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Living in Birmingham

Birmingham is ready for you

Every year, Birmingham becomes a spot on more and more maps as a rising travel and career destination. Condé Nast Traveler even named Birmingham one of “The Best 22 Places to Go in 2022.” With offerings in food, arts, culture and industry you just won’t find anywhere else, it just makes sense.

Birmingham is also a top up-and-coming tech market, with numerous successful startups launching, such as Shipt, a grocery delivery service, and Daxko, a software for health and wellness organizations.

Click on our City Guide to learn more.


  • Arts: Whether you’re looking for an on-stage performance, art galleries and film festivals or even a vibrant mural, it’s hard to beat the creativity in the Magic City.

  • Parks: Explore the city’s massive greenspace, with attractions like Oak Mountain State Park, which will soon double the size of New York City’s Central Park, and Ruffner Mountain, one of the largest urban nature preserves in the US.

  • Sports: Check out Birmingham’s sports scene, from the major league to minor league, and be sure to catch one of UAB’s own highly ranked teams playing!

  • History: At the heart of the Civil Rights movement, learn about Birmingham’s history and local heroes at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and other museums throughout the city.

Restaurants and dining

From barbecue and soul food to food trucks and the Pizitz Food Hall, you’re sure to find the perfect eatery.

Check out:

  • Al's Deli and Grill: A 24-hour diner serving Mediterranean and American food right next to campus

  • Carlisle's: A family-run restaurant with BBQ plates, sandwiches and Southern sides

  • Botega Cafe: A fusion of Italian and Southern food with a great atmosphere

  • Bettola: A brick-front pizza place with signature Neopolitan pies

  • Chez Lulu: A fun French cafe and bakery with gourmet sandwiches and tarts

  • Great Wall: A classic Chinese restaurant with hibachi and pad thai

To view more places to eat, click here


Birmingham has a great selection of stores for anything you will need during your study abroad experience. Some shopping highlights in the city include:

  • The Summit, an upscale shopping complex with plenty of clothing stores, gourmet food options and a movie theater

  • Brookwood Village, a large mall with chain department stores and specialty shops like Target, Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) and Bath and Body Works

  • old antique shops all over Birmingham, with fun collectibles and unique items

  • specialty supermarkets in town if you are looking to make something at home, such as Hometown Supermarket, the largest Asian market in Birmingham; Mi Pueblo, for Latin food; and the African International Market

Getting around Birmingham

  • Blazer Express is free to UAB students and provides transportation across the campus and medical district.

  • MAX Transit is the public transit system in Birmingham that operates 20+ bus routes.

  • The Birmingham Xpress (BX) is a new, regional public transit system that serves the communities of Birmingham and surrounding areas.

  • Motorized scooters and pedal-assisted bicycles are available to rent using downloadable apps.

  • If you have any questions or need assistance getting places around Birmingham, don't hesitate to ask an INTO staff member.

Weather and what to wear

  • Birmingham has four distinct seasons, with the average temperature ranges from 12° C in January to 32° C in July.

  • You will need clothes for both hot and cold seasons. If you need to buy anything, clothing items are available for purchase in Birmingham upon your arrival.

  • There is no official dress code at UAB, and most students dress in casual clothing.