visit birmingham - Bullring side

City Focus: Birmingham – Part 1.

Birmingham, Britain’s second city. From its ultra-modern shopping centres to it’s expansive canal system and rich industrial heritage, Birmingham has the feel of a progressive big city. Add a thriving food and art scene to the mix and you have somewhere that’s perfect for curious students. With over a million residents, Birmingham is considered the social, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands.

Birmingham is home to almost 85,000 students across five universities including: Aston University, University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University making it the perfect place to study. The city has just been named in the top 20 of UK cities in The Student Nightlife Index 2019.

What’s it like to live in Birmingham?

Canal side in BirminghamOnce the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’ and birthplace of the sweet stuff – Cadbury’s and Birds Custard – today Birmingham is an innovation hotspot. The city is one of the testbeds for the 5G mobile network roll-out in the UK, home to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a key location in the proposed HS2 rail network.

Many people still think of Birmingham as a city of industry and little else. Today, the UK’s second city has been transformed into a place of culture, green spaces and thanks to  the redevelopment of the Bullring Shopping Centre and the building of Grand Central its now one of the UK’s top retail destinations.

Regeneration of old industrial areas such as Brindleyplace and The Mailbox, has brought a new focus to the old canal sides with streets, buildings and the canals themselves restored and re purposed all this combined makes Birmingham one amazing city to live, study and explore.

Typical costs:

  • Inexpensive Restaurant: £8.00 – £16.00
  • Takeout Coffee: £1.70 – £3.00
  • Bottle of Coke: £0.70 – £1.50
  • Pint of milk: £0.50 – £1.00
  • Loaf of Bread: £0.62 – £1.20
  • Pint of beer at a restaurant/pub: £3.75
  • Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: £5.00 – £8.00
  • Cinema ticket: £7 – £9.50


Travel costs:

  • Adult Single – West Midlands Metro – £1.00 – £4.00 (maximum)
  • Birmingham New Street – University anytime Adult day return: £3.20*
  • Birmingham New Street – Birmingham International (for Birmingham Airport) Adult return £6.40*
  • One day Adult unlimited ticket for bus, tram and train – £8.80*
  • Monthly season ticket for bus, tram and train – £102*
  • Price of a taxi – £3.50 (start fee) and £1.50 (per km)
Student Nightlife Index 2019 in Birmingham* – Adult fares shown, student fares available.

Birmingham is home to three Host locations:

Hoist The Metalworks outside
Queen’s Hospital Close, is within a 10-minute walk of Birmingham city university south campus. If you want to be central to all the action, then Queen’s Hospital Close is for you. Walk outside and in five minutes you’ll find yourself in the beating heart of the city. Here, you’ll find everything you could ever need, including hundreds of bars and restaurants, cinemas and live music venues. With the train station close by and multiple buses passing by regularly, getting around the city and to all three of Birmingham’s universities is both quick and easy.

The Metalworks are located right at the entrance of the main University of Birmingham campus, it’s literally a 3-minute walk away in the popular student area of Selly Oak. When you’re not studying or enjoying the student buzz of Selly Oak, just hop on a bus or train for a short trip into the city centre (University railway station is a 10-minute walk through the university campus). The Metalworks are one of our most popular locations and has sold out for September 2019, but you can sign up to join the waiting list in case rooms become available. Keep an eye on the Host website and our social media channels for when rooms are released for September 2020.

Host Student Apartments – are located just down the road from The Metalworks and are a 5-minute walk from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Centre is a 5 minute train ride from University station. Host Student Apartments have also sold out for September 2019 but there is a waiting list in place, just click the link on the buildings webpage to join the list.

Top Birmingham Facts:

Birmingham - Parks

  • Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe. With more than 40% of its population found to be under the age of 25.
  • JRR Tolkien wrote Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit in Birmingham. The twin towers from the book were inspired by Edgbaston water works.
  • The Library of Birmingham - visit BirminghamBirmingham is the most landlocked city in the UK. The nearest beach is around 120 miles away from the city centre in Weston-super-Mare.
  • Venice is famous for its gondola rides along its canals. However, Birmingham is home to more miles of canal waterways with 35 miles to the Italian city’s 26.
  • Birmingham has the 5th busiest Mcdonalds in the world. And one of the few in the UK to open on Christmas day.
  • Birmingham has more public open space than any city of equal size in Europe with 571 parks. Almost 200 more than Paris.
  • There are more Michelin-starred restaurants in Birmingham than any other UK city outside of London.
  • The Library of Birmingham. A huge £189m project which opened its doors in 2013. It’s the largest public library in the UK, and the largest regional library and cultural space in Europe.
  • The Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham is responsible for producing more than 40% of the UK’s jewellery.
  • Birmingham is the birthplace of the Balti and home to over 100 Balti houses – Birmingham ranked 1st for takeaways in The Student Nightlife Index 2019.

Visit Birmingham - Michelin-starred restaurants

Studying in Birmingham this September and still looking for student? Make sure to check out Londonderry House.
And check out part 2 of our City focus on Birmingham, where we take a look at the top places to visit, to eat and the major events going on in Birmingham this year.

Getting serious about the environment we live in.

To become more ‘environmentally friendly’, Host is launching the #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign to encourage responsible behaviour and drive sustainability across our sites throughout the UK and Ireland.

It’s a simple campaign! For every percent we reduce our overall utilities (electric, water and gas) consumption by we donate to one of our nominated charities.

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