Birmingham, the second biggest city in England and the hometown of Ozzy Osbourne, is becoming a popular destination not only for tourists but also for young people looking for a place with more job opportunities.
You may ask yourself, “But isn’t London the best city for young people when it comes to chasing the dream?”
Sadly, London has become too expensive for most people. Many students and recent graduates end up in micro-flats simply because they can’t afford to even split the rent with a roommate in an average-sized apartment.
Birmingham, on the other hand, is far more inexpensive when it comes to renting. According to Numbeo, the rent in Birmingham is 50% lower and the cost of food, clothing and other expenses are about 20% lower than in the capital.
If you want to find out more about what Birmingham has to offer before moving out, we crafted a list of 15 things you should know about this city.
1. A Green Paradise
Birmingham is not concrete jungle, despite being the second biggest city in England and the heart of technological advancements in the past century.
Instead, it’s filled with green spaces and parks. To be more specific, it has over 500 parks.
Two of the biggest parks are Cannon Hill park and Sheldon Country park, where you can see a 17-the century farm and animals running freely on the farmland.
2. Second Largest Economy
Did you know that in the 19th century Birmingham was considered the Silicon Valley of England?
Perhaps, one of the biggest misconceptions about this city is the fact that it does not bring as many jobs to the table, but in fact it’s the second largest economy in England.
Many would point out that the average wage in Birmingham is lower than London.
While this is true, you have to keep in mind that, as mentioned above, general costs are 20% lower and rent is 50% lower.
The average wage in Birmingham is a little bit over £24. In London it’s £34.
3. Relaxed and Friendly Atmosphere
In other cities, if a stranger approaches to ask you how your day was, you would probably be alarmed, and perhaps for a good reason. However, in Birmingham, salespeople and con artists aren’t the only people who are friendly. Most people will salute you and smile at you.
Some consider it an overly-friendly city, but if you always wanted to live in a place with a more relaxed atmosphere and a diverse cultural background, this place might be for you.
4. Daunting Traffic but Good Public Transportation
While it’s not that friendly to drivers, public transportation is at its best. There are buses all over town 24/7.
Regional and national trains are also available, and if you’re looking for traveling inside the city, the Midland Metro is another option.
If you’re looking for a monthly pass, you won’t spend more than £60 per month for public transportation.
5. Plenty to Do in Your Free Time
Regardless of your tastes, there’s always something you can do in your free time, from looking for bargains and hidden gems in the local shops and markets to admiring the Victorian architecture. Birmingham is known to have a large variety of entertainment sources.
Depending on your budget and what side of town you live in, you have plenty of pubs and bars to choose from. If you’re looking for some fun on the dance floor, there are many clubs to choose from as well.
If you’re on a budget, the many parks and green spaces can be a great place for a relaxing weekend.
6. Exotic Food Scene
Due to its multicultural and multi-ethnic background, Birmingham offers a large range of foods that come from all over the world.
If you don’t have the budget for a night out at a restaurant, the street food stands and the coffee will definitely satisfy your senses.
In Birmingham, you will find the famous Buddha Belly, The Hungry toad, and the Canoodle.
7. Great Shopping Experience
There are many places you can shop in Birmingham, from the Bull Markets to the Balti Triangle to New Street Farmers.
The Balti Triangle has a large number of shops specializing in Asian food, clothing, and jewelry. If you’re looking for bargains, the Bull Markets are the way to go. There you will find fresh meats, furniture, cheese, and everything in between.
8. You Don’t Have to Go to Venice to Take a Boat on the Canals
With over 35 miles of canals, Birmingham has more canals than Venice.
Most of them were built at the beginning of the 1700’s as waterways to transport heavy loads. They were used for over 170 years.
But due to the fact that the maintenance and the repairs of the canals were costly, in 1980 it was decided that goods will no longer be transported using these waterways.
Today, the canals are an attraction for tourists who want to enjoy a coffee near the canals or visit the city by boat.
If you’re looking to move to Birmingham, you’ll be pleased to find out that it has something for everyone, from reasonably priced homes to inexpensive rent to a growing economy.
This city is well-known for its diversity, which is easy to spot on the street food scene.
On top of this, it has one of the largest parks in Europe and more canal waterways than Venice. You simply can’t get bored in Birmingham, especially if you add to the mix the many pubs, bars, and the famous Cadburys chocolate.
Also, if you feel like you’re missing your previous home, Birmingham is in the heart of England, making it the perfect place to live if you plan to visit your relatives or go for a vacation. You’re only 2-3 hours away from other major cities.
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