Things to know about Birmingham
- Found in the West Midlands of England, Birmingham is a busy and vibrant city – the second largest in England, and the seventeenth largest in the European Union! Birmingham is a major international commercial centre, and is also considered the centre of East and West Midlands for all things social, cultural and financial. It is a buzzing location prime for some brilliant time away, with plenty to do and see no matter how long your stay.
- Birmingham is served by multiple motorways, the M5, M6, M40 and M42, as well as the Gravelly Hill Interchange, which is also known as the Spaghetti Junction. This also makes Birmingham a great starting point for a longer holiday for exploring more parts of England and the rest of the United Kingdom.
- With numerous sports venues and a history of being a pioneer in sport, Birmingham will be host to the 2022 Commonwealth Games, four years after the Commonwealth Games was hosted on the Gold Coast in Australia. This will be a brilliant event, and building upon Birmingham’s reputation for sport - the world’s very first football league was founded by William McGregor, a Birmingham resident, in 1888; the first Cricket World Cup was hosted by Birmingham in 1973, and there are many more similar stories that make Birmingham a great place to visit for fans of any sport.
- Birmingham is served by Birmingham Airport, which can be found six miles east of the centre of the city. It is the third busiest UK airport outside of London, coming after Edinburgh and Manchester, and is connected to many popular destinations.
- The speed limits in Birmingham are the same as they are in the rest of the UK. When on a single carriageway, the speed limit is 60 miles per hour (97 km per hour), which is increased to 70 miles per hour (113 km per hour) on dual carriageways and motorways. For most of the regular city roads, 20 miles per hour is indicated, but built-up or residential areas have a standard speed limit of 30 miles per hour (48 km per hour): any changes will be clearly marked by round road signs with a red border – make sure you stay aware of the relevant signage while driving around this busy city.
Car Hire in Birmingham Airport (BHX)
The car hire agencies available at Birmingham Airport are Avis, Budget, Alamo, Enterprise, National, Europcar, Interrent, Goldcar, Hertz, Firefly and Sixt. The airport is accessible by car, train, bus or coach, and is close to the city centre. It has a number of shops and restaurants to help you fill your time as you wait for your flight, such as Next, WHSmith, Wetherspoon and Frankie and Benny’s. Prices for car hire can start as low as £7 a day, depending on your requirements and when you are travelling.
Guide to Birmingham
Your first stop for shopping in Birmingham? Resorts World – with all the shops you know and love, a Cineworld cinema, spa, casino, hotel, and plenty of places to have a bite in between, this is the place to be for a healthy dose of retail therapy. Whether you’re with a loved one, young members of the family or just looking for a way to fill your day, Resorts World Birmingham has everything you are looking for.
History and Culture
Birmingham offers admission to a number of excellent historical and cultural sites completely free of charge, meaning you’ll never be stuck without something to do no matter what your budget. For those interested in stunning architecture and religious history, the Birmingham Cathedral sits in the heart of the city and contains Pre-Raphealite stained glass windows that are famously beautiful, waiting for you to see them. If the weather is fine and you fancy stretching your legs, both Cannon Hill Park and Shrewsbury River Walk have ample terrain for a lovely stroll to take in the beatific natural side of this bustling city. Lastly, why not get a cultural hit in the impressive art gallery, the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. Their permanent collection includes sculpture and ceramics alongside their significant number of paintings, and they regularly have new events and exhibitions celebrating artists old and new.
Family days out
For a family friendly day out, you’re almost spoilt for choice. Animal lovers can head to either the National Sea Life Centre or Twycross Zoo to be able to see hundreds of different animals up close and personal, and all those looking for a thrill will be sure to find one at Drayton Manor Theme Park. Full of fun for all ages, Birmingham has something for everyone.
Buzzing nightlife in Birmingham
Birmingham has a buzzing nightlife, and an amazingly eclectic selection of activities and bars to be visited when it gets dark. Why not start off with a trip to the UK’s oldest working cinema and see something special at The Electric, found on Station Street. They frequently host events celebrating various screenings and cinematic events, and also offer popular ‘Behind The Screens’ tours, allowing members of the public to learn more about a brilliant independent cinema and how it has developed over a century.
If you’re looking for a night of live music, there’s plenty to choose from. The Jam House and the New Alexandra Theatre are two of the best, and regularly host amazing acts, so keep an eye out what’s around when you’re there! For a night of laughter, head to the Glee Club on the Arcadian for a variety of performances from big and small names alike.
Eating out in Birmingham
Adam’s may have started as a small pop-up, but their delicious food and resultant high-demand, this restaurant has now got a Michelin star to its name and a grand location on Waterloo Street, waiting for you to have an indulgent night of fine dining.
If Original Patty Men can tempt Drake with their creative and enticing burgers, their brilliant menu will definitely do its best to tempt you too! Pop in on a Wednesday for their deals on a tasty array of wings, but any day will be a winner when you see all the burgers they have to offer, all of which can be paired with refreshing craft beers. See if the ‘patty pimps’ are up to scratch by heading over to Shaw’s Passage.
For Indian street food with a delightful twist, head to Zindiya. Their bright and mismatched décor provides a wonderful ambiance for you to enjoy a feast of tasty onion bhajis, kati rolls or the trio of dosa. There are also vegan and children’s menus available, and plenty of yummy drinks. Find Zindiya on Woodbridge Road, and have a lovely time experiencing their playful take on traditional Indian dishes.
Branded a ‘must visit’ destination, Birmingham’s Sabai Sabai is a go-to for award winning Thai food. Their colourful and extensive menu will be sure to have something for everyone, and they have an inventive array of brilliant cocktails to go alongside your meal. Located on Waterloo Street, this isn’t one to miss.
With a lively atmosphere, a budget-friendly menu and delicious food and drinks, Bodega is a popular restaurant for locals and visitors alike. Be sure to book in advance, because everyone flocks to Bodega for the tasty nachos and their bestseller sweet potato fries, and you’ll definitely want to get a table here while you’re visiting. This south American cuisine is great for sharing a bunch of small plates with friends and family alike.
FAQ’s about car hire in Birmingham
How much does it cost to hire a car in Birmingham?
The average price to hire a car in Birmingham is £18 a day, depending on your requirements.
Which car hire agency in Birmingham is cheapest?
The cheapest car hire agency is Easirent.
Which Birmingham car hire agency is the most popular?
The most popular agencies in Birmingham are Sixt and Europcar.
Which car hire agencies are available at Birmingham airport?
Avis, Budget, Alamo, Enterprise, National, Europcar, Easirent, Goldcar, Hertz, Firefly and Sixt. A number of these companies have slight variations to their opening times, so please do check the website.
How much is the cheapest car hire in Birmingham airport?
You can find a car from £7.14 per day in winter with Enjoy.
How much is it to hire a Mercedes in Birmingham?
You can hire a Mercedes E-class through Easirent for a cheap price, a C-Class starts at £42 through Alamo, an A-Class starts £40, a Mercedes E-Class through Alamo starts at £53.
How much does it cost to hire a BMW from Birmingham airport?
You can hire a BMW from £116 per day through Europcar
How much does it cost to hire an economy car from Birmingham airport?
You can pick up a Toyota Aygo or similar from £7.14 per day or a Ford Fiesta or similar from £7.79 per day
How far is it from Birmingham airport into Birmingham city centre?
The shortest distance is 10 miles but the fastest tends to be via the motorway which is 13.7 miles and 18 minutes drive.
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