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Key facts for hiring a car in Birmingham
Car hire locations
Birmingham airport is the most popular place to pick up a car, but you'll often find better prices nearer the city centre.
Best time to visit
The Birmingham Christmas markets are the largest in the UK, so if you fancy a festive break, look no further.
Not to be missed
Pound Sterling (£, GBP)
Hire a car in Birmingham
England's second-largest city, Birmingham is the perfect location for a weekend break.
A city transformed by new, innovative design, Birmingham has a unique identity. Significant buildings have popped up all over the city centre in recent years.
The Bullring has a bubbly persona, and a Big Brother-esque eye overlooks the shiny new shops above the train station. The industrial hoops of the library contrast with the Cube's geometric jewellery-box features. There is plenty of architectural eye candy here.
Price of petrol is higher in the UK is higher compared to a lot of countries. Download a petrol app to find the best deals for refueling, and factor in the extra cost when you are planning your trip.
The network of motorways encircling the city and Birmingham's central position, mean that there is easy drivable access to many other major UK cities. Motorways always begin with an M, main roads begin with A and smaller roads begin with B.
Remember to drive on the left, and never park on double yellow lines at the side of the road. Speed limits in England are written in miles per hour, not kilometres so make sure you know the conversions!
Multi storey car parks (as long as you avoid ones like the Bullring) are often reasonably priced, costing around £3 per day. You will find free parking on Sundays in central Birmingham if you know where to look. The Jewellery Quarter Car Park is free on Sundays, as are many on-street parking spots.
Where to explore
As Birmingham has more waterways than Venice, head to the canal-side bars during the evening or in summer. Adam's restaurant is commonly ranked among the top eateries across the globe, and Indian food is a must try when in Birmingham. There are great dining options and all types of cuisine popping up all over the city, so you won't be short of places to try.
The astonishing acoustics of Symphony Hall play host to world-class classical artists, whilst quirky venues across the city are the platform for a thriving indie scene.
The city has a definite cultural buzz, with the Royal Ballet, the Barber Institute and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery attracting visitors from across the world.
Shopaholics flock to the city centre for retail therapy. The obvious choice is the Bullring, but there are so many other options to try out. To shop with free parking, try Longbridge (with the biggest M&S in Europe), The Fort, Merry Hill and Parkgate.
Good for nature
AONB – A landscape of forest and woodland.
Good for history
Hometown of one of the world's greatest writers, Shakespeare.
Good for photographs
Shropshire market town with castle ruins.