Brighton is a fantastic vibrant, buzzy quirky seaside town. It's the perfect place for a weekend or a day trip and completely doable on a budget. Find out here

A Budget Guide to A Fantastic Day in Brighton

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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.

Brighton is a fantastic vibrant, buzzy quirky seaside town. It's the perfect place for a weekend or a day trip and completely doable on a budget. Find out here

Getting there

Train – check for cheap tickets on 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

CoachNational 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).

Brighton is a fantastic vibrant, buzzy quirky seaside town. It's the perfect place for a weekend or a day trip and completely doable on a budget. Find out here


  • Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad

    I love Brighton so much! I lived near there for a few years and it’s always such a fun place to go and explore somewhere new and discover more lanes and quirky pubs. 🙂 Probably one of the most unique cities in the UK, too.

    • Laura - Escapes Etc

      Isn’t it great? So jealous you lived close by. It’s definitely somewhere where you could spend heaps of time.

  • snowtoseas

    Brighton looks so lovely and it looks like you got great weather on your day there! I would definitely love to go and explore the North Lanes. It looks like they have a pretty creative and fun vibe! Thanks for sharing!

    • Laura - No Shoes Today

      They definitely do. It’s known for being liberal and very creative so it has a really fun vibe

  • Jean

    Love these photos. When we visited in 2009 it rained. And rained. And rained even more! Looks like a great place to visit in the summer time

    • Laura - No Shoes Today

      Typical British weather! It was soooo windy when I was there but I imagine it’s glorious on a good day!

  • Ella

    In the 14 years that I’ve lived in the UK, I have never once been to Brighton and I’m fully aware of how much of a shame that is. Next time I’m in the UK, I’ll definitely be visiting Brighton. I could even see myself living there if I ever return 🙂

    • Laura - No Shoes Today

      Don’t worry it was the first time I’d ever been too! So annoyed it took me so long as it’s such a cool place

  • JetsettingJade

    Brighton is a great place for a day trip from London. If it’s a sunny day then hop on a train and you can be there in under an hour. Definitely worth checking out.

  • Eniko

    I love Brighton, especially the Lanes. Lot of cute restaurants and cafes there. We did a day trip from London to Brighton and Seven Sisters. I highly recommend it if you like nature and hiking.

    • Laura - No Shoes Today

      I would love to see more of the area around there. Such a beautiful part of the country

    • Laura - No Shoes Today

      Uk beaches are freezing haha. It was super windy there as well but people were in the water! I love San Francisco by the way!

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