Things to do in Brighton

Things to do in  Brighton

Boho by the sea

Lively, youthful, and home to a thriving LGBTQ community, Brighton’s seaside attractions, alternative spirit, and fierce pride make it one of England’s most distinctive beach destinations. In addition to the nostalgic delights of Brighton Pier and the rarefied scenery of the Royal Pavilion—both top things to do in Brighton—younger visitors flock to the Brighton Lanes, where boutiques and secondhand shops jostle with bijou bars and hipster-filled restaurants. While you can take in the sea air on its pebbly beach, walks to the chalky heights of the Seven Sisters are a worthy challenge for experienced ramblers.

Top 4 attractions in Brighton

Brighton Dome

Made up of three unique performance spaces, the Brighton Dome is a pillar of the English south coast’s cultural heritage. First the stable block of a young George IV, then a World War I hospital, the 200-year-old venue is now known as a champion of Brighton’s creative scene.More

Brighton i360

The observation tower Brighton i360 offers a whole new perspective on Brighton and the south coast of England. In a futuristic glass viewing pod, you’ll glide gently up to 450 feet (138 meters) above ground for 360-degree views across the city, the South Downs and—on the clearest days—all the way to the Isle of Wight.More

The Lanes

Climbing up the hillside from the waterfront, the maze of shopping streets known as “The Lanes” make up Brighton’s most atmospheric quarter. The pedestrianized area is home to more than 200 independent shops, galleries, and antique stores, along with a great selection of cafés, restaurants, and historic pubs.More

SEA LIFE® Brighton

On the coast of the English Channel, the world’s oldest aquarium showcases the aquatic diversity beyond British shores. More than 5,500 creatures call SEA LIFE® Brighton home—including marine species and rain forest critters—while educational talks, tours, and events provide insight into ocean conservation.More

Top activities in Brighton

Isle of Wight - Day Tour from Brighton
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Stonehenge and Bath - Day Tour from Brighton
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Archery Session - One Hour

Archery Session - One Hour

Leeds Castle and Canterbury - Day Tour from Brighton
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Cambridge and Greenwich - Day Tour from Brighton
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Oxford, Windsor and Eton - Day Tour from Brighton
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Brighton Coastal Tour

Brighton Coastal Tour

Walking food tour in Brighton

Walking food tour in Brighton

Brighton Bar Crawl

Brighton Bar Crawl

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All about Brighton

When to visit

After cold and rainy winters, Brighton’s weather redeems itself the rest of the year with some of England’s mildest and sunniest climes, drawing big seaside crowds as a result. Spring sees locals and visitors come out to play at the multi-arts Brighton Festival, while summer heralds the highest temperatures (and prices), as well as animated Pride celebrations and beach dance parties. Despite Brighton’s somewhat inclement winters, the twinkly Lanes, Christmas Market, and outdoor Royal Pavilion Ice Rink keep the city’s carnival vibe alive.

Getting around

Driving around Brighton is notoriously difficult due to its narrow roads and pricey parking. Fortunately, the city’s frequent buses are handy for exploring the major sights and cliff-fringed coast to the east. Walking is also popular: Brighton’s center and village-like neighborhoods such as Kemptown, Seven Dials, and the North Laine all lie within a roughly 30-minute stroll from the seafront. If walking or buses aren’t your thing, cabs, ride-hailing apps, and bike rentals are alternatives.

Traveler tips

For a breather from central Brighton, catch the #12 bus for a 15-minute ride to Roedean Café, perched on a clifftop outside the city. This old-school café is famous for its hearty English breakfasts and pies, all served with a side of magnificent sea views. Work up an appetite by playing a round of mini-golf on the café’s very own 16-hole course.


A local’s pocket guide to Brighton

Alex Badger

Alex, a freelance writer, studied and worked in Brighton. Along with the city’s happy diversity and laid-back seaside charm, she loves the nonstop fun for which Brighton is famous.

The first thing you should do in Brighton is...

get orientated quickly as the city is spread out. Work out The Lanes—the pedestrianized alleyways that meander from the North Laine to the seafront—along with areas such as Kemp Town and Hove.

A perfect Saturday in Brighton...

Tourist it up with a stroll through the North Laine where street art, eccentric folk, and independent shops abound. Queue for fish and chips at the seafront, and eat them on Brighton Beach where both tourists and locals hang out.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Brighton Palace Pier — it’s touristy, it’s tacky, but it’s a beloved part of Brighton. Skip the arcades, and wander the length of the pier with a doughnut in hand.

To discover the "real" Brighton...

experience the nightlife. Kemp Town, with its famous LGBT bars, is where you’ll experience the diverse, welcoming face of the city—the nightclubs are legendary here, along with the clubs that dot the seafront.

For the best view of the city...

see the bustle of the beach from Brighton Palace Pier, or go skywards in a capsule pod on the British Airways i360 Viewing Tower. Views stretch out to sea, and inland to the South Downs National Park.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that Brighton is a balmy seaside spot. Sunny summer days aside, the winds can really whip you here as the brisk sea air blows straight in from the open coast.


People Also Ask

What is Brighton known for?

Seaside Brighton is famed for its raffish vibe—fueled, perhaps by the louche George IV, who commissioned its best-known attraction, the multi-domed Royal Pavilion in 1815. Other attractions include its Regency squares, amusement-packed Palace Pier, cobbled Lanes and North Laine enclaves, and Kemptown, the spiritual home of Brighton’s big LGBTQ community.

What activities are popular in Brighton?

Visitors love exploring the Royal Pavilion, taking seafront walks, and ascending the i360 tower. Also popular are Palace Pier’s rides, and the quirky shops and eateries of The Lanes, North Laine, and Kemptown. Brighton’s hedonistic nightspots, comedy clubs, and camp cabarets also draw visitors, as does May’s arty Brighton Festival.

Does Brighton have a zoo?

No, Brighton doesn’t have a zoo. However, one of its top attractions is Brighton SEA LIFE®—the world’s oldest continuously operating aquarium, which is set under seafront Victorian arches and houses a huge array of marine creatures. The nearest classic-style zoo is Drusillas Park, a children’s zoo-park in nearby Alfriston.

What entertainment is there in Brighton?

Brighton is awash in entertainment. Enjoy family-oriented attractions like its aquarium, i360 observation tower, and Palace Pier. Catch horse racing at Brighton Racecourse or soccer at the American Express Community Stadium. At night, the city buzzes with theater, comedy, and drag shows, along with live music spots and dance clubs.

How far from London is Brighton?

Approximately 53 miles (86 kilometers) south of London, Brighton makes a great day or weekend trip. Going by car or bus—the latter from London Victoria Coach Station—takes around 1.5 hours. Many travelers use the frequent trains from London Victoria (1 hour) and St. Pancras (1.5 hours).

Is Brighton worth a day trip?

Yes, Brighton makes a fun, convenient day trip. Its key attractions are close to its train station. Explore the shop-filled North Laine, savor lunch in colorful Kemptown or the Lanes, and hit the Royal Pavilion, Palace Pier, and i360 tower before sunset meals and drinks at a trendy seafront spot.

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