Brighton on a Budget

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Despite being a small city, Brighton packs a big personality and it’s no wonder visitors have been flocking to its beaches and promenades for the past 200 years. Colourful, quirky, and the perfect blend of trendy meets kitschy, Brighton is one of the UK’s favourite seaside destinations a wonderful city for a budget-friendly visit any time of the year. With its stunning Edwardian pleasure palace, retro amusement arcades, and alternative vibe, Brighton is the bohemian beach resort that is the very definition of Cool Britannia. Here’s how to hit the city’s highlights in a day for under £20.

The affordable way to explore Brighton

10am - Royal Pavilion (From £5.85)

The Royal Pavilion is a spectacular seaside palace and one of Brighton’s most treasured landmarks. Built as a party pad for King George IV, this historic house mixes Regency grandeur with the visual styles of both India and China. The Royal Pavilion is one of the most opulent buildings in England, and undoubtedly one of the finest examples of early 19th Century chinoiserie anywhere in Europe. The entire palace is an astonishing spectacle, and within its eye-popping architecture lies some of the most lavish interiors you’ll ever have the pleasure of seeing. The dragon-themed banqueting hall is breathtaking, and the music room with its ceiling of 26,000 gold scales is something you really do have to see to believe.

Image Credit: Paul via Flickr

The Royal Pavilion is located at 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton BN1 1EE. Open 10am - 5:15pm daily, tickets can be booked online.

12:30 - Lunch at Iydea (From £4.70)

It’s best to park any prejudices you might have about vegetarian canteens at the door, because Iydea has some of the most vibrant, colourful food in the city. Iydea serves hearty, fresh, beautifully made vegetarian dishes that are full of goodness through and through. Diners choose from one of several hot mains and a choice of two salads as well as toppings and sauces. The kitchen prepares everything with an honest commitment to flavour and you’ll be wowed by the sophisticated approach they take with every one of their delicious dishes. For healthy, hearty food that’s good for the body and the soul, there’s no better place to go.

Image Credit: Iydea via Facebook

Iydea is located at 17 Kensington Gardens, Brighton BN1 4AL.

1:30 - Brighton Fishing Museum (Free)

For a true feel of the city, pop into the Brighton Fishing Museum where you’ll learn all about Brighton’s fascinating and eclectic past. From its beginnings as a fishing community to being a resort known for its medicinal seawater in the 1700s, Brighton has transformed dramatically over the years, but its history is forever connected to the sea. Located in the fishing quarter, this museum offers a unique perspective on the city’s development over the years, with exhibitions that will entertain and educate visitors of all ages.

Image Credit: Marc Pether Longman via Flickr

Brighton Fishing Museum is located at 201 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 1NB. Open 11am - 5pm daily.

3pm - Brighton Palace Pier and Brighton Beaches (Free)

Brighton Palace Pier is undoubtedly one of the city’s most famous and most beloved attractions, and has been visited by millions of tourists, sightseers, and day-trippers since it was opened 120 years ago. You’ll easily wile away the hours enjoying all the arcade games and fairground rides on offer, and of course a trip to the city’s famous stone beaches is in order too. Head west of the pier to the King’s Road Arches for arty shops, ceramic stalls, and ice cream kiosks, and further on you can trade your spare change for copper pennies in the tiny Mechanical Memories Museum (free), where vintage slot machines, and one-armed bandits crank away in wonderfully working order.

Image Credit: Icy Dead Pixels via Flickr

6pm - Dinner at Bardsley’s (From £6.50)

No trip to Brighton is complete without indulging in some scrumptious fish and chips, and the best place for this seaside treat is Bardsley’s of Baker Street. Named one of the Top 10 fish and chips restaurants in the country by the Guardian, Bardsley’s has been serving up fabulous fish for four generations. With hefty portion sizes, scrumptious homemade chips, and the lightest, crispiest batter you’ll ever get the chance to taste, Bardsley’s delivers quality fare that won’t disappoint.

Image Credit: Jennifer Boyer via Flickr

Bardsley’s is located at 22-23a Baker St, Brighton BN1 4JN.

There’s nothing like a trip to Brighton to brighten anyone’s day, and here we have it for just £17.05. Hurry on down to the seaside as soon as you can!