Brighton things to do

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Brighton Pier

Price guide: Free
#2/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for Fun -
Expert overall rating:4.9 (out of 5)

This is unbeatable for thrills, spills and old-fashioned fairground fun.

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Brighton Beach

Price guide: Free
#3/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for First-time visitors -
Expert overall rating:4.9 (out of 5)

OK, so it’s not very sandy. But it’s long, lively and loads of fun.

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North Laine

Price guide: Free
#4/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for Posing -
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

Cutting-edge street art and one-of-a-kind shops make this Brighton’s most characterful quarter.

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The Lanes

Price guide: Free
#5/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for Romance -
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

This is a lucky dip of ancient alleyways with some great little shops and cafés.

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Yellowave

Price guide: Expensive
#6/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for Families -
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Another Brighton first - this is the UK’s only all-year beach sports venue, with a great café.

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#7/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

This is one of the very best ways to enjoy all that healthy Brighton sea air.

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Hove Esplanades

Price guide: Free
#8/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for Chilling out -
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Regency terraces provide an elegant backdrop to this civilised stretch of seafront.

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Kemptown

Price guide: Free
#9/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Raffish, colourful and fun, this district feels like an overgrown seaside village.

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The South Downs

Price guide: Free
#10/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for Escapists -
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Britain’s newest national park is a wonderful retreat for walkers, riders and mountain bikers.

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Hove Lagoon

Price guide: Expensive
#11/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for Watersports -
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

This is a great spot for would-be sailors and windsurfers to learn the ropes.

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#12/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Best for History -
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

This is the brightest and best of the city’s museums.

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#13/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Grab an ice-cream, sink into a deckchair and enjoy some seaside nostalgia.

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Sea Life Centre

Price guide: Expensive
#14/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Sidle up to sharks, turtles and rays in this upbeat attraction.

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#15/15
expert-rated things to do in Brighton
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

This cute little seaside train is a must for vintage railway buffs.

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Showing 14 results
Set focus

Whatever your reason for taking time off in Brighton - be it a romantic escape, a hectic stag or hen party, a full-on shopping trip or a laidback visit with friends - you’re bound to be drawn towards the seafront. There’s something magical about those huge, open views of sea and sky - I look forward to it whenever I’m heading back into town after some time away. Visitors have been inspired by this breezy and invigorating stretch of coast for well over two centuries, so it’s no surprise that most of the city’s main attractions are clustered on and around Brighton Beach.

Brighton’s quite a party town - you’ll find details of the best places for eating, drinking, shopping and entertainment on my Brighton cafés and restaurants, Shopping in Brighton and Brighton nightlife pages - but it has cultural credibility too, with some brilliant museums, an impressive modern library (not in my Top 15, but well worth a visit while you're in the North Laine area), an outstanding annual arts festival (Brighton Festival, www.brightonfestival.org) and a unique historic palace, the Royal Pavilion.

It’s also a great place to enjoy the open air - swimming, sunbathing, beach barbecues and watersports are a real pleasure in the summer months, when meetings, motor rallies and sporting events crowd the seafront with colour; cycling, walking and beach sports are fun at any time of year. The city’s varied architecture, from the grand Regency terraces of Hove and Kemptown to the quirky flint-walled cottages of The Lanes, makes urban wanderings intriguing. Much of this enjoyment comes completely free.

How I’ve picked my things to do: 

In my Top 15, I’ve included all the attractions I wouldn’t want you to miss, plus a few that you might never have thought of. Get creative, venture off the beaten track and you’ll make plenty more discoveries of your own.

Set focus

In my Top 15, I’ve included all the attractions I wouldn’t want you to miss, plus a few that you might never have thought of. Get creative, venture off the beaten track and you’ll make plenty more discoveries of your own.