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England’s second-largest city is at the very heart of the country, surrounded by some of the most spectacularly beautiful countryside. and has a special affinity with manufacturing and industry.
Fly to Birmingham with Qatar Airways and you’ll also discover a city that is embedded with a strong cultural and literary tradition and has a special affinity with manufacturing and industry. Widely-known as the "City of 1000 Trades" and the "Workshop of the World" during Victorian times, today Birmingham is a thriving, multi-cultural centre that offers outstanding food, retail and business opportunities.
Book a flight to Birmingham to explore a friendly city that embraces new technology and has its sights set firmly on the future.
Birmingham is a city that’s proud of its heritage, so you’ll find a number of well-preserved, unusual historical locations such as the Jacobean Aston Hall. Visit this mansion during the winter festivities, when it is lit by hundreds of candles to create a truly spectacular effect.
The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is an excellent exhibition space that you can see out. The smaller Barber Institute of Fine Arts, part of the University of Birmingham, also has a fine collection of Pre-Raphaelite works.
Birmingham was and still is an industrial city, and that heritage is celebrated in the preserved water mills such as Sarehole Mill. But the city is also the centre of the silversmith profession, and the city’s Jewellery Quarter is still full of highly talented silversmiths and goldsmiths carrying on the tradition. At the other end of the spectrum, Cadbury World celebrates the manufacture of chocolate confectionery in the city, and no trip to Birmingham is complete without a tour of the factory (with the added bonus of some deliciously indulgent samples too!).
Birmingham, like many of the Midland’s industrial cities, was founded on its canals, and today the city has a reputation as having more miles of canals than Venice. They have been restored in many parts, and are popular for kayakers and boaters. They also provide ‘green corridors’ through the heart of the city and are perfect for lazy afternoon strolls or cycle rides.
Birmingham is home to the oldest cinema in the UK, the Electric Cinema in Station Street. Here, film lovers can relax and watch some of the latest intelligent art house cinema in Art Deco surroundings, with a luxury waiter service, sofa seats and a sophisticated, stylish ambience.
One of the UK’s largest exhibition spaces is close to the city centre, and the National Exhibition Centre hosts everything from high-tech shows to motoring events year-round. The neighbouring NEC Arena is home to countless sporting events too.
No matter when you travel to Birmingham you’ll find plenty of entertainment on offer from numerous live music venues to world-class theatres and sporting events. For cricket lovers, the hallowed ground of Edgbaston Cricket Club, a venue of international importance for test matches and one-day events, is a must-see.
Birmingham is perhaps most famous for being the home of the ‘Balti Triangle’. Indian and Asian food is outstanding, and for authentic Balti (invented in Birmingham in the 1970s and not, as many think, imported from India) head to Ladypool Road and Stratford Road in Sparkbrook, which is about two miles south of the city centre.
Elsewhere throughout the city you can find every type of culinary choice imaginable, from Vietnamese to Sudanese, Thai and modern fusion. There are also plenty of fast food outlets for food-on-the-go.
If you are travelling to Birmingham for some retail therapy, then you’ll find the variety of shops to be second only to central London.
The famous Bullring shopping centre draws most shoppers, but also seek out the smaller centres such as Pavillions, The Mailbox and the Pallasades (The Mall), located directly above New Street Station.
The principal shopping streets are New Street, High Street and Corporation Street. The Jewellery Quarter, to the north of the city centre, specialises in jewellery, with many independent retailers.
Flights to Birmingham arrive at Birmingham Airport, approximately eight miles from the city centre. A free rail link connects passengers to the main train station and then onto the network for the rest of the UK. Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Birmingham check the visa and passport requirements.
These short videos will tell you all you need to know in order to have a pleasant border experience when you arrive to the U.K.
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP)
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type G
International dialing code: +44