11 Free Things to Do in Birmingham Today: A Must-See List
11 Free Things to Do in Birmingham Today: A Must-See List
Birmingham is one of the most exciting cities in England. It is the second-largest city in the country and home to some of the best attractions, restaurants, and hotels. It’s also known as “the heart of England” because it sits bang in the centre. It’s full of culture, history, and opportunities to have fun. Whether you want to explore museums or go out on the town, there’s something for everyone in this city. There's lots to see and do in Birmingham for free, check out our top picks below.
Birmingham has many options for free things to do. You could take in a museum like The Lapworth Museum of Geology or see the beautiful Birmingham Cathedral and if you fancy some time outdoors, country parks like Lickey Hills and Waseley Hills.
In this blog post we list:
- The best places to visit for no charge at all
- Show all places on an interactive map to help you locate each place easily.
Updated and correct as of 01/10/23.
Quick Heading Links
Museums and Galleries
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is one of the best places to visit in Birmingham. It’s home to over 40 galleries to explore that display art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography. The Birmingham Museums Trust holds the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art anywhere in the world, numbering over 3000 paintings, drawings, prints and examples of decorative art and design.
Lapworth Museum of Geology
The museum is a hidden gem that lets users explore life over the last 3.5 billion years. The museum has the finest and most extensive collection of minerals, rocks and fossils from the region. You can see everything from exceptionally preserved faunas to early geological maps used by geologists in the nineteenth century! There are also interactive exhibits where you can learn about geology giving kids an educational experience that will keep them entertained for hours!
Ikon is an internationally acclaimed art gallery situated in centre of the city. The gallery programme features artists from around the world. A variety of media is represented, including sound, film, mixed media, photography, painting, sculpture and installation. It's worth checking their website to see what's currently on show.
The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of exhibitions, events and workshops. The gallery consists of a converted warehouse housing 2 floors of artworks and a ground-floor contemporary crafts gallery.
History and Culture
The Cathedral Church of Saint Philip is the mother church of the Diocese of Birmingham, England. It is also one of two cathedrals in the city – the other being St Chad's Cathedral. It was built in 1715, designed by Thomas Archer in a baroque style, which today is currently has Grade 1 listed building status. The cathedral was bombed during the Second World War in 1940 and restored again in 1948 and has been called "the most splendid parish church in England" due to the architecture that can be seen on its exterior alone!
Gas Street Basin
The Gas Street Basin is a canal basin on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, built originally as a physical barrier between two bodies of water at the turn of the 19th Century. Now it’s a popular destination for visitors and locals alike – with restaurants, bars and cafes lining its banks. You can even take a boat trip along its waters!
Walks and Nature Trails
Lickey Hills Country Park
Lickey Hills Country Park is an ideal place for those who love nature and want to get away from it all. The park has a Green Flag Award, offers stunning views, beautiful scenery, and plenty of activities like hiking trails and bird watching over the course of 524 acres. It’s also home to one of the most famous hills in England – Beacon Hill!
Waseley Hills Country Park
Waseley Hills Country Park is the perfect place to get away from it all. With over 150 acres of beautiful countryside and nature reserve, this park has something for everyone. You can take in stunning views of Worcestershire and beyond, go on an adventure through the woodland trails or simply relax on one of the many benches around.
RSPB Sandwell Valley
RSPB Sandwell Valley is the perfect place to enjoy wildlife and nature. They’re located North of Hampstead, just off the A4041. You can explore the beautiful reserve on foot or by bike with trails through meadows, grasslands and wetlands. There are hides where you can watch birds up close - including goosanders, lapwings and little ringed plovers!
The reservoir is a beautiful spot for a walk, jog or bike ride with stunning views across the water. The 70 acre site is surrounded by woodland and grasslands with a track around 1.75 miles long around the reservoir.
Handsworth Park (formally known as Victoria Park) is located just 15 minutes from Birmingham city centre. It’s an ideal place for families and children to enjoy themselves during their time off from school. The park features 63 acres of landscaped grass, a playground and a large boating lake.
Use the map below to locate all the best free things to do in Birmingham mentioned above to create your itinerary for your trip. We’ve also added places in the city to eat that offer good food at a decent price for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Open Google Maps to see distance information between locations and directions on how to get to each place.
All outdoor activities including walking involve a degree of risk. The walks are recommended due to the features of each forest but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each path so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your walk!
Other Blog Posts From Birmingham and the West Midlands
We write lots of blog posts from each individual area and have a few more from the city of Birmingham and the West Midlands area. Have a look at our other blog posts by clicking the buttons below: