Local Information

About Birmingham


Already hosting 42% of the UK’s exhibition and conference events, Birmingham is a dynamic and successful global events destination. It’s a city that’s very much focused on the future too; with ambitious £11 billion regeneration plans forecasting continuous growth for the next 20 years!

Major events are part of the lifeblood of Birmingham and we understand them better than anywhere else. With world class convention facilities, a vast choice of hotel accommodation, vibrant nightlife and a fabulous choice of shopping in the pedestrian friendly city centre, Birmingham is the one place that can hold it all together.

However, there’s so much more to Birmingham than superb conferences and events. Our enviable heritage for a start. Once known as ‘the city of 1,000 trades’ the foundations of its prosperous manufacturing base centred around the production of jewellery, firearms and pens.

For over 250 years Birmingham’s unique Jewellery Quarter has sat, nestled in the outskirts of the city centre, and is still home to around 400 jewellery businesses. Here you’ll find a wide selection of specialist retailers selling handcrafted jewellery, watches and clocks – you can even commission your own designs! Within sight of the city centre stands Aston Hall, one of the finest historic homes in the West Midlands, with a history going back to the Doomsday Book of 1086.

It’s not all about history, development and industry though. With 8,000 acres of parks and open spaces, Birmingham is known as the UK’s greenest city. In fact five Birmingham parks have achieved ‘Green Flag’ status – most recently Handsworth Park which reopened to huge acclaim after a £9.5 million improvement scheme.

So when you come here for your event, whether on business or for pleasure plan some time out to explore the city that has so much more to offer.


Regional Attractions



Explore the 10 fascinating museums in and around Telford’s historic Ironbridge Gorge.  Travel through picturesque market towns to Weston Park, one of England’s most impressive stately homes – or make your way to Cosford to visit the Royal Air Force Museum where entry is free.



An array of ancient castles and historic houses populate the countryside.  The county is also famous for its pottery and is home to the Wedgwood china company.  For the thrill seekers, the hugely popular Alton Towers and Drayton Manor are only a short trip away.  While on a quieter note, the surrounding Peak District is renowned for its landscapes and villages



Known as a county of unspoilt countryside, charming market towns and a variety of landscapes, Herefordshire is an area worth exploring.  Pay a visit to Hereford Cathedral and see the famous, thirteenth century Mappa Mundi – or take a trip to the Hereford Cider Museum and the impressive Croft and Eastnor Castles.

Black Country


Situated to the north and west of Birmingham, the Black Country region offers plenty for visitors to enjoy.  Travel back in time at the Black Country Living Museum and experience the traditional skills of the people who once lived in the heart of industrial Britain.  If you want more to do, try Dudley Zoo, Walsall Art Gallery or The Public Art Gallery



Local Airport Transportation (Birmingham International)

The UK’s third largest airport for charter traffic, Birmingham International has the highest proportion of business traffic, second only to London Heathrow.  The airport acts as the regions premier gateway to Europe, Scandinavia, North America, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

Over 50 airlines operate scheduled and charter services to more than 100 destinations including daily flights to:

                    Amsterdam              Brussels                  Paris

                    Dubai                     Islamabad               New York

The airport is just 8 miles / 13km from the city centre and offers and AirLink shuttle which ensures a smooth transit to Birmingham International Railway Station, from where, with up to nine trains an hour, you can be in the city centre in just 10 minutes.

Transport from London and Manchester / Road and Rail Network


Birmingham sits in the heart of England yet is only 118 miles / 190km from London – just 82 minutes by train.  At the centre of the country’s motorway network, it offers easy access to all of the UK’s major cities.

The M5, M6 and M42 motorways service the city from all directions, with many of the junctions just a few minutes from the city centre.  And there are over 25,000 well signed parking spaces in the city centre alone so parking isn’t a big issue when you arrive.

Through National Express Coaches there are fats and convenient links from most major UK towns and cities, right into the centre of the city.  There are also regular Flightlink coaches to get you quickly and comfortably from the airport into the city.

Birmingham New Street Station lies in the heart of the city and is the hub of the UK rail network.  High speed trains to London Euston operate three times and hour and the journey takes just 82 minutes. Its importance is recognised by an ambitious redevelopment plan with a total spend of £388 million.



The West Midlands benefits from comprehensive and frequent bus and rail services, as well as a metro tram that connects its cities and towns.  All are part of Network West Midlands.  Full details including timetables are available from www.networkwestmidlands.co.uk or by calling the Traveline on 0871 200 2233.



Black cabs are a common sight wherever you are in Birmingham with taxi ranks at a number of locations right across the city.  There’s also an excellent public transport system with buses, trains and the Metro servicing the city and the region.





With cuisines from 27 different countries making up the thriving Birmingham food scene, in over 200 city centre restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice.  There is also the world famous Balti Triangle which was recently listed among the Rough Guide’s ‘Top 25 Must Do Experiences in the UK’.

You can find many of the city’s best bars around Brindleyplace, Broad Street and The Mailbox where you can relax and take in the lively canalside atmosphere.  Birmingham is also home to three Michelin starred restaurants – Purnell’s, Simpsons and Turners – that’s more than any other city in England outside of London.

Visit www.birminghamconventionbureau.com/iadms2010 or Marketing Birmingham for further details on restaurants in and around the city and to download your Exclusive Discounts for a variety of restaurants!




The Arts

With more than 500,000 works of art in one square mile of the city centre, it’s fair to say that culture is alive and well and living in Birmingham.

Our Museum and Art Gallery holds the world’s largest collection of pre- Raphaelite works of art. While just up the road there’s the Barber Institute, one of only five museums outside London to be recognised for its ‘outstanding significance’.

The beautiful Birmingham Hippodrome, home of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, is the country’s busiest theatre outside London, welcoming over half a million people a year.

And if music is what you’re looking for, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall provides a stunning venue for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. While The Jam House, opened in 1999 with support from musician Jools Holland, provides a perfect ‘live music’ night out.



With more than 8,000 acres of parks and open spaces, Birmingham offers plenty of choice for relaxation and entertainment.  From the picturesque Winterbourne Botanic Gardens to the high tech interactivity of ThinkTank, an innovative science museum at Millennium Point – there’s something for everyone.

Other attractions include Cadbury World, The National SEALIFE Centre, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the miles of Birmingham’s revitalised canal network.



Birmingham has plenty to offer sports fans. It’s home to two premiership football teams – a fact not widely known is that the Football League was invented here; the world-class Edgbaston Cricket Ground, where England beat Australia in the Second Test of the 2005 Ashes and the internationally renowned Belfry Golf Club – four times hosts to The Ryder Cup.

Then there’s The NIA. Located in the heart of the city, it regularly stages major events including: World Indoor Athletics, Davis Cup Tennis, UK Badminton Championships and Martial Arts tournaments. In fact, 11 world records have been set at the NIA – an impressive record in itself.





Birmingham is a shopper’s paradise with over 1,000 shops including more than 100 independents right in the heart of the city.  Whether you are looking for head-turning chic or eye-catching value, it’s all waiting in the bold, new shopping capital of Europe.

The Bullring houses the iconic Selfridges building and The Mailbox has Harvey Nicholls.  With everything from fabrics and fresh produce in impressive malls and vibrant markets and the city’s unique Jewellery Quarter which is home to 500 retailers and workshops.  Birmingham satisfies even the most dedicated retail devotee.


Tourism Centres

Planning to visit Birmingham? Then let our Tourism Centres guide you to Birmingham’s best in double quick time. Want to make a hassle-free booking? Talk to the experts. The friendly, informative and multilingual* staff have the know-how to offer the kind of insight and inspired advice that no guidebook can touch. This is their city; a city they know inside out. There’s no-one better to ask.

Birmingham Tourism Centre & Ticketshop is located at:

The Rotunda, 150 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4PA
Ticket Hotline:  +44 (0) 844 888 4415
Visitor Information: +44 (0) 844 888 3883

Here you can find the following:  

  • Tickets for a wide range of theatre and concert venues*
  • Free accommodation booking service (special rates available)*
  • Discounted tickets for attractions in and around Birmingham*
  • National Express and Eurolines tickets
  • Endeavor coach day trips
  • Ticketmaster Agency
  • Tourist Information including maps and guides
  • Quality gifts and souvenirs
  • Fax service
  • Multilingual staff*


Birmingham Tourism Centre & Ticketshop:
Monday – Saturday 09:30 – 17:30 GMT (Tuesdays open at 10:00 GMT)
Sundays and Bank Holidays 10:30 – 16:30 GMT

*subject to availability

Welcome Centre


Pop into our Welcome Centre at the junction of New Street and Corporation Street. You’ll get a friendly smile as well as all the information, directions and answers you need (unless, of course, you’re asking for next week’s winning Lottery numbers).

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