Fly to Birmingham, Alabama, and explore the rich history of this state’s largest city.
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (MLB)
Named after the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, a famed U.S. Civil Rights leader that fought against segregation, the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport services both civil and military flights into Jefferson County. Transiting passengers will find that the large, modern terminal houses a decent variety of dining options, from coffee outlets like Starbucks, to snack counters like The Great American Bagel. There are also newsagents selling magazines, confectionary and books in the upper level of the airport. Guests have access to free WiFi throughout the terminal, as well as ATMS, charging stations and meditation rooms.
Airlines to Birmingham
There are five major airline carriers that service Birmingham Airport, and these are American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United and Vacation Express.
Getting into Birmingham
You can find lots of taxi and limousine services outside the baggage claim area of the terminal. The airport is only 8km outside of the city centre, but taxis can cost anywhere between 16-25USD ($22-35), depending on traffic.
There are also shuttle services available which tend to be a little cheaper if you are travelling by yourself or in a group larger than a single taxi cab’s capacity.
There is a separate Rental Car Facility section at BHM Airport, and this is found in section 1B and 1C of the parking deck. Here you can hire cars from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Payless.
What can you do in Birmingham?
Visitors to Birmingham should not come to Birmingham without taking the time to explore the Civil Rights District. This city played a huge role in the struggle against segregation and racism in the 1950s and 60s, and many dramatic, nation-shaping events took place here. Start at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, where you can learn about the complex history of this city, and then walk to the infamous Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a site bombed in 1963 by the Ku Klux Klan, kicking off a ripple of outrage throughout the country that would lead to the Civil Rights Act being passed in 1964.
The next stop on your tour, should be the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, where you can immerse yourself in this distinctly American musical art. Famous inductees include Ella Fitzgerald and Harry Belafonte. If music isn’t your thing, then maybe the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is more up your street; delve into the past of the famous track and field Olympic gold medalists Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis. Then make your way to the famous Sloss Furnaces National Landmark, a reminder of the town’s strong industrial past when the factory’s fires burned to produce pig iron for almost 100 years. To cap off the trip, head to downtown, and drop into Café DuPont and treat yourself to a little fine dining, southern style.
Outside of the city, there is the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, where you can really indulge in some of the landscape the state is famous for, hike through this beautiful park, and keep your eyes peeled for the local raptors, hawks and tiny green tree frogs.
When should you go?
The shoulder months outside of the high summer season of July and August is a brilliant time to visit this city. April through June, and September to October have far fewer tourists, and the weather is still pleasant, with highs in the late teens/early twenties. Summer is crowded, and the temperature can rise to 32-33°C, however, you will find that there are lots of festivals during this season which can be very enjoyable providing you aren’t daunted by the heat.
What do you need to know?
Currency: The American Dollar (USD)
Visas: All visitors to the United States of America need a visa. Some travellers will qualify for the ESTA, a visa issued online. For those that don’t, you can check the United States Government website to see the requirements for entry. Please note, you will not be allowed on the flight without a valid visa.
Please note all information is current as of November 2015.
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Airports near Birmingham
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