Things to do in Brighton

Take a ride on the world’s first vertical cable car, explore the sumptuous surroundings of the Royal Pavilion and lose yourself in the magical Lanes on a visit to Brighton

Brighton seafront

Photo courtesy of @t0m_howard

Discover iconic Brighton

Could there be a better way to start your short break in Brighton than with a stroll along the seafront to the iconic Brighton Pier? This superb example of a Victorian pleasure pier has rides and arcade games catering for thrill-seekers of all ages. Grab an ice cream and wander along the pebble beach to the city’s latest iconic structure, the British Airways i360. The world’s first vertical cable car will take you 162 metres up into the sky for magnificent 360-degree views of Brighton and beyond. Perhaps the most iconic building of all, and a must-see, is the Royal Pavilion. Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, it combines Regency grandeur with lavish interiors and exteriors influenced by the decorative styles of China and India.

Wander around Brighton’s marvellous museums

Followers of art, design and fashion should visit the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. Highlights include the flagship 20th Century Art & Design Gallery, where you’ll find fabulous examples of the era’s major design styles, including Art Deco, Modernism and Surrealism, with works by Grayson Perry, as well as one of the world’s most famous pieces of furniture – the iconic Mae West Lips Sofa by surrealist Salvador Dali and Edward James. Also featured in the museum is the Ancient Egypt exhibition and the Fashion & Style gallery. With so much to see, you can always take a break and pop outside into the beautiful Royal Pavilion Gardens.

If taking a step back in time is more your thing, why not take a peek into a Victorian collector’s private museum at the Booth Museum Of Natural History, where you can see dinosaur bones, a killer whale skeleton and an extensive taxidermy collection.

Also worth a visit is Sea Life Brighton where you can experience life under the sea. Take an immersive dive into 55 displays and discover 3,500 creatures including majestic jellyfish, captivating octopus and fantastic rays. Find out more here.

Uncover shopping gems

From antiques and jewellery to vintage fashion and contemporary design, you’ll find it all in Brighton’s legendary Lanes. This historic quarter is a wonderful maze of alleyways, which are home to an eclectic mix of antique shops, boutique fashion specialists and vintage jewellers. Check out Choccywoccydoodah, the place to go for elaborately carved chocolate sculptures and tasty sweet treats. Bohemian Kemptown is home to the city’s thriving gay quarter so you’ll find LGBT-oriented outlets alongside deli bars, coffee houses and specialist shops. The city’s latest shopping destination is the Brighton Marina with its impressive quayside location and wonderful waterfront views. If you’re looking for high-street names, restaurants and cafés all under one roof then head for Churchill Square. Other must-visit shopping areas include North Laine for retro chic and the recently re-opened Open Market, where you’ll find more than 50 of Brighton’s best local producers and artisans.


Wine and dine in style

There are literally hundreds of places to eat in Brighton. From fine dining and traditional British fare to flavours from around the world, you’ll find an incredible range of cafés, bars, bistros, pubs and restaurants to choose from. For a taste of the sea, enjoy fish and chips on the pier or try one of the city’s seafood restaurants. Riddle & Finns have two champagne and oyster bars, while English’s Of Brighton have been serving seafood on the same site since the 1890s. A more recent addition to the city’s foodie scene is 64 Degrees, which won Best Restaurant at the Brighton & Hove Food Awards and a Michelin Bib Gourmand in its first year of opening.

Brighton has always been ahead of its time as far as food trends go and, as a consequence, is renowned for its vegetarian restaurants. Even dedicated carnivores will enjoy the award-winning Terre à Terre and Food For Friends. You’ll also find Silo – a restaurant, brewery, bakery and coffee house, and the first in the country to be run on zero-waste principles.

Brighton is also renowned for its café culture, so why not relax with a latté in one the city’s hip cafés or enjoy afternoon tea at the iconic Grand Hotel.

Paint the town red

The city’s nightlife is legendary and will certainly appear on your Brighton things-to-do list. With entertainment ranging from comedy, music and dance to theatre, cabaret and the famous club scene, you’ll be spoilt for choice when the sun goes down. There are live music events on almost every night of the week with big-name acts performing at the Brighton Centre and Brighton Dome, and more eclectic artists playing smaller venues such as Concorde 2. The city boasts a variety of comedy clubs, one of the best known is the award-winning Krater Comedy Club at the Komedia. Brighton’s newest theatre, the Rialto Theatre, showcases cutting-edge new plays, comedy and music, while the Theatre Royal hosts big theatrical productions, including pre-West End shows, ballet and opera. That’s two great theatres which showcase something for everyone. Beat the queues by planning ahead booking your tickets with Theatres Online for the very best performances Brighton’s Theatres have to offer. Legends to have graced the stage include Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich and, more recently, Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart.

If you like the sound of this East Sussex seaside destination, then why not take a look at our hotels in Brighton and see it all for yourself.