Birmingham Mini Guide
You can get to Birmingham from the north or the south of England by using A roads. From the East take the M6, or the M1, and the M6 or M42 from the north east. The M42 goes into Birmingham from the south east (or the M40) and southwest, and if you’re coming from the south west you can alternatively take the M5. The M6 arrives in Birmingham from the north west.
Birmingham International airport is situated about 10 kilometres outside of the city at Solihull and it has many domestic and international flights. Taking a taxi from the airport to the city costs more than £20, which is why car hire is your most economic option in Birmingham. However, save some change for parking which can cost about £1.50 per hour. The Midlands are the most culturally diverse areas of Great Britain and with car hire Birmingham airport you are sure to have a fascinating trip. Birmingham airport is also known as West Midlands airport, code BHX.
There is a large Indian and Pakistani community living in Birmingham making this a truly multi-cultural destination, and if you want to go out for a cheap meal, there are some excellent restaurants many of which allow you to take your own alcohol. Birmingham is host to the biggest annual celebration of Vaisakhi in the world celebrating the founding of the Sikh nation. The event which takes place in April attracts nearly 100,000 people.
The city has plenty of art galleries too, including the Jacobean mansion at Aston Hall which has been restored and will reopen this summer to allow visitors to see its collection of artwork and period rooms free of charge. The Birmingham art museum and gallery has a large permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions and is to be found at Chamberlain Square. Birmingham is not just about city life and there is lots of open space.
If you want to go out at night the experience will not break the bank especially if you want to try the many bars and clubs aimed at students. The biggest club in Birmingham is Gatecrasher, which is something of an English institution.
- This year's Vaisakhi celebration in a few days time is expected to be the biggest ever. Whilst you may miss out on this celebration, the Sikh and Hindhu communities in the city have regular festivals to which all are invited - details can always be found on the council's website - www.birmingham.gov.uk
20/02/13 - There's only a few days to go until the start of the city's first ever whisky festival called 'Whiskey Birmingham' which is on at The Bond on the 2nd March. It's a chance to taste some of Scotland's finest malts and perhaps buy a bottle or two to take home with you!