Birmingham is the central and second largest city in the county of the West Midlands, England. The territory of the city is about 267 square km., and it is situated on the Birmingham Plateau. For the first time in historical documents, the mention of the city was found in the XI century. The outlines of the city were changing with time, in 1974, it was connected with the city of Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham obtained the boundaries, which it is having now. Birmingham is a modern industrial city with a mild marine climate. Life is pulsing in this city around the clock, as there are a little more than 1 million inhabitants. One of the most multinational cities in England, Birmingham has developed infrastructure, offering tourists to get acquainted with a huge number of sights for every taste. Most often, people, who decided to visit Birmingham, choose precisely the summer months. However, no matter the month, which you have chosen for your trip to this city, you are always welcome to use the car rental at Birmingham Airport.
Here are some useful tips, which would for sure improve your stay in Birmingham.
- Those, who expect to spend a lot of time on excursions, are advised to come to Birmingham between April and September. At this time of year, the most favorable weather prevails, so the prolonged rains will not interfere with your plans. In summer, in the West Midlands, it is warm, but not hot, the average July temperature in Birmingham is + 16 ° C, which contributes to comfortable rest, pleasant walks and excursions at this metropolis. It should be noted that it is worthwhile to take care of booking rooms in the hotel at this season in advance.
- Among the guides, who offer their services to holidaymakers, it is best to command the services of those, who are having a blue badge. These employees are examined by the Institute of Tourist Guiding. They are professionals, and the cost of their services are significantly lower than in private firms.
- The prices in local restaurants are quite high. Those, who want to save on food, should pay attention to the numerous pubs. In remote areas, you can find many cozy budget restaurants and cafes.
- The old city (the city center) makes a very pleasant impression. It is nice just to have a walk here or to go boating through the canals.
There are numerous museums and galleries, so, even without planning, you are able to spend the whole day in the city center. We advise you to go to the information office. There, you will be given not only a map with the sights, but also the useful information.
- The main feature of Birmingham is the accumulation of shops on a compact, but large territory. The entire range of shops that are in Britain, are in Birmingham as well, and they could be seen in the center of the city. Birmingham will appeal to those, who are fond of jewelry, because, jewelry here is amazing. In the urban area, there is even a whole jewelry quarter, which is located to the north of the center. There are both large retail outlets, smaller shops and jewelry shops.
In Birmingham, shops usually run from 9:00 to 17:30, almost seven days a week, except for holidays. Large supermarkets run 24 hours a day, except Sundays. The ‘Bull Ring’ is considered the largest shopping mall in the city, it houses large and smaller shops of famous brands, as well as souvenir shops and the goods for everyday needs. There is a big grocery market and a Chinese quarter in the city.
- One of interesting features is that the pedestrian traffic lights at many places are not on the opposite side of the crossroad, but on the pedestrians’ side, and precisely that traffic light shows you when you can move. It could be difficult to orient, being new at the city.
- At the end of June, in the main city of the West Midlands region, the music festival ‘Party in the Park’ is organized. In August, the Birmingham International Carnival, dedicated to the Caribbean culture, is held on odd-numbered years. A traditional colorful procession, in which dozens of thousands of citizens and guests of Birmingham participate, is organized in the urban area of Perry Barr. In the last month of summer, the Mardi Gras festival is held, which also attracts many tourists.
- Through Birmingham, a navigable canal passes. During the summer season, excursions are organized through the canal, allowing you to admire the city’s landscapes from the side of the waterway. In addition, in Birmingham, there are a huge number of bars, pubs, clubs and other places for entertainment, which attract nightlife fans.
- If you are a connoisseur of British rock music, this city will be especially interesting for you. In the 60 years of the last century, there appeared such bands as The Move and Idle Race, on the basis of which the creativity of the world-class rock star Electric Light Orchestra began. In the 70s, during the flourishing of hard rock, Birmingham became the birthplace of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
The eighties gave the world a “New Wave“: several members of one of the most popular groups in this direction came from Birmingham, for example, Duran Duran. The Steel Pulse and UB40 reggae-collectives were created in this city. They united the immigrants from England, Jamaica and Arab countries. Fans of these bands could buy a souvenir connected with the music.