Getting to Birmingham

 

Birmingham is incredibly easy to reach. Right in the centre of England, it’s well-connected by road, rail and air. 

By Air

Birmingham International Airport welcomes more than 50 airlines from over 100 destinations. It is home to plenty of low cost carriers, so you may find it cheaper to travel directly to Birmingham than to other airports in the UK, particularly those in London.   This is because rail travel from London airports may add over £100 to your costs (see ‘By rail’ below to check rail times and costs), although coach travel will be considerably cheaper (see ‘By coach’ below). Located next to the M42 motorway and main line rail network, Birmingham Airport, couldn’t be better connected.

Arriving at Birmingham International Airport

Option 1: Taxi - costs approximately £25, takes approximately 30 minutes

Signs in the airport will show you where you can get a taxi, and the taxi can take you directly to the University or your Hotel.

Option 2: Train – costs approximately £3.50, takes approximately 12 minutes

There is a free monorail service between the airport and Birmingham International train station. At Birmingham International train station you will need to take a train to Birmingham New Street.

We recommend you take the Virgin train which is the fastest way to the city as it does not stop en route.  This normally runs every 20 minutes and takes 12 minutes.  Tickets can be bought from the machine or counter.  If you are travelling direct to the University, buy a ticket to ‘University’ and change trains at Birmingham New Street. However you may find it more convenient with heavy luggage to take a taxi from New Street Station directly to your Hotel. There are regular trains between 06:00 and 23:00.   

Arriving at any other UK airport

By rail

There are three city centre rail stations providing fast and frequent connections to both local and national destinations.  Train times and costs can be found by clicking the Journey Planner.

Different train companies operate between London and Birmingham, along different routes and charging different fares.  Tickets bought from one company may not be valid on another company’s trains.  This applies particularly to the London Euston-Birmingham New Street route, where Virgin have the faster trains and more expensive fares while London Midland are much slower (stopping at a large number of intermediate stations) but cheaper.  Make sure that you travel on the train operated by the company from whom you have bought your ticket.  The display boards at the stations will usually state which company is running a particular train.

Through tickets can be bought at all airport railway stations, and these will include transfer by underground if you have to cross from one London station to another.

New Street Station is at the hub of the National Rail network with fast and frequent services to London’s Euston station and many other major towns and cities across the UK. It is currently undergoing an amazing transformation but remains open for business throughout. Services to London Marylebone are served Moor Street (next to the Bull Ring) and Snow Hill (in the Colmore Business District). All 3 stations are well served by bus or parking facilities.

Birmingham International station sits right alongside the airport and National Exhibition Centre; providing a ten-minute direct link to the city centre for air passengers. 

By road

All roads lead to Birmingham - well almost. It’s certainly an easy place to drive to no matter where you’re coming from. Set at the heart of the UK motorway network, it’s linked by the M5, M6, M40 and M42 while the A34 and A38 further add to your options and the M1 is less than 30 minutes away. The M6 Toll Road adds another choice (while also helping to keep through traffic away from city centre at peak times).

By coach

As Birmingham is so well connected by road, it’s easy to reach by coach and there are a wide range of services calling at Digbeth Coach Station, just a few minutes from the city centre. For example, National Express links Birmingham to 500 locations in Europe and 1,200 destinations in Mainland Britain. There’s also an hourly-service to and from London Victoria station and great links to airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick, East Midlands, Stansted and Luton.

Getting around Birmingham

By train

Eight local rail lines criss-cross the city to ensure quick links to all attractions and venues (as well as connecting to services to other UK cities and towns).  Midland Metro is the latest addition. This state-of-the-art light rail system whisks passengers between Snow Hill Station in Birmingham city centre and Wolverhampton.

For easy day trips out of Birmingham to Solihull, The Black Country, Warwick Castle, Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon, Bicester Village Shopping, the Severn Valley Steam Railway and many other nearby attractions head down to Moor Street station (by the Bullring).

Network West Midlands provides online timetables, fares including day tickets and passes, ticket purchase and route planning. To visit the Centro website use www.centro.org.uk   or pop into the Centro store at New Street Station.

By Bus and Metro

Birmingham is brilliant for buses. There’s a huge network linking everyone to everything.  Network West Midlands has all the online timetables and fare information you need with easy ticket buying and route planning.   For timetable information you can look online or visit Centro’s many information points around the city. 

Birmingham buses can’t be hailed to be stopped; passengers wishing to board or leave a bus should do so at an official bus stop.  Please remember that you need to give the exact fare to the driver as you board. 

By taxi

Birmingham’s well regulated taxis are especially convenient for those with heavy luggage or returning late from a night out. TOA taxis are Birmingham's black cab operators. They can be hailed in the street or reached at one of the many taxi ranks in the city centre; the main ones are at New Street Station, Stephenson Street and Digbeth Coach Station.