Free Things To Do In Birmingham

When you think of city breaks in the UK, your mind normally wanders towards somewhere like London or Brighton. However, people don’t give Birmingham the recognition it deserves. There are actually a ton of fun, exciting, and interesting things to do in the area, and you don’t have to spend your life’s savings while you’re there!

Whether you want to find something for the whole family to do or you are looking for a scenic trail you can take by yourself, there are some great free things to do in Birmingham. 

We’ve put together a list of the top things to do in the city without spending a penny based on your individual wants and needs: 


For fun


Looking for something new and exciting to do while you’re visiting Birmingham? Here are the free things you can do there for fun:


Aston Hall Gardens


When the weather is nice in Birmingham, there are some fantastic parks and gardens you can visit for a day of fun. One, in particular, is Aston Hall Gardens, which is the beautiful greenery and lawn surrounding an old and unique Jacobean Mansion. 

Built in the 17th century, you can enjoy the view of the gorgeous outdoor architecture while exploring the gardens for no extra cost. You can decide to set up a picnic with family and friends, or you can decide to visit the cafe for a light lunch. It is one of Birmingham’s hidden gems and is a fantastic place to visit in the summer. 


Image source: Birmingham Museams


BBC Birmingham Visitor Centre


Are you a fan of the BBC and all the great shows they broadcast daily? If the answer is yes, you may have a great time going to the BBC Birmingham Visitor Centre. You can find it on the third floor of the Mailbox building and find out all about what happens behind the scenes of your favourite channel. 

While paid guided tours are available, you can make your way around the centre for no cost. If you’re lucky, you may even visit on a day when you can see the presenters working live from a visitor box. It is the perfect day out for people interested in the media.


Image source: Visit Birmingham


Sutton Park Donkey Sanctuary


If you love animals, you’ll love visiting the donkey sanctuary in Sutton Park. You can spend time visiting these friendly animals, and if you’re tempted enough, there is even the opportunity to adopt one. Of course, it is perfect if you have children with you, and it will undoubtedly put a smile on your face. 

While this activity is free, you do have to book before you can visit the donkeys. This is because they often have a high number of visitors and they don’t want you to be disappointed upon arrival. If you want to do this during your time in Birmingham, you can book a visit online. 


Martineau Gardens


Gardening is a hobby for many people, and if this is the case for you, then you’ll have a fantastic time going to the Martineau Gardens. This community garden offers a therapeutic feeling from the moment you enter and provides you with all nature has to offer in the city of Birmingham. 

The garden is open all year round, but it is perfect when you want to have a family day out in the summer. You can see everything from the vegetable patches they grow to the beehives they care for daily. There’s even a children’s play area to keep the little ones entertained while you enjoy the view of wildflower meadows. 


For learning


Want to enrich your mind with some of Birmingham’s unique history and culture? You can check out one of these free activities:


Birmingham Open Media


Calling all art lovers on a budget. If you love exploring the art scene of each city you visit, you’ll want to head to the Birmingham Open Media, which looks at not only art but technology and science as well. There are several unique exhibits which explore how technology can make the world a better place. 

Each exhibit is creative and really gets you thinking, so it is different from any typical art gallery you’ve ever visited. There is something new each time you visit, and so far, they have had some fantastic performances and virtual reality sculptures. 


Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery


For something a bit more traditional, you can visit the 40 galleries available in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The history and learning starts when you see the building, which has been declared a landmark due to its unique architecture and the fact it is a Grade II listed building.

As you venture through the galleries, you can see anything from art exhibitions to displays about the social history of Birmingham. You will no doubt learn something new about the city, and some special events are hosted throughout the year. So keep an eye out on the calendar to see if there is anything that interests you.


Image source: Birmingham Museums


Lapworth Museum of Geology


If you’re a fan of the study of geology and archaeology, then you’ll have a fantastic time visiting the Lapworth Museum of Geology. Named after Charles Lapworth, a renowned and award-winning geologist from Birmingham, it recently reopened in June 2016 with a complete refurbishment and new exhibits. 

You can find this museum within the University of Birmingham and discover a wide range of fossils and rocks formed in the region millions of years ago. It can be more interesting than you believe, as many come with interesting backstories. It’s open every day of the week, so you can gain some extra knowledge whenever you visit the city. 


Thinktank Science Garden


This one is particularly useful if you’re looking for something free and educational to do with the kids. If you visit Eastside City Park, you’ll be able to find 30 exhibits that the kids can get their hands on and learn exactly how powerful the rules of physics are. 

Even if you’re an adult, you’ll no doubt have quite a bit of fun while learning all about renewable entry and how to make certain objects move. It’s a great activity for the whole family and is free to the public from 3 pm until the sun sets. You'll have to pay a fee if you want to enter the actual Thinktank Science Museum. 


Image source: Birmingham Museums 


For exercise


Enjoy the various views and sights of Birmingham while getting some exercise in on one of these free trails:


Lickey Hills Circular


If you want to start your day off with a light jog or run or take a break and get some fresh air while enjoying the views of Birmingham, then you may want to try the Lickey Hills Circular trail. 4.7km long, it takes around an hour to complete and provides you with beautiful scenery that will help you appreciate what the city has to offer. 

Perfect for hiking, it offers a moderate mode of difficulty but not too hard that you have to leave the kids at home. As you work your way around this circular trail, you will even find a couple of benches and a playground which is the perfect place to sit down for a picnic. 


Woodgate Valley Country Park Trail


For something a little bit gentler but still long enough to break up your day, you may want to consider visiting the Woodgate Valley Country Park Trail. An ideal route to bring your dogs, this 5.3km loop trail takes just over an hour to complete. 

This walk is particularly good if you need flat ground and if you want to find the perfect spot to go bird-watching. It is home to various wildlife, meadows, and even a beautiful stream that will follow you throughout the walk. And if you feel like shortening it a little bit, you can follow a bridge across the brook to get back to your car. 


Image source: AllTrails

Forge Mill Circular Trail


Near the West Midlands of Birmingham, you can also get your daily exercise in the city on the Forge Mill Circular Trail. Also around an hour long to complete, you can get in roughly 4.5km and many steps while enjoying the sight of flora and fauna, wildlife, and a running river. 

While the path isn’t too difficult to follow, it isn’t completely flat, so you may have to choose whether you want to bring your children with you. It is also best completed when the weather in Birmingham is good because if it has been raining, there is a lot of mud, making it difficult to grip the ground. 


Final thoughts 


Birmingham is one of the most exciting and busiest cities in the UK, so there is no surprise that there is a lot to do, even if you’re on a budget. Whether you’re deciding on taking a trip on your own or you’re a student looking to save some money, you will certainly be able to get a wide range of things done when you’re in the area.