Hello Wanderers! I had a lovely weekend in Brighton (you can find my little video-diary here) and I have prepared a special list (full of pictures and clickable links!) of 31 things you’ll find in this lovely seaside destination and they’ll never make you want to leave!
Are you ready? Here we go! 🙂
Probably the most iconic and awesome landmark in Brighton, the first structure of this pier was originally built in 1823, and it soon developed into a collection of stalls of artists, souvenirs and confectionary sellers, as well as fortune tellers and entertaining attractions. Because of storms and war damages the pier was rebuilt and retouched several times… Now it’s a fantastic place where to stroll, enjoy a meal and a glass of wine, watch movies al fresco, enjoy live music events and much more! Like, for example…
Who doesn’t like the 80’s playful, noisy and tacky atmosphere of videogame arcades? …Well, I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m a child of the 80’s and I LOVE IT! The Palace Of Fun, right in the middle of the Pier, will delight you with pinballs, slot machines and videogames… just remember to gamble responsibly and don’t burn all your money on it!
Turbo Coaster, Horror Hotel, Cup&Saucers, Dragon Fly… Whether with your family or with a group of friends, the rides and attractions on the pier are definitely something to try, even just for the fun of taking silly pictures and having a laugh. Buy a wristband on the website, it will give you a special discount!
4. Brighton Rocks, cotton candy and lots of sugary things your dentist will thank you for!
Let’s face it, Brighton Rocks are the kind of sweets that you buy impulsively when you have a sugar crave and regret it straight after. They are the sweets that your friends bring you from Brighton and you forget them in the cupboard for months, then one night you find them, you start eating them and then you realise they passed their expiration date a year before. But anyway, a trip to Brighton can’t do without a little sugar overdose, and along the Palace Pier there’s plenty of choice for sugary treats, just go for it and diet tomorrow.
5. Seagulls that will steal your food!
Everyone loves the idea of strolling along the seaside savouring a crepe with Nutella or whatever, just be aware of the seagulls: these naughty mothercluckers have mastered a real art in stealing food from naive tourists and fly away at the speed of light. But if you know it they sense it and they leave you alone. But it’s a fun thing when it happens to others and you have the fortune to witness the whole action, I’m not gonna lie!
6. Bikes for rent!
If you’re up for a bike ride along the beach you can either use the BTN BykeShare service (their bikes are a beautiful aqua green colour!) or choose one of the independent bike rental kiosks on the seaside and in the city. Prices are very reasonable and there’s a bike lane all along the beach that will allow you to cycle without killing pedestrians.
7. Iconic white & blue striped beach chairs!
All lined up along the beach, they are just a beautiful sight… Super photographable, not super comfy to relax upon if I have to be honest, but surely one of the most iconic things in Brighton. In some areas they are free (on a first come / first served basis), in others they are for rent by the hour or for the whole day.
8. A merry-go-round on the beach!
More than one actually! But I’m not gonna tell you how many, just have a stroll, count them and write your answer in the comments below, you can win a Brighton rock to forget in your cupboard for a year.
9. Awesome oysters and tasty seafood in small cups!
If you, like me, absolutely love to indulge in fresh daily catches of shellfish, mussels, lobster, oysters etc…, Brighton is your place. At the little kiosks on the beach on the right hand side of the Palace Pier (my favourite one is The Brighton Shellfish And Oyster Bar) you’ll feel spoiled for choice: from little pots of seafood salad, plump prawns, stuffed olives wrapped in anchovies, lobster tails, to soft bread rolls with crab and mayo, to luxurious Jersey and Carlingford oysters… Bring your own ice cold prosecco, buy a few of these gorgeous goods from the ocean and have an awesome aperitivo watching the sunset on the beach. Heaven.
10. A burnt pier!
Another one of the most photographed things in Brighton. As for the Palace Pier, the history of the West Pier is made of fires, storms, attempts to renovation, war damages… The skeleton of this burnt pier is nowadays a striking silhouette against the sky, somehow captivating in all seasons.
11. Independent coffee shops for your caffeine fix!
Coffee and cake anyone? Plenty of choice here, from the most hipster to the minimalistic ones. My favourites are Small Batch on Jubilee St. and Bond Street Coffee, but there are really so many of them with such good quality roasts that it would be a shame to settle for a Starbucks. Trust an Italian 😉
If you want to lay down on the grass to rest a bit after lunch you can enjoy the gardens of the Royal Pavillion, with their luxuriant nature. It tends to get a bit crowded in the afternoon, but it’s still a lovely green oasis right in the centre of the city. And the museum is a nice place to visit in case of bad weather (or good weather if you are into museums, of course).
13. Vintage vynil stores!
While Cult Hero looks like the perfect geeky vynil record store (it reminds me of Stuart’s comic books store in The Big Bang Theory!), if you want to rummage through piles and piles of new and second hand vintage vynils I suggest you to head to the North Laines area, for the best rare finds and bargains!
14. The most delicious Fish & Chips!
If you went to Brighton and you haven’t scoffed a bowl of fish & chips from the chippy outside the Palace Pier sitting on a bench and wiping your grubby hands on your t-shirt you simply haven’t lived, there you go. That said, there are many other good places in Brighton where to taste delicious battered cod in a more posh condition. The Regency is absolutely my go-to place, but if it’s too busy (like it often happens) then Wolfies of Hove is another very popular spot, or The Fisherman’s (another one of my favourites!).
15. A mojito kiosk!
You can find it most of the times on New Road, right near a side entrance to the Royal Pavillion Gardens, and it offers refreshing and boozy version of the renowned cocktail, to tipple up your day. It’s always five o’clock, peeps.
16. Quirky and stylish homeware stores!
Berts, Dowse and Workshop are only three of the many homeware and lifestyle stores in Brighton where you can spend hours choosing pieces to dress up your living space, from the quirkiest to the more streamlined design.
17. The Lanes! (aka the Maze…)
This popular area takes the name from the maze of narrow streets and alleyways that compose it. It’s one of my favourite areas especially for coffee & cake (stop at Sugardough and The Flour Pot Bakery!) and brunch, but in The Lanes you can also find restaurants, pubs, craft stores and above all…
18. Jewellery shops for your engagement ring!
…yes, The Lanes are literally packed with gold, silver and jewellery stores! So, if you get the sudden urge of proposing to your partner while you’re having your oysters and prosecco on the beach, you know where to go to get a bling bling.
19. Traditional pubs for when it’s time for a pint!
The Pump House is one of the most famous ones, but there’s plenty of awesome pubs in Brighton if you like ales and awesome hearty food.
20. Cakes, ice cream and cupcakes at colourful Cloud 9!
Cloud 9 is the most colourful and dreamy bakery and ice cream store you can possibly want! A triumph of rainbow cupcakes, unicorn goodies, pastel colours and delicious sugary creations that make this place absolutely irresistible! Take a look at their Instagram to see what I’m talking about 😉
21. A comedy club!
It’s called Komedia and it’s in the North Laine’s area, offering you an impressive programme of stand up comedy, cabaret and music shows. Definitely a place to check if you’re up for an evening of fun!
22. An amazing Fringe Festival!
For ‘stagey’ people like me Brighton Fringe Festival is every year an event to look forward to, being one of the largest fringe festivals in the world (if you’re not familiar with the definition, ‘fringe theatre’ is a kind of performance that experiments in style, format or subject, usually taking place in small-scale theatres or unusual venues). For an entire month the city hosts hundreds of shows in many different locations, and you can often see promos and previews on the street in the afternoon! Check the website for news and programme for the next season!
23. Veggie and vegan heaven!
In the last few years Brighton embraced brilliantly vegetarianism and veganism, with many restaurants and cafes that focus on organic and plant based recipes. Check this list to have an idea of what’s on offer 🙂
It’s on the beach! It’s upside down! And it’s my favourite colour, mint/aqua green! For just 5£ you can visit it inside and take all the pictures you want, playing with the inverted perspective. Fun times!
25. A vibrant LGBTQ nightlife and daylife!
Brighton Pride is considered the biggest Pride parade in the UK, with great headliners every year (Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Paloma Faith, to name a few) and fantastic events. The city of Brighton has become the LGBTQ capital of the UK (you can read a bit of the history here), with pubs, clubs, events and vital services mainly concentrated in the area of Kemp Town.
26. Street art that will blow your mind!
Keep your cameras ready at all times when you walk in Brighton! Murales and street art at every turn, often incorporated in the decor of streets and shops. Stunning!
27. Lots of people riding a bike naked!
Every year since 2006, Brighton has joined World Naked Bike Rides around the world to celebrate cycling and the human body. Born as a protest against car culture, it became year after year a great platform to affirm body positivity. So every year around June the city gets full of naked people cycling. Get your birth suit on and join this awesome event (wear sunscreen though)!
28. Live music, gigs and festivals!
Brighton is a very lively city for concerts and festivals, from small venues to big stages. check What’s On to be always updated!
29. Colourful walls and doors for your Instagram selfies!
Blaker Street is only one of the many streets in Brighton where you can find an array of houses and doors painted with different bright colours (a bit like Bruges, or Notting Hill in London), from the bold to the pastel ones. A joy to watch!
30. Vintage markets and shops for rummagers!
If you like to rummage through thrift stores, vintage markets and junk shops, Brighton is great! Snoopers Paradise is a huge flea market where you can find literally anything. Don’t forget to also check Vine Street Vintage, Brighton Flea Market and The Open Market (click on the links to know opening times).
31. Striped vintage beach huts!
And last but not least, your trip to Brighton can’t be complete without a treasure hunt (believe me, it is!) to find the famous coloured beach huts, perfect element for your Instagram pictures. I will not tell you where they are (no one actually will, tradition wants you to walk your way to find them), but you can check this hashtag for a few tips 😉
I hope you enjoyed this list of awesome things in Brighton! Of course there’s more and more I could have included, and if you have more tips and ideas please feel free to add a comment below! Let’s make this the ultimate list about this fantastic city!
See you soon, people!