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Know Before You Go
- Go to one of the city's free cultural venues. You won't have to pay a dime to visit the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Weoley Castle and 16th-century Tudor manor Blakesley Hall.
- Save on train fares. If you're travelling to London via Birmingham or any other nearby destination, book your tickets in advance and during non-peak hours to get the best rates.
- Look out for tour guides with special blue badges. They are employed by the city's tourist board and their prices will be cheaper than booking with a private company.
- You need to be at least 21-years-old to rent a car and have an international driving license. Some rental companies might have a minimum age of 25, so it's a good idea to check beforehand.
- Don't forget to tip. A 10-15% gratuity will be more than enough for servers at restaurants. It's also common to round up the fare for taxi drivers or leave behind a small tip.
Getting Around Birmingham
Take the bus. The city has an extensive network of buses to get to and from your hotel. There's also a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus that runs five days a week with stops at Birmingham's top attractions.
Grab a taxi. If you plan on staying out late or you're arriving with heavy luggage, cabs are a convenient way to get around the city. You can hail one from the street or go to one of the taxi ranks in the city centre.
Use the train. Birmingham has eight rail lines that run across the city to all of its major attractions. It also connects the city to nearby destinations, making it an easy way to plan a day trip or weekend away.
Hire a bicycle. If you want to see the city at your own pace, rent a bike from one of the providers in the city. There are plenty of paths to explore and rates start at GBP 3 per hour or GBP 12 per day.
When is The Best Time to Visit Birmingham?
The best time to visit Birmingham is during its two shoulder seasons. From March to May and September to November, you'll have mild weather and lower prices for hotels and flights.
But if you're visiting England on a tight budget, plan your trip to Birmingham during the winter months. From December to February, the cold weather keeps most tourists away, and hotels slash their rates to make up for the seasonal lull. However, as the festive season approaches, you’ll need to book your flights in advance to avoid the increase in prices.
The most popular time to visit Birmingham is during the warm summer months. It's ideal if you're planning outdoor activities and want to attend one of the many music festivals. But it's also peak season for the city so expect larger crowds at attractions and higher hotel rates.
Airports in Birmingham
Birmingham Airport is located 10 km from the city centre. The airport offers flights to major destinations within the UK as well as to countries in Europe, the Middle East, North America and the Caribbean. It's a hub for Flybe and a focus city for Ryanair.
Getting to and from Birmingham Airport
Use the free "Air-Rail Link". The monorail takes two minutes to get from the airport to the Birmingham International Station. It runs daily between 03:30 a.m. and 00:30 a.m. Outside of those hours, you can take a courtesy bus to the station.
Take the bus. There are three companies that operate from the airport. You'll find the stops outside the arrivals terminal and you can buy your tickets onboard.
Get to your hotel with a licensed Black Cab. The taxis are available 24-hours from the airport and can carry between five to seven passengers. All the cabs accept major debit and credit cards as well as cash.
Rent a car. All the major car hire companies are available from the airport. The desks are within the arrivals lounge and the car park is a five-minute walk from the terminal.