Brighton is a seaside resort town on the southern coast of England that’s extremely popular in the summer time with Brits (who rarely ever get to see the sun)! Brighton sees a lot of parties, festivals, and families during the summer. If you are coming in the off season, you won’t find much to do. This is a summer time city.
Hostel prices – Hostels cost about $15-20 USD for a dorm room, and start at $30 USD for a private.
Budget hotel prices – You can stay in a private double room near the city center for about $50 USD per night.
Average cost of food – A week’s worth of groceries will cost between $70-80 USD. If you want to eat out, eat during lunch instead of dinner when there are specials and cheap pub food available. A lunch entrée and drink will cost $12-18 USD. Dinners on average are about $30 USD.
Transportation costs – For a single ride, the bus will cost you $3.75 USD, $3 USD for a ticket within city center limits, or $6 USD for an all day ticket. Tickets can be bought on the bus or in advance through the Brighton and Hove website and pay stations.
Money Saving Tips
Visit the parks and gardens – Brighton offers many parks and gardens that are beautiful to explore during the summer months, and they are free!
Buy an all-day bus ticket – Save money on the bus system, and get an all day bus pass. It will save you about $6 USD per day.
Eat cheap – Eating fish and chips at pubs along the pier will save you money on food. Meals here cost only a few dollars, and while it’s not the healthiest meal around, it’s certainly the cheapest.
Top Things to See and Do
Brighton Pier – This is probably the most famous attraction in the city and provides a great place for a stroll and people watching. It’s particularly beautiful during sunset and sunrise. During the day, lots of people come and hang out here.
Brighton Beach – In the summer months, Brighton beach can get touristy and crowded, so if you can, go early or late in the day (and season) to beat the crowds. It’s the best place to swim, meet people, and get some sun in the city – and maybe in all of England.
The Royal Pavilion – The Pavilion was created in 1823 under the direction of King George IV. It’s a spectacular piece of architecture to visit. There is a ton of pomp and decoration, so you should consider it like the Royal summer house. Admission is around $18 USD.
Go to the Brighton Festival – Every May, Brighton puts on the second biggest art festival in Great Britain. There are a large number of exhibits, rides, and food vendors. People from all over England attend the event so make sure you book accommodation in advance. Plus, the festival is free.
Fabrica – This art gallery is artist-run and owned. It deals mostly with contemporary visual art, which is something I find weird and not very arty. But to each their own, so it makes this list. Admission is free.
Seven Sisters Country Park – This is an enjoyable park to spend a quiet afternoon strolling around. The Seven Sisters Cliffs are the focal point of the park and walking trails and canoeing are located nearby.
St. Anne’s Well Gardens – A beautiful and expansive park near Hove seafront, it offers tennis courts, a children’s area, and beautiful trees and trails to jog or walk. It’s a popular beach alternative.
The Lanes – If you are looking for some awesome window shopping or any specialty purchases, this is a nice place to go. Just a short walk from the sea and the pier, this area is filled with local stores, restaurants, and pubs. The south end is the best area to do your shopping, especially if you are looking for jewelry.
Sealife Center – First founded in 1871, this is the world’s oldest operating aquarium. The many expansions since its original construction include: a conservatory, a reading room, a fernery, a rockery, a cascade, and a roller-skating rink. Concession food is rather expensive here, so try to eat before you go in.
Devil’s Dyke – This valley stretches 7 miles over a beautiful, open landscape, north towards the Wealds and south to the sea. It is the largest dyke in the UK and is part of the Southern England chalk formation. There is a lot of beautiful wildlife to see, and it’s also a popular spot for hang-gliding too.
The Brighton Center – During its heyday, this was the largest event venue of its kind in all of the UK. Today, it has been superseded, but there are still big name concerts, shows, and political conferences held here. If you are looking to go see a show, you should check out what is scheduled here.
Eat a Sunday roast – Having roast on Sundays is a well-known tradition in Brighton, that isn’t mentioned very often. Usually served with lots of vegetables, this is a great hearty way to end your week. Some good places to get it: The Royal Sovereign Pub, The Dover Castle, and The Dorset bar and restaurant.
Explore the city through the eyes of a local – Brighton has implemented a neat, free program for its visitors, called Brighton Greeters. Once you register, you’ll be paired with a volunteer local who will spend two hours showing you around the city in a personally tailored tour. It’s a unique way to explore the city and get a chance to connect with an insider.