Birmingham airport receives direct flights from most UK and European cities. If you decide to rent a car in Birmingham, it might be a good idea to pick it up at the airport and park it in the city centre (approximately 16km). Alternatively, you can use one of the three Birmingham park and ride facilities. When it comes to accommodation in Birmingham, options are endless. Hotels in Birmingham city centre are usually of good quality, with the most romantic ones located in the waterside area of the city. If you are on the lookout for history, arts, and ambiance, you will love staying in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. Hotels located outside the city centre, on the other hand, are a great option if you want to explore the West Midlands’ historical towns.
Birmingham is one of the English cities that best combines old and new. To get a glimpse of what the city looked like in the 19th century, visit Birmingham Back to Back, the last surviving court of back to back houses. The National Sea Life Centre, with its display of over 2000 sea creatures and 360 degree ocean tunnel, is also not to be missed. If you are travelling with children, take them to Cadbury World Birmingham, where they will learn about the history of chocolate and see a chocolate waterfall! Finally, do not forget to stroll around the Jewellery Quarter with its well-preserved 19th century jewellery workshops. At night, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Birmingham Hippodrome theatre offer refined entertainment. If you have a car, you can also visit the Black Country Living Museum, an open-air museum showing life during the industrial revolution, and the famous Warwick Castle.
Birmingham is a modern urban city and yet it offers opportunities to disconnect and immerse in nature. Not far from the city centre, Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is home to many endangered species. For a glimpse of the elegant English landscape architecture, head to Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses. If you rent a car in Birmingham, you’ll be able to visit nearby wild forests, ponds, and English country gardens. Unplug in Shire Oak Park, a lush nature reserve 19km from the city. After a long day spent exploring nature, it is time to discover Birmingham’s unique gastronomy. Again, if you have a car, you can reach authentic country inns and try local dishes such as the Birmingham soup (meat stew), Brummie bacon cakes (cakes with bacon and cheese) and the notorious faggots and peas, accompanied by a cold local beer.
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If you decide to rent a car in Birmingham, there is some information you should know. First of all, the United Kingdom is a left-hand traffic country. The legal age for driving is 17, but if you want to rent a car, you might be required to be at least 18. The M6 Motorway is the only toll road around Birmingham. It makes travelling to neighbouring locations much quicker, but it can, in most cases, be bypassed in favour of slower (free) roads. The alcohol limit for drivers is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath. Birmingham traffic is usually mild, but the M6 can get busy during commuting hours. Birmingham offers many parking options, including airport parking, city centre parking (24,000 spaces available), and three park and ride facilities.