Brighton is largely popular with creative types, and as such you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the city’s cultural life, with the likes of theatre, comedy, concerts and live music to enjoy. Excited? Start planning your trip with one of these amazing Brighton holiday packages
The Royal Pavilion served in the eighteenth century as a playground for the future King George IV, who spent much of his time here partying and frolicking with his mistress. Brighton’s exotic extravaganza is an India-China mash-up, with its twirling domes, pagodas, slender minarets and balconies. As Brighton sightseeing goes, the spacious gardens surrounding the pavilion is the best way to admire this striking pavilion’s exterior.
There’s no better way to soak up the tackiness of Brighton than by strolling along its seafront pier. Every inch of the 1899-built pier is devoted to blaring-loud fun, with rickety roller-coasters, arcade games and slammable bumper cars, making it one of the most memorable Brighton attractions. And while we’re on the subject of piers, further along is the derelict West Pier, the skeletal remains of a former pier that closed down in 1975.
North Laine is more offbeat than the equally popular Lanes (a labyrinth of pedestrianised alleyways) with its eclectic shops selling vintage records, retro clothes and New Age items. This vibrant street sprawls west and north of the Royal Pavilion and is bordered by Queens Road. Take an outside table for coffee between the colourful clothing rails and graphic-art buildings, and tuck into some veggie grub, or simply people watch.
Slightly east of the city centre is the LGBTQ community’s heartland, Kemp Town. Everything starts off lively at colourful Old Steine, where you head along the bustling St James’s Street (Brighton’s “Gay Village”) until things take a quieter turn at St George’s Road. This is where you’ll find some fantastic antique and vintage shops, as well as welcoming pubs and coffee shops that require an unhurried approach.
Not far from the Brighton Pavilion stands Brighton Museum & Art Gallery - a slightly less extravagant affair compared to its neighbour - which is well worth half a day of your time. There’s a wonderful mix of modern fashion and design, archaeology, painting and local history on display here, from artist Salvador Dali’s 1938 Lips sofa to ancient Egyptian mummified animals.
One of the top Brighton tourist attractions - literally - is the i360 tower, opened in 2016. Positioned by the West Pier, it’s the world’s tallest moving observation tower at 162m high and is one of the more striking sights in Brighton, but not necessarily in a good way - its needle-like spire and saucer-shaped viewing pod does look a little out of place amongst the rest of the city. Still, you can’t fault the panoramic views over Brighton and beyond. Just step aboard the pod and you’ll be beamed up - sorry, whisked up - for your 360-degrees experience.
East of Brighton pier is beach-sports venue Yellowave, which is open year-round for those looking to perfect their sand-based serve. With six courts, this is an ideal spot to try your hand at volleyball; if there’s an event or tournament on, you can sit on the sandy sidelines and watch the action unfold. Once you’ve worked up a sweat (or watched others do so), reward yourself at their Barefoot Cafe with a soup, sandwich or if you book ahead, a barbecue.