Located in the West Midlands, Birmingham is the second most populous city in the UK after London (according to local authority). With a long industrial history but badly destroyed during the Second World War, Birmingham is now seeing a new age. After the 1990s most of the post-war buildings were replaced and the center is now a large pedestrian area.
How to get to Birmingham
The city is served by Birmingham International Airport (BHX) which is located just 8 miles from the center. It handles a lot of domestic traffic, as well as traffic to/from European cities, but you can also fly direct to/from North America or the Middle East.
To get to the city center, use the free Air-Rail Link which links to International Rail Station. It runs almost 24/7 and the journey takes 15-20 min. Coaches also serve the airport and are a good choice for early morning flights (when the trains aren’t operating).
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Birmingham is also a major rail hub in England. The main station is New Street and there’s where you can catch the fast train to/from London Euston. Snow Hill and Moor Street are smaller stations but also connect to London’s Marylebone station. Aside from London, the rail also links Birmingham to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff and Oxford, to name just some of the major towns.
>>read more about Train Travel in England
Intercity buses also connect the city to the rest of England and the UK. Buses arrive and depart from Birmingham Coach Station, which is very close to the city center. There are services to London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and other major British cities.
>>read more about Bus Travel in England
The city has a temperate maritime climate , with mild winters (avg 6.5C) and warm summers (avg 21.5C). The weather is rarely extreme but it might experience tornadoes. Occasion summer heat waves are getting more common in recent years. Due to its location, Birmingham does receive snow in the winter.
Jan avg high 7C / avg low 1C
Apr avg high 12C / avg low 3.5C
Jul avg high 21C / avg low 11C
Oct avg high 13C / avg low 6C
>>read more about Weather in England
For example, in late spring and through summer, expect to pay from Â£40 per night in a private double room in a hostel. But you can also find double rooms in inn from Â£25 per night (generally discounted prices if you book in advance).
What to do in Birmingham
If you are into visiting museums and art galleries, then Birmingham is definitely a heaven for you. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is one of the must-see places, featuring a lot of permanent and temporary exhibits. The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is also an interesting place to visit (and is free).
You can also spend quite a lot of time shopping, whether you choose the Bull Ring commercial center or the markets close to it.
Put on your walking shoes, get a map and bring your camera. Now it’s time to walk and see the beautiful Victorian architecture. The Church Street neighborhood is a good example and a lovely place to start your tour.
The city is also the gateway into Warwick Castle, one of the most stunning medieval castles in Britain. Or, if you like Shakespeare, visit Straftford-Upon-Avon, located just outside Birmingham.
If you want to take some time and relax in nature, then the Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses is a good option. Many parks also offer the possibility to play tennis or golf.