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Parking at Birmingham
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8,7out of 10
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Birmingham Airport (BHX) is the seventh-busiest airport in the UK. It serves as the base for both domestic flights and routes across Europe, North America, the Caribbean, India and the Middle East. BHX holds a license for commercial flights and as a centre for flight training, so it is an important airport for all types of fliers.
The airport is located just outside the city of Birmingham in Bickenhill, Solihul. It is 6.3 miles (10.2 kilometres) south east of Birmingham City Centre. As Birmingham has plenty of transport links, it is easy to get to the airport from anywhere in the country. Despite being busy as part of one of the biggest cities in England, the area seldom suffers from traffic congestion, except during rush hours, so most passengers arriving by road can easily make it to their flights on time.
Five bus services currently offer transport to BHX via the city centre and surrounding areas, such as Coventry and Sutton Coldfield. Two separate coach companies offer long distance journeys to and from Birmingham Airport, connecting it to 35 destinations across the UK.
The airport also has its own train station: Birmingham International. A total of 216 trains per day travel between it and the city’s central station, Birmingham New Street, and it takes roughly 10-13 minutes to get between them, so the transport hubs of Birmingham are well-connected.
The airport can be reached by road via the M1, M5, M6, M42, M40, or M42.
The first flight from Birmingham Airport took off in 1939 when it was known as “Elmdon Airport”. It was opened by the Duchess of Kent, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. Like many airports in operation during World War II, Elmdon was used as a base by the RAF. It returned to public use in 1946 when the war was over, but remained under state control until 1960.
Its second terminal building, EuroHub, was built in 1991. This was the first terminal in the world to serve both domestic and international flights. The two terminals merged in 2011 and, following several extensions to the terminal and runway over the years, BHX grew to the point at which it served as many as 11.6 million passengers in 2016. It continues to grow to this day.
BHX is home to a wide range of shops, bars and places to eat, drink and relax before your flight. You’ll find familiar brands among the various convenience stores, newsagents and eateries located inside the terminal building. If you fancy a bit of duty free shopping, you can browse the BHX store for deals on wines, spirits, beauty products and everything you might need for the trip ahead.
Special assistance is also available throughout the facilities at Birmingham Airport; you need to book 48 hours in advance and notify airport staff upon arriving at the terminal.
Birmingham Airport has eight car parks (numbered 1 to 7, as well as 'Drop & Go'). Car Parks 1 to 5 are on-site. If you park in 1, 2, 3 or 4, it takes no more than two minutes to get to the terminal on foot. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the terminal from Car Park 5, while Car Park 7 is about 15 minutes’ walk away from the airport.
All BHX car parks are certified under the Park Mark scheme. This voluntary scheme ensures that the airport keeps your car in safe, clean conditions, under round-the-clock surveillance. With this in mind, you can enjoy your trip safe in the knowledge that your vehicle is in good hands.
The Meet and Greet valet service lets you skip the hassle of parking your car and finding your way to the main building. A valet meets you at a pre-arranged spot and parks the car for you.
If you’re a Blue Badge holder, the airport offers 60 minutes’ free parking at the 'Drop & Go' Car Park. You’ll find disabled-parking spaces in Car Parks 1 and 2. The airport also provides a shuttle bus service every 10 minutes from each car park to the terminal, so there is no need to struggle with heavy bags or make the journey on foot if you have children travelling with you.
We recommend booking in advance to be sure of a car parking space when you get to the airport. BHX does not charge any fees for pre-bookings. You can search for parking deals right here at Looking4Parking.com and see a range of offers for short-stay, mid-stay and long-stay parking at Birmingham Airport.
If you need to a catch an early-morning flight from Birmingham Airport and you wish to book a hotel for the night before, there are plenty of options available. The area around the airport can get congested in the morning rush hour, so booking a hotel close to the terminal can save you an unnecessarily stressful journey before your flight.
There are two hotels located on the grounds of the airport itself: Hotel Ibis Birmingham Airport and Hotel Novotel. If you are travelling by car, there are no separate parking spaces in the grounds of either hotel. However, you can book your hotel and airport parking together to save both time and money ahead of your trip.
Both on-site hotels are no more than a couple of minutes’ walk from the terminal, located across the road and, therefore, only a few steps away from the main entrance. Both hotels also offer ample disabled access, free WiFi in public areas and a safety deposit box. The two establishments also allow pets. In the morning, you can enjoy your complimentary breakfast buffet and ensure you don’t start your day hungry before a potentially long journey.
Birmingham Airport’s Sky Zone is a children’s play area designed to stop kids from getting bored before they board. It is for kids between the ages of three and 10 and features interactive games in the form of a ‘musical mission pod’ and a ‘reaction station’. There are also interactive video animations and audio clips for older children to check out.
There are three lounges in Birmingham Airport, all of which you can book in advance or pay to access on the day of your flight. The Aspire Lounge and No 1 Lounge are ideal for leisure and business travellers. They provide mobile phone charging points and offer a quiet space away from the perpetual buzz of the terminal. They also have fully-tended bars and a range of hot and cold snacks and treats available throughout the day. Passengers using the lounges also get access to fast and free WiFi and stunning runway views without the aircraft noise.
The Emirates Lounge at Birmingham Airport is for first-class business passengers flying with Emirates Airlines and it offers a complimentary buffet of freshly cooked food as well as a full bar service. As part of this offering, Emirates also has a complimentary chauffeur service with a driver on-hand to take you anywhere within 70 miles of the airport. You will also find business centres within the walls of the Emirates Lounge. These rooms are perfect if you’re hosting a meeting with an important client or partner before or after you fly.
Amidst the organised chaos of planning a holiday, making sure you eat well is often overlooked. Fortunately, Birmingham Airport is one of the UK's more comprehensive airports for offering a range of places to eat and drink. There are well-known fast food joints should you feel the need to indulge, but you can also recharge on superfoods at the airport's smoothie shop, order spicy snacks at an Indian deli or head to one of the various coffee shops in the terminal for pre-flight pick-me-up.
The World Duty Free store at BHX is every bit as well-stocked as you would expect from an airport of this size and importance. It offers a vast range of beauty products, beers, wines and spirits from across the globe at knockdown prices, so you can pick up a gift for a friend or buy one last treat for yourself before you head home.
Eating at airports often means grabbing something on the run as you head to your departure gate, but if you plan to spend some time and enjoy a meal at Birmingham Airport, you can take your pick from an award-winning family restaurant or an American-style diner, as well as a champagne bar and two pubs. Whether you want pub grub and a pint or a more sophisticated dining experience, you’re sure to find something to suit your palate at BHX.
Keeping your gadgets and mobile devices running while you're travelling can be a bit of a challenge, but Dixons Travel at Birmingham Airport is an ideal place to pick up travel adaptors, carry cases, new headphones and other accessories. Given that your gadgets will be in and out of your bags as you pass through security, protective cases for phones, laptops and tablets are always a good idea when you're at the airport.
The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) hosts many fascinating expos and trade shows throughout the year.
From the annual Commercial Vehicle Show to food exhibitions, gaming festivals, antiques and collectable toy fairs, you’re bound to find something that piques your interest at the NEC. It takes just six minutes to travel the 2.6 miles (4.1 kilometres) from the airport to the venue by car, or 29 minutes if you decide to walk the shorter route of 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometres).
Sat nav instructions: North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT
Birmingham is home to Villa Park stadium, the home of Aston Villa, and St Andrews, where their fierce rivals, Birmingham City, play their home games. If you’re passing through BHX on a match day, you can purchase tickets in advance to watch either team and even if Villa or the Blues are not in action, you can take a stadium tour at either venue. On a tour of Villa Park, you’ll get the chance to see the players’ dressing rooms and have your photo taken with the European Cup, First Division, and FA Cup trophies.
Birmingham is also home to the Edgbaston cricket ground. On a tour there, you can walk the hallowed turf on which so many great names in world cricket have set foot. See the trophy cabinet and even book a training session with the club’s respected coaches (at an extra cost). There is no charge for the standard Edgbaston tour.
Sat nav instructions: Villa Park: Trinity Rd, Birmingham, B6 6HE; St Andrews: Cattell Rd, Birmingham, B9 4NH; Edgbaston: Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham B5 7QU
Birmingham is full of great music venues. The likes of Queen and Michael Bublé have played at the world-famous Barclaycard Arena, whilst across the city, the Symphony Hall is known for its classical performances and versatile acoustics. Whether you want to see established acts or check out some stars of the future, Birmingham has a long history of being a thriving musical city.
Sat nav instructions: Barclaycard Arena: King Edwards Rd, Birmingham B1 2AA; Symphony Hall: The International Convention Centre, Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA
The National Motorcycle Museum sits on an eight-acre (3.2 hectare) site and is home to the largest known collection of British motorbikes. In fact, it’s the biggest motorcycle museum in the world and it draws in 250,000 visitors each year from across the globe.
Whether you fancy taking advantage of one of the many ‘Ride a Classic Bike Days’ or you just want to see these magnificent machines up close, your layover at Birmingham Airport might be an ideal chance to do so. The museum is just 1.1 miles (1.8 kilometres) from the terminal building, so even if you don't have a car, it is well within reach.
Sat nav instructions: Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Hampton in Arden, Solihull B92 0EJ
Cadbury World is one of Birmingham’s most popular attractions, with more than half a million visitors each year. Cadbury was founded in Birmingham in 1824 and is a huge part of the city’s history and local economy.
At the museum, you can make your way through 14 zones that tell the Cadbury story through interactive displays, a 4D cinema and a chocolate-making experience fit for the chocolate-loving child within anyone. Finish your time in the chocolate museum with a visit to the world’s largest Cadbury shop, which offers a host of familiar and exclusive treats. It takes 27 minutes to travel from Birmingham Airport to Cadbury World via the M42.
Sat nav instructions: Linden Rd, Bournville, Birmingham B30 1JR
Many of Birmingham’s buildings were replaced by modern examples of brutalist architecture in the 1960s and 1970s. The National Trust has carefully restored the last-remaining 19th century houses where working people once lived.
Visit the National Trust's Birmingham Back-to-Backs for a glimpse of how the city looked prior to the demolitions in the latter part of the 20th century. Take a virtual tour, browse the 1930s sweet shop or take part in a family learning event. The Back-to-Backs are located just 18 minutes’ drive away from BHX via the M6.
Sat nav instructions: 50-54 Inge St, Birmingham B5 4TE
Birmingham Airport has just one large terminal, from which more than 50 airlines operate. If you’re travelling by car, simply use the postcode B26 3QJ on your sat nav or follow the signposts to get there.
BHX offers low-cost flights to destinations around Europe, but the leading names in budget travel like Ryanair and easyjet aren't as dominant there. Carriers like Whoosh, Flybe, Monarch and SkyEurope provide strong competition, with scheduled flights to cities all over central and eastern Europe, as well as increasingly popular holiday destinations like Cape Verde.
Long-haul flights to destinations in Canada, USA, Asia and the Middle East are also available from Birmingham Airport, with major airlines like British Airways, United Airlines, Emirates and Qatar Airways all operating from BHX.
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Birmingham Airport is located at Junction 6 on the M42. You can find your way there by sat nav using the postcode B26 3QJ.
Birmingham Airport’s eight car parks are easy to find due to the clear signposts you’ll see when approaching the grounds. The mid- and long-stay car parks are numbered from 1 to 7. The short-stay car park bears the name ‘Drop & Go’.
If you’re travelling from Coventry, Northampton or anywhere to the east of Birmingham, simply take the M6 and find your way onto the M42.
If you’re coming from the north east of the city (Leeds, Sheffield), get onto the M1 and follow it down until you reach the M42 for Birmingham.
If you are travelling from the south east (Oxford, London), drive along the M40 and take the exit to move onto the M42. You can get to the airport from the south west (Gloucester, Bristol) by changing from the M5 to the M42.
BHX connects directly to Birmingham International train station via the free AirRail link. It takes up to 13 minutes to travel from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham International. New Street is very easy to access due to its direct links with many other train stations throughout the UK.
It takes just 20 minutes to get from Coventry to Birmingham International and just under an hour to get there from Oxford Station.
There are five bus services covering routes from in and around Birmingham to the airport. It takes 35 minutes to get from Birmingham City Centre to the airport on the X1 coach service, whilst many national coach services connect Birmingham with many other major cities in the UK.
If you’re travelling to Europe, we advise arriving at BHX around two hours before take-off, whilst domestic flights often only require 90 minutes to get through check-in and security. For long-haul flights, you should get there at least three hours beforehand because the queues can be sizeable.
If you have mobility requirements, be sure to book special assistance two full days before your flight so you don’t experience any inconveniences or delays. You can ring +44 (0)121 767 7878. Alternatively, go to the airport website for more help and advice.
If you’re just dropping off a friend or family member before a flight, the last thing you’ll want to do is pay over the odds to park. Save money with the Drop & Go car park right outside the terminal entrance, which offers cheap parking for such short stays.
BHX is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. The opening times of shops and restaurants inside the terminal building vary, but you can check the airport website for more information on specific establishments.
You will find a wide range of high-street brands at Birmingham Airport. These include everything from designer handbag shops, to electronic stores, a pharmacy, a duty-free shop and more. There are also a host of convenience stores and sandwich shops in the terminal building.
Car Parks 1, 2 and 3 are designated pick-up areas. While the Drop & Go area in front of the terminal is ideal for dropping people off, the airport charges a premium fee for pick-ups in the Drop & Go area, so we don’t recommend waiting there.
Prices vary according to the car park you wish to use, but you can use Looking4Parking.com to explore the parking packages available to you.
Yes. The airport offers special assistance equipment and staff with the training to provide everything you need. To ensure you’re able to spend your time at BHX in comfort, you must book at least two full days in advance of your flight. Equipment includes wheelchairs and other mobility aids.
There are two on-site hotels offering a wide range of modern conveniences, complimentary breakfasts and even a mini gym. Both hotels are within walking distance of the main entrance to the terminal.