Cool, creative, and lively are all things that come to mind when I think about Brighton. It’s my favourite coastal getaway in the UK, and I can see why it’s so popular.

Put an end to the stuffy arcades, worn-out seaside cafes, and deserted promenades that may be found in many coastal towns in England—Brighton is the party-starting, vibrant best friend!

Known as “London-on-sea,” Brighton is teeming with trendy and edgy vintage stores and boutiques, as well as delicious food—which, incidentally, is a tonne less expensive in Brighton than in London. With a considerably more relaxed vibe, it has all the hip venues you’d expect from London, but it packs a punch.

Thanks to its amazing art, music, and cultural scene, Brighton is not only one of the liveliest towns in the UK but has also been awarded the happiest city in the country!

But because there is so much to do in Brighton, it might be difficult to figure out which location is best for you to stay in. That’s where I come in.

Whether you’re looking to boogie with your pals, indulge in artisan brews in cozy cafes, or hit up Brighton Pier with the family, I’ve got everything you need to know about the best to stay in Brighton.

An up close shot of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton
A regal-looking Royal Pavillion

The Broke Backpacker is supported by you. Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more.

Where is the Best Place to Stay in Brighton?

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are my top recommendations for the best hotels in Brighton.

Brighton Harbour & Spa Hotel | Best Hotel in Brighton

Brighton Harbour & Spa, Brighton UK

In a listed regency townhouse overlooking Brighton’s seafront, this boutique hotel at the edge of the bustling Lanes area is perfect for your trip to Brighton. Chic, colourful rooms provide flat-screen TVs, safes, free WiFi in addition to gin and sherry decanters. There’s a stylish modern restaurant with sea views and afternoon tea, a hip cocktail bar and a lavish spa complete with an indoor pool, hot tubs, saunas and wellness services.

Selina Brighton | Best Hostel in Brighton

Selina Brighton UK

When I travel to Brighton, this hostel is my first pick every time. Amenities include a bar and a restaurant with views of the ocean, as well as lounges and social areas. The co-working space makes it perfect for digital nomads visiting, making it a solid choice if you’re backpacking the UK.

The Little Picture Palace | Best Airbnb in Brighton

The Little Picture Palace, Brighton UK

This studio apartment is certainly an undiscovered jewel of Brighton. It’s furnished in the owner’s custom maximalist style and features a walled terrace, contemporary art, and hand-drawn murals. Open the doors to your own private garden as soon as you wake up, have breakfast in bed, and breathe in the tranquillity. It even has its own private cinema!

Brighton Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Brighton

FIRST TIME IN BRIGHTON
Brighton pier
FIRST TIME IN BRIGHTON

Brighton City Centre

Brighton city centre, the cultural and bohemian hub of Brighton, is distinguished from other British cities for its thriving atmosphere, making it one of the most vibrant areas in the UK!

NIGHTLIFE
Kemptown, Brighton
NIGHTLIFE

Kemptown

The life of Brighton’s party can be found east of the city in the Kemptown neighbourhood. Historically known as an artists’ quarter, Kemptown is today home to one of the UK’s largest LGBTQ communities.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
flat white coffee
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

The Lanes

South of North Laines and bordering the sea you’ll find the Lanes. This neighbourhood dates back to the late 18th century and was part of the original settlement of Brighton.

FOR FAMILIES
Hove, Brighton
FOR FAMILIES

Hove

The neighbourhood of Hove is one of the best places for families to stay in Brighton. A separate community until 1997 when it merged with Brighton, Hove is where you’ll find regal streets, spacious squares, and elegant apartments.

Few locations can combine the picture-perfect pleasure of the seashore with the bustling bustle of the city. However, these two sides of Brighton’s personality work in unison to create the city’s allure. Whether you’re looking to cram your Brighton itinerary into one weekend or are staying for a whole week, you’ll never get bored of all the things this city has to offer.

Brighton is somewhat of a pioneer for its number of vegan eateries, and it offers an unusual mix of international cuisines along with some of the best seafood restaurants in the country.

Above all, Brighton is an overwhelmingly positive place with a well-known sense of freedom and nonjudgment – perhaps not surprising from the birthplace of the “dirty weekend.” It also hosts some awesome festivals including but not exclusive to the iconic Brighton Fringe. Because of this, it has an abundance of hotels and is packed with tourists throughout the summer.

If you have time to venture outside of the city, places like South Downs National Park and Seven Sisters Country Park are only a short drive away and are perfect for blowing the cobwebs away.

Join me as I take you around the top neighbourhoods for hotels and the best Airbnbs in Brighton; however, reserve your spot as soon as possible because this is one of the most popular cities in the UK and accommodations fill up quickly!

A guy wearing a light green jacket in shorts standing in front of a blue upside down house on a cloudy day in Brighton
Welcome to the weird and whacky Brighton.
Photo: @taya.travels

The city is comprised of a number of small neighbourhoods each with its own unique flair and atmosphere. Here are some of the must-see areas in Brighton.

In the midst of all the buzz is Brighton City Centre. As Brighton’s commercial and cultural hub, you’ll find great bars, tasty restaurants and fun attractions. You’ll never be too far a walk from attractions like Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavillion or Brighton Beach here. It’s also home to the best hotels in Brighton, making it my top recommendation for first-timers.

Not far from the coast is the Lanes. The trendiest of everything can be found in the Lanes, arguably the coolest neighbourhood in Brighton. Everything ultra-cool can be found along the Lanes, whether it be independent shops, bars, or cafes.

Kemptown, located east of the city centre, is the epicentre of Brighton’s party scene! If you want to experience the vibrant nightlife of Brighton’s clubs and pubs, this is the place to stay. On weekends, tourists and locals come together for the shared goal of enjoying fantastic cuisine, amazing drinks, and a lot of fun!

Hove is located west of the centre. Once an independent community, Hove joined with Brighton in 1997 to become the Borough of Brighton and Hove. Hove is a great place to stay with your family if you just want to take in the peace and quiet of the seaside promenade. It’s quiet yet still accessible to the city.

Still not sure where to stay in Brighton? Keep reading as I give you the lowdown on the top five neighbourhoods in Brighton.

Brighton’s Four Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Still not sure which is the best area in Brighton to stay in? Don’t worry! In this next section, I’ll break down the best neighbourhoods in much more detail by area:

1. Brighton City Centre – Where to Stay in Brighton for Your First Time

Brighton city centre, the cultural and bohemian hub of Brighton, is distinguished from other British cities for its thriving atmosphere, making it one of the most vibrant areas in the UK!

Here you’ll find more than 400 shops, restaurants, pubs and galleries to explore; I promise you you won’t get bored here. This vibrant neighbourhood in the centre of the city is perfect for first-time visitors as it’s home to some of the best hotels in Brighton. If you’re looking for the best hostels in Brighton, the city centre also has you covered.

This neighbourhood is home to all of the most loved and unique attractions of Brighton, whether that be Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavilion or, of course, Brighton’s seafront. Opened in 1899, Brighton Pier remains one of the most iconic pieces of Brighton history and should be on top of your Brighton itinerary.

The Brighton pier sign lit up in the darkness
The iconic Brighton Pier
Photo: @taya.travels

It’s the perfect base from which to explore the city and its many attractions as it’s not a far walk from Brighton station. Enjoy great food and a casual atmosphere in this trendy and funky neighbourhood.

My Brighton | Best Hotel in the City Centre

My Brighton UK

Enjoy quirky décor, modern amenities, and a comfortable atmosphere at one of the best hotels in Brighton. In an excellent location, this hotel is right next to the Royal Pavilion and other major tourist attractions. Within walking distance of North Laine’s cultural, dining and shopping hubs, you won’t have to go very far to find what you’re looking for.

Selina Brighton | Best Hostel in the City Centre

Selina Brighton UK

When I travel to Brighton, this hostel is my first pick every time. Amenities include a bar and a restaurant with views of the ocean, as well as lounges and social areas. The co-working space makes it perfect for digital nomads visiting, making it a solid choice if you’re backpacking the UK.

The Little Picture Palace | Best Airbnb in the City Centre

The Little Picture Palace, Brighton UK

This studio apartment is certainly an undiscovered jewel of Brighton, located just ten minutes walk from the station, town, and Brighton beach. It’s furnished in the owner’s custom maximalist style and features a walled terrace, contemporary art, and hand-drawn murals. Open the doors to your own private garden as soon as you wake up, have breakfast in bed, and breathe in the tranquility. It even has its own private cinema!

Things to See and Do in Brighton City Centre

A guy holding a beer looking on at the views from 1360, Brighton
Up in the sky, with a pint in hand of course
Photo: @taya.travels
  1. Check out insane 360-degree views from Brighton i360, a moving observation tower on Brighton’s seafront.
  2. Shop at some of the best vintage shops and flea markets in the UK.
  3. Sample local brews and delicious food at North Laine Brewhouse.
  4. Hop on a bus tour and see all the sights that Brighton has to offer.
  5. Bring out your inner child at the Brighton Toy and Model Museum, which has more than 10,000 toys in its collection.
  6. Have a stroll around Regency Square.
  7. Take a dip at The Sea Lanes, the UK’s first open-water swimming centre.
  8. Take a ride on the Volks Electric Railway, the oldest operational electric railway in the world.
  9. Marvel at the grand Royal Pavilion palace, built for King George IV.
  10. Explore the iconic Brighton Pier.
Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

2. Kemptown – Best Area to Stay in Brighton For Nightlife

As the hub of Brighton’s gay scene and the home of one of the biggest LGBTQ communities in the UK, Kemptown is well renowned for its legendary parties. This sleepy little village transforms from peaceful by day to the city’s most vibrant area at night.

A road in Kemptown, Brighton looking down to a ferris wheel on the coast

Kemp Town, formerly regarded as an artists’ quarter, is now home to Brighton’s trendiest bars and late-night establishments. On weekends, both residents and visitors alike come to let off steam on the weekends.

Kemp Town has become Brighton’s ultimate destination for superb food and drinks, thanks to a recent influx of restaurants. For more inspiration, check out this mini guide on Brighton’s nightlife.

The Charm Brighton Boutique Hotel & Spa | Best Hotel in Kemptown

The Charm Brighton Boutique Hotel & Spa, Brighton UK

In the centre of Kemptown stands the magnificent boutique hotel, The Charm Brighton. The hotel offers trendy living in traditional surroundings. The 200-year-old structure has just undergone renovations to create a chic, boutique ambience, making it one of the best hotels in Brighton. Every room in this historic building has been individually styled and plans to offer visitors the most relaxing and pleasant VIP hotel experience possible.

Relax Inn Guest House | Best Hostel in Kemptown

The Istanbul EV

Enjoy the best of Brighton’s nightlife by staying at this modern guesthouse in an excellent location. It is a short walk from Brighton’s seafront and the town centre as well as a number of great restaurants and bars. Each room offers free wifi, a flat-screen TV, coffee/tea-making facilities and a comfortable bed.

Flat with Sea View from the Balcony | Best Airbnb in Kemptown

Flat with Sea View from the Balcony, Brighton UK

This two-bedroom flat with beautiful 11-foot high ceilings in a home that blends spacious rooms with an industrial-chic aesthetic. Lounge on the Chesterfield sofa while watching Netflix, play records on the retro player and enjoy the private balcony taking in the sea views and a bit of sea spray on your face!

Things to See and Do in Kemptown Brighton

beer on Brighton beach on a misty afternoon
The Right of Passage pint on the beach
Photo: @taya.travels
  1. Dress up and dance the night away at Club Revenge, Brighton’s most iconic gay venue.
  2. Enjoy urbane cocktails and sophisticated wine at the Plotting Parlour, a rustic and charming cocktail bar.
  3. Head to Legends to see a fabulous drag show.
  4. Strip down and spend a sunny day at the Naturist Beach.
  5. Enjoy great cocktails and stunning views on the sea-facing terrace at Patterns.
  6. Try the best vegan pizza I’ve ever had at Purezza.
  7. Shake it all night long as local DJs spin crazy tracks at Concorde 2.
  8. Take a LGBTQ+ walking history tour to learn Brighton’s colourful LGBT history and heritage.
  9. Enjoy a wide variety of local and international beers at the Brighton Bierhaus.

3. The Lanes – Coolest Place to Stay in Brighton

South of North Laines and bordering the sea you’ll find the Lanes. This neighbourhood dates back to the late 18th century and was part of the original settlement of Brighton.

This is my personal favourite place to stay when I visit Brighton as I just adore wandering down its winding streets and spending the hours window shopping and hopping from pub to pub (to pub….)

a flat white coffee in a cafe in Brighton
Getting my caffeine fix in one of the many trendy Lane cafes
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

High-street shops blend with art galleries, boutique hotels, cosy cafes, fusion restaurants, and alternative pubs to form the perfect combo in this collection of narrow streets and alleys. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more I could want!

Brighton Harbour & Spa Hotel | Best Hotel in the Lanes

Brighton Harbour & Spa, Brighton UK

In a listed regency townhouse overlooking Brighton’s seafront, this boutique hotel at the edge of the bustling Lanes area is perfect for your trip to Brighton. Chic, colourful rooms provide flat-screen TVs, safes, free WiFi in addition to gin and sherry decanters. There’s a stylish modern restaurant with sea views and afternoon tea, a hip cocktail bar and a lavish spa complete with an indoor pool, hot tubs, saunas and wellness services.

Queens Hotel & Spa | Another Great Hotel in the Lanes

Queens Hotel and Spa, Brighton UK

On Brighton’s seafront, this hotel is conveniently located near Brighton’s main attractions and top restaurants. It has an on-site bar, indoor pool and sauna, free wifi, and contemporary amenities. Enjoy comfortable beds, sea views and a great atmosphere within walking distance to the Royal Pavilion and other attractions. What more could you want?

The Cottage @ the Laines | Best Airbnb in the Lanes

The Cottage @ the Laines, Brighton UK

This Airbnb has a large and attractively decorated bedroom with a comfortable double bed, a convenient sofa bed and a fully equipped kitchen where you can flex your culinary skills. When you walk in, you’ll be met by the warm and friendly ambience of the log burner. Ideal for sipping on your favourite tipple after a day of touring the city.

Things to See and Do in The Lanes

One of the streets in The Lanes, Brighton on a dark morning
Photo: Tilemahos Efthimiadis (Flickr)
  1. Experience Brighton by bike on a leisurely city bike tour.
  2. Dine at the alfresco dining establishment Coppa Club.
  3. Spend a fun and festive evening at the Theatre Royal, where you can catch great local productions as well as West End shows.
  4. Sip luxurious cocktails in a listed regency townhouse at Bohemia.
  5. Visit Paxton+Glew Contemporary Art Gallery, an independent gallery showcasing artwork based on seasons and current trends.
  6. Go on a walking food tour around all of the iconic spots in Brighton Lanes.
  7. Visit Munchies Craft, a tapas cocktail bar serving Turkish cuisines and unique brunch dishes (and say hi to Alex the pup who lives there)
  8. Have a pint in The Cricketers, the oldest pub in Brighton.
The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!
mockup of a person holding a smartphone in white background with Holafly logo

A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

Grab an eSIM!

4. Hove – Best Neighborhood in Brighton for Families to Stay In

Hove, a tiny town on England’s south coast, was a separate community before combining with Brighton in 1997 to become Brighton Hove. Hove is undoubtedly Brighton’s more sedate twin, with its grand streets, expansive squares, and tasteful apartments.

Colourful houses on Hove beach in Brighton

With a plethora of cultural attractions like the Hove Museum and Art Gallery and the Cameron Contemporary Art Gallery, Brighton Hove is a great place to visit with your family or if you just want to take in the peace and quiet of the seaside promenade.

If you’re looking for a nice stretch of legs, the short trip to Seven Sisters Country Park or South Downs National Park is well worth it if you some extra time in your trip.

Best Western Princes Marine Hotel | Best Hotel in Hove

Best Western Princes Marine Hotel, Brighton UK

The Best Western Princes Marine Hotel is situated on the beachfront, overlooking Hove Lawns and the English Channel, so you can make the most of your time on the South Coast. Enjoy free parking, high-speed fibre internet, and easy access to all of the iconic attractions. The penthouse floor includes luxurious accommodations with its own patios with sea views.

The Ginger Pig | Best Luxury Hotel in Hove

The Ginger Pig, Brighton UK

The Ginger Pig is located at the bottom of Hove Street, in the centre of Hove, a few minutes’ walk from the beach. Each boutique hotel room has been individually styled and includes a large shower or stand-alone bathtub, Nespresso-style coffee makers, and a complimentary minibar with pre-mixed ‘Ginger’ cocktails. There is a popular pub downstairs that serves modern European food.

Stunning Two-Bedroom Flat | Best Airbnb in Hove

Stunning Two Bedroom Flat, Brighton UK

This two-bedroom flat is ideal for a small family, with a warm design that will make it feel like a home away from home. It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxing weekend or holiday with your loved ones, with the ocean only a 2-minute walk away. There’s a fully equipped kitchen and lots of room for socialising. Previous guests have rated this home 5 stars, which is unusual for an Airbnb offering; you’ll be in for a treat!

Things to See and Do in Hove

Brighton's coastline in the dark with building lights twinkling
Preeeeeeetty coastline
Photo: @taya.travels
  1. Check out the Instagrammable colourful beach huts along Hove seafront.
  2. Catch a show at the Brighton Open Air Theatre.
  3. Try some Persian cuisine at Shiraz Persian Restaurant.
  4. Run, jump, laugh and play at the Hove Lagoon.
  5. Pick up some vintage finds in retro Department Flea Market.
  6. Visit the Old Market, an independent venue showcasing live theatre.
  7. Learn about local history and cinema at the Hove Museum and Art Gallery, where the main focus of the exhibits is for children.
  8. Enjoy great food and a wonderful atmosphere at Archipelagos, a family-friendly Greek restaurant.
  9. Relax and enjoy a picnic lunch in Hove Park, a 40-acre green space home to grass, trees, flowers, and play facilities.
Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Brighton

Here’s what people usually ask me about Brighton neighbourhoods and where the best hotels to stay are.

What To Pack For Brighton

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Is Brighton a walkable city?

Yes! You can easily walk to all of the neighbourhoods in Brighton, no matter where you’re staying. Brighton Station is also in a central location so you can hop off the train and straight to your hotel!

Where is the best place to stay in Brighton for nightlife?

Kemptown is a great location to stay in Brighton for a party! Whether it’s buzzing cocktail bars or raucous clubs, Kemptown’s got you covered. The Lanes also deserves an honourable mention for its impressive array of pubs and cocktail bars.

Where is the best place to stay in Brighton on a budget?

There’s no denying that Brighton’s hotels can cost a pretty penny, but the city centre is my choice for where you’ll find the most budget-friendly accommodation in Brighton. This is because it has the largest concentration of hotels and is where all of the hostels can be found. If you book far enough in advance and look for when the shoulder seasons are, you’re sure to get a lot of bang for your buck in a great location.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Brighton

Unfortunately, things can go wrong when you least expect it. This is why good travel insurance is essential before you head on your trip to Brighton.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Brighton

Brighton, for me, embodies everything I love about the spirit and culture of the UK.

Much more than just a fun coastal escape, it’s a vibrant, colourful place that rarely sleeps.
If you’re bored of the conventional beach experience that is found in other UK coastal towns, Brighton should definitely be on the top of your bucket list, whether you’re backpacking the UK or are just a native!

Brighton is top of the rank for the UK’s happiest cities, which is hardly surprising given its positive and carefree vibe. This vibrant city has something to offer everyone, whether you’re exploring the famous Brighton Beach and Brighton Pier with family, enjoying artisan brews in quaint cafés, or going out on the town with pals.

With so much to do in so little time, it can be intimidating trying to navigate the many neighbourhoods that makeup Brighton. Don’t stress! Every neighbourhood has its own distinct appeal and charms, whether it’s the buzzing city centre, the oh-so-cool Lanes, lively Kemptown or family-friendly Hove.

With a variety of accommodation choices ranging from boutique hotels to low-cost hostels and quirky Airbnbs, finding your ideal stay is easier than ever.

In my opinion, Brighton Harbour & Spa Hotel is the best of Brighton’s Hotels. It offers the most quintessential Brighton experience with the regency townhouse overlooking Brighton’s seafront. The modern restaurant, trendy cocktail bar and lavish spa means that you have everything under your belt to get the most out of your time in this seaside city.

If you’re looking for a hostel, Selina Brighton is my top pick. A perfect blend between hostel and hotel, Selina provides comfortable, clean and modern rooms with great spaces to socialise and work remotely.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a frequent traveller, Brighton guarantees a memorable experience full of excitement and culture. So get on down to the south coast and discover why Brighton is undoubtedly the jewel of the UK’s seaside towns.

Have you been to Brighton? Let me know if I’ve missed anything in the comments below!

Looking for more info on travelling to Brighton and England?
pub sign in brighton, uk
This must be the place.
Photo: @taya.travels