I’ve decided to do something fun and review the top attractions and restaurants according to TripAdvisor in my city: Brighton!
North Laine (#1): This area of town has a lot of quirky shops, kooky items for sale on the street, great restaurants and always something (or someone) to see. This has certainly earned its #1 position.
Duke of York’s Picture House (#2): Love films? Then seeing the oldest cinema in continuous use in Britian is a must. The seats are so comfortable and there are film nights for everyone, from children’s movies to classics. It’s a great way to unwind after a day of exploring.
Royal Pavilion (#3): It’s a hard one to miss. Right in the city center, it’s unique Indian architecture gives the area a lot of character. I’ve never been inside, but I love sitting on the lawn on a sunny day or the ice skating rink they put up in the winter against the lit building.
The Lanes (#4): Closer to the center of town, this is also a collection of shops, but more high-end. The narrow streets are picturesque, but make it easy to get lost.
British Airways i360 (#8): I went up the i360 a few times loved it! It’s a fair price for the half hour round trip up the world’s tallest moving observation tower to admire the views of Brighton and beyond.
Brighton Palace Pier (#10): This is my absolute favorite thing to do in Brighton. The arcade games, views and atmosphere never get old. The seafront is what attracts most visitors, I have a hard time imagining why this is so low on the list.
The Clock Tower (#13): This landmark is hard to miss and makes for some amazing pictures, especially in the winter when the Christmas lights are up. Pro tip: get a really good picture from the top floors of the nearby Waterstones or Pret.
West Pier (#14): Right in front of the i360, the ruins are quite characteristic and really makes you wonder about what this pier was like in its prime.
University of Sussex (#16): The university is just a few miles outside the city center and it’s surrounded by rolling green hills. I miss living on campus so much. And if you’re a football lover, the AmEx stadium is just off campus as well.
Brighton Marina (#18): I’ll be the first to admit there isn’t a whole lot to do at the marina (there’s a bowling arcade and cinema), but if the weather is nice it’s worth a visit to grab a bite and take a walk around the seawall.
Nature and parks
Undercliff Walk (#1): This long stretch of walk near the cliffs was absolutely beautiful! The crashing waves complemented the walls of rock well and made for a serene experience. I’d recommend you bike, however (there are city bikes to rent all over the town).
Stanmer Park (#2): This vast park borders the university and has a great mix of open areas and trails through the woods. I also love close encounters with the cows!
Preston Park (#3): Don’t bother, it’s nothing to write home about.
Brighton Beach (#5): Whether you’re watching the people or admiring the view, the beach is a great place to relax on a sunny day. Again, as the home of the famous pier, it’s hard to imagine why this is so low on the list.
Sea Life Brighton (#8): I’d recommend tourists give this a hard pass. First, these types of aquariums are not unique to the area, with locations from London to Phoenix, and this one is particularly underwhelming.
The Level (#10): Located in the city, this is a great place to people watch (especially the skaters), soak up the sun and grab a bite to eat. The only negative is that there’s almost always a lot of litter.
Seven Sisters/ Beachy Head: Although these are a bit outside of Brighton, it’s worth the trip for nature-lovers. Easily accessible by bus or car, different sites offer various views of the cliffs (“Sisters”). From west to east, the sites are Seaford Head Nature Reserve (overlooks beach and cliffs), Cuckmere Haven (visit the beach at the base of the cliffs) and Beachy Head (walk on top of the cliffs and see the Beachy Head Lighthouse).
Now, a small disclaimer, as a student, I can’t say I’ve eaten at the fine dining places, but here are some of my personal favorites and how they measure up on TripAdvisor (all of these places have vegetarian/ vegan options).
Befries (#4): So much yes. Not only is this a quick eat, but very budget-friendly and delicious. They serve Belgian fries and a myriad of sauces. Insider tip: if you want to try another sauce, ask for a small sample cup, they’ll give it to you for free! My favorites are curry ketchup, peanut satay and truffle mayo.
Purezza (#19): Embrace the vegan eats at this mouth-watering pizza place that will have even the most adamant meat-eater wanting more.
VIP (#29): Real Italian pizza. I eat from here regularly and it never lets me down.
Terre a Terre (#39): I’ve been here once a while ago but really remember enjoying it, but it’s a bit expensive.
Food for Friends (#38): Another good vegetarian place, but costs a bit.
Fatto a Mano (#74): Another good Italian pizza place, I wouldn’t say I have a preference to this over VIP, they’re both quite good.
Curry Leaf Cafe (#84): I have no idea why this is so low, such amazing Indian food.
Bankers (#112): My favorite fish and chips, even if it’s not a popular opinion.
Troll Burger: Now, it’s hard to meet a burger I don’t like, but my favorite is a small stall called Troll Burger outside the train station by Green Door Store. The hours vary greatly as it’s run by one dude, but if it’s open, strike while the iron’s hot!
Happy Maki: Another one of my personal favorites is this delicious vegan sushi burrito place. It’s known and loved by all self-respecting vegans in Brighton.
Bars and pubs
I have gone away from TripAdvisor for this crucial bit of information and did a bit more research on sites such as Design My Night and Culture Trip. I’ll comment on all the places I see recommended that I’ve been to and let you know where I stand.
- East Street Tap: Wouldn’t be my first choice for drinks, but they have amazing food and are in a good location.
- The Mesmerist: I love the atmosphere here, but be prepared to spend a bit more than the average pub.
- Dead Wax Social: The pizza here is amazing, but can’t say much about the drinks.
- Sticky Mike’s: They shut down a few days ago, but I always liked this little place. R.I.P.
- Green Door Store: I haven’t been in a while, but always had a good time with the live music.
- Molly Malone’s: One of the only places I know of that serve my favorite cider: Symonds! Also the live music is great.
- Revenge: The gay bar. They have amazing, cheap shots and fun club nights and gigs for everyone.
- World’s End: Starting with this pub, these are my personal favorites. Great cider selection with arcade games and a mini racetrack.
- The Hope and Ruin: Probably my all-time favorite pub. Great atmosphere and food.
- Freemason’s: Great place for cider lovers like myself.
- The Franklin Arms: An actually fair pub quiz.
Have you been to Brighton before? Have you enjoyed any of these attractions or restaurants?