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Student nightlife: the fresher's guide to Birmingham

Written by
Siobhan Harper

Are you a newly minted student, off to study in our fair city? Welcome! We're glad to have you. Now, we both know your studies are very important, but what you really want to know is what is where you can go to enjoy yourself, right? Of course you do.

So, we've rounded up some of the best night time attractions that Birmingham has to offer. Whether you'd prefer to spend your Saturday night downing cocktails, having a laugh with your friends, or dancing the night away (or all three), there's something here for you.

Check out a student club night

Flickr: Elliott Brown

Ah, the traditional Fresher's Week bonding experience. There's a variety of club nights happening all over Birmingham for freshers, so there's bound to be one for you.

There's something going on nearly every night of the week: on Tuesdays, Bar Risa hosts Salsa by Latin Motion, while Players hosts 'Stupid Tuesdays', where three Jagers are just £5. On Wednesdays are the famous 'I Love Tom's Mum' night at Walkabout, and the 'I Love Risa' night at Bar Risa, one of Birmingham's biggest student nights. For Thursdays, check out the Motown, soul and junk offerings at Mechu, or go the Jam House where cocktails are two for one all evening.

Try a balti

Wiki Commons: Miansari66

Now you're here, you're obliged to enjoy a balti, the curry dish that was invented right here in the city! First served in 1977 in Adil's restaurant on Stoney Lane, a balti is a type of curry served in metal, wok like bowl. 

You also need to explore the Balti Triangle and find your new favourite curry house! Here's Time Out's pick of the best Indian restaurants in Birmingham to get you started.

Shop 'til you drop

Wiki Commons: Luke Byfield

If you love shopping, you've come to the right city. The Bullring offers a huge range of fashionable high street stores, selling everything from clothes to cutting-edge technology. Even better, they're usually open until 8pm Monday-Saturday, and can stay open up till 10pm in the run up to Christmas.

If you love a label, the Mailbox is the place to be. Harvey Nichols and Emporio Armani call it home, along with many more designer stores. Once you've kitted yourself out in a brand new outfit, try out one of the many restaurants and bars that overlook our famous canals.

Plus, the shiny new Grand Central will be open from September 24, with more than 60 different eateries and retailers where you recklessly spend you student loan.

Take in a play

Wiki Commons: JimmyGuano

Consider yourself a fan of the arts? Luckily for you, Birmingham has plenty of theatres with performances to suit anybody's taste.

We're home to the Hippodrome, REP Theatre, The Crescent Theatre, and the New Alexandra to name just a few. The Birmingham Royal Ballet will be performing Swan Lake at the Hippodrome from the September 28 to October 6, while cult favourite Welcome To Night Vale will be at the New Alex on September 22.

If you're interested in learning about the ins and outs of putting a production together, check out the REP's Open Day on September 26.

Enjoy some live music

Wiki Commons: Antony Hollingworth

If you're a music lover, you're also in luck. We're home to the Barclaycard Arena and O2 Academy, as well as numerous other small live music venues.

There's also the Birmingham Conservatoire and the Symphony Hall, if your tastes run to more classical music. Whatever your preference, there's something for you.

For example, Weird Al' Yankovic is performing at the O2 Academy on October 15, and pop sensation One Direction will be at the Barclaycard Arena from the October 10-12. To find more live music listings, check out Time Out's music and nightlife section.

Become a movie buff

Flickr: Tony Hisgett

Birmingham has plenty of traditional multiplexes, but if you're looking for a more unusual cinema going experience, you've come to the right place.

Why not check out the latest blockbuster on the giant IMAX screen in Cineworld Broad Street? If you're looking for a more intimate affair, try out the Electric Cinema, which is the UK's oldest working cinema. It shows a mix of mainstream, independent, foreign, and classic films. 

Split your sides

Flickr: Ed Schipul

Everyone loves to laugh, and there's no better place to do so than right here. Brum has a great range of comedy clubs, including Jongleurs on Broad Street and the Glee comedy club.

There's also a huge range of independent comedy nights to choose from, where you can see the best acts before they become famous comedy stars. Here's a list of just 10 comedy venues in Birmingham to take a look at.

We recommend the Glee club Roughworks show on a Sunday night. Only £3 entry, and you get to see some of the best comedians' new material before anybody else. 

Plus, comedy fans also have the epic Birmingham Comedy Festival to look forward to, taking place from October 2-11.

For even more ideas, keep on checking the Time Out Birmingham site for the latest things to do, films to watch, places to eat, drink and more

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