Weekend in Brighton: the best things to see and do

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Brighton is one of my favourite UK cities. I love the buzz of the shops, the nightlife, the pier, and people but also the calmness of the beach and how it makes me feel like I'm at home. I recently headed over for a weekend to celebrate my birthday with my best friend and had the best ever time exploring and delving more into the Brighton way of life.

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If you're planning a weekend in Brighton and looking for the best things to see and do, here is my guide on how to spend a weekend in Brighton.

Brighton pier

What there is to see and do

Kemptown exploring

Kemptown, famously known for its LGBTQ+ culture is a cool place to start your ventures in Brighton. It's located right next to the main stretch of Brighton beach, packed full of cool and colourful bars, quirky cafes, and restaurants. It's also a hub for vintage boutiques, shops, and some fun backdrops for photos. I loved it around there, especially in the evening, as there was such a vibe about it.

Brighton Pavillion and gardens

The Pavillion is one of those postcard moments of Brighton and is worth the visit, even if you only have a mooch around the gardens. The building is iconic to see and the gardens match too with their beautiful bursts of flowers dotted all around. Entry to the museum inside isn't too costly if you fancy a gander too.

Brighton pavillion

Brighton Pier

The most iconic part of Brighton is the pier and you have to make sure you head over there. The pier is more than just a beautiful walkway with dazzling neon lights to look across the beach, it has so many things activities. The pier is packed with thrills and excitement from the assortment of different rides, the dodgems to the endless amount of arcades inside, leading all the way up the pier. There are also a few cafes and food spots scattered across the pier too.

Brighton pier

Shopping in the Lanes

I adore the Lanes with my whole heart and love nothing more than having a mooch about when I'm in Brighton. The Lanes are huge and there is more to see than you initially expect. Whether you're looking for vintage clothing, quirky jewelry, or unique homeware, the Lanes have a shop for everyone, plus a huge range of restaurants, cafes, and bars - and stalls outside too. The Lanes is a unique shopping experience, even if you're just going for a browse. And, it's the cutest spot for photos and soaking up the Brighton vibe.

The Lanes Brighton

Brighton Beach

Brighton beach is the heart of all the action, especially for either that bit of downtime or to soak up the buzz with its selection of bars, restaurants, and quaint shops. The beach is a huge stretch, giving you the opportunity to find a quiet spot for a picnic or throwing yourself into the live music and beach air. It's a great location for a beach afternoon.

Brighton beach

Hove Beach and seafront

Hove is Brighton's quieter neighbour and an area I absolutely fell in love with on my trip. It can easily be reached from Brighton, as you can just walk along the seafront in the direction of Hove to reach the main stretch of the beach. Hove is renowned for its colourful beach huts and they sit opposite the beach in an iconic setting. 

Hove beach

Hove's beach isn't as busy as Brighton in any sense and there are only a handful of cafes dotted along the front to eat at. But, that's what I loved about it as it reminded me of the quiet beaches I have on my doorstep. Hove is a lot more residential than Brighton with the main area, home to its high street and a few parks to mooch in.

Hove beach

Upside down house in Brighton 

On Brighton beach next to the I360 sits the coolest upside-down house. I didn't realise that's where it was located and it adds that extra bit of colour to the beach setting. You're able to enter and explore its illusions for a small fee or simply take a photo next to it outside.

upside down house brighton

Alcotraz Prison Bar experience

This has to be one of my favourite experiences to date. The Alcotraz Prison Bar is open in many cities including London, but whilst I was in Brighton, I thought I would give it a whirl and I'm thrilled I did. The entire place was designed to look like a prison and the actors were superb in playing the roles of both the warden and the guards, I felt like I was in Orange Is the New Black.

Alcocraz prison bar

The whole idea behind the bar is to sneak in your alcohol with help of the guards and then the 'kitchen staff' make customised cocktails for you to drink in your cell. We got to make our prison identity cards, engage with all of the staff and the whole thing was more like a show than a bar. I honestly loved the entire thing and would love to go back.

alcotraz brighton

Where to eat

Kooks

Located in the Lanes, amidst the cute vintage shops and quirky cafes, the cool restaurant is Kooks. It's a brunch, cafe, restaurant, and bar all in one with modern style seating inside and outside seating in the hub of the Lanes atmosphere. I stopped in for brunch and got the nicest granola bowl ever, and sat outside in the sunshine. 

kooks brighton

Red Roaster

A very hyped brunch place in the centre of town, Red Roaster is an Instagram dream with its monochrome interior and modern brunch menu (with the best waffles.) They're not just a cute brunch place, but they offer a bottomless brunch and at night, turn into a Thai BBQ venue. There's a bit of something for everyone and even an outdoor seating area.

red roaster brighton

Oeuf

One of the places I saw on Instagram, I just had to try for my birthday morning breakfast and it didn't disappoint. With its mint green and pink interior, the place screams pastels and fun. I ordered their famous frumpets (french toast crumpets) with the most delicious compote and honestly, I was in heaven when eating it. The menu was varied too with something for everyone!

oeuf brighton

Red Snapper

I'm obsessed with Thai food as it's so hard to find food that is as good as the meals I had when I was travelling but this restaurant made every dish on point. The Thai food was authentic, the restaurant was quaint and cute, and the best part, it's a bring your own bottle restaurant. For the quality of the food and how good the whole experience was, it's super cheap.

VIP Pizza

I'm a huge Italian food lover, I'm part Italian so finding good Italian food is important to me and VIP Pizza hit the nail on the head. It has a rustic interior with everything that screamed Italian eatery about it and the food was top notch. I wanted to eat the whole menu! It's one of those restaurants that has been in their family for years, and you could feel the love and authenticity in the food.

vip pizza brighton

Boho Gelato

Everyone raves about Boho Gelato and I've visited time and time again on my trips to Brighton as I love the variety of flavours on offer. You can't beat the carrot cake flavour and their chocolate ones are superb too.

Dum Dum Doughnuts

I'm not usually one to share chains when it comes to recommending places to eat or drink as it's so important to support independent businesses. However, Dum Dum Doughnuts offer a range of the biggest and best doughnuts and I always love to pick a few up when I'm in the city.

Where to drink

Twisted Lemon

The Twisted Lemon is a cool and funky bar, situated down a side alley in the middle of town which offers a selection of classic and unique cocktails. There's a rustic vibe about it with a quirky twist, and I love that! 

No32

For a fancier place for a couple of cocktails or a posh night out, this is the place to go, located in the centre of town. I adored everything about No32; the extravagance, the mood lighting, and the varied combination of drinks on the menu. It's definitely a fab place for a bottle of prosecco and to dress up fancy for a girl's night out.

no32 brighton

The Mesmerist 

The Mesmerist is one of those bars that has something for everyone. It has a slightly more casual vibe to it with that English pub feel about it. The bar is known for live music, good food, and a range of drinks. It's a great starting point for a night out!

Affinity Bar 

Located in Kempton, the Affinity Gay Bar was an incredible vibe for a night out. The bar offers cabaret, karaoke and plays every banger under the sun for a full joyous night out. I loved it there, it had such a happy atmosphere to it and the cocktails were delicious too.

affinity bar brighton

How to get around

Brighton is one of those cities where you can easily get around to all of the main sights on foot and that's one of the main ways to save money in the city. Alternatively, taxis are always easy to flag down and can be a great option if you need to get somewhere quickly or you don't fancy a long mooch. You can find taxis anywhere in town - it's important to note, they're not the cheapest mode of transport.

Where to stay

Brighton is a hub for accommodation, whether that's a hostel, B&B, hotel, or apartment, and has a place for every type of budget.

For the budget traveller, Horizon is a great pick. It's located in Kempton, only about a 10/15 minute walk from the main hub of Brighton, and is super easy to find.

For the slightly more expensive option, The Lanes Hotel is a gorgeous option, overlooking the main stretch of Brighton seafront. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. What's your favourite part of Brighton?

Thank you for reading <3

50 comments

  1. Oh I just love Brighton! So many cool and quirky bars and places to visit :)

    Katy | www.katystephenson.com | www.thegrownupsclub.com

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  2. I have been here for almost six years and never visited Brighton!! Adding this to my travelling list for sure! Love the colours, the pier and heard so many great things about the pavillion and gardens! Oeuf and Red Roaster are a must-visit x

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  3. The upside down house is so cool! I've never been to Brighton and I really can't believe it. Sounds like a fab place to visit for a fun weekend! x

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  4. I have only been to Brighton once but didn’t explore very much as it was for a day and it was so rainy. But I would love to go back there. You have shared so many fun things to do. The gardens look pretty and I would like to visit the pier and beach.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Lauren bournemouthgirl.com

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    1. Thanks so much!! I hope you can visit one day xx

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  5. Aw, it looks like you had a lovely time! Would love to visit one day x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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  6. I've not been to Brighton before. I'd love to visit but it's a good 6 hour drive from where I am. I'd love to spend a few days down there in summer, the beach and the pier look amazing.

    Claire.X
    www.clairemac.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Oh wow that is far! I hope you can visit one day xx

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  7. Brighton looks so much fun and cool, pleanty of things to see and enjoy, thanks for sharing, would like to visit here!

    Deepti | https://perspectiveofdeepti.blogspot.com/2014/02/love-begets-love.html

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  8. So many beautiful places to visit in Brighton! I'd love to go the upside down house and the pier. Love the pictures, thanks for sharing!


    www.lifebeginsattwenty.com

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  9. Amazing! Thank you for these tips, I have never been to Brighton but now very much want to go!

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  10. I used to live fairly close to Brighton and would quite often go there to the theatre, Churchill Square and the Lanes. There’s so much I have yet to explore there yet though so I definitely need to go back soon! Great post!

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  11. I’d love to visit Brighton one day, and this is a great list of things to do :) thanks for sharing x

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  12. i was so young when i last visited brighton so i'd love to go again and explore!! thank you for sharing this

    p.s. you look so pretty

    jessica | wwww.overdressedblogger.com

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    1. I hope you can go again soon! Thank you so much xx

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  13. I'm glad you had a fab time in Brighton Della! I went to Brighton two years ago and I loved the pier and the beach! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  14. Great post! Brighton looks like such a fun unique place to visit - I'd love to see the pier and the pavilion as well as the upside down house! Thanks for sharing x

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  15. This is such a helpful guide. I've only ever drove through Brighton before, never stopped.

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  16. Love this post. Makes me want to visit Brighton!

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  17. I absolutely love Brighton, I'm desperate to get down there when the school holidays are over. I love the Pier and stopping for donuts. I also love the lanes, there are soo many hidden treasures!
    Rosie

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  18. Ahh I've always wanted to visit Brighton, it seems like such a fun city full of life, but it''s really far for me!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  19. I totally want to see the upside down house. That looks so cool. All of these places look amazing.

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  20. Amazing post! Thank you for sharing it! Love the photos! I've never been to Brighton before but I really want to go soon! These places look amazing!

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  21. I've always wanted to go to Brighton! Especially the beach and pier. All the photos are stunning. Love all the reccomendations, I would definitely be hitting up kooks and The Mesmerist.

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  22. I have never visited Brighton but I see you had a great time there! I absolutely loved the concept behind the prison bar.
    I will definitely pay a visit to Brighton next time I visit UK. Thank you for sharing!

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  23. Love your outfits :D I'd like to visit Brighton Pavillion and gardens, sounds like wonderful place to visit! Thank you for sharing x

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  24. I haven't been to Brighton before but would love to visit. I love the look of the Acatraz bar, how fun! Looks like you had a fab time!
    Thanks for sharing :)
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

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  25. I love the Pavillion Gardens! So beautiful �� When I went to Brighton, I wasn't really a fan due to how busy it is. I also couldn't find the lanes, though maybe if I went with someone who knew where they are, I might have a better experience x

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  26. Thanks for sharing, Brighton looks a great place with lots of things to do and places to eat as well :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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