What to know before travelling to Brighton
Brighton is a small city with a huge personality and quirky, unique vibe that’s hard to find elsewhere. With its close proximity to London, it’s the perfect seaside escape and has one of the best loved beaches in the UK. But, it’s not all about the pebbles and piers. Brighton is also famous for being one of the most diverse places in England, with a welcoming open-minded community, growing LGBTQ+ population and cool boho atmosphere that makes it a million times more magical than your average city.
Is Brighton worth visiting?
If that intro didn’t tell you how much we love Brighton, then we don’t know what will. Well, perhaps, these 10 reasons to visit…
- It’s great for families - Brighton & Hove has been named one of England’s most family-friendly cities.
- The pebble beach is one of the most popular in the UK.
- You’ve got Hove on your doorstep - known for its brightly coloured beach huts and relaxing vibe.
- There’s nightlife aplenty - whether you’re into pubs, nightclubs, comedy or poetry recitals, Brighton’s got it all going on.
- It’s a seafood lover’s paradise but is also known for its vegan, vegetarian and fine dining scene and the Brighton Food Festival.
- Love art? You’ll love Brighton’s inspiring street art and murals (be sure to head to the heart of the city’s music scene and snap a photo outside of The Prince Albert Hub.)
- It’s great for shopping, and no, we’re not talking about the big brand names (that every other city has), but the small indie traders that help make Brighton what it is.
- Although not strictly Brighton, it’s close to the beautiful South Downs National Park if you need a nature escape.
- It’s the unofficial LGBTQ+ capital of the UK and home to the largest Pride festival in the country, which takes place during the first weekend of August.
- There’s something for everyone to enjoy - just take a look at the top Brighton attractions below for proof!
Top Attractions in Brighton
Busy planning a trip to Brighton? Add these top attractions to your itinerary…
Of course you’ll be heading to the beach - it’s one of the top reasons to visit Brighton! And whether you fancy paddling, relaxing in the sun or taking a leisurely stroll, you’re guaranteed a good time. It might not be a beach for building sandcastles, but the shingle beach still has lots to offer kids, including ice cream aplenty!
Brighton Palace Pier
For the ultimate seaside resort experience, head to Brighton Palace Pier. Fusing the old with the new, there are traditional rides like carousels and dodgems and modern offerings like the VR-enabled rollercoaster. Just a short walk from the pier, you’ll also find Brighton Zip - the longest and fastest zip wire along the South Coast. Hop on and enjoy spectacular views as you zoom over and land on the beach. There’s even a dual line so you can race your friends and make it even more fun!
While we’re on the topic of spectacular views, there’s no better Brighton tourist attraction to mention than the i360. This moving viewing platform based right on the seafront rises to 138m, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Isle of Wight! Not so lucky with the weather? Don’t worry. Even on overcast days, it offers fantastic views of Brighton, The South Downs and The English Channel. Plus, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get those all-important social media snaps.
The Royal Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion is another iconic Brighton attraction known for its striking design, which pays homage to 19th Century Indian architecture and resembles the Taj Mahal. Interestingly, this former royal residence was built as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, between 1787-1811, who went on to be crowned King George IV in 1820. As well as touring the building itself and marvelling at its impressive interiors, it's well worth a stroll around the gardens, which look particularly beautiful throughout the spring and summer seasons.
Fancy a spot of shopping? Head to The Lanes. But before you do, it’s worth knowing that although commonly referred to as ‘The Lanes’, there are actually two areas separated by North Street. The first area is North Laine, known for its numerous indie shops, restaurants, bars, amazing graffiti and street performers. And the second area is ‘The Lanes’, which are the cobbled streets closer to the beach. Pretty and picturesque, you’ll find a whole host of jewellery and antique stores, as well as cafes, restaurants and designer boutiques.
Is Brighton a good place for families?
Brighton is very family-friendly, with plenty to entertain children of all ages. Along with the top Brighton attractions we’ve already mentioned, there are also:
Brighton Sea Life Centre - The world’s oldest operating aquarium (just a stone’s throw from the beach) is home to more than 150 creatures. Children will love discovering all of the different underwater habitats, taking behind-the-scenes tours and getting a glimpse of the UK’s first glass-bottomed boat.
Brighton Toy Museum - This fascinating museum has over 10,000 toys and models in its collection. It is great to take a step back in time to see some of the toys parents, grandparents and even older generations would have played with.
Volk’s Electric Railway - Did you know that you can find Britain’s oldest electric railway in Brighton? Created in 1883, Volk’s Electric Railway runs just over a mile along the beachfront from the Pier to the Marina.
The Open Market - Need to keep the hunger monsters at bay? Pay a visit to The Open Market, where you’ll find local food businesses offering a wide range of cuisines and traditional British favourites.
The Upside Down House - You’ll find this quirky creation on the seafront. Take a tour with your children to blow their minds, and don’t forget to snap a funny photo!
What is the best part of Brighton to stay in?
Are you wondering where to book a hotel in Brighton? If it’s your first visit, we highly recommend booking a hotel in the heart of the city to make the most of the main tourist attractions and soak up the wonderfully unique culture.
For a city break with friends, hen do or stag do, consider staying in Kemptown. This neighbourhood lies east of the city centre and is known for its lively nightlife and being home to one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities. Quiet by day, wild by night!
Looking for somewhere a little quieter and away from the busyness of the city centre? Hove is the perfect place for families, with charming beach inns, cute cafes and traditional pubs to tick all boxes.
Book Brighton hotels with PlansChange
Excited to visit Brighton? You should be! So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of our one-off hotel resale deals or search for other discounted Brighton hotel rooms with PlansChange.
And if things don’t go to plan for one reason or another, don’t panic. We know plans change, and you don’t want to end up out of pocket. So, if you’ve booked a hotel room in Brighton that you can no longer use, sell it with PlansChange and get back some of your hard-earned money.