Now the second biggest city in the United Kingdom, Birmingham has seen enormous growth from a once modest Saxon village. The city has seen many innovations in its history – the Watt Steam Engine was developed in Birmingham, a major player in increasing productivity all over the world during the industrial revolution. But no less impressive is that same Birmingham spirit that brought us the bicycle bell, whistle and postage stamp.
Birmingham suffered significant bomb damage during World War II but major redevelopments were made during the 50s-60s, which saw the construction of the shopping centre The Bullring, which is now an iconic part of Birmingham's cultural makeup.
But Birmingham is so much more than the Bullring. Opera, ballet and musical fans flock to the Hippodrome, while comedy lovers hit venues on Broad Street, and art buffs head over to get their fix at the Birmingham East Side projects.
Perhaps considered a sleeping giant of tourist destinations in the UK, Birmingham has plenty to offer for day trips, a last-minute weekend away and for time away as a family.
Popular Avanti West Coast trains to Birmingham
Birmingham is one of the key stations on the West Coast Line, making it easy to get to from wherever you are in the UK. Find the most popular direct routes below.
Fastest Journey Times
Things to do in Birmingham
You won’t need to travel far to find one of Birmingham’s newer attractions. Located just above New Street train station is Grand Central, a vibrant shopping centre and food hub. If you’re planning a shopping trip, Grand Central is a great place to start. You can find retailers like John Lewis and The White Company before heading into The Bullring, which is an adjoining shopping centre set over three floors and has more than 200 shops.
After a few hours of shopping, you might need to sit down, eat and refuel for your day ahead. Whether you want a quick coffee, cookie or ice cream or a hearty meal to keep you going, Grand Central and The Bullring offer an abundance of restaurants, eateries and bars, with enough variety to find somewhere everyone will enjoy.
Exploring more into Birmingham city centre you can find several smaller shopping arcades that feature independent and local brands, or if you're looking for luxury and designer shops, you will not want to miss a visit to The Mailbox.
Travelling as a family? Enjoy a 2 for 1 visit to The National Sea Life Centre and explore the magical aquatic displays of over 2000 species of fish. With talks scheduled throughout the day, you can discover and learn more about endangered species, get up close and personal in the 360-degree tunnel and even experience feeding time in the shark lagoon.
You can see all our 2 for 1 offers here.
If museums are more your thing, head to Birmingham's science museum the Thinktank. Set over four floors in the iconic Millennium Point building, there is a lot to see from hands-on exhibitions to historical collections.
Ways to save
Heading to Birmingham? We want to ensure all our customers get the best possible value when they travel with us. Booking in advance means we can offer better deals, and if you travel in a group – yep, you guessed it – we can offer discounts on that, too. Like all train journeys, there are peak times and off-peak times and this will affect the deal you find. There’s a full run-down of ways to save here on our website, so pop over and see the great deals on train travel.
If you’re a frequent traveller, you might already have a Railcard, which could save you up to a third on your ticket. There are loads of options available. If you’re a young adult, you’ll be eligible for the 16–25 Railcard. The other side of your 20s? Check out the 26–30 Railcard. If you’re in a couple, or always have the same travel buddy, take a look at the Two Together Railcard. There’s even a Railcard for family and friends so you can enjoy great days out together.
None of the above suit you? Then take a look at the full list of Railcards available. Some are even digital, allowing you to store it on your phone with the Avanti West Coast app, so it’s there whenever you want to take a train to Birmingham.
Still looking for ways to save on train tickets? Book direct.
When you book directly with Avanti West Coast, there’s a Price Promise – if you find the same service cheaper anywhere else, we’ll refund the difference. Plus, we won’t charge you a penny on booking fees.
Other Popular Destinations
Birmingham Station Information
If you’re not familiar with Birmingham or its stations, you’ll find everything you need right here:
Birmingham New Street train station information
Birmingham International train station information
There’s information from accessibility to parking and ticketing to WiFi coverage. More details on our wider network can be found on this page.