Ultimate Weekend in Brighton: Best Things to Do

By david selina on Nov 02, 2020

Brighton might be a small city, but it certainly packs a punch. It’s an easy escape to the coast for Londoners and it’s quickly becoming a popular destination for travelers worldwide. Offering quirky culture, seaside recreation, and plenty of entertainment for visitors, here’s the ultimate weekend guide to Brighton.

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Best things to do in Brighton in a weekend
  • 2. How to Get to Brighton
  • 3. Where to stay in Brighton
  • 4. Brighton FAQ

Best things to do in Brighton in a weekend

Brighton Palace Pier

The Brighton Palace Pier is tough; it’s been standing for over a century. I mean, that’s pretty impressive. Though it has changed throughout the decades, the pier has still retained much of its vintage flair and wrought-iron details.

At the Brighton Palace Pier, enjoy modern rides and games along with an eye-grabbing rainbow carousel and a variety of restaurants, sweet kiosks, and drinks.

It has a lively feeling and it’s definitely a place to go when you want to feel good. Enjoying a pistachio ice cream while soaking up the views of Brighton is certainly an experience worth having on the pier.

Opening hours: Gates are open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily.
Entrance: Free

Coffee at Marwood Bar & Coffeehouse

A place which truly showcases the quirky and edgy vibes of Brighton, slurp down superb specialty coffee, tea, and cakes at Marwood Bar & Coffeehouse. Walk into a hidden treasure of eclectic trinkets with mannequin parts, posters galore, a fake shark head. . .and then you’ll just have to visit to find out the rest.

Plus, in true Brighton fashion, there’s also a music venue upstairs and colorful outdoor seating in a tucked away alley.

Their cappuccino is brilliant with thoughtful latte art to sum it up. Plus, they serve some pretty delicious brownies to go with the coffee.

Opening Hours:

Monday – 8am – 7pm
Tuesday – 8am – 11pm
Wednesday – 8am – 11pm
Thursday – 8am – 11pm
Friday – 8am – 11pm
Saturday – 9am – 11pm
Sunday – 10am – 7pm

Check out their menu here.

LGBTQ+ Walking Tour ‘Piers & Queers’

Brighton has long been recognized as the Gay Capital of the UK with rainbow flags scattered throughout the city, a huge gay pride festival every year, and queer-friendly nightclubs; those are just the highlights.

If you’re intrigued to learn more about how Brighton became the city it is today, book the LGBTQ+ ‘Piers & Queers’ walking tour, taking you through the city as you discover 200 years of history in under two hours.

The tour lasts 90 minutes and starts at Regency Square. There is limited capacity with only a maximum of 10 people per tour, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Tour Hours: Most Wednesdays – Sundays 1pm, on request
Price: £35 per person

The Lanes

Brighton is packed full of character and charm, and The Lanes are a prime example. Wander through The Lanes of Brighton and discover quaint cafés, vinyl record stores, art galleries, vintage shops, and cozy bookstores all nestled among the walls of 16th century architecture.

One of the best experiences I’ve had at The Lanes was stumbling on a record store and scoring a vintage vinyl of Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special—My favorite! I celebrated my wonderful victory with pints at a cozy beer garden around the corner.

You can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring these streets, making pit stops at small shops and beer gardens along the way. It’s certainly one of the best things to do in Brighton.

Brighton Beach

Soak up some sun or walk along the shoreline at Brighton Beach. Located next to the pier, this lovely pebbled beach is a great spot for sunbathing, gathering with friends, or looking for seashells. Plus, bars and clubs keep the waterfront lively well into the night.

Though it may not always be ideal weather to slip into your swimsuit, it’s still a popular meeting spot for friends, families, and lovers. It’s nice to come and get some sun, stare out at the water, and immerse yourself with the good company.

Royal Pavilion

Once a royal residence for the Prince of Wales, this palace is striking with its white onion domes and minarets, built over 200 years ago. Visitors are welcome to tour the interior and learn more about the fascinating history of the Brighton Palace. Discover the intricate ceilings and chandeliers of the Music Room, explore a 19th century royal kitchen, get a close look at the prince’s treasures, and so much more.

Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily.
Entrance: £15.50 for adults, £9.50 for children 5-18, £7.75 for Brighton & Hove residents
Pro tip: Arrive early to avoid crowds as it can get busy during the afternoons.

The Preston Park Rockery

Venture out of Brighton’s city centre and head to the city’s most beautiful park called the Preston Park Rockery, also known as the Rock Gardens. The park is so loved that it was even named the Best Park in England in 2016. However, it’s still quite the hidden gem; a lot of tourists still don’t know about this delightful hideaway.

So, what’s so special about the Rock Gardens? This small two-acre park is the largest municipal rock garden in the UK and is filled with ponds and rock paths, along with 25,000 English bluebells, making it a garden of biodiversity with a variety of insects and birds.

It’s a dream to come and wander around the rock paths, discovering cosy spots to sit and soak up Brighton’s nature. An afternoon here should certainly be on your Brighton bucket list.

The Preston Park Rockery is open all day, every day and entrance is free. You can walk or take the train to London Road Brighton Station.

Catch the sunset at Brighton Beach

Catching the sunset at Brighton Beach is one of the best things to do in Brighton. Play cards, tell stories, and soak up the ambiance while you watch the sun setting over the English Channel. You can even invite your new travel buddies from Selina to join!

Remember to check the sunset times while you are visiting. In summer, the sun sets in Brighton around 9pm most days.

How to Get to Brighton

From London: The best way to get to Brighton from London is by train. The main operators to Brighton are Thameslink and Southern. Conveniently, there are trains about every 10 minutes.

London Victoria to Brighton – 52 minutes direct
London Bridge to Brighton – 58 minutes direct
London St. Pancras to Brighton – 1 hour 16 minutes direct
Its close distance and frequent train times make a weekend in Brighton an ideal trip from London.

From Europe: You can either take a train into the UK via Eurostar or book a flight.

By train: Take the Eurostar to London St. Pancras and then transfer over to a direct train to Brighton from the same station.

By plane: The best airport to fly into when traveling to Brighton is London Gatwick. It’s an easy 30-minute train ride into the city.

Where to stay in Brighton

Selina is a travel hub for creative locals, digital nomads, and wanderers from around the globe. Their quirky-cool Brighton location offers a variety of accommodation options from stylish ensuites to comfortable community rooms with private curtains and storage.

Selina isn’t just like a regular hotel or hostel! With a room for every budget, they attract a diverse crowd so whether you’re staying productive at the cowork or having a beer at the bar, it’s a great base for getting to know like-minded people. On-site features include a gorgeous sea view restaurant, comfortable co-work spaces, a quirky bar, a late-night venue, and even a cozy movie room!

Brighton FAQ

What can you do for free in Brighton? There are plenty of free things to do in Brighton. Walk along Brighton Beach, visit the Brighton Palace Pier, or wander The Lanes or Preston Park Rockery.

What is there to see in Brighton? Brighton is a popular destination in England. The Royal Pavilion, Brighton Beach, Brighton Palace Pier with rides, restaurants, and entertainment, plus the colorful Hove Beach Huts are just a few of the things to see in Brighton.

How far is Brighton from London? London Victoria to Brighton takes approximately 52 minutes.

Where can I go in Brighton at night? Visit bars and nightclubs along the beach, go on a fun-filled pub crawl, watch the sunset, or catch a show at the Brighton Music Hall.

Is Brighton worth visiting? Absolutely, yes! From its quirky culture and interesting architecture to its lovely beach and pier, Brighton is an amazing city to visit in England.

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