A Freshers Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

Coming to Birmingham for university and want to know about the best nights out? We list all the top places, no matter the vibe you’re after!

A Fresher's Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

It's a great spot to let loose with your fellow freshers

Stepping into university life is an exhilarating experience, and one of the most memorable aspects of it is the chance to explore the nights out of a new city.

For freshers in Birmingham, the second-largest city in the UK, this excitement is amplified.

Birmingham offers a diverse and dynamic nightlife scene that caters to all tastes, making it the perfect playground for students looking to make the most of their university years.

Here, we will take you on a tour of the best bars, clubs, and nights out that freshers can enjoy in Birmingham.

Whether you’re into clubbing, bar hopping, chilled nights, or good food, there are places here for everyone. 

Broad Street – The Heart of Birmingham

A Fresher's Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

When it comes to nightlife in Birmingham, it’s impossible not to mention Broad Street.

Known as the epicentre of the city’s after-dark entertainment, this bustling street is a prime destination for freshers looking to kickstart their university experience.

With a wide array of bars and clubs to choose from, Broad Street offers something for everyone.


Begin your night on Broad Street at Walkabout, an Australian-themed bar.

It’s an excellent spot for pre-drinks with friends and offers a laid-back atmosphere.

The extensive cocktail menu and lively crowd make it a great starting point for your night out.


If you’re a fan of traditional Irish pubs, O’Neill’s is a must-visit.

It’s known for its welcoming atmosphere, live music, and a wide selection of beers and spirits.

It’s a great place to experience the warm and friendly vibe of Birmingham’s nightlife.


Moving on to the club scene, Pryzm is a megaclub that guarantees an unforgettable night.

With multiple rooms playing different music genres, you can dance to your heart’s content.

Pryzm is a favourite among students for its vibrant atmosphere and top-notch DJs.

Albert Schloss 

One of the new hotspots of Birmingham is Albert Schloss, located just before Broad Street, on Chamberlain Square.

The German-themed bar has numerous fresh craft beers, amazing cocktails, unique food, and live music almost every night.

They even have burlesque shows which offer customers a compelling experience. 

Brindley Place – The Best of Both

A Fresher's Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

Brindley Place is a dynamic and picturesque district that embodies the essence of modern Birmingham.

Its canal-side setting, diverse dining options, cultural attractions, and lively events make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city, students included

Pitcher & Piano

Located right by the canal, Pitcher & Piano offers a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

It’s a popular spot for cocktails, with a wide variety of options to choose from.

The outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying drinks while taking in the canal views.

All Bar One

All Bar One is a stylish and contemporary bar known for its extensive drinks menu, including cocktails, wines, and craft beers.

It’s a versatile spot, suitable for everything from casual drinks with friends to a more formal evening out.

The Slug and Lettuce

Another popular choice in Brindley Place, The Slug and Lettuce is a lively bar that caters to a diverse crowd.

They offer an extensive drinks menu, including cocktails, wines, and an impressive gin selection.

The bar’s upbeat atmosphere makes it ideal for a fun night out.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist is known for its innovative and visually stunning cocktails.

The bartenders here have a flair for creating drinks that are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the palate.

As well as these bars, Brindley Place has a catalogue of restaurants for freshers looking for a more relaxed evening.

Brindley Place is a short walk from The Mailbox which boats The Cube, Lane 7, Sixes, Everyman Cinema, and much more. 

Digbeth – Birmingham’s Creative Hub

A Fresher's Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

Digbeth, often referred to as Birmingham’s creative quarter, is a hub of artistic expression and eclectic nightlife.

This area is known for its alternative and underground scene, making it an ideal destination for freshers seeking a more unique experience.

The Custard Factory

The Custard Factory is at the core of Digbeth’s creative vibe.

It’s home to several bars and venues, making it an ideal starting point for a night out.

Check out The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen for indie films or the spotlight events at The Rainbow Venues for cutting-edge electronic music.


Lab11 is an underground club nestled in Digbeth’s industrial landscape.

This venue hosts some of the city’s best techno and house music nights, making it a hot spot for music enthusiasts.

If you’re into electronic beats, Lab11 is the place to be.

The Ruin

For a more relaxed atmosphere, The Ruin offers a cosy and intimate setting.

Known for its friendly staff, it’s an excellent choice for a laid-back night with friends.

They often host live music events, making it an excellent place to discover local talent.

Chance and Counters

If you’re big on games and competition, then you’ll find a wide variety of games, including classics like Monopoly and Scrabble, modern strategy games, card games, and everything in between.

The staff at Chance and Counters can often help you select a game that suits your group’s preferences and experience level.

They also offer food like tacos, freshly baked brownies, beers, and coffees. 


NQ64 is a retro arcade bar, offering a nostalgic gaming experience with a wide variety of classic arcade games and retro consoles from the 1980s and 1990s.

Patrons can enjoy a mix of arcade cabinets, pinball machines, and console setups, all while sipping on craft beers and cocktails.

It’s a popular destination for those looking to relive their childhood memories or discover the joys of vintage gaming in a fun and social setting.

You’ll find a lot of daytime clubs and bars in Digbeth such as Roxy Ballroom, The Floodgate, Ball Park, and Luna Springs. 

The Jewellery Quarter – Classy Nights Out

A Fresher's Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

If you’re looking for a more upscale and sophisticated night out, the Jewellery Quarter has plenty to offer.

This historic area is famous for its high-end bars and restaurants, making it a perfect destination for those special occasions or when you want to impress your friends.

The Button Factory

The Button Factory is a stylish bar set in a beautifully restored building.

It’s perfect for a classy night out with its craft cocktails and excellent wine selection.

The elegant atmosphere makes it an ideal venue for celebrations or date nights.

40 St Paul’s

For a more intimate experience, 40 St. Paul’s is a hidden gem in the Jewellery Quarter.

It’s a cocktail bar known for its innovative and expertly crafted drinks.

The bartenders here are passionate about mixology and are happy to create custom cocktails to suit your preferences.

The Rose Villa Tavern

For a blend of classic and modern, The Rose Villa Tavern is a Victorian pub with a twist.

It offers a wide range of craft beers and cocktails in a cosy atmosphere.

Its live music and quirky decor make it a favourite among locals and students alike.

Selly Oak – Student-Friendly Vibes

A Fresher's Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

Selly Oak, located near the University of Birmingham, is a student-centric area known for its vibrant and budget-friendly nightlife.

It’s the go-to spot for freshers looking for a lively and student-friendly atmosphere.

The Bristol Pear

The Bristol Pear is a popular student pub known for its affordable drinks and fun-loving crowd.

They have regular themed nights and quizzes, making it a great place to socialize and meet new people.

The S’oak

The S’oak, another student favourite, offers live music, DJ nights, and a diverse drinks menu.

It’s a great spot to let loose with your fellow freshers and make lasting memories.

Joe’s Bar

Joe’s Bar, part of the Guild of Students at the University of Birmingham, is a central hub for student social life.

With events ranging from karaoke to themed parties, it’s an excellent place to immerse yourself in campus culture.

Harborne – A Suburban Nightlife Gem

A Fresher's Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

While Birmingham’s city centre is undoubtedly the nightlife epicentre, don’t overlook the charming suburb of Harborne, located just a stone’s throw away.

Harborne boasts a relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for freshers seeking a different pace.

The Plough

The Plough, a quintessential English pub with a modern twist, is a beloved hangout in Harborne.

Its beer garden is perfect for enjoying sunny afternoons, and the cosy interior is a comforting escape during the colder months.

They also run a quiz every Sunday evening and have 2-4-1 specials on their fresh burgers and pizzas. 

With a wide selection of craft beers and a delectable food menu, it’s a local favourite.

The Junction

With its Cask Marque accreditation, you can be confident of enjoying a quality drink at this delightful Harborne pub.

As one of Birmingham’s cosiest establishments, The Junction makes for an ideal Sunday destination.

Stop by for a leisurely lunch or a few indulgent sips.

Don’t hesitate to request that the fireplace be lit, adding a touch of rustic charm to your experience.

The Arco Lounge

For a more relaxed vibe, The Arco Lounge offers a warm and comfortable setting.

Known for its excellent coffee and cocktails, it’s a versatile venue suitable for anything from a morning study session to a late-night catch-up with friends.

Birmingham’s Student Events and Special Nights

A Fresher's Guide: Best Nights Out in Birmingham

Beyond individual bars and clubs, Birmingham hosts a variety of student events and special nights throughout the year.

Keep an eye out for these recurring events, as they offer fantastic opportunities to socialize and make new friends.

Fab ‘N’ Fresh

Fab ‘N’ Fresh is the University of Birmingham’s official freshers’ event, taking place at the start of the academic year.

It features a lineup of exciting parties, live performances, and themed nights to help you kickstart your university journey with a bang.

Snobs Saturday

Snobs, a legendary nightclub in Birmingham, hosts “Snobs Saturday” every week.

Known for its indie and alternative music, this event is a favourite among students.

With affordable drink deals and a lively crowd, it’s a staple in the Birmingham student experience.

Birmingham’s nightlife is as diverse as its population, offering something for everyone.

Whether you’re into megaclubs, intimate bars, or alternative scenes, the city’s nightlife will cater to your tastes.

As a fresher in Birmingham, you have a treasure trove of experiences awaiting you, from the vibrant Broad Street to the creative and underground scene of Digbeth.

And don’t forget the student-friendly vibes of Selly Oak.

But, more places are popping up all over the city to enjoy, so make sure to explore and find the right spot for you. 

Get ready to unleash your freshers’ adventure and make unforgettable memories in this dynamic and exciting city.

Cheers to an amazing journey through Birmingham’s bars, clubs, and nights out!

Balraj is a spirited Creative Writing MA graduate. He loves open discussions and his passions are fitness, music, fashion, and poetry. One of his favourite quotes is “One day or day one. You decide.”

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