Birmingham: Delve into the culture that is rich and diverse

Birmingham Airport Directory (BHX)
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It’s not just the British accent that is charming about the United Kingdom, but also the cities that will sweep you off your feet. England’s West Midlands region has the country's second-largest city, Birmingham, which is also recognised as the most youthful city in Europe. There are so many things to do and see. You can relax at some of the city's largest urban parks, boat across the extensive canal network, and explore centuries-old buildings. Besides London, the only other city to have five Michelin-starred restaurants is Birmingham.

Read news – IndiGo joins hands with VisitBritain to promote travel between India and UK

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Birmingham is between the months of March and May. The weather remains pleasant and mildly warm, which allows visitors to explore the outdoors.

How to Reach?

By Air: Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is located in Solihull, about 13 km from the City. The airport has one terminal, serving the rest of the West Midlands region with domestic and international flights from cities across the globe. Together with Turkish Airlines, we at IndiGo can connect you from India to Birmingham with multiple flights to Birmingham options as well as to several other European cities from Istanbul.

Passengers can travel to and from the airport via the train, which links to the Birmingham International Railway Station just outside the airport.

By Train: Birmingham New Street is a major rail hub, connecting to every major city across the country. There are two other train stations as well, located at Snow Hill and Moor Street. These two stations have fewer trains, but trains from the London Marylebone station halt here.

By Road: The local bus terminal is Birmingham Coach Station, from where buses connect to major cities across the country. Megabus and National Express are two prominent buses that travel to London. If you wish to travel to other parts of the country, you can find frequent services to major cities like Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield, and Oxford.

Getting Around

Birmingham has a wide network of public transportation, including buses, trams, and trains. The city also has walking and cycling paths, which you can use and soak in the beauty of the city at your pace. Birmingham has eight local railway lines that traverse through the attractions and neighbouring cities. Public buses are conveniently accessible, and they have dedicated stops where trains do not travel. The city’s taxis are convenient for those returning from a night out.

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Places to visit in Birmingham

  • Victoria Square: Everything feels like a blessing walking in a pedestrian-friendly Victoria Square. The first building you see at the Square is the Council House, adorned in Renaissance-style architecture. One section of this Victorian building is dedicated to the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, which features history, artwork, local history, ceramics, industrial history, and more. As you walk through the Square, you will come across an old town hall built in 1832 that resembles a Roman temple. It features 40 ornate Corinthian columns that are made using Anglesey marble. Victoria Square also hosts events and is a popular venue for street performers.  
  • Botanical Gardens: The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is another great attraction you must include in your travel itinerary. The garden is spread across 15 acres of land and has a 19th-century style, featuring Victorian-era glasshouses with a variety of plants. As you walk through the garden, you’ll feel like you've stepped back in time. One of the best collections here are the bonsai trees, which are over 250 years old. You can also see a variety of wildlife, including rare tropical birds and a butterfly house. Guests can make use of their on-site amenities, like a gift shop and a tearoom.  
  • Birmingham Back to Backs: One of the unique sights to explore in Birmingham are the back-to-back homes. The best way to explore this attraction is through a guided tour. You can find four restored historic houses that date between 1840 and 1977. It is a worthwhile site to visit if you want to learn about the difficult times and living conditions of the early British working class. Interesting must-see displays include a traditional sweet shop going back to the 1930s, along with a souvenir shop.
  • The Jewellery Quarter: Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter is a neighbourhood steeped in tradition. This is an old industrial hub, home to over 100 retailers, workshops, and diamond dealers. A neighbourhood that was thriving in the 1980s, it still exudes nostalgia. With old Georgian buildings, the 18th-century St. Paul’s Church, and grassy St. Paul's Square, it has a certain charm to explore this neighbourhood. Make sure to plan a day of exploration around the Jewellery Quarter. There are many attractions here, like the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Hall of Memory, Baskerville House, and St. Paul's Square, along with trendy cafés and bars, indie stores, and art galleries.
  • National SEA LIFE Centre: Speaking of wildlife, you can catch a glimpse of interesting and amazing marine life at the National SEA LIFE Centre. With over 60+ exhibits, you may spend a day exploring the massive, million-litre ocean tank and underwater tunnel that displays diverse sea life, from giant turtles to reef sharks, numerous seahorses, giant octopi, stingrays, and lobsters. Other key attractions at the aquarium are the penguins and otters. You can see the penguins at the Penguin Ice Adventure habitat. It also features an impressive 4D cinema.

Places to eat in Birmingham

  • @pizza Grand Central: Millions of pizza lovers flock to @pizza Grand Central to try out some of the delicious pizzas. The best part is that you can choose from over 50 ingredients to create a pizza of your choice.
  • Digbeth Dining Club: Digbeth Dining Club is a trendy street food destination that has won numerous awards. It was founded in 2012, and since then, it has been serving food lovers delicious meals at an affordable price. There are so many options to choose from, like hot dogs, vegan curries, and sweets.
  • The Bull: Serving affordable ales, beer brewed using a warm fermentation method, and international lagers, The Bull is one of the many places that offer a traditional pub ambience. The interiors of the pub are warm and rustic, with a traditional wooden bar and huge mugs. Their extensive menu offers some of the classic snacks.
  • The Pig & Tail: Get a taste of British-style tapas in the retro bar, The Pig & Tail. This restaurant is inside a Victorian building with interiors decorated in floral wallpaper, a tiled bar, and a cosy dining area. It is a favourite among locals to savour tasteful homemade fries with bacon bits, British-style tapas, and pork meatballs.

Shopping in Birmingham

  • Birmingham Rag Market: This is a famous market in Birmingham that has an indoor and outdoor area, with more than 350 stalls. If you want to shop for an extensive range of fabrics, everyday goods, and cosmetics, there is no better place than the Birmingham Rag Market.
  • Moseley Farmers' Market: What makes this market a must-visit is that you can find over 60 stalls that sell everything, from wine to beer, fruits, vegetables, as well as delicious street food.
  • Oasis Market: Located on Corporation Street in Birmingham, this trendy marketplace has popular clothing brands, food stalls, non-branded clothes, piercing centres, and tattoo studios. It is one of the hippest places to explore and take home some souvenirs from the city.
  • Kings Heath Farmers Market: This Market is a slight distance from the city centre, but it is one of the best places to visit. With over 15 street food stalls, this Market displays a series of local wares, including drinks and organic products. It is held on the second Saturday of every month, at the Kings Heath village square.

Where to stay in Birmingham? 

  • Hotel du Vin: One of the most posh and sophisticated hotels, it is located in the heart of the city. The hotel is a few minutes’ walk from the city centre and the former Victorian Eye Hospital. It has a French chic decor with tasteful amenities, that will probably win the hearts of every guest.
  • The Grand:Best known for its historic glory and iconic staircase, the hotel offers a taste of tranquillity and luxury. It has a regal past, and some of the well-known hotel guests who stayed here are Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin.
  • Park Regis: Birmingham’s plush hotel, that offers guests a soothing spa and comfortable amenities, is the Park Regis. Come here and spend your nights wrapped up in their cosy rooms, pampered by their in-house 1565 Bar and Terrace.
  • Hotel Indigo: While it is a lovely feeling to spend a night at a historic hotel, Hotel Indigo in Birmingham is a breath of fresh air with modern design and a stunning view from the rooftop restaurant. The rooms are light and vibrant, with all the amenities your heart may desire

More reasons to visit Birmingham 

  • Good Nightlife: Birmingham is considered a lively and young-centric city as it houses three of the top universities in the UK. The crowd throughout the year remains youthful, opening doors to plenty of bars and restaurants. The nightlife of Birmingham is fun, and if there was a word to describe the city, it’d be energetic. Some of the most popular places for a night out are the Chinese Quarter and Broad Street. Since the city has a good walking culture, most people prefer to walk pretty much everywhere. Therefore, Birmingham has an advantage over London because of their student-friendly pubs, budget-friendly restaurants, thrift shops, and a variety of eateries.

Visa and Immigration

In order to visit the city of Birmingham, you will require a UK visa. The country offers a Standard Visitor Visa for tourism. This type of visa allows a person to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. However, if your stay in the UK is extended under certain circumstances, you can apply for a visa extension for up to six additional months. The earliest you can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa is three months prior to your travel.

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