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Known as England’s ‘2nd city, Birmingham is the 2nd busiest city in the UK. Located in the middle of the country, in the heart of the ‘Midlands’, the city is not traditionally viewed as a tourist-driven city, but does offer many local attractions for foreign visitors to enjoy during their stay.
The city is famous for its stunning architecture and you will be surrounded by historic churches, museums, libraries and universities which bring a cultural sophistication to the city, rarely surpassed elsewhere in the UK.
Please note that the Birmingham climate is typically British, and you are advised to prepare for very cold winters, with mild, sometimes hot summers.
Arriving Birmingham Airport
Birmingham International Airport is located only 5.5km from the city centre, and is the 6th largest and busiest airport in the UK. Taxi cabs from the airport to the heart of the city centre can be expected to charge around £10-$15 for this journey.
Airport procedures tend to be carried out with the minimum of fuss and check in, security checks and baggage collection queues tend to move quite quickly and efficiently.
While the airport does not offer too many rental car options, these services are also well-run and you should not expect a long wait in the airport upon your arrival.
The airport also offers a fairly large selection of shopping and dining outlets for you to peruse upon your arrival.
Driving In Birmingham
Birmingham’s roads are similar to many of those based in the UK. Most of the roads are well maintained and in good quality, but visitors are often infuriated by the constant stream of road works which seem to be taking place at any one time.
Traffic levels can be extremely high in the city centre, as Birmingham is generally considered England’s ‘2nd city’ and is the largest in the country. You are advised to avoid the heart of the city centre during rush hour traffic times.
However, you can avoid this by planning your stay accordingly and asking around as to where the main traffic works are taking place, and taking action to avoid them.
You should also use an updated GPS system to manage the trick one-way systems in and around the city centre.
Bristol Driving Tips
- Seatbelts must be worn by all passengers at all times. UK police officials are very strict on this policy and will charge and fine you for non-compliance.
- Mobile phone usage while driving is strictly prohibited and you will be pulled over by police officials if caught using your phone while driving.
- Parts of Birmingham are very industrial and traffic waits can be quite lengthy in these areas. Be sure to plan your trip accordingly to stay away from busy areas and peak-hour traffic.
Things To Do In Birmingham
- Cadbury World – Take a guided tour around one of the best-loved chocolate brands in the world – includes delicious tasting sessions!!
- National Sealife Centre – England’s largest collection of sealife and a stunning aquarium exhibition for the whole family to enjoy.
- Birmingham Hippodrome – Birmingham’s largest and most popular theatre, with thrilling shows and stand-up comedy.