Guides

Nightlife & Entertainment in Birmingham

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It’s no surprise that a city with 5 universities, and where almost half the population is under-25, has an extra spark to its nightlife. Lively venues burn all night with youth and energy, but don’t worry if you’re moving at a slower pace - sophisticated wine bars, and cosy pubs serving up real ale also dot Brum’s busy streets.

 

Bars

 

Birmingham’s bars cater to every crowd - whether you want to clap along with a live band, load up ahead of a big night, or share a quiet, locally-brewed pint. Broad Street is the city’s nightlife central, and the surrounding area is also packed with all kinds of bars and clubs offering a wild night out.

 

The Jam House

 

There’s always a hootenanny happening at The Jam House, which was the brainchild of ivory-tinkling blues superstar Jools Holland. Mixing raucous live music with quality dining, it serves up deliciously juicy roasted meats with a thick side order of soul. If you’re in the mood for dancing, sit on the ground floor for prime dance-floor access. If not, book a balcony table for a bird’s eye view of the show.

 

3-5 St Pauls Square, Birmingham B31QU. Tel: +44 0 121 200 3030

 

The Jam House website

 

Island Bar

 

Taste the tang of mango and pineapple, as you sip deliciously moreish Tiki cocktails from this offbeat spot - which also serves flaming shots for the more daring. Over 70 different kinds of rum flow freely at the Island Bar, bringing the tastes of Jamaica, Hawaii, and Mexico to the heart of Birmingham.

 

14-16 Suffolk Street, Birmingham B1 1LT. Tel: +44 0 121 632 5296

 

Island Bar website

 

Quirky hangouts

 

Break the mould and head to some of Birmingham’s coolest spots where the beards grow thick and the atmosphere is unmistakably hip. From drinking in the kaleidoscopic glow of stained glass windows to dancing to the latest live bands in tucked away party spots, these venues let you blaze your own trail.
Brewdog Birmingham

 

For a break from identikit pubs serving the same old booze, nothing beats Brewdog. Offering their own brand of in-your-face craft ales, this is a bar with a difference, where you can sup while surrounded by raw brick walls and steel girders. A few bottles of their famous Punk IPA is a great way to kickstart an evening in the birthplace of heavy metal.

 

81-87 John Bright Street, Birmingham B1 1BL. Tel: +44 0 121 616 1339

 

Brewdog Birmingham website

 

Live music

 

Birmingham’s industry directly influenced the music, with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi suffering finger injuries as a metal worker, forcing him to adapt his guitar playing style. In the process, he defined the way he - and countless others after him - would go about attacking their guitars. Get along to a gig at one of Birmingham’s many venues, and you’ll be head-banging with the best of them.

 

02 Academy Birmingham

 

Venues of all sizes keep Birmingham rocking, and the O2 is big enough to attract the brightest touring bands from across the UK, before they become stratospheric. Indie club nights often follow the gigs, keeping the fresh sounds flowing until late.

 

Bristol Street, Birmingham B1 1DB. Tel: +44 0 121 622 8250

 

02 Academy Birmingham website

 

Nightclubs

 

Still standing? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of places to boogie until the early hours. Whether you want a small, intimate dance floor, or a mega-club with an eyeball-rattling sound system, the good times will last as long as you do.

 

Gatecrasher

 

Most nights out in Brum come to a euphoric end at the colossal Gatecrasher club, which pounds with beats until the early hours. Dominating Broad Street, it's hard to miss and you'll soon be dancing below cosmic lasers which rake across the four huge dance floors while superstar DJs work the room.

 

182 Upper Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DA. Tel: +44 0 121 633 1520

 

Gatecrasher website