Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Brighton is a seaside resort on the south coast of England and is part of the City of “Brighton and Hove” which is on the South Coast of England in the county of East Sussex.
When you are looking for the South Coast... and you want to have a nice city break away during a sunny weekend in June to August – then Brighton is a great place to head to! Voted one of the 10 top beach city breaks in the world, it is a popular tourist destination in the UK.
When to go:
Summertime is a good time to go to Brighton if you fancy fish and chips at the seaside, or an ice cream on the beach! If you are willing to go a little later in the year, when the weather is milder but hotels are cheaper, then September is also idea.
Brighton is very easy to travel around on foot. Parking however can be quite difficult if travelling by car and your best bet is to try an use one of the underground car parks if your hotel does not have one (and even then you may find it difficult to get a space)
Check out Brighton's explorer pass to save up to 35% at the city's top all-weather attractions.
So without further ado, below you’ll find a guide to the best locations in Brighton and Hove to prepare you for your next trip. Enjoy!
Upside Down House Brighton
Hey what do you think to the Upside Down House? A really interesting landmark whereby the whole house is designed to be “upside down” both on the outside and the inside! With tables and chairs stuck onto the ceiling and the roof located where the floor should be, this is one topsy turvey landmark!
Getting there: The upside down house is easy to find and is only a short walk away from the British Airways i360. A rainbow walkway is laid out in front of the house, and is only a hop skip and a jump away from the sea front.
Entrance fee: The entrance fee is £5 per person.
Best time to go: Best time to go is in the morning. There is often a queue in the afternoon which can be quite lengthy.
Instagram tip: You can get a quirky and very unusual selfie here! It’s actually quite cool to get a shot from the outside just by the rainbow walkway as well as the amazing shots inside – taking the picture upside down makes you look like you are hanging from the ceiling. Another great shot can actually be taken from the British Airway 360 which shows you the layout of the house from above.
Brighton beach is a famous for its attractions and piers which attract tourists from all over the world. Brighton beach front is mostly an area covered in flint pebbles which are scattered across the surface. There are some sandy areas closer to the water of the sea where the pebbles become small grains. You can often find people sunbathing, relaxing, and eating/drinking a BBQ on the beach front. Later in the evening you can find couples and groups of friends gathered together.
Entrance fee: Free
Best time to go: The summer months from May to August are the best time to visit Brighton.
Instagram tip: There are plenty of instagram locations found along the beach front, including from Brighton Pier, Band stands, and parks.
British Airways i360
You can’t miss this landmark – pretty much visible from all of the beachfront and promenade in Brighton and created by the same designer of the London Eye. British Airways i360 is a 162-metre observation tower on the seafront at the landward end of the former West Pier. As you queue to enter you are greeted by security guards who ask you to place your belongings in a tray and scan you with a metal detector. It’s from that point you realise the whole experience is designed to mimic boarding a plane, and once on board you are greeted by the “flight cabin staff”. Inside the 360 rising dome, you can see the whole of Brighton from the peak of the tower which gently rises to the top. There is a fully equipped bar so you can enjoy a glass of champagne whilst you look on.
Getting there: The tower is located on the seafront of Brighton, East Sussex, England at the landward end of the former West Pier.
Entrance fee: for more details about the tickets, click here
Best time to go: The queue to enter the event can get quite busy and lengthy. Personally, I think the best time to go is as early as possible as soon as the tower opens. Alternatively, there is the opportunity to take the “sunset tour” which will give you a great opportunity to take in the beautiful sunset of Brighton.
Instagram tip:There is a great angle shot which you can take right at the top of the peak of the tower, where you can capture the inside of the dome arching into the background.
Volk's Electric Railway is a heritage railway that runs along the seafront of Brighton. It was built by Magnus Volk and is the oldest operating electric railway in the world (135 years old). There are 3 main stops along the beachfront which runs for a mile long. Trains run frequently from March to October.
Getting there: The three stations are Aquarium Station (near Brighton Palace Pier), Halfway Station (located next to Peter Pan’s Playground), and Black Rock Station (located at the east end of Madeira Drive).
Entrance fee: for more details about the tickets, click here.
Best time to go: Running times of the railway are 10:30am until 17:15 midweek and 10:30am to 18:15 weekends, Except for Monday and Fridays when operating times are 11:30 to 17:15.
Instagram tip: Standing by the side of the track allows you to get a really nice view and shot of the approaching train cabins. There’s also the opportunity to take a shot of the beach from inside the train cabins.
Brighton palace pier
This famous peir is a grade II listed building and is a major landmark of Brighton. The famous Brighton Pier is a traditional seaside peir which has stood the test of time.
Getting there: Brighton Pier is located on Madiera Drive right in the centre of the coastline of Brighton. Less than an hour away from London, you can travel by car, train or coach. There is plenty of parking although it can get very busy during the tourist seasons.
Entrance fee: Free admission
Best time to go: Brighton Pier is open 7days a week, 364 days of the year- only closing on Christmas day. The best time to visit is during the summer season.
Instagram tip: There are several great shots you can take of the pier. It’s great to take a picture from the sideline of the pier at sunset as the sun is setting into the sea and the clouds are a beautiful orange overlooking the pier. There’s also some great shots of the rides perhaps whilst holding an ice cream!
Walk around Brighton promenade
Come and take a stroll along the vibrant and exciting promenade! With great urban public green spaces, shops, and food/beverage destinations, it’s a lovely experience for everyone! Plenty of fish and chip shops, lots of activities for everyone, arcades, zip wire, volleyball, surfing, fishing, swimming, and more!
Entrance fee: Free
Best time to go: Anytime is great to take a walk along the promenade… see what you can discover!
Instagram tip: Take some great shots of the beaches, and the Victorian Arches. There are also a number of instagramable sights and locations along the beach front where you can see the pier and visitors.
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is located in the gardens of the Royal Pavilion. It brings together a diverse collection or artefacts, sculptures, and history. There are often exhibitions on show, which vary throughout the year. Some of these exhibitions include, Wildlife Photography of the Year, Queer Looks, The Elaine Evans Archaeology Gallery etc.
Getting there: The museum is located close to the Lanes and North Laine Shopping areas and is about 5 minutes walk away from the seafront. The entrance is via the Royal Pavilion Gardens. The train station is about 15 minutes walk away.
Entrance fee: The entrance fee is free to residents of Brighton and Hove. For non residents, click here.
Best time to go: Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays 10am-5pm), 25 & 26 December
Instagram tip: There are some really interesting artefacts to be captured and featured on your Instagram (including some of the Ancient Egyptian Sarcophagi and Modern Artworks). There is also a great shot you can take of the balcony overlooking the whole of the inner interior.
The Royal Pavilion is really quite unusual to look at from the outside, which fits with it’s inner appearance. Viewing it from the outside it has a “Taj Mahal” feel to it. It is Grade 1 listed building which was residence of the Royals. It was a pleasure palace for King George IV as well as being a hospital in world war 1, existing for over 200 years.
Getting there: The Royal pavilion can be found in the heart of Brighton’s city centre cultural quarter, close to the Lanes and North Laine shopping areas and only five minutes walk from the sea and 15 minutes walk from the train station.
Entrance fee: For more details, please click here.
Best time to go: It is best to purchase the tickets the day before your visit. By looking online you can plan for some of the events which are being held there.
Instagram tip: Taking pictures within the Pavilion itself is strictly forbidden, and so taking pictures inside the Pavilion is going to be problematic. However, you can take some great pictures of the architecture from the outside in the gardens and entrance.
Sea life Brighton
Sea life Brighton is an opportunity for you discover the sea life you love the most. Divided up into a view of the ocean “day and night-time”, and aquarium zones there’s lots to discover here. There is also the rainforest adventure area where you can see reptiles and amphibians from around the world.
Getting there: It is located just in front of the brighton palace pier
Entrance fee: Ticket prices vary depending on passes and offers. See online for prices.
Best time to go: Going mid-morning (opening 10am) before noon can give you plenty of time to miss the main crowds but also view all of the main attractions.
Instagram tip: The jellyfish are particularly photogenic and so be sure to take a picture of these. Also the underwater walk through tunnel is a great experience.
Preston Manor is a historic house and a Grade II listed building. The design is characteristic of the mid-18th century and Georgian Façade. It also has a fabulous 18th century walled garden, with lawn, ponds, and lilies. Often used for weddings.
Getting there: Preston Manor is situated 2 miles north of Brighton city centre and is a 30-40 minute walk. Preston Park station is one stop from Brighton mainline Station and Preston Manor is just a 10 minute walk.
Entrance fee: For more details of the tickets, please click here.
Best time to go: Open from 1 April to 30 September
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2-5pm, last admission 4.15pm Closed Monday (including Bank Holidays) Closed (except for pre-booked groups, schools visits and special events) from 1 October to 31 March
Brighton toy museum
Brighton Toy Museum describes itself as one of the World’s great Toy Museums. It is an immersive experience taking you through the history of childhood and Toys!
Getting there: The museum is very accessible and is located on 52-55 Trafalgar Street. It is close to both bus, coach and train station.
Entrance fee: For more details of tickets, please click here.
Best time to go: Tuesday to Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm; Saturdays 11:00am – 5:00pm
Instagram tip: There are some great shots to be taken within the museum, such as, the aircraft, slot machines, and toy displays.
Apart from these, you will find tons of things to see like the lanes, north laine; and activities such as surfing in the beach, zip wire, volleyball, or just relaxing and enjoying the sun!
Where to stay:
The Pelirocco Hotel is a fantastic place to stay if you fancy staying in somewhere quirky, unusual, and unique! They frequently change the design of their rooms and have had a few famous guests (such as the scissor sisters). The décor is a new modern pop street art feel, with a cosy and quirky set up. The rooms are comfortable and close to the beach front centrally located in Brighton. There is an underground parking facility just outside.
Where to eat:
The Murmur is a modern seafront restaurant located in the arches on Brighton seafront overlooking the West Pier. The staff are attentive, friendly and helpful. The restaurant is named Murmur from the word murmuration which is the shape that the starlings make when they flock and fly between the two piers here on the coast. The meals are beautifully constructed and crafted with some truly original and tasty flavours. My favourite has to be the cauliflower which tasted like chicken! Absolutely exquisite.
Lion and Lobster
Another place that you have to check out if you fancy getting a bite to eat is the “Lion and Lobster”. Spread over three floors, this traditional pub is nestled away on one of the quiet streets a short walk away from the seafront (about 10 minutes). It’s fun, lively, and has quite a magical atmosphere. Good tasty food – you won’t be disappointed.