Things to Do in Brighton
Planning a trip to Brighton, but don’t know how long you need? You can hit the highlights in Brighton in one day or spend a long weekend, leisurely taking in the seaside town. It’s extremely popular in the summertime with its hipster, artsy vibe. Brighton is easily accessible from London making this is a wonderful stop while in Great Britain.
Transportation - How to get to Brighton from London and local transportation options
Activities - Top things to do in Brighton in one day, many free!
How far is Brighton from London?
Brighton is on the Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Southern lines making trains into London or Gatwick Airport extremely easy. Trains from London Bridge are about one hour and can cost as low as £14.40 one way. The National Express bus also has routes to Brighton, but typically take about 2 hours from downtown London.
How to get around Brighton?
Brighton and Hove are well connected with local buses. You can download the local Brighton and Hove Buses App to purchase tickets online. You just show the driver your ticket when boarding. The app has journey planners and bus timetables making it easy to get around Brighton. If you plan to use the bus a lot, you can purchase a day pass. The city is also relatively compact, so you and walk or rent a bike as well.
What to do in Brighton for a day?
Brighton Palace Pier
There are many free things to do in Brighton. First things first, head to the Brighton Palace Pier. Filled with arcade games and fairground rides, the Pier is fun for the whole family. Stop at a stall for fish and chips, along with ice cream and donuts. The bar at the end of the pier allows you to bring your own food in and order drinks at the counter.
Stroll along the promenade
Arguably one of the busiest promenades in Sussex and perhaps the South Coast, Brighton’s promenade is both beautiful and historic. You will pass local student run clubs and families with their dogs out for stroll, as well as cafes and views of the Brighton Palace Pier.
Brighton’s newest food stalls, Shelter Hall offers several different restaurants, bars and cafes. You can stop in for a sweet treat and coffee at Coffee and Cake by Redroaster. Or come for lunch at one of the many stalls with ramen, hot chicken, pizza, burgers and seafood. Order directly from your table with the QR code and your food will come directly to you!
Wander through The Lanes & North Laine
Brighton’s artsy district The Lanes, oozes a hipster vibe. The narrow streets are filled with cafes, record stores, vintage shops and bookstores. Get lost in the passageways and then hole up at a pub when you need a drink. Jump the Guns or Snoopers Paradise are not to be missed; they both have a bizarre mix of treasures, including unique antiques and clothes.
North Laine has a range of more upscale independent shops, including women’s boutiques and jewelers. While pricier than The Lanes, you can window shop and enjoy the narrow alley.
Stop by the Open Market
This covered market is packed with independent boutiques, including local artists, as well as yummy treats. Grab a new book or cup of coffee and fill your bag with artisan treats.
Burnt Orange- a foodie’s paradise
The wood-fired flavors of this little restaurant are superb. I wandered in one night and got a spot at the bar, with prime views of the kitchen. The menu is simple but bursting with wonderful textures and flavor profiles. Whether you order cocktails and a few snacks or enjoy a full meal, Burnt Orange is worth a stop.
The Brighton i360 has views of the coastline and the surrounding areas. Like the capsules of the London Eye, the pod takes you 450 feet into the sky. You can book tickets for the whole family to photograph the city from this unique vantage point. On clear days you can see all the way to the Isle of Wight (49 miles away).
Brighton is relatively safe, even for solo female travelers and I had no issues during my sojourn there. It’s a nice reprieve from the bustle of London and a perfect stop for a weekend on the coast.