From the Blog

The Alternative Birmingham Bucket List: 72 Things To Do Before You Die

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Birmingham – a city in the midst of a revolution, an uprising of localism.

With new restaurants and bars opening by the score, flocking to Birmingham as if compelled by some foodie lodestone, inspiring projects taking off and awesome events occurring all over the city – there’s an indescribable electricity about Birmingham at the moment, a tangible excitement of new things on the horizon. All eyes are on us.

Indeed, with so much going on, knowing where to start can always be an issue. So, to lend a helping hand, we created an alternative bucket list – a glorious guide to all the things you must do in Birmingham before you die, inspired by the creative and the unique.

If you live and work here, study here, or simply plan on visiting for a few days one weekend, be sure to use this guide to rediscover your city and explore the real Birmingham. There’ll be a special Brummie passport waiting at the end for you. Onward, for Birmingham and for glory!

Watch the stars of Hollywood under the stars of Birmingham at mac Birmingham’s open air cinema

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Stuff your face with the best street food around at Digbeth Dining Club

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Wander down the canals to see how far they go (we’ve got rather a lot you know…)

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Eat Incredible Seasonal Dishes At The Wilderness

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Drink gin, and yet more gin, at 40 St. Paul’s

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Have a night to remember at Rainbow

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Have a night you probably won’t remember at Snobs

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Partake in an evening of culture at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

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Indulge in Afternoon Tea at The Edgbaston

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Get artsy at Ikon Gallery

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Get your claws on a lobster at Nosh & Quaff, or the beef ribs – they’re good too

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Take a loaf home from Peel and Stone

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Work your way through all the beers at Purecraft Bar and Kitchen – although not all at once, that’d be sheer madness…

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Watch a cult classic at The Electric cinema

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Go nuts for the Birmingham Royal Ballet performing The Nutcracker

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Relive your childhood with retro sweets from yesteryear at McTunney’s Sweet Emporium

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Buy all the cheese from Anderson and Hill and have your very own cheese and wine night

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Explore Birmingham’s hidden depths with Hidden Spaces

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Drink gin from a bathtub at The Jekyll and Hyde

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Get your caffeine fix in one of our many fabulous independent coffee shops

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Visit one of our five Michelin Star restaurants (suck it Manchester!)

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Burn your face off at the annual Birmingham Chilli Festival

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Revel in the glory of Birmingham’s street art – Digbeth, we love you

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Kit yourself out with some new street wear at Liquor Store

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Get folky at Moseley Folk Festival

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Celebrate the changing of the seasons at The Seasonal Markets in Digbeth

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Stumble upon the hidden beach in The Prince of Wales beer garden (stumbling because you’ve probably had one too many zombies at the Mo-Tiki Bar…)

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Eat this waffle from Bournville Waffle Company

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Start your day off right with breakfast at The Plough

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Enjoy a spiritual awakening at The Barber House with a traditional cutthroat shave

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Rekindle your lost love for science and history at Vincent Van Doodle

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Go veggie at The Warehouse Cafe

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Drink gin above the city at The Bureau’s rooftop terrace

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Stock up on vinyl and CD’s at Swordfish Records

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Rock out in the basement at The Sunflower Lounge

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Eat these nachos at Bodega Bar y Cantina

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Play ping pong in The Lord Clifden’s beer garden (their cider slushy is immense, just so you know…)

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Run the Birmingham Half Marathon for charity

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Enjoy an afternoon cupcake and milkshake at Cherry Reds

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Ask yourself at least once every 2 months where the Kong statue went – let’s start a petition to get it back right now!

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Pick up a street food burrito from Habaneros

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Become a zombie for the day at the Birmingham Zombie Walk

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Soak up the culture as you enjoy the diverse architecture of our beloved Birmingham

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Grab yourself a Zodiac cocktail at Chung Ying Central

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Catch your favourite live band at Hare and Hounds

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Drink some locally brewed craft beer

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Pick up a timeless piece from one of our vintage clothes shops

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Eat large amounts of small plates at El Borracho De Oro

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Take a leisurely stroll through Cannon Hill Park – you could even picnic there too, what a great idea!

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Visit Brum’s hidden cocktail bar with tasting menu format, Smultronställe

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Rekindle your love for Digbeth’s forgotten architecture

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Enjoy a room with a view at The Rotunda with Staying Cool

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Learn all about whisky at the annual Whisky Birmingham Festival

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Find the perfect wine for you at Loki Wine

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Eat a cake from BAKE

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We’re renowned for curry, but try Indian cuisine with a difference at Lasan

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Witness a cadre of creepy clowns just hanging around at the Birmingham Weekender arts festival

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Drink Tiki cocktails at Island Bar whilst playing Super Smash Bros. on the N64 – just yes!

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Eat this epic brunch platter for 5 all by yourself at Gas Street Social

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Spend the afternoon wandering around BMAG pretending you know anything at all about art

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Mill some bread at Sarehole Mill

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Eat your fill of ribs at The Church

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Learn how to become a witch at Zen

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Battle orcs (in your mind) at Perrott’s Folly

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Celebrate all things Kings Heath (alongside many thousands) at the annual Kings Heath Festival

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Spruce up your home with a jam jar light from The Workshop Below

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Get hooked on Low ’N’ Slow – and then post a picture of his food on Instagram to make everyone else jealous

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Dote on the growing cadre of awesome photographers in Birmingham – here’s one from our good friend Verity Milligan

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Find out what New Baltic cuisine is at Two Cats Kitchen

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Enjoy Sunday Lunch at The Plough

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Spend the afternoon lamenting the destruction of our beloved Central Library

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Eat, drink and shop independent in Birmingham for less with the Independent Birmingham Membership Card (because we had to, right?)

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Grab yourself an Independent Birmingham Membership Card and enjoy fantastic year-long discounts and deals at over 90 of the very best independent cafes, bars, restaurants and shops in Birmingham – including: Digbeth Dining Club, The Electric cinema, Simpsons, The Wilderness, Birmingham Hippodrome, Adam’s, Bodega Bar Y Cantina, mac Birmingham, Fiesta del Asado, 40 St Paul’s, The Plough, Two Cats Kitchen, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Lord Clifden, The Jekyll And Hyde, Nosh & Quaff, The Church, Cherry Reds, The Prince of Wales and many more.

To grab your key to the city for just £15 (or at the amazing price of two for £20), click here.

Special thanks to Verity Milligan, Dave Musson and Jack Spicer Adams for some of the images featured above.

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Who Are We?

Independent Birmingham is dedicated to unearthing Birmingham's hidden gems and best-kept secrets, touring the city in search of the unique and the inspiring.

In doing this, we aim to shed light on these wonderful establishments so as to inspire you to explore Birmingham's lesser known aspects and rediscover your city.

Join our revolution of localism today and rediscover your city - Believe in Birmingham!

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