Welcome to Brighton
Welcome to our Brighton Guide. Vibrant, lively and colourful, Brighton is a fabulous cosmopolitan city that commands a magnificent location on the stunning south coast of England. With golden beaches, a bustling centre and a beautiful backdrop of the glorious South Downs, Brighton has something to entice all visitors. What’s more, with an array of attractions, shops, fine restaurants, landmarks and scenic areas Brighton is perfect for sightseeing, romantic getaways and family holidays alike.
Our Brighton Guide is crammed full of information, from travel tips to finding the perfect restaurant, and more importantly all the great things to do in the area. From the stunning heritage of the Royal Pavilion, Regency architecture and Victorian aquariums such as SEALIFE Brighton, to the traditional seaside fun of the famous Brighton Pier and pebble beach, Brighton offers something for everyone.
The same can be said for Brighton’s nightlife too. Whether you're looking for a quick drink with friends before hitting a club, a relaxed pub lunch, some traditional Sussex real ale, or a bottle of wine and a good pub quiz, Brighton pubs and bars are the top choice.
Also remember to keep an eye on our reason’s to visit section so you don’t miss out on any of the great Brighton events taking place throughout the year.
We hope that you find our Brighton Guide a useful resource when planning your trip – have a great break!
Enjoy the fun of the fair at Brighton Pier
Visit SEALIFE Brighton, the oldest operating aquarium in the world
Go shopping in The Lanes, full of quirky boutiques
Head to Komedia for dining & live entertainment
Sample a cocktail in one of the many stylish bars
Take in a play at the Grade II listed, Theatre Royal
Travelling to Brighton
Getting to Brighton is easy! It is just under an hour from London by rail and only 45 minutes from the M25.
From Brighton Rail Station there are regular and direct trains to both London Victoria and London Bridge which take less than an hour. Brighton is also on a direct rail link from the Eurostar Service at St Pancras
The most direct route from the North to Brighton is via the M25 London Orbital Motorway leading to the M23 which turns into the A23, going straight into the centre. From the South East and South West the centre is best reached via the A27
Gatwick Airport is just a 30 minute drive from Brighton and easily accessible via the A23/M23. There is also a direct train service from Brighton to Gatwick Airport and regular coach and bus services.
Getting Around in Brighton
Brighton is so compact, that once you’re there, you might find it easiest to explore the city on foot. But whatever you decide, travel in Brighton is easy. You should find the information in the sections below helpful.
As well as having a convenient and reliable bus service around the centre and outskirts of the town, Brighton also has 3 Breeze up to the Downs buses. This service takes people out of the city and tours some of the beauty spots in the surrounding countryside.
City Cabs, City Cars and Brighton & Hove Radio Cabs are the 3 main taxi companies servicing Brighton. These cabs can be booked or found on one of the main taxi ranks at Queen’s Square, Hove Town Hall and East Street.
With a cycle route running along the beachfront, off road tracks in the Sussex Downs, cycling is a great way to explore Brighton. There are multiple hire shops in the town or you can contact M’s Cycle Hire who will deliver a bike to your hotel in Brighton.
Getting to Brighton
The vibrant seaside destination of Brighton is easily accessible whether you’re travelling by rail, road or air, making it the perfect destination for your short break in the south. Brighton and London are connected by an excellent rail link meaning you can travel from one destination to the other in under an hour.
Brighton is well connected to London via excellent rail links and you can travel from London Victoria to Brighton in just under an hour. The city is well connected to nearby airports as it is on a direct line to Gatwick and Luton Airports. The main train service providers are Southern and First Capital Connect and you can also catch trains to Brighton from Hastings, Lewes, Portsmouth and Chichester.
The principal route from London and Gatwick Airport into Brighton is the A23. The A27 runs along the coastline so it’s ideal for those who want to take the scenic route. Once you arrive in the seaside town of Brighton you will find numerous car parks in the city centre which charge approximately £1.50 per hour.
Brighton is well served by airports thanks to its close proximity to London; you can catch flights into GatwickAirport from virtually anywhere in the world. Regular coach and bus services run from Gatwick Airport into the centre of Brighton and driving between the two destinations takes roughly 30 minutes. For those who prefer to travel by rail there’s also a direct train service.
Getting Around Brighton
Brighton & Hove is a compact city so it's easy to explore. If you’re using the public transport, Brighton’s bus systems are award winning thanks to their frequent and efficient services, and give visitors the best chance to see as much as they can during their stay. Saver bus tickets are available for those who intend to use the services often, cycle hire points are placed all around the city for anyone wanting to take on Brighton on two wheels, and for those visitors who want to enjoy Brighton at their own pace, there’s nothing better than a gentle stroll along the coast. It’s cheap and easy to get around Brighton, perfect for a seaside short break.
Because Brighton is so compact, travelling around by bus is a great option if there are a few things you want to see in one day. Hop on one of the many bus routes and buy a Saver ticket for unlimited travel for the whole day which only cost £3.20pp and weekly savers are also available if you’re staying a little longer, only costing £15. If you want to stay out a little later on a night time, the N7 and N25 night buses only cost £3.00.
A beautiful, traditional seaside town, Brighton is a wonderful place to visit. Hiring a bike is a great way to get around as the city lots of wide, cycle lanes across the seafront and even out into the South Downs countryside meaning you can enjoy as much of the picturesque views as possible. Take your own bike along or hire one from any of the many hire shops dotted around Brighton for around £10 a day.
Just like cycling, walking around the streets of Brighton means you don’t miss any of the wonderful highlights that this city has to offer. The majority of the attractions and locations to visit are around the centre, meaning exploring on foot is easy and doesn’t cost a penny. The brisk seaside air is also worth the stroll along the promenade.
Shopping in Brighton
If you love shopping, you’ll love a short break in Brighton. Funky fashion stores, chic boutiques, exclusive antiques, tempting jewellery, inspirational art and much more awaits you for some brilliant retail therapy. From the lifestyle shops of The Lanes to the unique shops of Hove, the retro chic of the North Lane to the big-name stores of Churchill Square and Brighton Marina, shopping in Brighton really is retail paradise. Brighton’s hidden gem is the She Said Lingerie store, filled with stunning corsets, hosiery, shoes, books, art and gifts, it’s great place to treat yourself to something fancy.
Top 5 Boutique Shops in Brighton
Papillon, 8 Union St
Papillon is a relaxed Parisian style boutique selling an eclectic range of home ware and gifts from around the world.
Frames in the Lanes, 12c Meeting House Lane
Frames in the Lanes boutique opticians offer a fabulous range of glasses and sunglasses for those who are fashion minded.
Gresham Blake, 20 Bond Street
Gresham Blake is a contemporary designer-tailor, specialising in bespoke, made to measure and ready to wear suits for men & women.
The Big Bead Boutique, 12 Dyke Road Brighton
The Big Bead Boutique a theatrical vintage emporium of unusual beads, unique handmade jewellery, wedding accessories and beautiful up-cycled furniture.
Abode, 32 Kensington Gardens
Abode is a stylish mix of contemporary and vintage home furnishings, quirky, design-led home accessories and gifts perfect for a Brighton souvenir in your home.
Top 5 Specialist Shops in Brighton
Baroque, 9 Union Street
Baroque has a team of bespoke jewellers creating unique one-off pieces and high end affordable chic in platinum, palladium, 18ct gold and silver.
La Cave a Fromage, 34-35 Western Road
La Cave a Fromage offers a magnificent selection of mainly French and English cheeses for you to taste and buy.
Revamp, 11 Sydney Street
Revamp fancy dress shop which has been in the North Laine since 1986. Full of interesting and unique costumes it has everything you could possibly need.
Farm market, Diplocks Market 73 North Road
Farm Market Founded by the owners of Farm Cafe this is a colourful, lively covered food market full or fresh produce and traditional wares.
Dolly Dagger, 6 Brighton Place
Dolly Dagger is a treasure-trove of vintage style dresses and accessories, perfect for your inner starlet
Eating Out in Brighton
Consistently topping awards at the Observer Food Awards, whether you’re after award winning cuisine, veggie treats, a tasty beachfront brunch or delicious cheap eats, Brighton is bursting at the seams with every type of international cuisine on the menu. From popular chain restaurants to unique, one-off eateries, whatever your taste in food Brighton is guaranteed to have something you’ll love. One restaurant not to miss is Terre a Terre, an award winning gourmet vegetarian restaurant in The Lanes. A culinary experience like no other, with intense flavours, sublime textures and a combination of ingredients that few have the imagination or daring to put together, this restaurant should definitely be on your ‘to-do’ list whilst in the city.
Top 5 Restaurants for a Special Occasion
Arch 139, Brighton Beach
Arch 139 has spectacular views of the beachfront and 80% of the food is sourced from within a 35 mile radius
Giraffe, 15 North Road
Giraffe lets guests enjoy a food safari and sample some of the most popular dishes from around the world.
Indian Summer, 69 East Street
Indian Summer is an exceptional, authentic Indian restaurant in the heart of the Lanes, great for a special occasion meal.
Seattle, Brighton Marina
The Seattle Restaurant is situated on the waterfront with stunning views across Brighton Marina. With seafood and local produce it’s a very popular eatery.
Moshi Moshi Bartholomew Square
Moshi Moshi is well-known for its fresh, handmade sushi and hot Japanese dishes that have grown in popularity across the city.
Top 5 Family Restaurants
Buon Appetito, 81 Western Road
Buon Appetito is a family run Italian restaurant just off Palmeira Square, with great flavours and real authenticity.
Pinocchio, 22 New Road
Pinocchio is an Italian restaurant in the Cultural Quarter, ideal spot for a pre-theatre dinner or a late evening meal.
The Hove Kitchen, 102-105 Western Road
The Hove Kitchen provides home cooked, fresh, modern, European style, locally sourced food in a family friendly restaurant.
Food For Friends, 17-18 Prince Albert Street
Food for Friends is one of Brighton’s oldest and most established vegetarian restaurants serving delicious meat-free cuisine in vibrant surroundings.
Terraces Bar and Grill, Unit 8-9, The Terraces
The Terraces Bar and Grill is right on the seafront serving the best of British with Mediterranean influences, with friendly staff and an authentic atmosphere.
Nightlife in Brighton
Brighton has always been known as a musical city, which has influenced everyone from the Who to the Kooks. Landmark moments in pop history have taken place here including Abba winning the Eurovision Song Contest, and with some of the coolest clubs on the south coast, the nightlife in Brighton offers everything from bubble-gum pop to Latin beats. From West End plays and top notch comedies to musicals and spectacular Christmas pantos, Brighton’s theatre scene offers the best theatrical line-up along the south coast. The arts are also really popular in Brighton, with its unique and diverse population of artists, photographers, dancers and actors, it’s one of the most creative cities in the UK. Whatever you like to do in your evenings, there are plenty of options in Brighton.
Top 10 Nightlife Hotspots in Brighton
Brighton Dome, 112 Church Street
Brighton Dome is part of the refurbished historic Pavilion Estate and hosts a packed, year round programme of live music, dance, theatre, comedy and family events. .
Brighton Centre, King's Road, Brighton
Brighton Centre hits thirty years this year in the purpose built entertainment and conference centre, which still attracts the big stars including Ricky Gervais and the Killers.
Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street
Every year there are around 700 performances of music, comedy, cabaret and theatre and most nights of the week there are at least two shows to choose from at this hilarious venue.
Duke of York’s Cinema, Preston Circus
The Duke of York’s Cinema is the oldest continuously operating cinema in Britain. This Grade II listed building shows a mixture of classic, contemporary, independent and foreign language films.
Theatre Royal, New Road Brighton
The Theatre Royal, Brighton is 200 years old but you can still see the biggest stars before they hit the West-End in dramas, comedies and musicals.
The Old Market, 11A Upper Market Street
Recently renovated, the Old Market is a dynamic cultural venue just outside the city centre, showcasing everything from rock bands to exciting new theatre or cabaret.
Lucky Voice, 8 Black Lion Street
Lucky Voice is labelled as ’the most liberating, heart-racing, life-affirming singing experience on earth’. With seven private karaoke rooms over three floors, it can make for a wonderfully fun night out..
Grosvenor G Casino, 9 Grand Junction Road
Great bars, delicious food and some of the best live gaming experiences in the UK and open 24 hours a day.
Brighton Ballroom, 83 Saint George's Road
Proud Brighton Ballroom is an historic venue offering decadent supper-club dining, with burlesque and cabaret entertainment to entertain all the family.
The Nightingale, 9-30 Surrey Street
Winner of Best Venue at Brighton Fringe 2011, The Nightingale is a small, perfectly formed multi-art form theatre presenting great performances across dance, theatre, film and spoken word.
Bars in Brighton
Whether its pre-show drinks or cocktail hour, wine bar chic or real ale revelry, if you visited a Brighton pub every day for a year, you'd still have some Brighton pubs to spare. Vibrant and trendy, laid back and cosy, there are some great pubs and bars in Brighton and Hove. From the uber funky to the more traditional, bars and pubs in Brighton are bursting with designer décor, fine wines, real ales, hearty pub food and live music.
Top 10 Bars in Brighton
Latest Music Bar, 14-17 Manchester Street
Settled just off the seafront, Latest Music Bar has seen performances from top acts like Amy Winehouse and the Maccabees and continues to programme exciting new music every night of the week.
Marlborough Pub, 4 Prince's St
Marlborough Pub & Theatre is located in one of the city’s oldest public houses dating back to 1794. The intimate 60-seater theatre has a cosy atmosphere and traditional bar.
Pub du Vin, 2 Ship Street
The Pub du Vin comes from the award-winning Hotel du Vin serving local ales and wine as well as delicious food.
Lola Lo, Unit 2 75-79 East Street
Lola Lo is the new, quirky and intimate bar and nightclub which transports you to a tropical oasis of authentic Polynesian vibe
Merkaba, 17 Jubilee Street
Merkaba is a beautifully crafted bar with curved walls and gliding pewter surfaces, which reflects the warm and spacious cocoon of a contemporary bar.
Riddle and Finns, 12b Meeting House
A great bad and seafood restaurant, this place is a very popular pre-show destination and late evening escape.
Preston Park Tavern, 88 Havelock Road
With a concise yet diverse wine list that offers over 20 wines and champagne by the glass as well as the bottle, you’ll have plenty to choose from.
Northern Lights, 6 Little East Street
This Scandinavian-style bar is a locally owned and run free house with a flavour of real cosmopolitan Brighton. In a historic cottage building with outside sheltered terrace away from traffic, it’s a true cosy hideaway.
TOMS’s Bar, The Old Market
This inviting wooden-featured bar has become a lively cultural space, hosting its own events as well as supporting those of TOM's Main House next door with live music, DJ sets and acoustic sessions.
KOBA, 135 Western Road
With an extensive wine list and impressive cocktail bar, this place is a real hit with cosmopolitan visitors from the big city.
Attractions in Brighton
Brighton is overflowing with places to visit, and being such a compact city, most places to visit in Brighton and Hove are walkable too. Experience the heritage of the Royal Pavilion, indulge in the seaside fun of Brighton Pier and the Sea Life Centre or don your cultural hat for a visit to Brighton and Hove Museums. And if you fancy wandering out of the city centre, Brighton Marina is only a short walk or bus ride away. A unique mix of heritage, culture and cosmopolitan fun, Brighton attractions cater for all tastes and budgets.
Top 10 Attractions in Brighton
The Royal Pavillion
The Royal Pavilion in Brighton is one of the most dazzling and exotic buildings in the British Isles, great for those souvenir photographs.
The Lanes and North Laine are ideal for a spot of retail therapy ranging from the designer boutiques to bohemian quirkiness.
Brighton Wheel gives visitors a bird's eye view of the city, taking you 50 metres about sea level so you can enjoy the beauty below.
Brighton Pier has a huge choice of bars and rides, as well as the traditional fish ‘n’ chips restaurant for the perfect seaside short break.
Brighton Marina is one of Europe's largest marinas and also has a long line of shops, bars, restaurants and a cinema.
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is a state-of-the-art visitor attraction with dynamic and innovative galleries you can enjoy, even if art isn’t really your thing.
Volks Railway was the first public electric railway in the world and it’s still going. Head over and discover why it’s so special.
Brighton Sea Life Centre
The Sea Life Centre has over 150 species, 57 displays and an underwater tunnel. The ideal destination for a great family day out.
Theatre Royal Brighton is 200 years old and still bringing top West End entertainment to the city, with some of the biggest names on the stage.
The Beachfront has a quirky mix of traditional seaside shops and artists’ studios for you to peruse and enjoy.