(Researched by our UNICA President, Dave Watterson.)

by Plane

Based on one person flying to Birmingham International Airport on Friday 7th August and returning home on Sunday 16th August 2020. Many online flight booking sites will also offer cheap deals on hotels in Birmingham at a bargain rate.

Most of these are direct flights. Where a stopover is required, I try to ensure the same airline is used for both parts of the trip, so that you can book luggage right through. I aim for reasonable travel times rather than just for the cheapest possible flight. The basic fees are quoted at November 2019. There are usually extra fees for checked baggage, payment by credit card, choice of seat etc. The Euro price is what I found in early November, but the exchange rate is very volatile.

ANDORRA

13.40 dep Toulouse via Munich / 16.55 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa)
return
13.10 dep Birmingham via Frankfurt / 22.50 arr Toulouse (Lufthansa)
return cost per person £177 (205€)

OR
11.40 dep Barcelona / 13.05 arr Birmingham (Vuelling Airlines )
return
13.45 dep Birmingham / 17.00 arr Barcelona (Vuelling Airlines)
return cost per person £121 (140€)

AUSTRIA

11.05 dep Vienna / 12.30 arr Birmingham (Austrian Airlines)
return
13.20 dep Birmingham / 16.40 arr Vienna (Austrian Airlines)
return cost per person £147 (170€)

BELGIUM

17.05 dep Brussels / 17.15 arr Birmingham (Brussels Airlines)
return
18.00 dep Birminghham / 20.10 arr Brussels (Brussels Airlines)
return cost per person £191 (221€)

BULGARIA

No direct flights.
14.15 dep Sofia via Frankfurt / 17.30 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa)
return
13.20 dep Birmingham via Vienna / 20.15 arr Sofia
return cost per person £157 (182€)

OR
14.25 dep Bucharest via Dusseldorf / 19.10 arr Birmingham (Eurowings)
return
13.20 dep Birmingham via Vienna / 20.10 arr Bucharest (Austrian Airlines)
return cost per person £256 (297€)

CROATIA

No direct flights.
13.50 dep Zagreb via Munich / 16.50 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa – Air Dolomiti)
return
13.20 dep Birmingham via Vienna / 18.05 arr Zagreb (Austrian Airlines)
return cost per person £230 (266€)

CZECH REPUBLIC

15.30 dep Prague / 16.30 arr Birmingham (Czech Airlines)
return
17.15 dep Birmingham / 20.10 arr Prague (Czech Airlines)
return cost per person £104 (120€)

ESTONIA

No direct flights
13.00 dep Tallinn via Munich / 16.55 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa – Air Dolomiti)
return
09.05 dep Birmingham via Frankfurt / 17.30 arr Tallinn (Lufthansa )
return cost per person £340 (394€)

FINLAND

No direct flights.
09.25 Dep Helsinki via Paris / 13.15 arr Birmingham (Air France operated by Finnair)
return
09.15 dep Birmingham via Amsterdam / 17.25 arr Helsinki (KLM )
return cost per person £213 (247€)

FRANCE

12.50 dep Paris – Charles de Gaulle / 13.15 arr Birmingham (Hop! )
return
13.55 dep Birmingham / 16.15 arr Paris – Charles de Gaulle (Hop! )
return cost per person £173 (200€)

OR

11.05 dep Nice / 12.25 arr Birmingham (Jet2.com )
No direct return Sunday but on Monday 17th
07.05 dep Birmingham / 10.15 arr Nice (jet2.com )
return cost per person 255 €

GEORGIA

No direct flights.
10.30 dep Tbilisi via Istanbul / 16.00 arr Birmingham (Turkish Airlines )
return
16.55 dep Birmingham via Istanbul / 03.15 next day arr Tbilisi (Turkish Airlines )
return cost per person £421 (488€)

GERMANY

18.45 dep Düsseldorf / 19.10 arr Birmingham (Eurowings )
return
19.10 dep Birmingham / 21.40 arr Düsseldorf (Eurowings )
return cost per person £103 (120€)

OR

11.55 dep Frankfurt International / 12.30 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa)
return
13.10 dep Birmingham / 15.40 arr Frankfurt International (Lufthansa )
return cost per person £150 (174€)

OR

15.55 dep Munich / 16.50 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa)
return
17.45 dep Birmingham / 20.35 arr Munich (Lufthansa )
return cost per person £177 (205€)

HUNGARY

20.00 dep Budapest / 21.55 arr Birmingham (jet2.com)
no direct return flight
18.00 dep Birmingham via Brussels / 22.50 arr Budapest (Brussels Airlines )
return cost per person £201 (233€)

ITALY

12.25 dep Rome – Leonardo da Vinci / 14.15 arr Birmingham (jet2.com )
return
08.00 dep Birmingham / 11.40 arr Rome (jet2.com )
return cost per person £249 (288€)
Or return with 1 change at better time
13.45 dep Birmingham via Barcelona / 20.10 arr Rome – Leonardo da Vinci (Vueling Airlines)
return cost per person £270 (313€)

LIECHSTENSTEIN

17.10 dep Zurich / 18.00 arr Birmingham (Swiss International Airlines )
return
18.50 dep Birmingham / 21.35 arr Zurich (Swiss International Airlines )
return cost per person £203 (235€)
OR

11.05 dep Vienna / 12.30 arr Birmingham (Austrian Airlines)
return
13.20 dep Birmingham / 16.40 arr Vienna (Austrian Airlines)
return cost per person £147 (170€)

LUXEMBOURG

No direct flights
13.50 dep Luxemburg via Munich / 16.50 arr Birmingham (Swiss International Airlines )
return
13.10 dep Birmingham via Frankfurt / 18.10 arr Luxemburg ( Lufthansa)
return cost per person £346 (401€)

NETHERLANDS

16.35 dep Amsterdam / 16.50 arr Birmingham (KLM )
return
17.40 dep Birmingham / 19.55 arr Amsterdam (KLM )
return cost per person £125 (145€)

NORTH MACEDONIA

Very early start but very good price
04.30 dep Skopje via Vienna / 12.30 arr Birmingham (Austrian Airlines)
return
13.20 dep Birmingham via Vienna / 23.55 arr Skopje(Austrian Airlines)
return cost per person £190 (220€)

NORWAY

No direct flights from Oslo
11.50 dep Oslo via Amsterdam / 16.50 arr Birmingham (KLM )
return
13.30 dep Birmingham via Amsterdam / 18.35 arr Oslo (KLM )
return cost per person £226 (262€)

OR

No direct flights from Bergen
10.45 dep Bergen via Amsterdam / 16.50 arr Birmingham (KLM )
return
17.40 dep Birmingham via Amsterdam / 22.50 arr Bergen (KLM )
return cost per person £239 (277€)

POLAND

If you fly out on Thursday 6th19.05 dep Warsaw Modlin / 20.45 arr Birmingham (Ryanair)
return
20.40 dep Birmingham / 23.59 arr Warsaw Modlin (Ryanair)
return cost per person £99 (115€)

OR
No other direct flights
13.15 dep Warsaw via Munich / 16.50 arr Birmingham ( Lufthansa)
return
13.10 dep Birmingham via Frankfurt / 18.20 arr Warsaw (Lufthansa )
return cost per person £162 (188€)

OR

14.20 dep Krakow via Frankfurt/ 17.30 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa )
return
13.10 dep Birmingham via Frankfurt / 18.10 arr Krakow (Lufthansa )
return cost per person £143 (166€)

REPUBLIC OF KOREA

10.15 dep Seoul via Munich / 16.50 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa )
return
13.10 dep Birmingham via Frankfurt / 11.20 next day arr Seoul (Lufthansa )
return cost per person £1,019 (1180€)

ROMANIA

Best price but needs bus in UK and has bad time for return.
11.40 dep Succeava / 12.55 arr Luton (Wizzair )
return
06.05 dep Luton / 11.10 arr Succeava (Wizzair )
return cost per person £160 (185€)
plus coach trip
14.40 dep Luton Airport by National Express Coach / 17.50 arr Birmingham Coach Station
return
02.00 dep Birmingham Coach Station / 04.25 arr Luton Airport
return cost per person £34.40 (40€)

RUSSIA

No direct flights from St. Petersburg
13.45 dep St. Petersburg via Brussels / 21.35 arr Birmingham (Brussels Airlines )
return
17.40 dep Birmingham via Amsterdam / 00.55 next day arr St. Petersburg (KLM )
return cost per person £292 (338€)

OR

No direct flights from Moscow
16.15 dep Moscow via Brussels / 21.35 arr Birmingham (Brussels Airlines )
return
17.40 dep Birmingham via Amsterdam / 01.30 next day arr Moscow (KLM )
return cost per person £296 (343€)

SLOVAKIA

11.05 dep Vienna / 12.30 arr Birmingham (Austrian Airlines)
return
13.20 dep Birmingham / 16.40 arr Vienna (Austrian Airlines)
return cost per person £147 (170€)

SLOVENIA

No direct flights
11.05
dep Ljubliana via Frankfurt / 17.35 arr Birmingham (Lufthansa)
return
13.10 dep Birmingham via Frankfurt / 21.45 arr Ljubliana (Lufthansa)
return cost per person £181 (210€)

SPAIN

11.40 dep Barcelona / 13.05 arr Birmingham (Vuelling Airlines )
return
13.45 dep Birmingham / 17.00 arr Barcelona (Vuelling Airlines)
return cost per person £121 (140€)

SWEDEN

No direct flights
09.25 dep Helsinki via Paris / 13.15 arr Birmingham (Air France operated by Finnair )
return
17.40 dep Birmingham via Amsterdam / 00.15 next day arr Helsinki (KLM )
return cost per person £200 (232€)

SWITZERLAND

17.10 dep Zurich / 18.00 arr Birmingham (Swiss International Airlines )
return
18.50 dep Birmingham / 21.35 arr Zurich (Swiss International Airlines )
return cost per person £203 (235€)

TUNISIA

02.10 dep Tunis via Paris / 07.55 arr Birmingham ( Air France)
return
17.10 dep Birmingham via Paris / 00.55 next day arr Tunis (Air France )
return cost per person £260 (301€)

UKRAINE

09.50 dep Kiev (via Amsterdam) / 16.50 arr Birmingham (KLM operated by Ukraine International Airline )
return
09.15 dep Birmingham via Amsterdam / 17.05 arr Kiev ( KLM operated by Ukraine International Airline)
return cost per person £236 (273€)

UNITED KINGDOM
Remember that an inclusive hotel deal may save you more than the fare.

GLASGOW

18.30 dep Glasgow / 19.45 arr Birmingham (Easyjet)
return
17.55 dep Birmingham / 19.15 arr Glasgow (Easyjet)
return cost per person £65

GUERNSEY

Check summer timetable –
18.05 dep Guernsey / 20.05 arr Birmingham (Flybe)
return
11.20 dep Birmingham / 13.20 arr Guernsey (Flybe)
return cost per person £174

JERSEY

Check summer timetable –
18.55 dep Jersey / 20.05 arr Birmingham (Jersey)
return
11.20 dep Birmingham / 12.30 arr Jersey (Jersey)
return cost per person £218

ISLE OF MAN

Check summer timetable –
19.50 dep Isle of Man / 10.45 arr Birmingham (Flybe)
return
17.25 dep Birmingham / 18.20 arr Isle of Man (Flybe)
return cost per person £123

Check the Flybe arrangements – under their new ownership things may change.

From the airport …

From Birmingham International Airport take the free ‘Air-Rail Link’ monorail system for the two minute trip to Birmingham International Station.

Many rail companies operate regularly from Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street with about 9 trains an hour. Return fare is £7.80 on most services.

by Train

Britain is an island, but thanks to the Eurostar (through the Channel Tunnel) and ferries, it is easy to reach by train. It is usually cheaper and much quicker to use Eurostar, provided you book 6 months ahead when tickets first go on sale and avoid peak times. Birmingham New Street station is a hub on the rail network in Britain. Aim for that and not any of the other stations with Birmingham in the name.

The Eurostar terminus in London is St. Pancras International Station. From there go to Euston Station, which is 10 minutes walk along Euston Road, 5 minutes – one stop – on the Underground railway, or a few minutes by taxi. From Euston there are three or more trains per hour to Birmingham New street. The journey lasts 1 hour 43 minutes and a return costs £62.70.

If you are travelling from most of Europe or Scandinavia and want an alternative to Eurostar avoiding the Channel Tunnel, try the integrated train-ferry-train service from Hoek van Holland via Harwich to London Liverpool Street. Thence take the Underground to London Euston (15 minutes) and proceed as above. Or take the overnight ferry from Rotterdam or Zeebrugge to Hull and come on by train. They are hourly. The journey takes 2 hours 45 minutes and costs £88 return.

Railways in Britain are operated by several private companies, so sorting out fares can be tricky. The best advice we know comes from www.seat61.com whose detailed information and advice includes all you need to know. Unfortunately it is only in English. www.nationalrail.co.uk is also only in English but is a simpler way to buy tickets and check times.

by Car

You can come by car, using a ferry or the Eurotunnel service, which carries cars and their passengers by rail through the channel tunnel from Calais to Folkestone. The trip takes 35 minutes with four trips per hour. Fares vary according to the size of vehicle and time of day but include up to 9 passengers. At both ends there are good links to motorways. Check prices and book at www.eurotunnel.com/uk which works in English, French and Dutch. The drive from Folkestone to Birmingham is 332Km, about 3 hours 40 minutes – or it would do without traffic congestion round Birmingham! Check carefully what car park arrangements your hotel may offer. Generally parking around Brindleyplace where UNICA2020 takes place is expensive: around £20 (23€) a day.

by Bus

It should be possible to travel by bus from most of Europe and neighbouring countries to London. From London’s Victoria Coach Station it takes between 3 and 4 hours to reach Birmingham. The fare is between £3 and £5 depending on time of day.

the Last Lap of the Journey

The Crescent Theatre, where UNICA2020 takes place, is about 20 minutes walk from Birmingham New Street Station and 30 minutes walk from the Coach Station. Most of the suggested hotels are a similar distance. When you arrive with luggage we suggest you take a taxi or an Uber to your hotel.

The new Birmingham Metro Tram system has just completed the link to Brindleyplace so should offer a modest priced trip from the station to the hotels.

If you choose to walk:
Use your phone as a satnav aim for postcode BS16 8AE to reach the Crescent Theatre.
or from the coach station head for Birmingham New Street Station. From there watch for walking signs to the ICC (International Conference Centre). Walk through the ICC with all its coffee shops, emerge near a bridge over the canal. Keep going straight ahead into Brindleyplace …