Living in Birmingham – Your Best Moving Guide

Living in Birmingham – Your Best Moving Guide

A hub of culture and history, Birmingham is a fantastic location for everyone who decides to call the city home.

Once the heart of the industrial metal industry, Birmingham has evolved into one of the most interesting cities in the UK.

Home to a plethora of green spaces, theatres and wonderful restaurants, this vibrant city is packed full of exciting opportunities.

With a strong economy, great house prices and excellent transport links now could be the perfect time to move to Birmingham.

So, what makes life in Birmingham so great?

If you are considering living in Birmingham, be sure to keep reading our ultimate moving guide.

We have gathered all of the information you need to know when considering a move to the area.


Birmingham Cathedral

Birmingham is a city brimming with history, like the Birmingham Cathedral. Image credit: Unsplash

Now the second largest city in the UK, Birmingham began life as a small Saxon village in the 12th century.

The town grew rapidly throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, becoming one of the biggest and most important regions in the country by the 19th century.

Its growth was fuelled, like many areas, by industry.

Birmingham was a metalworks hub, with most of the area’s working-class population employed in the industry’s factories.

Moving into the 20th century Birmingham remained extremely important.

The population of the city grew even more following the establishment of the university in 1909.

This growth was accelerated further when the city’s borders were extended throughout the period.

Industry in the city remained pivotal, with the introduction of car, tyre and bicycle factories adding to the growth.

During the Second World War, Birmingham was unsurprising a target for German bombing, mostly due to the vast amounts of factories found there.

This resulted in over 2,000 deaths and widespread damage to property.

Following the war and the lessening of traditional industry in the UK, the economy of the city changed drastically.

Birmingham is now reliant on the finance and tourist industries, with retail also playing a key role in the economy of the region.

Best Places to Live

Birmingham has a range of great suburban areas, all ideal for families to call home.

However, one stands out as a cut above the rest.

Shortlisted on the Sunday Times best places to live list, Harborne is Birmingham’s top-rated area to live.

The area has an impressive collection of restaurants, notably the Michelin star Tropea, an Italian restaurant known for its fresh pasta and seafood.

Harborne’s most desirable address is Wentworth Road.

With an assortment of stunning houses and flats, house prices range from £500,000 up to well over £1 million.

There is certainly a home for everyone in this beautiful region of Birmingham.

Housing Market in Birmingham

Housing Market Birmingham

The Housing Market in Birmingham may surprise you. Image credit: Envato Elements

In comparison to other major cities, Birmingham offers very reasonable house prices.

Costs will undoubtedly vary from region to region, but there is certainly a home for everyone in the city.

The average price for a property in Birmingham currently stands at £249,463

Another distinguishing factor is property type.

Those looking to buy a detached home in the city can expect to pay an average of £204,578, with semi-detached properties sitting at £264,750.

Buyers looking to live in Birmingham can expect to pay an average of £209,208 for a flat.

If you are looking for a terraced home, the average price is £204,578.

All statistics from Zoopla.

For those considering renting, Birmingham is still an excellent place to live.

Statistics from the showed the average rental cost in Birmingham to be £1,598 per month.

This represents excellent value, especially when compared to London where the average rent per month is £4,478!

Clerly, Birmingham is emerging as a fantastic, reasonably-priced place to live.

Living Costs in Birmingham

Birmingham is a vibrant, diverse melting pot of different nationalities and cultures.

This amalgamation of different heritages has resulted in Birmingham having a renowned selection of different cuisines.

With so many options, prices will vary from place to place.

As a general overview, here are the prices you can expect to pay for different types of food when living in Birmingham.

  • 1 meal at a cheaper restaurant-£15.00
  • 3-course meal for 2 mid-range restaurant-£ 50.00
  • Cappuccino or latte-£3.15
  • One litre of milk-£1.31
  • Loaf of bread-£1.24
  • 1kg chicken-£5.74

There are several popular websites and apps to help choose between the massive variety of takeaway and restaurant establishments including Just Eat, Deliveroo and TripAdvisor.

But there is no need to always order or eat out!

Birmingham offers all of the big-name UK supermarket brands, making an affordable homecooked meal a great choice.

Transport Links

Birmingham New Street Station

Birmingham New Street Station. Image credit: Wikipedia

Due to its location in the heart of the country, Birmingham offers locals excellent transport links to the rest of the UK.

Trains from Birmingham to London take under 2 hours, with the same journey taking around 2 hours and 20 minutes in a car.

Being a major city, Birmingham also offers its residents superb transport links within the city.

Various public transport services operate in the city these include the Midland Metro, trains and buses.

A single ride on public transport in the city will cost £2.50, with a monthly ticket amounting to £60.

When compared to London’s monthly cost of £200, it is evident that Birmingham provides its residents with very affordable transport links!

There are also excellent transport links to popular nearby areas such as Stourbridge.

Shopping in Birmingham

Selfridges, Birmingham

Selfridges, Birmingham. Image credit: Unsplash

Birmingham offers shoppers a plethora of shops.

From designer stores and premium shopping centres to pretty streets full of independent boutiques.

There really is a shop for every customer in Birmingham!

One of the most popular shopping regions in the city is Bullring.

The large shopping centre is home to more than 160 stores.

Offering everything from fashion, homeware and technology as well as places to eat and drink, it is clear to see why Bullring is Birmingham’s most popular shopping destination.

Nearby Grand Central shopping centre is home to popular department store John Lewis and offers another great retail location.

If you are looking for a more niche shopping experience, Link Street is for you!

Connecting Bullring and Grand Central, this location is full of ever-changing pop-up shops.

Read this article for even more ideas of other locations to indulge in some retail therapy.


You are certain to be entertained when living in Birmingham.

Combing the rich history of the city with its willingness to embrace new advancements and culture means there is such a wide range if different activities and locations to enjoy!

Birmingham is home to the UK’s oldest functioning cinema.

The Electric Cinema First opened on December 27th 1909.

It has understandably changed drastically in that time, but this rich history makes it one of the most interesting cinemas you can visit.

Head over to Visit Birmingham for even more ideas of exciting entertainment in Birmingham.


The city offers its residents all of the traditional leisure facilities.

With over 10 cinemas and 19 different leisure centres, there is bound to be a ‘traditional’ leisure activity near you.

The Cocks Moors Woods leisure centre is amongst the most popular in the city,

Offering a modern gym and a number of different classes, the centre is ideal for gym goers.

It also houses a popular swimming pool equipped with a 50m flume, wave machine and separate family-friendly pools.

You can find additional information about leisure centres in the area here.

As mentioned in the previous heading, Birmingham has really embraced technology.

In terms of the leisure industry, this has led to some exciting activities popping up throughout the region.

The escape room phenomenon has been truly embraced, with various options for everyone from enthusiasts to newbies.

Birmingham is also home to several virtual reality centres as well as ten-pin bowling and go-kart racing!

For even more ideas, Tripadvisor has some great suggestions.

Schools and Education

Schools in Birmingham

There are some great schools in Birmingham. Image credit: Pexels

The quality of the schools in the city attracts a lot of interest.

Birmingham provides a wide selection of highly regarded schooling at both primary and senior levels.

There are currently 340 primary schools within the city.

Of these, 40 have been awarded an “Outstanding” rating by Ofsted across all criteria.

Lea Forest Primary Academy, St Matthew’s CofE Primary School and Shaw Hill Primary School were among these ‘Outstanding’ institutions.

There are 168 secondary schools located in Birmingham, 20 of which we granted ‘Outstanding.’

Priestley Smith School, St Paul’s School for Girls and Swanshurst School were some of the highest-scoring schools.

The city is also home to the University of Birmingham.

A popular location for many students, the university is recognised as one of the top institutions in the world!

The University League Table 2024 saw Birmingham sit in the 15th spot!

Culture and Languages Spoken

Once the beating heart of the industrial revolution, Birmingham has a proud culture which has made it the wonderful city it is today.

It’s amazing historical buildings, canals and factories are all indicators of the region’s industrious past.

There has certainly been increased interest in the historical culture of Birmingham, partly thanks to the popularity of Tommy Shelby and the Peaky Blinders!

Being such a diverse city, Birmingham has become renowned for its embracing of different cultures and traditions.

A 2013 study by the Telegraph found that 108 different languages were being spoken in schools across the city.

Birmingham has a huge Asian population, with over 40% of students in the city from this ethnic background.

The city has thus become synonymous with Asian culture.

Renowned for its Asian cuisines and its annual Diwali celebration, Birmingham has a fantastically diverse cultural history and future!

Employment and Careers

Working in Birmingham

There are plenty of jobs in Birmingham. Image credit: Pixabay

Birmingham is currently the youngest large city in Europe!

With almost 40% of the city’s population under the age of 25.

This is certainly a very exciting prospect for the next generation of workers, looking to find employment here.

It also helps to explain some of the economic struggles the region has.

Claimant unemployment levels reached 12% this year, well above the national average of 4.8%.

This is an undesirable statistic, with the city pushing for new schemes to bridge the gap between education and employment.

Attempting to diversify workplaces in Birmingham to retain the high skilled school and university leavers is the main priority for the local government.

Self-employment in Birmingham is very promising, at 9.6% of the population.

This is slightly higher than the national level, showing a willingness to create new industries.

All of this indicates that living in Birmingham will provide exciting job opportunities going forward.


Birmingham Skyline

Birmingham is a city with plenty of opportunities. Image credit: Envato Elements

Birmingham has a range of different industries sure to attract a number of different types of workers.

According to Business Birmingham, there are five major sectors in the city.

These are comprised of advanced engineering, life sciences, tech and digital, food and drink as well as business, professional and financial services.

Like many major cities, this diverse range of industries is very attractive to a wide spectrum of possible employees.

This interest is reflected in the youthful population of the city, with many students studying in Birmingham seeking further employment here.

National Express is the biggest employer in Birmingham, providing jobs to over 4,800 employees.

Other big companies to consider when moving to Birmingham include Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Jaguar and Mondelez (Cadbury & Trebor).


Regardless of where you live within the UK, all residents subscribe to the same tax system.

Value-added tax, commonly referred to as VAT, is a 20% tax added to many different goods and services and is always added to the cost of the product.

Another important tax to consider is council tax.

The cost of your council tax will depend on the area you live in and the size of your property, to check how much you have to pay visit the Birmingham council website.

A final tax to consider if you decide to buy a flat or house in Birmingham is stamp duty.

There isn’t tax on the first £125,000 of your home value but the rate raises up to 12% over £1.5 million.

Local Airports

Flying from Birmingham

Flying from Birmingham is easy! Image credit: Unsplash

People living in Birmingham have great access to their own local airport.

Birmingham Airport (BHX), formerly Birmingham International Airport, was built in 1939 and sit 7 miles to the south of the city centre.

In 2017, passenger throughput reached over 12.9 million, making Birmingham the seventh busiest airport in the UK.

Flights from the airport include internal to several UK destinations, European, North American and a few Middle Eastern destinations.

If you require travel that is not on the destination list for Birmingham Airport, Heathrow is the closest of the big airports.

Under two hours drive away, Heathrow is the largest in the UK and will certainly be able to pick up any slack that Birmingham has.

There is also a £500m plan to grow passenger numbers by 40% over the next 15 years.

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy in Birmingham is lower than the national average.

For males, life expectancy in Birmingham is 76.9 years of age and females is 81.4.

Whilst life expectancy isn’t particularly variable across the UK, there are some areas of concern.

Infant mortality in Birmingham is 6.0 deaths per 1,000 births, considerably higher than the national average of 3.9.

It is important to consider that Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK.

This places considerable stress on health services in the region.

Sports and Outdoor Activities

Sports in Birmingham

There are lots of great sports in Birmingham. Image credit: Pexels

Whether you enjoy spectating or participating in sports, Birmingham has something for everyone.

Home to two major football clubs, Aston Villa and Birmingham City F.C., there is always the opportunity to go out and support your local club.

If you don’t enjoy football, the local cricket team, Warwickshire County Cricket Club, offer some great entertainment in the summer months.

Prefer participating?

Birmingham is host to a whole spectrum of different clubs you can join.

Redpoint Climbing Centre, Cecil Street provides an amazing 3D climbing experience featuring lots of different difficulty levels for all climbers!

Annual registration costs £3 and climbing sessions start from £7 per person, for more information click here.

Aerial obstacle courses are another popular activity for the adrenaline junkies.

Sandwell Valley County Park offers 30ft high obstacles and a 70-metre zipline among its numerous attractions.

With prices starting at just £10 this is certainly a fun activity for all the family.

For even more ideas, visit BirminghamLive.

The Balti Triangle

Birmingham is famed for its Asian cuisine.

However, the city has a special place in its heart for the style of cooking balti.

It is known as the Balti Triangle.

Unlike the Bermuda Triangle, the only thing to go missing here will be your hunger.

There are some amazing curry houses to choose from you certainly won’t leave hungry!

Located just south of the city centre, the Balti Triangle was popularised in the 1990s when there ws over 40 restaurants cooking in the style.

There aren’t quite as many restaurants today, however those that remain are a popular cornerstone of the city.


Birmingham Canal

Birmingham is known for its canal system. Image credit: Unsplash

With more waterways than Venice, Birmingham boasts 35 miles of canals!

The canals can be enjoyed by a wide range of individuals including walkers, cyclists, and boat owners.

During the Industrial Revolution, the canals were some of the busiest waterways in the UK.

Transporting coal, iron and other goods, they were crucial in the development of Birmingham and the surrounding Black Country.

Built in the 18th and 19th centuries, For 170 years the canal system was bustling with activity.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the amount of goods carried reached 8 and a half million tonnes per year!

No longer used commercially due to technological advances, the canals are slowly being restored for leisure purposes.

Providing a new perspective on the whole city, the canals now give Birmingham its own unique flavour.


As the second largest city in the UK, you could have a vision of Birmingham as a concrete metropolis.

This is not the case; the city is home to 571 different parks!

With such an abundance of green spaces, you will never be too far away from Mother Nature.

One of the most popular parks for those living in Birmingham is Cannon Hill.

Founded in 1873, the 120-acre space has grown into an action-packed park with fun features for all.

There is a 32-hole mini golf course, a land train and even pedalo boats.

Another popular park in the city is Handsworth Park.

This 62-acre location plays host to various Birmingham council events, and provides a real hub for the community to enjoy.

The park has various nature walks, offering chances for members of the community to get involved with conservation projects.

Make sure to visit some of the city’s green spaces when moving here.


Theatre in Birmingham

Be sure to head to the theatre in Birmingham. Image credit: Pixabay

Outside of London, very few cities can match the calibre of theatre that Birmingham has to offer.

With such a rich cultural history, it is no surprise that Birmingham has produced some of the most iconic actors and theatres in the United Kingdom.

One of the most iconic of the city’s theatres is the Birmingham Hippodrome.

If you are looking to see one of the touring West End productions, this theatre is for you.

Having hosted huge productions such as Lion King, the West End sized stage provides the perfect platform for the most popular shows.

Providing a stage for amateur productions, the Crescent Theatre is an integral part of the theatre scene in the city.

The Crescent has been in its location on Sheepcote Street since the late 1990s.

It has had its own in-house company that stages most of the productions.

The theatre has open auditions, letting the community get involved with the productions!

Be sure to support the theatre movement when moving to Birmingham.

Ready to Move

WACO Truck

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Does living in Birmingham sound appealing to you?

What are you waiting for?

You can start planning your dream move with the assistance of our Birmingham Removals service from White & Company today.

White & Company are also pleased to announce we also offer a video survey service, meaning we can conduct remote removals surveys without having to visit you in person!

We can gather all the relevant information for your move from the comfort of your own home.

So, give us a call today or fill out a quick quote form to see how we can get your dream move to Birmingham in the works.

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