Birmingham, a city in the English Midlands, is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom and is considered the commercial, financial, and cultural center of the region. It's a popular, vibrant, cosmopolitan location that has undergone substantial urban generation over the last decades and is ranked as a Beta World City. A major coach station and a strong bus infrastructure mean Birmingham is easily accessible for visitors arriving from both local and further-flung destinations – including European ones. Additionally, an airport bus station means visitors flying into the city's airport can be in the city center in just 25 minutes.
The main Birmingham bus center is the Birmingham Coach Station in the Digbeth district. The station is less than a 15-minute walk from the city center and only a 5-minute walk from the popular Birmingham Indoor Market. The Birmingham International Airport bus station offers a shuttle service into town that can take as little as 20 minutes as well as local and regional services like the X1, X12 and the 75/75a, running to the Birmingham rail station, nearby Coventry, and other locations in the city.
Both National Express and Megabus run direct services to Birmingham from all over the UK, including from other important airport cities and transport hubs like London and Manchester. Eurolines even provides indirect connections to Birmingham by bus from European destinations such as Paris in connection with other companies like National Express. The Birmingham International Airport shuttle route is also serviced by National Express.
Although Londoners might refer to Birmingham as being in 'The North', the city is actually centrally located in the country, meaning travel times to Birmingham by bus from most other major cities in England (and even Wales and Scotland) are manageable. A direct journey from London takes less than three hours. Low-cost bus companies provide a choice of direct connections to Birmingham every day, and this will prove to be a far less expensive way to travel the distance than if you were to go by train or plane in most cases.
Birmingham has a fascinating history of social mobility, innovation, and political radicalism which played a significant role in the country's development of democratic rule. This plus a plethora of museums, six universities, theaters, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and thriving literary and music scenes will be inviting to any history or culture buff. Birmingham is well-known for its grassroots art and culinary movements, and you'll find plenty of largely-unknown bars, such as the retro-inspired The Night Owl, and restaurants, like the Parisian-style Arco Lounge, to write home about.
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