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NEC BirminghamBritain’s ‘second city’ plays host to a wide variety of events throughout the year – many of them held at the impressive Birmingham NEC (National Exhibition Centre).

Indeed, the NEC attracts millions of people to Birmingham every single year, staging more than 150 exhibitions, trade fairs and shows throughout the calendar.

If you’re headed to the NEC Birmingham for a show – maybe you’re taking in Crufts for the first time, or fancy popping along to the Clothes Show Live – you might find this quick guide to the arena comes in handy…

Getting To The NEC Birmingham

Just a few miles outside of the city centre, Birmingham’s NEC is easily reached by road, train and even plane!

It is located right next to Birmingham International Airport – so close in fact that you won’t need to hail a taxi or even step outside in order to get from the terminal to the NEC exhibition halls.

Birmingham International has its own train station too, served frequently by the larger Birmingham New Street station, or if you prefer the exercise you can walk from New Street to the NEC in just 15 minutes.

By car, the NEC Birmingham is easily reachable and well signed. However, traffic can be heavy when the larger shows and exhibitions are in town, so plan ahead and consider using the M6 Toll if possible to reduce your journey time.


NEC Birmingham covers a vast area of 650 acres, so it comes as no surprise that there’s plenty of on-site parking available!

In fact, there’s room at Birmingham’s NEC for more than 20,000 cars.

The NEC car parks are divided into North, East, South and West, so to avoid confusion as to which one serves your event, we’d suggest you check the map on the Birmingham NEC’s official website in advance of your visit.

Rest assured though – if you do get confused, there are parking attendants on hand to help point you in the right direction!

Expect to pay around £8 for all day parking, though the cost does vary according to event.

Food And Facilities

You’ll always be well catered for when you visit the Birmingham NEC, as the arena has a vast number of dining options.

The centre crams in cafes, full-scale restaurants and supermarkets, with catering tailored specifically to the type of show you’ve come to see.


Just like the food, you won’t be short of options when it comes to finding a hotel near the Birmingham NEC.

Given its proximity to the airport, there are a large number of hotels in the immediate vicinity – not to mention a wide range of luxury hotels in Birmingham city centre.