21 Must-see Brighton attractions

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If you close your eyes and think of Brighton, you will straight away see Brighton Palace Pier and seagulls flying over the seafront in your mind. But this quirky city offers much more than that. There are many gorgeous places to visit in Brighton – you will be spoilt for choice. This seaside resort has something to please everyone. It has the perfect activities for those looking for an exciting day trip. It is also an excellent option for those who want to spend a few days relaxing by the shore. Due to its close proximity to London, you can explore attractions in Brighton less than an hour after boarding a train from London Victoria station.

 It is easy to see why this coastal city is one of the most popular destinations in England. The city offers a perfect combination of vibrant life and laid-back beach vibes. Because of that, a day trip to Brighton is one of the best day trips from London.

21 Must-see attractions in Brighton

Here are some of the best places to visit in Brighton.

 

1. Sea Life Brighton

Did you know that Sea Life Brighton is the oldest operating aquarium in the world? Yes, that is right, Sea Life Brighton is one of the best attractions in Brighton because there is plenty to discover.

attractions in Brighton: Sea Life Brighton is one of the best attractions in Brighton because it is the oldest operating aquarium in the world. What's more, this beautiful aquarium has the longest underwater observation tunnel in England. Because of that visiting Sea Life in Brighton is one of the best things to do in Brighton.

Sea Life Brighton is a beautifully restored Victorian Arcade near the iconic Palace Pier. It is home to over 5,000 creatures, including sharks, turtles, stingrays and other local and marine life. But that is not all – this beautiful aquarium has even England’s longest underwater observation tunnel. Take a walk in an underwater tunnel and see the sharks and stingrays swimming overhead. Afterwards, exploring the underwater world, float above sea creatures in a glass bottom boat. Learn about the types of fish that live in the tank. Also, do not miss the latest attraction, Day and Night, and experience a coral reef as it moves through the day into night.

Visiting Sea Life Brighton is, by all means, one of the best things to do in Brighton with kids. This family-friendly attraction is also one of the best places to visit in Brighton when raining.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Sea Life Brighton is one of the most popular Brighton attractions. Hence, it is well worth pre-booking your tickets.

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places to visit in Brighton

2. British Airways i360

attractions in Brighton: The British Airways i360 deserves to be on the list of the best places to visit in Brighton because it is one of the main tourist attractions in Brighton. Moreover, the British Airways i360 has become the world’s tallest moving observation tower and it is home to the highest bar on the South Coast.

The British Airways i360 also deserves to be on a list of the best places to visit in Brighton. It’s because it is one of the main tourist attractions in Brighton and on the south coast. What makes i360 unique is its giant glass pod moving to 138 metres (450 feet). This impressive doughnut-shaped observation deck opened in 2016 and replaced the Brighton Wheel.

best things to do in Brighton: Visiting the British Airways i360 is one of the top things to do in Brighton because this seafront tower is Britain’s first ‘vertical pier’ and the first vertical cable car. Moreover, if you are not scared of heights, the i360 offers a thrilling skywalk on the i360. Alternatively, there are other thrill-seeking experiences, such as drop 360 or you can climb to the very top of the i360 tower.

The views from the futuristic i360 tower are pretty impressive.

The British Airways i360 has become the world’s tallest moving observation tower. It is home to the highest bar on the South Coast, which means you can have a drink up in the sky. The ride lasts up to 30 minutes and offers the best views of the town and the coast. From here, spot the famous Brighton attractions, such as the West Pier and the Brighton Palace Pier. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Seven Sisters cliffs and the Isle of Wight.

Visiting the British Airways i360 is one of the top things to do in Brighton. It is because this seafront tower is Britain’s first ‘vertical pier’ and the first vertical cable car. Moreover, if you are not scared of heights, the i360 offers a thrilling skywalk on the i360. This pulse-racing experience allows you to climb out on the roof of the viewing pod and walk above the beach. Alternatively, there are other thrill-seeking experiences, such as drop 360 (138-metre controlled descent), or you can climb to the very top of the i360 tower.

 

3. Brighton Palace Pier

places to visit in Brighton: The Brighton Palace Pier is one of the best places to visit in Brighton because it is one of the major landmarks in the UK. The Brighton Palace Pier is one of the best attractions in Brighton because it offers the best views of the city. What's more, it has both historical points of interest and is an entertainment hub.

No trip to Brighton would be complete without a visit to the Brighton Pier. The Palace Pier is one of the best attractions in Brighton because it is one of the major landmarks in the UK. It is because the Brighton Palace Pier has both historical points of interest and is an entertainment hub. Moreover, this long pier pushes out into the English Channel for half a kilometre. It offers some of the best views of the city.

The iconic Brighton Palace Pier, dating back to the Victorian era, has witnessed wild storms and beating wars. Today, it is one of the top attractions in the South-East and an unmissable stop for everyone visiting the city.

Stroll along the pier and enjoy breathtaking views of the English coastline. Buy some food in one of the traditional seaside stalls, but be careful – a hungry seagull might try to steal your delicious snack. Spend the afternoon playing games at the arcades and find a cannon from the “Chain Pier”. It is the only remnants of the previous Victorian pier, which washed away in a storm more than 125 years ago. Afterwards, get your adrenaline flowing on one of the stomach-turning fairground rides. You can find them at the end of the pier. An amusement park with fairground rides makes the Brighton Palace Pier one of the best places to visit in Brighton if you are in the city with youngsters.

GOOD TO KNOW:

If you plan to go on the rides, purchase a wristband with unlimited rides in advance and save up to 25%. Wristbands have different prices for weekdays and weekends. Hence, make sure you buy the right one.

TIP:

Find one of the deck chairs – they are free to use.

 

4. Upside Down House in Brighton

attractions in Brighton: The Upside Down House is one of the best unusual attractions in Brighton because it is one of the best curiosities in the city. Moreover, the Upside Down House is not only a fun attraction but also an out-of-this-world experience where you can walk on the ceiling and perform a headstand in the toilet bowl. Because of that, visiting the Upside Down House is one of the unique places to visit in Brighton.

The Upside Down House – one of Brighton’s best curiosities.

If you are more interested in visiting unusual Brighton attractions, it’s worth popping into the Upside Down House. Yes, you are quite right to think that everything in this house is upside down. Prepare yourself for an out-of-this-world experience where you can walk on the ceiling and perform a headstand in the toilet bowl. Visiting the Upside Down House is one of the unique places to visit in Brighton. It is a fun attraction not only for kids but adults also.

 

5. Brighton Beach

attractions in Brighton: Brighton beach is one of the top attractions in Brighton because it is one of the most famous beaches in the UK. This beautiful beach has certified Blue Flag waters and a 4-mile promenade.

You might not be surprised to learn that Brighton is a popular city beach break destination in England. Brighton seafront is legendary – there are numerous beaches, which have different types of attractions for the whole family to enjoy.

Brighton beach is one of the top attractions in Brighton because it is one of the most famous beaches in the UK. What’s more, Brighton beach has certified Blue Flag waters and a 4-mile promenade. This beautiful beach is famous as London’s beach because many people flock here from London.

The seafront is legendary in the city - there are numerous beaches, which have different types of attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Even though all beaches consist solely of pebbles, they are very popular with sunbathers and those who enjoy water sports. Relax on the beach, swim or try water sports, such as stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking or windsurfing.

Even though all beaches consist solely of pebbles, they are very popular with sunbathers and those who enjoy water sports. Relax on the beach, swim or try water sports, such as stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking or windsurfing. Alternatively, grab your sunscreen, rent a striped deck chair and watch the sunset.

beach attractions in the city

There are numerous bars and restaurants lining Brighton beach where you can grab a refreshing drink or a snack. You will also find some traditional seaside shops, artist studios and places where you can rent a kayak or paddleboard. In the evening, bars and clubs keep the waterfront alive after dark. The club scene is famous here – clubs and bars on the seafront attract visitors from far and wide.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Expect crowds on Bank Holidays and on the warm weekend during the summer.

 

6. Brighton promenade

best things to do in Brighton: One of the best things to do in Brighton has to be strolling the promenade. The Brighton promenade is one of the best places to visit in Brighton because it stretches for the entire length of the city’s waterfront and provides uninterrupted views of the English Channel. Here you can spot the famous attractions in Brighton, such as i360, the Brighton Palace pier or the Brighton Zip.

One of the first things to do in Brighton has to be strolling the promenade. The promenade, located just next to the beach at the road level, is one of the best places to visit in Brighton and for good reasons. Brighton promenade gives the city its unique identity. It stretches for the entire length of the city’s waterfront and provides uninterrupted views of the English Channel. Here you can spot the famous attractions in Brighton, such as i360, the Brighton Palace pier or the Brighton Zip. Don’t miss the skeleton of the West Pier and the Upside Down House. If you decide to walk all the way to Hove, you can also see colourful Beach Huts.

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7. Undercliff Walk in Brighton

Many tourists who visit the city want to see only the top attractions in Brighton, such as the famous pier and the promenade. However, this rainbow city offers much more. After exploring the city’s highlights, find time for the Undercliff Walk.

The Undercliff Walk is one of the off-the-beaten-path Brighton attractions – popular among the locals. According to TripAdvisor, it is the seventh-best attraction in Brighton. It is perfect if you are looking for an escape to nature. The Undercliff Walk hugs the base of the cliffs and offers beautiful views of the English Chanel. The lucky ones may spot some coast wildlife, such as seals and seagulls.

This flat promenade traces its way from Brighton Marina to Saltdean. It is a part of the city’s coast defences, which protect the cliffs from erosion. The Undercliff Walk is just over 5 km long and is ideal for walking, cycling and wheelchair users.

 

8. The Royal Pavilion in Brighton

attractions in Brighton: The Royal Pavilion is one of the most famous attractions in Brighton because this grade I listed building, with an oriental appearance, is one of the most exotic buildings in the UK. Some even call it the Taj Mahal of Brighton. Because of that seeing, the Royal Pavillion is one of the best things to do in Brighton.

You cannot visit Brighton without seeing the Royal Pavilion. The Royal Pavilion is one of the most famous attractions in Brighton because this extravagant palace is eye-catching. Yes, that is right, this palace with ornate roof domes and minarets has an oriental feel. Some even call it the Taj Mahal of Brighton.

FUN FACT:

Some say that Adolf Hitler gave his bombers instructions not to bomb it. He planned to use it as his holiday home after World War 2.

places to visit in Brighton: The Brighton Royal Pavilion is one of the best places to visit in Brighton because this famous attraction in the city is one of the most exotic buildings in the UK. This eye-catching oriental palace is also world-famous as the Taj Mahal of Brighton. The Brighton Royal Pavilion is a grade I listed building and it was once a holiday home for the Prince of Wales in the 18th century.

This Indian-inspired seaside palace was once a holiday home for the Prince of Wales in the 18th century. Today the Royal Pavilion is one of the best places to visit in Brighton. This grade I listed building, with an oriental appearance, is one of the most exotic buildings in the UK. On a guided tour, visit the Banqueting Room, the Royal Bedrooms and the Great kitchen. Find out more about George’s diet, visit restored gardens and Royal Collection items from Buckingham Palace.

TIP:

The Royal Pavilion has a secret tunnel which links it with Brighton Dome – it was once King George’s IV riding stable. Special tours of the tunnel and a basement run on certain days (not part of the standard tour).

GOOD TO KNOW:

 You can find the Royal Pavilion not far from the seafront.

 

9. Beach Box Spa

If you are looking for unusual attractions in Brighton, then Beach Box Spa might be for you. Beach Box Spa are three mobile wood-fired saunas – they replicate the traditional Scandinavian-style sauna experience. You can find them on a secluded stretch of Brighton beach.

Beach Box Spa is one of the unusual Brighton attractions – it is perfect if you need some relaxation. This beautiful healing sanctuary offers not only a standard sauna experience but also full-body salt scrubs and massage leaf whisks. You can cool down in the sea between the sauna sessions or pre-order ice baths. Relaxing at Beach Box Spa is a quirky experience and, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Brighton.

 

10. Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Those who want to learn more about Brighton’s history and culture should stop at the nearby Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. It lies within the Royal Pavilion estate in the Royal Pavilion Garden.

It is hard to believe that this building with beautiful arches and minaret was planned to be the Prince Regent’s tennis court. Today it is home to the Brighton Museum. It houses a collection of decorative arts and various exhibits ranging from ancient artefacts to fine art, film and fashion. You can also see many personal pieces from King George IV.

 

11. The Lanes in Brighton

places to visit in Brighton: The Lanes are one of the best places to visit in Brighton because they are one of the oldest parts of the city. Brighton Lanes are famous for a labyrinth of narrow streets with small independent shops, trendy cafes and legendary jewellers. What's more, the Lanes are one of the best places to dine in Brighton. Because of that, exploring Brighton Lanes is one of the best things to do in Brighton.

The Lanes – Brighton’s maze of narrow alleyways.

A short walk from the seafront is the Lanes – the bohemian district that will keep you occupied for hours. The Lanes are one of the best places to visit in Brighton because they have something to please everyone. The Lanes are not only a popular part of Brighton & Hove but also one of the oldest parts of the city. The parts of the Lanes date back to the late 16th century when Brighton was a small fishing town.

The Lanes are famous for a labyrinth of narrow streets and hidden squares with small independent shops, trendy cafes and legendary jewellers. The Lanes are also one of the best places to dine in Brighton. The twisting lanes house vintage boutiques, record stores and also bookshops.

Don’t miss the North Laine – it is a shopping area which offers the largest selection of independent shops on the South Coast. The North Laine covers less than half a square mile, and you can find more than 300 shops in this shopping district. You can find it between Brighton railway station and the Royal Pavilion.

 

12. Brighton Marina

Did you know that the Brighton Marina is the largest marina in the UK? Yes, that is right, this man-made harbour is also one of the largest marinas in Europe. It lies in the east of the city and is the leading lifestyle destination in Brighton. Because of that, the Brighton Marina is one of the top attractions in Brighton.

Thousands of boats come to dock here because the Brighton Marina has easy access to open water. It is also a perfect starting point for exploring the South Coast of England. The marina is not only a working harbour but also has a large resident population and a variety of leisure. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around the harbour where you can watch the yachts sail by. The Brighton Marina is also home to a multiscreen cinema, a bowling alley, a casino and a glow-in-the-dark indoor golf course. Outdoor enthusiasts can rent a jet ski or go on a boat trip to see Brighton attractions from different angles.

GOOD TO KNOW:

The Volks Electric Railway runs between Brighton seafront and Black Rock Station near Brighton Marina from March to October.

 

13. Volk’s Electric Railway

Another iconic thing you cannot miss is Volk’s Electric Railway. Volk’s Electric Railway is one of the unique attractions in Brighton because it is the oldest operational electric railway in the world. The historic train with small carriages runs up and down the coast and offers beautiful views of the English Channel. The route runs for one mile along Brighton seafront and has three stations. The train line runs between the Aquarium station (near the Palace Pier), Paston Place and Black Pool, which is not far from Brighton Marina. And the best is that you do not need to book – just turn up and ride.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Trains run from March until October.

 

14. Brighton West Pier

attractions in Brighton: Even though you can't visit the West Pier, it is still one of the best attractions in Brighton. Although West Pier is in ruins, it is one of the most photographed buildings in Brighton. But that is not all, Brighton West Pier is a Grade I listed building and observant of wildlife might spot cormorants on the skeleton of the remaining metal structure. Because of that, seeing Brighton West Pier is one of the best things to do in Brighton.

Unlike other cities, Brighton is home to not one pier but two. Even though the West Pier is now in ruins, it is still one of the best attractions in Brighton. Brighton West Pier was the second of Brighton’s three piers. It is older than the Palace Pier but younger than collapsed Chain Pier. It is hard to believe that this Grade I listed building had a concert hall and theatre, which could seat more than 1000 people. Today you can only admire the remains of the burned West Pier, which fell into despair and burned down. All you can see is just a skeleton of the remaining metal structure offshore, which gets torn away during storms.

Although the West Pier is now in ruins, it is one of the most photographed buildings in Brighton.

 

15. Brighton Fishing Museum

attractions in Brighton: The Brighton Fishing Museum is one of the unique attractions in Brighton because fishing has great importance to the city. The Brighton Fishing Museum has a rich heritage and character. Its exhibition includes boats, fishing artefacts, colourful signs and historic photos from decades ago.

Also, stop at the Brighton Fishing Museum, which you can find at the Brighton waterfront directly south of the Old Ship Hotel. You may not know it, but the Brighton Fishing Museum is one of the unique attractions in Brighton. Even though the museum is small, it has great importance to the city. The Brighton Fishing Museum has a rich heritage and character. The exhibition includes boats, fishing artefacts, colourful signs and historic photos from decades ago. Admission is free, but you can make a small donation at the door.

Brighton attractions: The Brighton fishing museum is one of the unusual Brighton attractions because this small independent museum allows you to learn more about ancient fishing history in the area. What's more, the entrance to the Brighton fishing museum is free of charge.

TIP:

Buy locally caught fish from working fishermen.

 

16. Old Police Cells Museum in Brighton

It is easy to see why the Old Police Cells Museum is one of the unique attractions in Brighton. As the name suggests, this quirky museum is set in the old police cells. The Old Police Cells Museum offers an educational and entertaining insight into the history of policing from 1830 in Sussex. Once inside, you can learn about crime and punishment in the Victorian era. Hear about some of the most famous criminal cases and see graffiti in some of the old cells. Don’t miss the policeman’s washrooms and uniform store areas and learn more about the IRA bombing of the nearby Grand Hotel in 1984. Even though the museum is small, it is well worth a visit if you want to learn more about the city’s criminal past. Former police officers run guided tours.

The Old Police Cells Museum is one of the unique places to visit in Brighton because it shows the evolution of policing in Sussex. Moreover, you can wander through the cells that used to hold the criminals.

GOOD TO KNOW:

You can find the Old Police Cells Museum in the basement of Brighton Town Hall in the heart of the city centre. Right now, tours are only on Saturdays 10.30 am – 12.30 pm (£3).

 

17. Brighton Pride

Did you know that Brighton has one of the largest LGBT communities in the United Kingdom? Yes, that is right, this seaside resort on the south coast of England is, according to many, the unofficial gay capital of the UK. The LGBT history in Brighton dates back to the early 19th century, and today it is one of the best rainbow cities in the UK. But that is not all – Brighton is world-famous for Brighton Pride – it is the largest pride festival in the UK. Visiting Brighton Pride is one of the best attractions in Brighton because this summer festival promotes equality and diversity and eliminates discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community. The incredible atmosphere and unusual costumes with rainbows and glitter everywhere are just some of the reasons why Brighton Pride is so famous.

Thousands of people celebrate this summer festival during the first week of August. This annual event is a three-day celebration, and many consider it one of the best Pride festivals in the world. While a parade through the city centre is free, you need to purchase a ticket for the rest of the festival.

GOOD TO KNOW:

The Kemptown area (St James Street and the roads around it) is where you can find the most of city’s gay bars, gay shops and gay clubs. This area is officially known as Brighton’s gay village.

 

18. Devil’s Dyke

places to visit in Brighton: Devil’s Dyke is one of the popular places to visit in Brighton because this natural sight is perfect for hiking. What makes Devil’s Dyke unique is that the Dyke valley is the longest, deepest and widest dry valley in the UK. This famous beauty spot in the South Downs National Park is also ideal for a dog walk.

If you prefer hiking, then take time to explore Brighton’s nearby rolling hills. Just a few miles out of the city, you can find Devil’s Dyke. Devil’s Dyke is one of the popular places to visit in Brighton because this natural sight is perfect for hiking. What makes Devil’s Dyke unique is that the Dyke valley is the longest, deepest and widest dry valley in the UK. This famous beauty spot in the South Downs National Park is also ideal for a dog walk. It also offers beautiful views of the English countryside.

 

19. Seven Sisters Country Park

places to visit in Brighton: The Seven Sisters are one of the best attractions in Brighton because these cliffs are one of England’s great natural wonders. They are a part of the South Downs National Park and are famous for many hiking trails and incredible wildlife. Moreover, the Seven Sister’s Country Park offers beautiful views of the English Channel and the countryside. Because of that, the Seven Sisters are one of the top places to visit in Brighton.

Whatever you do, do not leave without visiting the Seven Sisters Country Park. Why are the Seven Sisters one of the best attractions in Brighton? It is because these white chalk sea cliffs are one of England’s great natural wonders. Seven towering seaside cliffs are a part of the South Downs National Park. This magnificent stretch of coastline between Seaford and Eastbourne is famous for many hiking trails and incredible wildlife. Moreover, the Seven Sister’s Country Park offers breathtaking views of the English Channel and the surrounding countryside. Birling Gap, Beachy Head, Cuckmere Haven and Seaford Head are some of the best places to visit.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Those who arrive in Brighton by train can hop on a Seven Sisters cliff tour from Brighton.

 

20. A Day trip from Brighton to Worthing

best things to do in Brighton: Spending a day in Worthing is one of the best things to do in Brighton because you can find in the town one of the largest Iron Age hill forts in Britain and the only replica of the Sistine Chapel in the world. Worthing has also award-winning beaches, one of the oldest cinemas in Britain, and a beautiful pier.

Would you like to see the world’s only replica of the Sistine Chapel? Then head to nearby Worthing, which you can find just a short drive away from Brighton. Brighton’s less fashionable neighbour is considerably smaller, but it offers an excellent day trip from the city. Worthing is one of the largest seaside towns on the South Coast. It has award-winning beaches, one of the oldest cinemas in Britain, and a beautiful pier. You can find here one of the largest Iron Age hill forts in Britain and also the only replica of the Sistine Chapel in the world. Because of that, spending a day in Worthing is one of the best things to do in Brighton.

READ MORE:

The best things to do in Worthing

best attractions in Worthing. Things to do in Worthing. Places to visit in Worthing, West Sussex.

 

21. Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton

If you prefer to explore another museum, you can pop into the Booth Museum of Natural History. As the name suggests, this museum displays a collection of animals and birds. In fact, the Booth Museum of Natural History has one of the largest collections of stuffed animals in Britain. Here you can also see fossils, minerals and a collection of insects and skeletons. You can even see a fossilized Dodo bird in the museum. Because of that, the Booth Museum of Natural History is one of the best places to visit in Brighton. The Booth Museum of Natural History is free to visit.

 

Now you know what the best attractions in Brighton are!

places to visit in Brighton

Have you been to Brighton in East Sussex? Did we miss anything? Please let us know in the comments below. If you like our post, please save it to Pinterest.

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