As one of the busiest bus routes in Europe, the 50 is a city institution. In celebration of the iconic journey, we’ve listed our 50 favourite things to see and do.
Get on board! The 50 connects some of the city’s most popular suburbs – including Moseley, Kings Heath, Maypole and Druids Heath – with the city centre on one of a fleet of ultra-modern Platinum bus.
BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE
Once the city of a thousand trades, now the city of a thousand shops … as well as some of the best restaurants in the UK
1: Take a selfie with the Birmingham bull: You’ll find the famous statue on the concourse just outside the Bullring shops – and if you’re lucky you might even see it in one of its costumes!
2: Bullring: Boasting more than 200 high street favourites, including TK Maxx, H&M, All Saints, Coach and Diesel, as well as the striking Selfridges store.
3: Grand Central: Situated above New Street Station, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options … from Lebanese cuisine at Comptoir Libanais or a glass of Prosecco at Frizzenti.
4: Lose yourself in Primark: Birmingham’s High Street store is officially the largest fashion retail store in the world, with a record-breaking 160,100sqft of retail space. That equals five floors of fashion, homewares and beauty.
5: Victorian arcades: Take a stroll back in time with a visit to the city’s famous arcades and browse the many independent shops and stylish cafes.
6: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: Offering a fascinating glimpse into the city’s rich and vibrant past and a showcase for world class collections.
7: St Philip’s Cathedral: Home to remarkable stained-glass windows designed by Birmingham born pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones and manufactured by the firm of William Morris & Co.
8: The pop-up pub: The Pigeon in the Park is part of a 30-stall Christmas craft market and boasts a bird’s-eye view overlooking St Philip’s Cathedral.
9: Eating out in Colmore Row: From The Ivy and Gino’s to Gaucho and The Oyster Club, you’ll find all your favourite fine dining spots here.
10: Afternoon tea at The Grand Hotel: The stylish Madeleine Bar serves this traditional treat with scrumptious sandwiches and tempting cakes. The perfect way to celebrate, whatever the occasion.
11: Birmingham Library: From Britain’s most important Shakespeare collection to the amazing views of the city from the rooftop garden, the Centenary Square library is a day out in itself.
12: Rag Market: With a history dating back to the early 12th Century, the city’s famous indoor market is a treasure trove of fabrics, clothes and food from around the world.
13: A trip to the ballet: Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, the world-class Birmingham Royal’s performances are not to be missed.
14: Mailbox: A haven for designer-led fashion – including the city’s Harvey Nichols store – as well as a great dining spot overlooking the city’s canal basin.
15: Birmingham’s famous canals: Discover new sides to the city with a stroll along with water’s edge from Mailbox to Brindleyplace.
16: Symphony Hall: Widely considered to be one of the finest concert halls in the world, with the CBSO its resident orchestra.
17: Digbeth: The city’s Boho district known for striking street art, creative workshops, and lively bars and restaurants.
18: Graffiti Walk: This free art walk gives you a close-up glimpse of the amazing graffiti around Digbeth.
19: Custard Factory: The former home of Bird’s Custard, now a creative hub home to many independents as well as regular craft and vintage markets.
20: Clean Kilo: Digbeth’s Clean Kilo is the largest zero-waste supermarket in the UK selling plastic-free, locally-sourced products. Take your own containers, or purchase reusable ones.
21: Vintage clothing: Quirky, trendy and sustainable; pop in to Cow to snap up a fashion find!
22: The Floodgate Batting Cage Bar: Hit a home run while enjoying a cocktail? Count us in! There’s even a curling room and the UK’s first pit pat table golf course.
The ever-popular cosmopolitan destination and once the home of Joseph Chamberlain. Today it boasts an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants, boutiques.
23: Moseley Baths: The grandiose gothic renaissance pool boasting countless original features; it’s also open for public swimming.
24: Moseley Park and Pool: Unchanged for more than 100 years; there’s 11 acres of peaceful parkland, and a beautiful lake perfect for a quiet stroll.
25: Damascena Coffee House: A Middle Eastern gem serving delicious food inspired by a number of cuisines. In fact, it’s so popular there are now four Damascenas across Birmingham!
26: The Cuban Embassy (The Bulls Head): Enjoy live music, food and cocktails at this bustling bar that takes inspiration from the northern Caribbean island.
27: La Plancha: Renowned as one of the best tapas restaurants in the city, tuck into delicious homemade dishes and enjoy the rustic setting.
28: Highbury Park: Home to the historic Highbury Hall, once home to Joseph Chamberlain. It takes its name from the Highbury area of London, where he lived as a child.
29: A Balti with friends: Take a stroll from Moseley Village to Ladypool Road and enjoy this city classic, a curry served in the same wok-style steel dish it is cooked in.
30: Zindiya Streatery + Bar: Tuck into a real taste of Indian street food at Moseley’s answer to a Delhi market. An immersive experience in a casual and fun environment.
31: The MIX: This community cafe believes in bringing the people together through the sharing of cooking and cultures with a changing menu inspired and collected by the local community.
32: Cannon Hill Park: More than 250 acres of formal, conservation and woodland areas. Enjoy boating, bowls or tennis, all within an easy stroll of the 50 bus stop.
33. Midlands Art’s Centre: One of the UK’s most popular arts centres, there’s an endless programme of theatre, dance, cinema, music, spoken word, comedy, exhibitions and workshops.
34: Guthrie & Ghani: Boasting the most gorgeous collections of fabric, patterns and haberdashery for the shop selected by Lauren Guthrie, former finalist of The Great British Sewing Bee.
The vibrant and bustling suburb with a real community feel and just five miles south of the city centre. Former famous residents include Laura Mvula, Toyah Wilcox and JRR Tolkein.
35: Kings Heath Park: There’s play areas, a bowling green and the Victorian tea rooms; it’s claim to fame is the fact it was the first urban park in the city to receive Green Flag status.
36: Charity shops: Oh, we love a bargain and there’s endless charity shops along the high street – the cheap way to create a sustainable wardrobe.
37: Hare & Hounds: With a reputation that spreads far and wide, this live music venue is known as the place where UB40 played their first gig.
38: Hickory Dickory’s: A veritable fun house for the kids, soft play, trampolines, slides and ball pits galore.
39: Polar Bear Records: One of the city’s best independent record shops; with everything from rare 60s LPs to up and coming artists.
40: The Kingsway: Once a disused cinema, it now plays host to independent craft and vintage markets, urban beer garden and street food stalls.
41: Enjoy a tipple at Hop & Scotch: An independent bar serving quality real ales and craft beers, with a rotating selection of cask, keg, and bottles alongside a select range of gin, scotch, world whisky, and wine.
42: Maison Mayci: Offering an authentic, honest and high quality French café experience, indulge in freshly baked artisan breads and pastries as well beautifully handcrafted tarts and cakes.
43: Grace + James: Wine, local beer, British and European cheese and charcuterie to eat in or takeaway. The wine list changes each day and focuses on organic, biodynamic and natural options.
44: Share a tapas or two at Byzantium: The menu takes inspiration from across the Mediterranean to create tasty dishes including halloumi saganaki, veggie paella, arrosticini and chorizo con garbanzos.
45: Cocks Moors Woods: The city’s largest leisure centre features include a four-lane 25m pool with a wave machine and 50m flume as well as an 18-hole municipal golf course.
46: Shopping in Maypole: Stock up on everything from your grocery essentials to discount homewares. There’s even a handy Starbucks Drive Thru.
47: Daisy Farm Recreation Ground: Let the kids have a run around and play; just a short walk from the Maypole shops.
48: Walkers Heath Park: With 51 acres of wildlife, there’s woodpeckers, foxes, bats and swallow hawks. For sports and leisure, try out your skills at basketball, netball, tennis and football.
49: Druids Heath library: Settle down, and enjoy the peace and quiet with your favourite reads.
50: Druids Heath Terminus: The final stop on the 50!
The Platinum service offers passengers extra legroom, free Wi-Fi, USB charging points and stop announcements – and all with greener emissions. For more information 50 | Birmingham – Druids Heath | NX Bus West Midlands.