Spending the weekend in Brighton allows you to make a real English break in a lively town, by the sea, which offers activities for all tastes: shopping, nature walks, amusement park, bars, and nightlife, good restaurants…
It’s a destination you love to return to from time to time. Here is a city Brighton travel guide for a weekend trip: what to do there, where to stay, where to eat?
How to go to Brighton?
Brighton (a coastal town in the south of England) is on the verge of the English Channel. There is no major airport on-site so the easiest way is to land in a nearby town… and then take the train.
London Gatwick is the nearby international airport… There is also a train station by which you can take the train directly to Brighton. Allow around 35-40 minutes by train without change.
If you arrive in London by Eurostar, it is also very easy to find trains to Brighton. Either from St Pancras station itself (1h20-1h25 journey) or from other London stations such as Victoria (50 minutes to 1-hour journey).
The National Express bus company also offers London-Brighton coach trips, but very often the prices are quite similar to those of the train… and the journey much longer!
What to do during a weekend in Brighton?
Here are some ideas for tours and activities to fill a weekend in Brighton!
Visit the Royal Pavilion Brighton
The Royal Pavilion is a former summer residence of King George IV … built before he ascended the throne, in an Anglo-Indian architectural style. Oriental influences are clearly noticeable in this building which left me speechless!
Photos are prohibited inside but you can visit them and discover the rooms, each more richly decorated than the other (advance reservation possible here).
You can visit for a minimum of 2 hours.
Discover the Lanes and North Laine (Brighton shopping centers)
The Lanes and North Laine are two Brighton shopping centers which are full of charming little shops. Enjoy the Brighton Pier
At the Brighton Pier, there are many rides installed on a pier jutting out of the sea the frame. – With waves of sight and the seafront of Brighton – is very nice, and the lively atmosphere makes a must during a visit to Brighton.
There are rides for all ages, a few thrill rides as well as arcade games. The Brighton Pier is often invaded by a sweet smell of fried food so typical of fairgrounds: it serves fish & chips but also pancakes, donuts, churros, pizzas, hot dogs, burgers, ice cream, milkshakes, frozen yogurts… There is also a real restaurant on the Pier, the Palm Court Restaurant.
Watch a sunset on the beach
A walk by the sea is always delightful, there is even a small train that runs ahead of the beach … and usually, Brighton enjoys splendid sunsets. When the weather permits, a lot of people come to the beach for this special time of the day. An ideal activity before or after a good restaurant, depending on the season!
Visit the unusual museum of “Old Police Cells”
If you are looking for an unusual activity to do during a weekend in Brighton, I suggest the Old Police Cells Museum. It’s a guided tour that tells the sordid Brighton criminal stories of yesteryear, showing you the real prison cells that were in use at the time.
The museum was created on the initiative of police officers (on duty or retired) and is run by volunteers, so there may be variations in the “quality” of the guided tour… but the place is nice. Admission is free; however, you must book in advance.
Take a zipline ride by the sea
In the past there was a Ferris wheel by the sea in Brighton, it has since been replaced by a zip line that runs along the beach. It is 300 meters long and is a double zipline, which allows you to descend at the same time as a friend/companion / complete stranger!
You can book a ticket in advance to avoid queuing.
Take to the skies aboard the i360 Brighton
Let’s be honest: the aerial view of Brighton cannot be compared to an aerial view of London or another city rich in monuments … The i360 Brighton, an attraction that allows you to rise in the air on a panoramic observation platform, is therefore not a “must-have” strictly speaking.
Nevertheless, the attraction can be nice when the weather is good (or at least the view is clear and it is not raining) to admire the whole coast! You can buy a ticket in advance.
What to do at night in city Brighton?
Brighton is a trendy destination, where a lot of Londoners go to spend the weekend… and which many people choose for bachelorette parties or hen parties! Suddenly, it is a city rich in good places to go out at night … and there is something for everyone!
Small useful clarification for those who would consider spending the weekend in Brighton for a stag or hen party: most bars and clubs in the city refuse groups of stag/hen parties unless you have booked in advance … The ” Common policy in Brighton is also, very often, to refuse groups who wear extravagant outfits for the occasion. In other words, if you wear your most beautiful disguise of penis … go and change before going out at night 😉
Regarding the good addresses of bars and clubs, we do not discuss tastes and colors and it is always difficult to get everyone to agree with this kind of address. Depending on the mood of the evening, the sounds that pass, the artists who perform, the people with whom we live the evening, the mood of the bouncer at the entrance, we can have radically different experiences of the same place.
Well, I think that’s going to be enough for a weekend, let’s not forget moderation, right? 😉 There are several nightclubs and bars on Brighton’s seafront anyway, so there are various trails to go out!
Where to eat in city Brighton?
It’s impossible to spend a weekend in Brighton without a good restaurant!
Pub / Wine Bar – The Bath Arms, an old pub from 1864, are a great place to eat as well as to have a drink… and the prices are relatively affordable. Plateau is also a very nice wine bar.
Seafood and Fish – Without hesitation, Riddle and Finns, with two locations in Brighton, one facing the sea.
British Cuisine – Try The Ginger man or, for a higher budget, 64 Degrees.
Vegetarian / vegan cuisine – Do not miss Food for Friends, Terre A Terre, or even Purezza (vegan pizzas), Iydea (lunch/snack only).
World cuisines – Ephesus (Turkish restaurant), Giggling Squid (Thai restaurant), or Goemon (Japanese – ramen).
Fat lovers! Go to Burger Brothers, the HQ for home burgers in Brighton! Or Bardsley’s, for delicious fish & chips. The homemade pastries at The Flour Pot Bakery are generally very nice; there are several places in Brighton.
Frankly, it’s hard to stop the selection there because there are LOTS of restaurants and cafes to spend a weekend in Brighton!
Where to stay in Brighton?
I suggest you take a close look at the location of the hotels you are aiming for, especially if you are arriving without a car. The city of Brighton can easily be covered on foot, the station is well placed … but Brighton in itself is a fairly large city that actually covers two towns.
Here are some Brighton hotels to stay at:
- The Blanch House (3 stars with a great welcome and very nice services in the hotel).
- Drakes (4 stars with a really top restaurant!).
- The Square Hotel (4 stars on a human scale with modern decor).