Birmingham vs London City Comparison: All You Need to Know

Birmingham vs London

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London is the first thing that comes to mind when considering the cities in the UK. But its popularity goes beyond the UK. In fact, it is world-renowned to the extent that it gets compared to New York. However, if we are to stay within the UK borders, there are other amazing places apart from London, one of which is Birmingham in the Midlands.

Birmingham, now known as "Britain's second city", has seen a significant migration of Londoners coming here, mainly thanks to the city's fantastic renaissance which has led to huge corporations choosing to locate here.

Are you trying to decide which place will suit your trip or lifestyle needs the best? Is it Birmingham or London? While both of these cities are wonderful and have a lot to offer, we will focus on the differences between them.

Continue reading to see which of these two cities is more affordable to live in or visit, which has better weather, information on public transport, cultural activities, real estate price, and much more helpful details.

Living in Birmingham vs London: What's the Difference?

Two of the most popular cities in the UK for international students are London and Birmingham. They both have a lot more to give than high-quality education and a pleasant lifestyle.

London sometimes called the Big Smoke, is well-known across the globe for its renowned, top-notch colleges, nightlife, diversity, art, and culture, as well as for being the center of emerging and expanding enterprises.

Birmingham, on the other hand, is among the most enticing and quiet cities in the UK to stay in. The city is home to Cadbury and boasts a thriving economy, a lower cost of living than London, employment opportunities, and a welcoming climate for students.

Birmingham vs London Size

As the capital city, London is the biggest metropolis in the UK, with a total area of 1,572 km2 and a population of 9.78 million.

Birmingham is situated in the heart of England's West Midlands and is the second largest city in England with a surface of 268 km2 and a population of 1.1 million

It is noticeable that Birmingham has a lower population density. According to the statistics, Birmingham now has 3739 residents per square kilometer, compared to 5206 in London for the same area.

London vs Birmingham Cost of Living

Birmingham offers lower prices for groceries and food. Compared to London, consumers may anticipate paying between 5-25% less for the weekly supermarket buy. Additionally, eating in restaurants is around 10-15% cheaper.

Transportation costs in this city are also less expensive, up to 50 percent. For example, the average price of a monthly ticket for public transport in London is about £130, while in Birmingham it is twice as cheap.

Average House Price in Birmingham vs London

For the purchase of an apartment in the center of London, the buyer should allocate almost £16,000 for one square meter, while for the outskirts of the city, about £8,000.

However, the same living area would be 88% less expensive in Birmingham, where it only cost £1,900 (£1,166.67 on the periphery).

Renting is much more expensive in London as well. For example, in London a shared house costs around £600 a month and a whole flat around £1800, while in Birmingham a shared house is around £400 a month and a whole flat is between £600 and £800.

Apart from the rent, the tenant must also pay the municipal tax and additional bills for utilities such as internet, electricity, water, and heating.

Public Transportation Drill Down

There are a variety of transportation options that are exclusive to each city. The capital city has the most developed underground railway and Birmingham for having a complex canal system.

Local bus and coach service

The famous red double-decker buses run continuously across both London and Birmingham. Also, these two metropolises are major hubs of intercity buses that travel across the UK.

The majority of long-distance coaches, including the National Express, Flixbus, Megabus, and Easybus, can be found at Victoria Bus Station. These coach companies frequently make stops at Digbeth Coach Station - Birmingham's primary coach station.

Coaches are more economical than trains. Passengers can book a coach ticket in advance and get it for only £1 on the Birmingham - London route


Residents in Birmingham frequently use trams to go to the city centre and the route runs between Birmingham Snowhill and Wolverhampton. And the name of the tram company in this city is West Midlands Metro.

In London, the Tramlink tram company mostly travels between Wimbledon and Beckenham via Croydon.


Taxis must be reserved in advance with the taxi companies. However, anyone can book a cab using a variety of taxi applications, such as Ola or Uber.


Several major train stations in London serve local trains, long-distance trains, and international trains and they are as follows:

  • Euston Train station
  • St. Pancras International Train Station
  • Paddington train station
  • Marylebone train Station
  • Victoria train station

Birmingham has three primary stations:

  • New Street
  • Moor Street
  • Snow Hill

They primarily serve the local and long-distance trains that travel throughout England, Wales, and Scotland.

London vs Birmingham Crime Rates: Which City Is Safer?

Birmingham has a higher overall crime rate than London, making it more dangerous. There are 137 crimes per 1000 people, while London recorded 87 cases. Regarding sexual offences, Birmingham recorded 67 cases per 1000 people, while in London there were only 27, which means that Birmingham is far more dangerous.

The likelihood of robbery, which frequently involves violence, was higher in Birmingham, where there were3.5 instances per 1,000 persons as opposed to 2.2 in the capital.

Birmingham vs London for Students: Which City Has Better Education Opportunities?

There are over 45 colleges and universities to select from in London, as well as a wide range of courses. They are considered the best in the country due to numerous recognitions and awards for excellent teaching. University College London, Queen Mary's University, King's College London, Imperial College London, and the London School of Economics Queen Mary's University are part of Russell Group

In terms of employment rates, universities in London lead the way.

Higher education and the finest teaching standards in the world are both strengths of Birmingham. This city has grown to be a well-liked study-abroad location due to its affordable cost of living and reputation as the UK's safest city.

Numerous regional universities, such as Birmingham City University, have received gold awards for their Teaching Excellence Framework performance. As many as 96% of graduates from

Birmingham universities are either working or continuing their education after graduation, which is an average success rate.

Salaries and Career Prospects in London vs Birmingham: What's the Difference?

London has a higher average salary, with a monthly disposable income (after tax) of £1,956.44 compared to £1,547.12 in Birmingham—a nearly 21% difference. The difference in graduate salaries is not so big. On an annual basis in London, it is £30,000, while in Birmingham it is £27,000.

London has a low unemployment rate of 8.1%, while in Birmingham it is slightly higher at 9.3. A low unemployment rate implies better employment prospects and economic expansion.

With HSBC moving their headquarters here back in 2015 and PwC ranking Birmingham as one of the top cities in Europe to invest in, the West Midland economic center offers plenty of career opportunities in practically every area.

London, the capital of the country, features a number of distinctive neighborhoods that are regarded as the country's economic hub for that sector, particularly for positions involving creativity, finance, and technology.

Because of London's size, there are always a lot of job opportunities available.

Which City Has More Notable Attractions?

Each of these two cities has its own tourist attractions. In fact, tourism is the main source of income in both cities. However, London stands out for its large number of museums, as many as 240, while Birmingham has only 8.

Some of the most magnificent tourist attractions in London include:

  • The Big Ben
  • London Eye
  • Buckingham Palace
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • British Museum
  • Tower of London
  • SEALIFE London
  • Grand Central
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour of Harry Potter, and more...

A wonderful starting point for touring the Cotswold and Malvern Hills region is Birmingham. The city's prosperity may be attributed to the canals that were constructed as a result of the Industrial Revolution and provide a vast network for boating recreation. Compared to Venice, the city has more waterways.

There are also numerous attractions that are interesting in Birmingham:

  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
  • Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum
  • Birmingham Botanical Garden
  • National SEA LIFE Center
  • Victoria Square
  • Jewellery Quarter

Both cities have a lot of interesting parks. For example, in London, there are Richmond Park, Hyde Park, Regents Park, Greenwich Park, and Holland Park. In Birmingham, there are Sutton Park, Selly Oak Park, Cannon Hill Park, Sheldon Country Park, and Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Birmingham vs London Weather

London has better weather simply because it is a more southern city. Compared to Birmingham, it has a warmer average temperature and far less rain. London has 71 fewer rainy days than Birmingham.

Average temperature:

  • London 11.1°C
  • Birmingham10.4°C

Average maximum temperature:

  • London 14.9°C
  • Birmingham 14.1°C

Average minimum temperature:

  • London 7.3°C
  • Birmingham 6.7°C

Birmingham vs London: Which City Takes the Win?

There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to residing in either of the two cities. Even if London's average salary is higher than in other places, the cost of living is higher too. On the other hand, Birmingham cannot compare to London's history, diversity, or sheer size.

Career opportunities in the Midlands will undoubtedly continue to increase as more and more international companies recognize Birmingham's advantages over London.

In the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences, but you are sure to enjoy both of these cities as they have a lot to offer!

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


No, the cost of living is much lower in Birmingham.
No, it isn't. London is larger.
In the West Midlands region of the UK, Birmingham lies around 100 miles (160 km) from London.
Yes, Birmingham is a good place to live in.