Birmingham, England's Second Largest City

Despite being England's hub of heavy industries there are also many old churches and other beautiful ancient buildings to see, such as the nineteenth century Town Hall, modelled on a Roman temple. The main street - New Street - leads from the traditional inner city to the site of Birmingham's oldest market - the Bull Ring. Enjoy the canal network and diverse music scene. For shopping, markets and cafes visit Brindleyplace, and the Bull Ring. Areas of interest are the Chinese, Jewellery and Gun Quarters, Westside, Eastside, Southside and Digbeth. Birmingham's Museum of Science and Industry is a popular family visit.

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Best Birmingham seasons

Birmingham is a year-round destination with year-long mild temperatures. The period with higher temperatures and some sun is June to August. For visiting at holiday or festival time, St. Patrick's Day parade takes place on 17th March. The Sikh New Year (Vaisakhi) is celebrated in April. Birmingham Pride two day festival is held at the end of May. At the end of July there's the International Jazz Festival. The Fusion Festival, supporting youth charities, and the biennial Birmingham International Carnival both take place in August.

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Tips before travelling to Birmingham

Balti is a Birmingham speciality in the Balti Triangle - Sparkhill, Balsall Heath, and Moseley. Grocery and transport prices are usually cheaper than in London. A basic meal out averages at about £10.

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Birmingham local information

From the airport to the centre a single fare is about £2.20 for Bus 900 and around £22 for a taxi. A free Air-Rail Link runs every 2 minutes from the Terminals to Birmingham International Rail Station 2 minutes away. Then take a 10 to 20 minute train journey to New Street station for about £3. Accommodation-wise, a bed in a shared hostel room costs around £14, while a hotel starts at around £35 per double room. Most hotels are found in the city centre east of Ladywood. Broad Street and Hagley Road is a good area for accommodation.

For getting around in Birmingham a single bus fare is about £2.20. A day pass costs around £4.20. The tram costs about £2 one way and about £4.50 for a day pass. The city centre, with its numerous pedestrianised areas, can be explored on foot. A single train fare costs between about £2 and £5.

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