I feel like Brighton is one of those places where there is always more to explore no matter how long you go for. As I recently visited Brighton, UK, for the first time in 6 years, so much has changed. I knew I needed to do an updated post on the city, including sharing some of my favourite things to do when in Brighton and Hove.

Visiting Brighton 2021
Brighton Beach

Where to stay in Brighton?


When we stayed in Brighton, we stayed in a lovely Airbnb apartment in the middle of the north laine, surrounded by shops, restaurants and bars. After searching on Airbnb at a range of dates, we settled on Brighton Square apartments. It made the most sense for the 4 of us to find a place that allowed us to stay together and have all of the house’s amenities. When we arrived, the Airbnb was actually better than we imagined it would be. Our host was terrific, and the place was spotless.

With Brighton being such a quirky place, you can find all sorts of hotels and Airbnbs, and if you’re able to keep your dates flexible, you’re bound to find something cool for a reasonable price.

So what to do when visiting Brighton?

With so many extraordinary experiences in Brighton, it’s worth checking in advance what you can do due to COVID-19 and what you need to book for. Being such a popular destination for tourists, it is recommended to book in advance.

Artbox Cafe, when in Brighton
Artbox Cafe, B21 and friends

Visit The Artbox Cafe

Of course, before even booking Airbnb, I knew I needed to visit The Artbox cafe. If you’ve not heard about the Artbox cafe, it’s a truly unique experience. Based on a similar cafe you’d find in South Korea, the Artbox Cafe fits Brighton well.  The theme of the kawaii cafe changes every few months to a different adorable character theme. Due to it being the UK’s only character-themed cafe, it can get busy. When I visited the cafe was a BT21 theme, and according to their social media, it will be that theme until the Autumn to make up for all of the time they’ve had to shut over the last year.

Have a cocktail at Ollie’s Jerk Shack

Now this one is a little bit more niche. However, I’d totally recommend going to Ollie’s Jerk Shack and sitting outside during the summer months. The rooftop bar is a beautiful place to chill out with friends. We were staying next to the bar, so we found ourselves wanting to check it out from when we arrived.

Head to the pier

Have you really been to Brighton if you haven’t checked out the pier? You can see the beach and enjoy the water below. The pier has amusements, places to get food and snacks (I recommend getting a crepe) and plenty of seagulls.

When in Brighton
Sealife Centre Brighton

Go To The Sea Life Centre

Although there are Sea Life Centres all over the country, it is unique as it’s the oldest operating aquarium globally. The building is impressive because it was built in the 1800s, providing the building with Victorian architecture. And has so many exciting things to look at. Brighton Sea Life has over 5,500 creatures currently living within the centre. With so many wonderful things to explore at the Sea Life Centre and the history that goes along with it, it’s a must when you visit Brighton.

Shop in Snoopers Paradise

Truly unique to Brighton is Snoopers Paradise in the Lanes. Filled to the brim (almost quite literally) with antiques and vintage items. From magazines to homewares, toys, jewellery and collectables. You’ll be spoilt for choice when visiting. Enter via a turnstile, and be prepared to get lost amongst the items. Words cannot describe how unique this place’s setting is, and it’s great for finding pretty much anything and everything. I found many old Disney comics and a huge mountain of old Playboy Magazines along with plenty of toys from my childhood.

Snoopers Paradise also has an old-style photo booth, so be sure to take some coins to be able to grab some lovely photos of you and your friends.

Check out the Toy & Model Museum

The Toy & Model Museum is a unique experience, where you can find out all about toys from across the years. With so many wonderful items to look at, it’s a great place to visit. Whether you’re a fan of trains, dolls or looking to find out the history behind some truly iconic toys, this is the place for you. With over 10,000 items featured in the museum, you’ll be mesmerised by how much there is to take in. To book your visit, head to their website here.

Marvel in the beauty of the street art

When visiting Brighton, you need to check out all of the wonderful street art and graffiti, with colourful walls, gorgeous art murals and even a Banksy! You’ll find yourself drawn to unique and interesting art pieces which surround the city.


Whether you’re a newbie to the city or a regular visitor, I hope this guide helps you when visiting Brighton.   

One thought on “Visiting Brighton? 7 things you need to do!

  1. Rachel says:

    I lived in Brighton for two years as an expat and LOVED it. I’m visiting in November and bringing my boyfriend to show around! My favorite things are just bar-hopping, vintage shops and strolling around the Pavillion x

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