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Brighton is now officially a place I love. Located in Sussex on the south coast of England, it’s also the perfect day trip from London. If you like quirky streets and shops, street art, cafe culture and being in a place where literally anything goes, then Brighton is gonna push all your buttons and leave you skipping along in a hyped up state. It’s the perfect place for wandering around and soaking in the sites without having to spend much at all.
I spent just one day there but it would also be the perfect place for a longer break. There’s plenty of accommodation available from budget hotels such as Travelodge, Holiday Inns and Jury’s Inn, as well as hostels for a super cheap stay. But if you only have a day, then it’s easy to reach by train from London or by car.
Train – check for cheap tickets on thetrainline.com and book in advance where possible. Be prepared to be flexible with train times too and you should hopefully be able to get a good price
Coach – National Express coaches offer coaches to Brighton and from just doing a quick search you get a return ticket from London for about £20. As with the train, the more in advance you can book, the better.
Car – Parking in Brighton is expensive. Like £30 for the day expensive. So to avoid this, your best bet is to park a little out of the city centre in a residential area with free street parking. It might take a bit of hunting but it’s worth it!
Budget Friendly Things to Do in Brighton
Explore the North Laines
These streets are full of quirky second hand and vintage shops ranging from books and clothes to records and army memorabilia. It’s the perfect place to window shop have a dig through loads of old cool stuff. It’s also a great place to grab a beer or bite to eat in one of the many independent cafes and bars.
Meander through The Lanes
This is a different area to the North Laines but has a similar feel. The streets are smaller and jam packed with beautiful jewellery, clothes, art, restaurants, cafes and wine bars. I had a delicious brunch at The Breakfast Club here that I’m still drooling over but. Just opposite there was a cute looking restaurant called the Giggling Squid serving an amazing Thai menu, as well as the tiny Brighton Burger which looks like it’s been wedged in between the other buildings. There’s something for everyone for sure.
Walk down the Pier
It’s completely free to walk down the pier, and you haven’t been to a British seaside town unless you do. There are arcades along it as well as rides at the end, but if you’re pinching the pennies (like I am) then it’s a great stroll with lush views of the beach. You can also buy the famous British fish and chips here at a similar price as the other chippy’s off the pier.
Enjoy the Beach
Brighton’s beach might not be sandy but it’s still beautiful. The cobbles make for a stunning landscape and the lack of sand makes it far easier to sit on. It’s really clean and you can go for a swim if you really want to. It looked bloody freezing and the water was seriously choppy but there are lifeguards on the beach – just make sure you swim between the flags.
Walk along the seafront
There’s loads of stunning maritime memorabilia and artwork along Brighton’s seafront to look at. Brightonians (yeah, I’ve just made that up) love their city and it’s history and you can really see it here. There are also loads of beachfront restaurants/bars to chill out at and try a local craft beer or 2. You can also see the ruins of the old west pier that was burnt down in 2003.
Spy the Street art, sculptures and street performers
Brighton is an expressive and artistic place for sure. Its liberal attitude is shown all over the city and I love it! Just look around and you’ll see and hear art and live music pretty much everywhere you go.
Chill out next to the Royal Pavillion
Built by King Geoge IV, this palace is certainly extravagant. I adore its almost Indian style architecture with its domes and tall spires in creams and turquoise on the outside. You can go inside the Palace (£13 adult) but its grounds are beautiful to walk around and sit down for a bit, and of course completely free!
Check out the view on the British Airways i360
This is Brighton’s latest tourist attraction and has been built on the idea of it being a verticle pier (or so the website says anyway). I’m a big fan of going to viewpoints but I’ve heard mixed reviews about this one. I didn’t go on it but if you do then book online for a cheaper ticket (£14.40 for adults rather than £16).