Ultimate List of Birmingham Pubs to Visit During University

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Birmingham, the second city. There’s the Bull Ring, the Custard Factory, Villa Park, the Commonwealth Games, the Botanical Gardens, and so much more to explore and enjoy as a student in Birmingham.

One of the most important things to get to know though is where’s best to go out for a drink! Birmingham pubs are some of the best in the country and with this guide, we’ll take you through a sample of traditional Victorian boozers, the biggest beer gardens and the best places for some student discounts and pub grub.

Here are 8 of the best Birmingham pubs:


1. The Flapper


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Cambrian Wharf, Kingston Row. B1 2NJ.

Seen by many as the best independent live music venue in Birmingham, The Flapper is placed front and centre within the student scene of the city.

A fantastic student pub that has a fine location overlooking the canal, it makes for the perfect summer retreat on the first floor and outside, but then when you delve that little bit deeper there is even more going on.

Upstairs has pool tables, a pinball machine, and a rough and ready bar that serves a wide range of beer, cider, spirits, and cocktails. You will also find a tasty stone-baked pizza selection at The Flapper. 

Downstairs is magic though, a centre of the universe for those into live music in the city, there are music festivals throughout the year, and local bands are on their way up.

A great place to watch live music, and the terrace and beer garden is the perfect place to take some time and watch the world go by above the canal, pint in hand!


2. Gosta Green


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Holt Street, B7 4BG.

A huuuuuge space inside the pub, Gosta Green also has one of the biggest beer gardens anywhere in Birmingham.

This, and the simple idea of good food and warm customer service ensures that this is one of the most popular Birmingham pubs around.

Located in Aston, this is a student hangout any night of the week, offering student discounts on food and drink that’ll keep you coming back.

The pub itself is a delightful Victorian pub which looks incredible.

If you’re after proper real ale, they’ve got a good selection here, but you’ll also get your usual lager and cider, spirits, and cocktails alongside decent food to soak up the beer.

The beer garden is amazing, offering up two large, seated areas in the courtyard and the only outdoor pool table you’ll find in the city (brilliant on those sunny days when you want to stay competitive but outside). Big screens around the room show the latest live sport.


3. The Sunflower Lounge

Smallbrook Queensway, B5 4EG

You wouldn’t expect to find such a brilliant alternative pub right in the centre of the city, but as far as Birmingham pubs go, this is the best of that kind, right next door to New Street Station and the Bull Ring!

The prices are always friendly to students, it’s open late at night and there is a split between the bar and the gig venue aspect of the lounge.

The Sunflower Lounge is your haven if you’re after indie music through the speakers and the stage, at a price you can afford. Live music is everything here, it makes it the punchy, vibrant Birmingham pub that it is.

Two floors of cool, laid-back vibes when you want a chill and a pint, and raucous live music to get the blood pumping downstairs

 It is a small venue but that just makes it an even crazier experience when the gig goes off, and the DJs that spin the tunes in between are fantastic too.

The Sunflower is the coolest place where everyone is a friend.


4. The Sun on the Hill


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Bennetts Hill, B2 5QP.

Probably the easiest to find Birmingham pub on this list, The Sun on the Hill is as central as you can be.

It is a place that straddles both the young professional and student crowds in the city, a place that comes alive Friday afternoon and stays buzzing for the entire weekend.

You’ll find live music, loads of great drinks and offers, and the feel of a hip, independent pub that has confidence in what it is and lets you know you’re going to have a good time.

The high ceilings and Chesterfield sofas put a twist on this boozer and subtly transform it into more than just a normal pub.

As well to the live music space that celebrates the best of Birmingham, there are few other Birmingham pubs that can offer a private event space right in the city that gives you and a select group of friends your own bar and balcony to people watch from.

We’d definitely recommend this as the best place for a birthday celebration or graduation party for 50 of you.


5. Bristol Pear

Bristol Road, B29 6BJ.

Formerly part of the Scream chain of pubs that were student favourites, the Bristol Pear has continued to have that comfortable student vibe, a buzzing atmosphere with good food and drink discounts all the time and a familiar crowd.

Whether you are after a quick bite to eat at lunch, a post-uni pint, you want to watch some sport on the big screens around the venue or start a big night out with a few drinks and a big group of mates, the Bristol Pear is the place to be.

Comfortable vintage sofas are found all around the pub, HD screens provide a good view of the big match wherever you are sat (or stood) and there are some pool tables on one side of the room.

There is a relaxed but fun vibe to the Bristol Pear, which makes it such a popular student haunt, the perfect location for whatever type of day you’re having.


6. The Goose


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Bristol Road, B29 6AF.

Right by the University of Birmingham campus in Selly Oak, The Goose is a big student pub full of character and always offering up a lively night out. It looks like your normal traditional pub, with wood panels, comfy furniture, and a warm, welcome style.

You’ll always see plenty of students in here, a post-lecture staple for a drink or as pre-drinks before venturing into the city centre.

The beauty of The Goose is that the original décor has been retained.

If you’re looking for a friendly traditional boozer, this is definitely it.

Take away the big screens that they show sport on, and you could be sitting in the same pub that it was 30 years ago. Best of all, it is cheap to drink in, which is why you see such a big group of students here at any time of the week.


7. Hare & Hounds


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High St, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ.

Art nouveau style and music history seeping from the walls, the Hare & Hounds has a unique reputation within the list of Birmingham pubs.

It was where UB40 started their career (ask your grandparents), and in more recent times Ed Sheeran played here when he was first coming up.

Hare & Hounds is the type of place where you can go see live music for a good price with only a few hundred people and feel like there’s a good chance you’re seeing a future great band.

Drinks are pretty cheap here too, so you can head out and have a few drinks and pay entry for the gig and still spend only around £20.

It isn’t just about the music though, the pub itself has been a firm favourite for over a century, the Victorian design dates back to 1907 when the design of the original pub from 1820 was replaced.

The pub is ornate, a cool place to hang out with fellow students, music lovers and locals. An artsy feel abounds, but you’ll also see the traditional pub quiz nights, comedy nights and other club nights to keep you entertained each week.


8. The Victoria

John Bright Street, B1 1BN.

Another popular student pub that has live music, is another of the coolest Birmingham pubs.

It blends the traditional English pub aesthetic with a modern, artsy décor perfectly, straddling both the local crowd and the student scene with ease. The cartoon art on the oak-panelled walls somehow works, it’s certainly unique as a vibe!

This combination of all types of British pubs and swanky bars continues when you see the extensive cocktail menu and craft beer selection.

That luxury junk food that you get in the best pubs these days is also on offer, so lick your lips and get ordering.

Live music, comedy, quizzes, and other events are on almost every day of the week, ensuring that The Victoria will soon become one of your homes away from home when living as a student in Birmingham.



Our list of the best Birmingham pubs for you to visit during university includes the artsy, the cool live music venues, the pubs for cheap (but tasty) pub grub, real ale, live sport on big screens, and the perfect pubs for a post-lecture pint. Let us know your favourites and what you think of the pubs on our list.