five best places to stay in the city.
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Birmingham
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Birmingham. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
The city centre is a pretty obvious place to start – it is well connected, has some of the biggest cultural highlights and even hosts plenty of delicious restaurants!
This is where the focus of Birmingham’s regeneration has taken place – with a brand new train station and shopping centre creating a contemporary atmosphere to the heart of the Midlands.
This is a great choice for those taking bigger trips around the country! It is well serviced by rail to both London and Manchester and even has budget-friendly connections towards Wales.
It also offers some great attractions for shoppers looking for somewhere a bit cheaper than the more famous stores in London.
Things to See and Do in City Centre:
– Head to Victoria Square – the main gathering point in the city where you can soak up the vibrant atmosphere
– Birmingham Hippodrome is the largest cultural venue in the city where you can catch a variety of local and international acts
– Located just behind the iconic Bullring, Birmingham Open Market hosts a variety of food, clothing and souvenir stalls
– Birmingham hosts a huge variety of restaurants, so much that it is considered a major competitor to London’s culinary scene – we recommend the Botanist for British barbecue
– Head to the top of the Rotunda and take in the panoramic views of the city centre and West Birmingham
– You absolutely need to check out Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to learn about local history, culture and art
Best Hostel for Backpackers City Centre: Comfort Inn Birmingham
Whilst there aren’t many hostels in Birmingham, the Comfort Inn is a great pick for backpackers that want a little extra privacy whilst still saving money! All rooms come with their own en-suite bathrooms, as well as basic toiletries and coffee making equipment.
They offer single rooms for those on a super-tight budget.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in City Centre: Nova Luxury Apartment
This gorgeous apartment is the perfect choice for both small groups and couples visiting the city! There is only one bedroom, however, a second sofa bed is available in the living room for those that require it.
It is only a short walk away from New Street Station and the Bullring shopping centre, and comes with great views.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in City Centre: Staybridge Suites Birmingham
If you’re willing to splurge on a little extra luxury, this four star hotel is right in the heart of the city – giving you great access to all of the main attractions! They have a 24 hour fitness suite, allowing you to keep up with your routine whilst visiting Birmingham.
They also provide a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Located just behind the Bullring, Digbeth is well connected with the City Centre – but has some great budget-friendly attractions for those wanting to experience the city on a shoestring!
Once the industrial heart of the city, Digbeth has recently regenerated into the epicentre for arts and creative industries in the West Midlands.
It now houses a large selection of music venues, galleries and creative workspaces that create a vibrant and youthful atmosphere! Because of this, it is also a great choice for digital nomads that want to spend an extended period in the city.
Things to See and Do in Digbeth:
– The Custard Factory, once the home to the largest custard company in the UK, now houses the local creative industries and a vast shopping complex
– The Rainbow Venues is a major cultural venue where you can catch performance art, music and even some more traditional theatre
– The Old Crown is a major historic attraction in the heart of this massively renovated area – it is the city’s oldest pub, dating back to the 14th Century!
– The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen is an old school cinema that also contains an innovative restaurant with great food and cocktails
– Head to Eastside Projects where you can check out some modern art from locally based artists
– Bond Gallery is located right on the Grand Union Canal, meaning its interesting exhibits are well complemented by the stunning views
Best Hostel Digbeth: Birmingham Central Backpackers
This hostel comes with the best rating in the city and it’s easy to see why! They provide a complimentary breakfast every morning, as well as high speed WiFi access and hot drinks.
They run regular tours of the city for guests, as well as social functions including movie nights and happy hours.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Digbeth: Grade 2 Listed Apartment
This gorgeous historic apartment can be considered an attraction in its own right! It’s grade 2 listed status means many of the historical features have been retained, allowing you to experience a little slice of Birmingham’s past.
Rooms are spacious, and the little extras such as luxury toiletries and flower petals add a touch of elegance.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Digbeth: Aparthotel Adagio
Enjoy the privacy of an apartment with the comforts of a hotel at the Aparthotel Adagio in central Digbeth! The property comes with a complimentary fitness suite, and a full English breakfast is offered every morning.
It is also within walking distance from both the City Centre and the Chinese Quarter.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Though technically part of the city centre, West Side has its own unique atmosphere that makes it the perfect spot for experiencing the city’s nightlife.
Broad Street is the main bar and club strip where you can enjoy a variety of venues offering a wide selection of drinks and music genres for all to enjoy!
Just east of West Side you will also find both the Chinese Quarter and the Gay Village! As with many cities across the world, the Chinese Quarter has some fantastic culinary options to enjoy whether you are starting off the night or trying to beat a hangover.
The Gay Village also has some of the best LGBTQ+ venues in the country.
Things to See and Do in West Side:
– The Ikon Gallery houses a variety of contemporary art exhibits with connections to the city and surrounding area
– PRIZM Birmingham is the city’s largest premium nightclub – they have rotating DJ nights and delectable cocktails
– For something a bit more budget-friendly, Reflex Birmingham is a typical party pub right at the end of Broad Street
– The bars in the Gay Village are a little more casual than other gay districts in the UK – we recommend Eden for their laid-back vibe and great outdoor seating area
– Meanwhile, in Chinatown you will find a multicultural atmosphere and great cuisine – head to Chung Ying for an introduction
– Grosvenor Casino Birmingham Broad Street is the largest casino in the area – a must for anyone wanting to try their luck
Best AirBnB in West Side: Modern Apartment
This ultra modern apartment is also located right next to Broad Street – and accommodates groups of up to four people thanks to the king size bed in the bedroom and a pull out double sofa bed in the living area.
The kitchen comes well equipped, and the owner has been given superhost status – ensuring you have a great stay!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel for Backpackers West Side: ibis Birmingham Centre
West Side is another area that doesn’t have any hostels – but the ibis is a comfortable two star hotel offering easy access to Broad Street for backpackers that want to stay close to the nightlife! Rooms come with complimentary WiFi, as well as pay to view TV channels.
It is only a short walk from the Gay Village.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in West Side: Jurys Inn Birmingham
Jurys Inn is a popular hotel chain across the UK, and their Birmingham offering does not disappoint! It is located right on Broad Street, giving you unbeatable access to the best nightlife the city has to offer.
Rooms are decorated with modern furnishings that also emphasise tradition and history.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Right next to the City Centre, the Jewellery Quarter is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Though Birmingham is more commonly known for its modern architecture, this part of the city dates back over 250 years, and is a great place to discover the city’s past!
It is also home to over 500 jewellery shops.
This sparkling neighborhood does have a more upmarket atmosphere than other parts of the city – but for those willing to splash out on a more luxurious stay in the city it is well worth it!
With trendy restaurants and independent boutiques around every corner, it is also the best place to stay in the city for couples.
Things to See and Do in Jewellery Quarter:
– St Paul’s Square at the centre of the neighborhood is not only home to one of the oldest churches in the city, it is also a great starting point for checking out local bars
– Blue Orange Theater is an intimate venue that hosts up and coming talent in the UK music and theatre industries
– Visit the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter to learn about the fascinating and extensive history of the neighborhood
– 40 St Pauls is a must-visit for lovers of gin – they have the largest selection in the city with some interesting flavours on offer
– 24 Carat Bistro is a fantastic dining option showcasing the city’s multicultural culinary scene with their Caribbean inspired menu
– Though quite a morbid attraction, Key Stone Lane Cemetery is an interesting historical sight dating back hundreds of years
Best Hostel Jewellery Quarter: Selina Birmingham
Right in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, Selina Birmingham is the city’s newest hostel and is beautifully decorated to reflect the centuries of tradition that fill the surrounding area!
They offer dorm-style accommodation, as well as private rooms for those that want their own space. A discounted breakfast is available.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Jewellery Quarter: Luxury Loft
This luxurious living space comes with fantastic guest reviews – and is a great pick for couples that want to splurge on something a bit more upmarket!
Elegantly decorated with neutral colours and spotlights, this loft apartment also comes with great views across the Jewellery Quarter and the City Centre.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Jewellery Quarter: BLOC Hotel Birmingham
This uber-modern three star hotel is a great pic for those that are more interested in something on the budget end of the scale! Despite the great rates, rooms are spacious and come with large beds and comfortable furnishings.
There are also Italian style bathrooms with elegant tiling and power showers.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Though often considered a town in its own right, Bournville is a suburb on the outskirts of Birmingham. This peaceful neighborhood is home to Cadbury World – a functioning chocolate factory come tourist attraction.
For families, Bournville gives you easy access to the city centre whilst still maintaining a calm atmosphere!
It is also famously a Quaker area – so there are no pubs within the neighborhood. This makes it a great pick for those wanting to avoid the rowdy party crowd that make their way through the city centre in the evenings!
It is nevertheless well connected to all the main attractions by public transport.
Things to See and Do in Bournville:
– Cadbury World is a must visit attraction for chocolate lovers from across the world – and they even host the odd masterclass
– Head up to Selly Manor, on the boundary between Bournville and Selly Oak, to check out an old-style English home
– Speaking of Selly Oak, this student neighborhood is another great choice for visitors on a budget, with plenty of cheap bars and restaurants
– Want something to help the kids burn off some energy? Rush UK is the largest trampoline park in the city
– Loaf is a recently opened bakery offering some fantastic breads, cakes and pastries as well as an extensive breakfast menu
– Kings Heath Park is only a short walk away from the area, and has a beautiful garden area to unwind after a day of exploring
Best AirBnB in Bournville: House near Cadbury World
This is the perfect choice for families looking to stay in Bournville – an entire house! There are two bedrooms – both of which come with twin beds.
It is only a short walk away from both Cadbury World and the train station, keeping you well connected throughout your stay.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel for Backpackers Bournville: Old Farm Hotel
This three star hotel is the best option for those on a strict budget looking to stay in Bournville! It is only a five minute walk away from Cadbury World, and also provides easy access to the train station.
A complimentary breakfast is provided every morning – with continental and full English versions both available.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in Bournville: Bournville Bed and Breakfast
If you want a little bit of an upgrade, this quaint bed and breakfast come with the best reviews for accommodation in the area!
There is a small private garden area where you can sit back and relax after a long day of exploring, and they offer larger rooms that are perfect for families visiting the area.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Birmingham
Whilst many visitors to the UK avoid Birmingham, those that are willing to visit England’s second city will be rewarded with a modern and inviting city that showcases and authentic insight into modern life in the country!
A city facing massive regeneration, it is a multicultural hub with great dining, entertainment and nightlife options.
When it comes to the best place to stay we are going to go with the Jewellery Quarter! Only a short walk from the city centre, this historic neighborhood is one of the most unique in Birmingham and has some fascinating attractions for those interested in the region’s history.
That being said, all of the areas in this guide have their own unique offerings when it comes to showing what makes Birmingham such an exciting and modern European city!
We hope this guide has helped you to plan your itinerary for your upcoming trip to Brum.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.