A day in Brighton: how to have a wonderful day trip

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by

Brighton is a small seaside town just an hour away from London and is a top-rated summer destination. If you are thinking about spending a day in Brighton read my travel guide and discover the best things to do and see in this pretty, colorful, British town.

BRIGHTON AT A GLANCE

Why visit Brighton? Well, the first reason should be distance: it is only 1h away from London and to be honest, doesn’t have a lot in common with the British capital. What should you know before deciding to do this day trip or weekend getaway:

  • Brighton is a seaside town. If you love spending time on the beach, swimming, jogging or just enjoying the sun (and the weather is good too) this is for you
  • Brighton is the LGBT capital of the UK. You can find here one of the most significant LGBT communities in the UK. In the “gay capital” of England, you can find many gay bars and pubs and if you visit during August enjoy the famous Pride Parade.
  • It is also considered to be the “vegetarian capital of the UK.” If you are vegetarian, don’t forget to try some of Brighton’s many amazing vegetarian restaurants.
  • It has a unique vibe. In 3 words I would describe Brighton as fun, vibrant, artsy. Blame the colorful beach huts, the stylish restaurants or the vintage flea market. This town is special!

BRIGHTON IN ONE DAY? 6 TOP-RATED TOURIST ATTRACTIONS  

Ideally, I would recommend spending two or more days in this town as they are so many things to see and do. If you do have only one day and you have decided this day in Brighton, these are the top attractions.

#1. BRIGHTON’S BEACH

brighton beach in april
Brighton is a seaside town, and of course, the no.1 thing to see and enjoy is the long beach. You can’t miss it!

I was fortunate; even though I visited Brighton in the wintertime, the weather was great, and the sun was shining. I had a couple of Spritz in the cafeteria of British Airways i360 and a nice beautiful long walk on the beach. I guess that in the summer there is going to be much more going here, but it was pleasant to visit even during April!

#2. BRITISH AIRWAYS i360brighton airways i360

I wanted to go. This relatively new observation tower definitely can offer some fantastic panoramas of the city. I was lucky, there weren’t a lot of people during my visit, but unfortunately, I said, “I will visit this later in the day” and this later, never happened 🙁

brighton sightseeing

British Airways i360 costs £16.50 (around 19€), and you can buy it from the official website. Get Your Guide platform sells these tickets too herethe cost is the same + they offer free cancellation + you can pay with PayPal. If you are visiting Brighton during the summer months, booking ahead is a must. If you have only a day in Brighton, don’t spend your precious time waiting in the queue!

#3. THE PIER

pier

Brighton’s Pier is one of Britain’s top attractions. Built by George Moore, this 1,722 long pier is in the middle of Brighton’s coastline and has free entrance. That means that you don’t have to enter the Pier! It has a pretty vintage style, late Victorian, it is 120 years old, and it has a lot of attractions like trampolines, slot machines, carousels, bars, etc.

I went to the Pier during the evening, was heading to the bar and it was lovely, enjoyed some fantastic views and fresh air. If you have kids, Brighton’s Pier is a must-visit.

#4. THE ROYAL PAVILION

royal pavilion

I loved the Royal Pavilion because it is something that you don’t expect to see in a typical British seaside town. It looks and feels a little bit out of place, and that is what makes it so unique.

This 19th-century palace is stunning and a top attraction in Brighton. It is in the middle of a beautiful park full of flowers, and you can actually, sit and relax. It was built for George IV in 1811 and was used to be a seaside palace, but it has also been used as a hospital in WWI and as a civic building.

The Royal Pavilion is considered being not only Brighton’s Top Attraction but also one of Europe’s most extravagant and eccentric buildings.

If you think that looks very “Indian” you are right: King George had the place build with this Indian Style in the outside and Chinese style in the inside. This is how they were interpreting at that time East. Not bad, eh?

#5. THE LANES

lanes district in brighton fountain in lanes area

Once you are finished with the Royal Pavilion, you can continue exploring the Lanes district. This is the cutest shopping district in Brighton: many lovely, eccentric shops, design boutiques, antique shops, and jewelry shops can be found in the Lanes.

There are many narrow pedestrian lanes; let yourself wander and do some shopping! I loved the atmosphere and the vibe of this area. If you are looking to buy tea try Whittard of Chelsea. The staff are so kind, and you can try the drinks for free before you decide which one to buy.hav

#6. THE NORTH LANES

The North Lanes is another district in Brighton worth to visit. I would call this area “vibrant,” “vintage” and “unique.”

north_lanes_brighton

Hundreds of cafes, pubs, vintage shops reflect the bohemian character of the North Lanes. I firmly believe that if you a bit of time in this flea market you can find a lot of hidden gems!

Take your time and enjoy a coffee in the sun, buy vegan leather shoes or explore the stunning graffitis.

 

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FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SPENDING A DAY IN BRIGHTON

I love it, and I would visit again and again. This city made me feel calm, relaxed and I have no negative things to say about this trip.

There are many many things to do in Brighton if you have time. If you have only 24hours I recommend though to stick to a simple walking tour.

Don’t forget to eat fish & chips! Regency Restaurant is the oldest seafood restaurant and has fantastic views. It may look a bit “touristic” but the service is excellent and the food delicious!

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