The city of Brighton is one of England's most exciting seaside destinations. Renowned for its cosmopolitan characters, diverse entertainment venues, and great nightlife, local and international tourists flock to this city at every chance they get, be it for a long weekend or a summer vacation.
Brighton remains one of the most popular day trip destinations from London for foreign visitors. In fact, Brighton Pier is the most popular tourist destination in the UK outside of London. The stripy deckchairs on the iconic Brighton Pier have become an instantly recognisable image of the English seaside.
Brighton's modern atmosphere is strongly contrasted by some of its older Regency and Victorian architecture. The charming village lanes are home to numerous cafes, antique shops, and jewellery stores, while not far away the Palace Pier stretches out over the lapping waves of the sea. The lights and music from its funfair and amusement arcades lure vast and raucous crowds.
During the summer, the pebbled Brighton Beach and its waterfront bars and clubs become fun and vibrant, with locals and vacationers alike throwing all caution to the wind and revelling in the laidback, summery atmosphere. This festive nature extends to big events such as the Brighton Festival and the Pride Summer Festival Week.
Getting around in Brighton is easy as excellent rail connections to other UK destinations. There is an excellent network of frequent bus services for getting around the city, and taxis are also available 24 hours a day. Cycle lanes throughout Brighton and Hove make cycling a quick and safe travel option. Mobile app based taxi services, like Uber, are also available.
GMT (GMT +1, Apr - Oct)
The electrical current in the UK is 240 volts, 50Hz. Flat, three-pin plugs are standard.
English is the official language, though visitors will be astonished by the variety of regional accents.
There are no specific health risks associated with travel to the UK and food and water can be considered safe. The British National Health Service is excellent. A number of countries have reciprocal health agreements with the UK including Australia, New Zealand, and EU countries. Visitors from other countries (including Canada, South Africa, and the US) are advised to take out comprehensive medical insurance.
Tips of 10 to 15 percent are expected in restaurants and upmarket hotels in the UK if a service charge hasn't been included. Hotel service staff receive an optional amount. Taxi drivers are usually given 10 to 15 percent of the fare. Tipping for other services is discretionary.
It is generally safe to travel throughout the UK. There is some risk of international terrorism in the UK and security has been increased at transport hubs; airports in particular have seen a heightening of security measures over recent years.
Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone new. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public spaces, including pubs and restaurants, and on public transport. Queue barging is frowned upon and there is strict etiquette on escalators: stand on the right, walk on the left. Visitors may find Londoners more rushed and less friendly than locals in other parts of the country, particularly on London transport, where tourists are often the only people who talk.
Brighton is blessed with a proliferation of ornate Regency architecture, and buildings like the Royal Pavilion are must-see tourist attractions, but in truth visitors generally come for the shopping, nightlife, and beaches more than they do for sightseeing. The Brighton Palace Pier is packed with holiday attractions like a funfair, fast food stalls, and a game arcade, and the beachfront is central to touristic stays in Brighton.
Mention shopping in Brighton and the first thing that springs to mind is The Lanes. And for good reason - the Lanes have been operational in Brighton since the 17th century and today host an assortment of boutiques, antique shops, jewellers, and book stores, as well as a few cafes and pubs. Here visitors can find anything from kites, tribal textiles, and hand-made crafts, to vintage shoes or funky fashion accessories.
If the weather is bad, head for one of the delightful retro pubs and tea rooms that are strewn around Brighton. Those wanting a slight change of scene should head to neighbouring Kemp Town, a charming village with the same Regency appeal of Brighton and plenty of lovely shopping opportunities.
The nightlife in Brighton and Hove is exceptional. This exciting seaside escape, only an hour from London, is a vibrant social hub year-round. With plenty of great restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs, the party just keeps on rolling; many of Brighton's chief attractions only come to life after dark.
Brighton has a temperate, fairly mild climate. The weather is quite unpredictable, as with the rest of the UK, but generally winters are cold and wet, and summers are comfortably warm with frequent showers. July and August are the warmest months, while January and February are the coldest. Temperatures do not usually drop below 32°F (0°C) in winter. The best times to visit Brighton are spring (May and June) and autumn (September and October). Summer is wonderful in many ways and is the peak travel season, but the beaches can become very crowded.