Birmingham is a major city that attracts visitors from all over the world, so there are plenty of flights to Birmingham from most major cities. Some airlines offer direct flights to Birmingham from the US with a flight time of about 7 hours, such as United from Newark airport and American Airlines from New York City's JFK airport. Other North American cities are well connected to Birmingham by air, but may involve one or two stops on the way. There are regular flights from Boston and Washington that are operated by Aer Lingus and Icelandair, which take about 8.5 hours in duration. From Australian cities, like Sydney, flights to Birmingham take between 24 and 50 hours depending on the airline. Some airlines, like Emirates and Qantas operate the shortest flights, but still involve one stop on the way. Every international flight to Birmingham arrives at Birmingham International Airport, which is located just 30 minutes away from the city centre. The journey into the city is easily achieved by catching the free Air Rail Link monorail that connects the airport to the city centre.
As England’s second largest city, Birmingham has been revitalized in recent years as a vibrant economic and cultural centre. Since the Industrial Revolution, the city has grown into a desirable tourist destination that offers an excellent shopping experience within its Bullring Shopping Centre, but also world class art, music and nightlife. Dominated by inspirational postmodern architecture, such as the futuristic Selfridges building and the new Birmingham Library, Birmingham is a city that pushes the boundaries on architectural design. Alongside its latest modern developments, many historic buildings and landmarks still remain. Visitors can stroll around the historic streets of the city’s famous Jewellery Quarter, visit the Hall of Memories at Centenary Square, or take an authentic canal boat ride on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.