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Birmingham certainly isn't everyone's first choice as a tourist destination, and to an outsider it's easy to see why - a sprawling conurbation with a concrete centre. Diverse, lively and friendly, Brummies are proudly defensive of their city, and there are some nice patches, particularly away from the obvious centre.
Like much of England, Birmingham has cool summers and mild winters, typical of a maritime climate. Rain is possible year round and the driest time is spring.
|Avg Max||6 °C||6.2 °C||8.9 °C||11.9 °C||15.3 °C||18.8 °C||20.6 °C||20.1 °C||17.6 °C||13.8 °C||9.2 °C||7.1 °C|
|Avg Min||0.3 °C||0.1 °C||1.5 °C||3.3 °C||6 °C||9.2 °C||11.1 °C||10.8 °C||8.8 °C||6.2 °C||2.9 °C||1.3 °C|
|Rainfall||56 mm||48 mm||52 mm||48 mm||55 mm||57 mm||47 mm||67 mm||54 mm||53 mm||59 mm||66 mm|
Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is located about 6 miles (10 kilometres) southeast of Birmingham and, after several airports in London and Manchester Airport, is one of the busiest airports in the UK.
To/from the airport
All areas of Britain are well-served, with half-hourly services (M-Sa daytime) from Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and stations in between.
Birmingham is well sign-posted and surrounded by motorways; the M42, the M5, and the M6 which includes the infamous Spaghetti Junction (Gravelly Hill Interchange).
There are half-hourly (or more frequent) services from London, and services from most major cities (including Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford and Sheffield) every two hours.
Bus, Train and Metro all come under the authority of Network West Midlands (Part of Centro, the PTE of Birmingham and surrounding area), their website is the best source for all information required on public transport in the region.
Birmingham's City Centre is partially pedestrianised, and most things to see and do can be reached on foot.
|The Apollo Hotel||Hagley Road Edgbaston||Hotel||-|
|Bailey Hotel||21 Sandon Road Edgbaston||Hotel||70|
|Birmingham Central Backpackers||58 Coventry Street Digbeth||Hostel||76|
|Central Guest House||1637 Coventry Road Yardley||Guesthouse||72|
|Fountain Court Hotel||339/343 Hagley Road Edgbaston||Hotel||-|
|Hatters Birmingham||92-95 Livery Street Jewellery Quarter||Hostel||83|
|Park Hotel||131 Aldridge Road||Hostel||-|
|Prince Hotel||4 Stanmore Road||Hotel||74|
|Quality Hotel Dudley||Birmingham Road Dudley||Hotel||-|
|Brighton Arms Hotel||Ladypool Road Balsall Heath||Hotel||66|
|Shanahan's||127-129 Rocky Lane Birmingham||Guesthouse||68|
|Yardley Guesthouse||330 Church Road Yardley||Guesthouse||-|
|Sheriden House Hotel||82 Handsworth Wood Road Handsworth Wood Road||Hostel||76|
|Campanile Birmingham||Chester Street Aston||Hotel||-|
|Comfort Inn Birmingham||Station Street||Hotel||-|
|Birmingham Best Inn||16-26 Wolverhampton Road||HOTEL||-|
|Achill Guest House||35 Hampton Rd, Knowle Solihull||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The Clarion Collection Hotel in Birmingham||263 Hagley Road||Hotel||-|
|Clover Hotel||775 Chester Rd Erdington||Hotel||-|
|Harborne Hall Hotel||Old Church Road Harborne||HOTEL||-|
|Holiday Inn Express Redditch||2 Hewell Road, Enfield.Redditch||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00
In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.
Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.
Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.
The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
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