Birmingham night sky

Birmingham, Alabama

History and culture combined

Birmingham is a bustling city that has been called “the cradle of the American Civil Rights Movement.” With 99 historic neighborhoods, a world-class culinary scene, robust nightlife and more green space per capita than any other city in the nation, the area is full of exciting adventures to discover.

Did you know that Birmingham was named after the UK city with the same name? It’s also Alabama’s largest city and the birthplace of basketball player Charles Barkley, actress Courteney Cox and rapper Gucci Mane. Plus, if you love nature, the city's Red Mountain Park is one of the biggest urban parks in the country, 40% bigger than New York’s Central Park. Here you’ll find a rich cultural scene as well as a community of creative thinkers that make Birmingham one of the most diverse cities in the US. 

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Dining made simple

If you’re craving the comforts of home and want to enjoy the city’s best restaurants, you’re only a short drive away from international cuisines ranging from Mediterranean to Italian and Chinese food. For the best French are visit Chez Lulu. Bettola and Botega Cafe are great for Italian dishes or you can visit Carlisle’s for some good old barbecue. When Saturday brunch rolls around, head to Another Broken Egg for omelets, grits or banana pancakes. Before you pack in hours of studying, check out Birmingham’s Urban Standard coffee shop, a trendy venue with tasty espresso.

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Exploring Birmingham

Plenty of things to do around town

Shopping your favorite brands

Shoppers love Birmingham because of its wide selection of stores, many of which aren’t too far from UAB. If you’re looking for a new outfit, the Summit outdoor mall is just a few miles down the road from campus. When you need college essentials, you can take a quick shuttle ride over to Walmart or Target. Here are more stores you can check out:

  • The Summit Outdoor Mall 
  • Crestwood Shopping Center
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Lucky Brand
  • Gus Mayer
  • Chico’s
  • Bebe
  • Pottery Barn 
  • Walmart 
  • Target

Getting around the city

Birmingham is a large city that is spread out, so having access to a car is best. Otherwise, you can get around via bus. During normal business hours, the MAX (Metro Area Express) provides transportation into the city. The Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority makes stops every 10-30 minutes, but can be less reliable on the weekends. Within downtown Birmingham, it’s easy to get around on foot or via bike.

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Birmingham happenings

Sights and sounds of Birmingham

What to see and do in Birmingham

Birmingham is a historic city with so much to explore. Visit the Civil Rights District and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to learn more about this important period of American history. Get outside and take a walk through the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve or check out 1,450 vintage and modern motorcycles and racing cars at the Barber Motorsports Park. Here are a list of some of the city’s top attractions:

  • Alabama Jazz Hall Of Fame
  • Birmingham Zoo
  • Birmingham Museum of Art
  • Barber Motorsports Park
  • Civil Rights District
  • Downtown
  • Five Points South
  • Forest Park
  • Kelly Ingram Park
  • Lakeview District
  • Oak Mountain State Park
  • Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve
  • The Southern Museum of Flight

Sports in and around town

In Birmingham, college football dominates the sports world and locals love to watch UAB teams compete for winning titles. And when you’re not cheering on your Blazers, you can watch professional sports all located nearby to campus such as:

  • NASCAR
  • The Indy Grand Prix of Alabama 
  • The PGA Champions Tour 
  • Vulcan 10K Run
  • Mercedes Marathon/Half Marathon
  • The Bass Masters Classic
  • UAB Blazers Basketball
Cultural events

An international melting pot

Annual festivals and events

Each year, Birmingham hosts a number of events ranging from restaurant weeks to cultural affairs, art walks and music festivals. Here are some of the city’s top events going on throughout the year:

  • Birmingham Restaurant Week
  • Religious Arts Festival
  • Alabama Symphony Orchestra
  • Sound Edge Festival
  • Sloss Music & Arts Festival
  • Alabama Asian Culture & Food Festival
  • St. Elias Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival
  • Gardendale Magnolia Festival
  • Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
  • Do Dah Day Festival
  • Barber Historics
  • Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival
  • Steel City Jazz Festival
  • Magic City Brewfest
  • Slicefest
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Festival
  • Sidewalk Film Festival
  • St. George Middle Eastern Food Festival
  • Birmingham Artwalk
  • Greek Food Festival
  • Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival
  • Dia de los Muertos

After dark in Birmingham

When the sun goes town, it’s time to enjoy Birmingham’s nightlife. Dance the night away at Nana Funks to ‘70s hits, listen to live music at The Blue Monkey or people watch at Dram Whiskey Bar, Birmingham is the place to be after dark. Check out these bars and nightlife venues scattered around town:

  • Buck Mulligan's Public House
  • Mojo Pub
  • Pale Eddies Pour House
  • Todd English P.U.B.
  • The J. Clyde
  • Innisfree Pub
  • Rogue Tavern
  • Black Market Bar & Grill
  • The Collins Bar
  • Zydeco
  • Blue Monkey Lounge
  • Nana Funks
  • Billy's Sports Grill
  • Dave's Pub
  • Garage Cafe
  • Iron City Bham
  • The Quest Club
  • Skky Night Club
Careers in Birmingham

Find your perfect job

Work where you live

Birmingham is not only a fun place to live but it’s also a great place to begin your career and work for some of the nation’s top employers. Here are some of the best workplaces in the city:

  • AT&T
  • Regions Financial Corporation
  • Saks Incorporated
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers
  • Vulcan Materials Company
  • HealthSouth Corporation
  • Compass Bancshares
  • Protective Life Corporation
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
  • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
  • Brasfield & Gorrie
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company, United
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • PNC Bank
  • State Farm Insurance Companies
  • Wells Fargo & Co.
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