While most tourists don’t usually picture a beach vacation on a trip to the UK, Brighton is truly one of this country’s gems. For one, you have the beach and boardwalk, fun for families and backpackers alike.

Though I expected Brighton to be somewhat tacky and novel because of the said boardwalk, I was fortunately proven wrong.

In fact, Brighton is brimming with cool and hip vintage shops and boutiques, excellent food (that is much more affordable than London town), and a laidback alternative atmosphere.

Brighton is one of the UK’s liveliest towns, thanks to their fantastic art, music, and cultural scene.

But where to stay in Brighton depends on what type of traveler you are as each area has its own attractions and atmosphere.

Are you visiting Brighton to party with your friends? To indulge in craft brews and cozy cafes? To hit the beach? Take your kids on the rides?

We’ll cover the best areas in Brighton below, including the top things to do in each of our favorite neighborhoods!

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Brighton

  • Where to stay in Brighton first time – North Laine
  • Where to stay in Brighton on a budget – The Lanes
  • Best area to stay in Brighton for nightlife – Kemptown
  • Coolest place to stay in Brighton – Hanover
  • Best neighborhood in Brighton for families – Hove

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN BRIGHTON

North Laines

North Laine is the cultural and bohemian centre of Brighton. As the city’s former slums, this area is now the gem of East Sussex.

Places to visit:
  • Shop at some of the best vintage shops and flea markets in the UK
  • Sample local brews and delicious food at North Laine Brewhouse
  • Browse one-of-a-kind works by local artists at the Dynamite Gallery

Where to Stay in Brighton

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Brighton.

Best Hostel in Brighton: The Grapevine

Right on Brighton’s seafront, the Grapevine is the perfect location for travelers, backpackers, and students on a budget. Featuring dorms and private accommodations, the rooms are clean and equipped with bunk beds and basins.

Close to shops, restaurants, awesome bars, and clubs, you can enjoy a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere just minutes from Brighton’s vibrant and colorful city center.

Best Hotel in Brighton: Fab Guest

In the heart of Kemptown is Fab Guest, a charming and quirky boutique hotel. This is one of the best places to stay in Brighton because it is a short walk from trendy restaurants, stylish bars and vibrant nightclubs.

Each of the hotels 14 rooms are fully equipped with comfortable beds and everything you need for an unforgettable stay in Brighton.

Best Airbnb in Brighton: Spacious Near the Sea

This Airbnb is perfect for families visiting Brighton. A short walk to the beach, this apartment is close to Hove Station and well connected to the rest of Brighton.

Spacious and bright, this two-bedroom flat is fully equipped with a kitchen, dining area and living room. Enjoy free wifi and Netflix in this stylish and welcoming apartment.

Brighton Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN BRIGHTON
North Laine, Brighton
FIRST TIME IN BRIGHTON

North Laines

North Laine is the cultural and bohemian centre of Brighton. As the city’s former slums, this area is now the gem of East Sussex.

ON A BUDGET
The Lanes, Brighton
ON A BUDGET

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.

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
Hanover, Brighton
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Hanover

Hanover is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Brighton. Famous for it’s bright and colourful houses and buildings, this borough sits atop a very steep hill.

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.

Brighton is a seaside and resort town in Sussex, on the south coast of England. A former fisherman’s village, it’s now one of the UK’s youngest and liveliest towns.

Home to more than 275,000 people, this charming town welcomes millions of visitors each year thanks to its fantastic arts, music and cultural scenes, and its reputation as the happiest place in the UK.

Part of the English county of East Sussex, Brighton covers an area of approximately 83 square kilometres. 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 neighbourhoods in Brighton.

At the heart of the city are the neighbourhoods of The Lanes and North Laines. As Brighton’s commercial and cultural centres, you’ll find great bars, tasty restaurants and fun attractions. Both of these areas are the best neighborhoods to stay in Brighton for your first visit.

East of the centre is Kemptown, a lively neighbourhood and the centre of Brighton’s gay scene. Home to some of the trendiest bars in the UK, Kemptown is the where to stay in Brighton if you want to sing, dance and party the night away.

West of the centre is Hove. Formerly a separate community, Hove merged with Brighton in 1997 to form the Borough of Brighton and Hove. Quiet but close to the city, Hove is an ideal place to stay for families and travellers with small children.

Head north from the centre and you’ll find yourself in one of the coolest neighbourhoods in town. Hanover is somewhat of a hipster paradise with pubs, rustic restaurants and unique eateries lining each of this neighbourhoods hilly streets.

Still not sure where to stay in Brighton? Continue reading for a full breakdown on the top five neighbourhoods in Brighton.

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5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Brighton

Brighton is a small but hilly town. It can easily be explored by bike and has many dedicated paths for safe cycling. If you’d prefer to save your energy for other activities, Brighton also boasts an extensive network of buses and trains. No matter where you stay, you’ll be able to visit several areas of the city with relative ease.

That said, depending on how you want to spend your time in Brighton certain neighbourhoods will be better suited to you. To help you plan your trip, here are the best neighbourhoods in Brighton broken down by interest for your stay.

1. North Laines Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Brighton for your First Visit

North Laine is the cultural and bohemian centre of Brighton. As the city’s former slums, this area is now the gem of East Sussex.

Here you’ll find more than 400 shops, restaurants, pubs and galleries to explore. This vibrant neighbourhood in the centre of the city is perfect for first-time visitors to Brighton.

Easily accessible by bus or train, North Laine is well connected to other areas of Brighton and the UK, including London as it’s just a 45 minute train away.

It’s the perfect base from which to explore the city and its many attractions. Enjoy great food and a casual atmosphere in this trendy and funky neighbourhood.

North Laine, Brighton
source: Hassocks5489 (Wikicommons)

Things to See and Do in North Laines Brighton

– Shop at some of the best vintage shops and flea markets in the UK.

– Sample local brews and delicious food at North Laine Brewhouse.

– Browse one-of-a-kind works by local artists at the Dynamite Gallery.

– Bring out your inner child at the Brighton Toy and Model Museum, which has more than 10,000 toys in its collection.

– Enjoy great music, good dancing and even a live music show at the Green Door Store.

– Visit St. Bartholomew’s Church, one of Brighton’s most iconic landmarks, that dates back to 1878.

– Check out works by the best cutting-edge artists from Brighton and beyond at the Art of Treason gallery.

– Enjoy good music, great drinks and quirky fare at the White Rabbit gastropub.

– Shop til you drop at one of the hundreds of independent boutiques that line North Laine’s streets.

– Sample local small batch, premier gin at Brighton Gin.

Best Hostel in North Laines: Kipps Brighton

Kipps Brighton is the best place to stay in North Laines for travellers on a budget. In the heart of the city, this hostel is close to top attractions, great restaurants, trendy bars, and public transportation.

Offering a friendly and comfortable atmosphere, this hostel has world-class facilities, including free internet and an on-site bar. Enjoy great accommodations at the centre of the city.

Best Hotel in North Laines: My Brighton

Centrally located, this hotel is close to many of Brighton’s 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.

Enjoy quirky décor, modern amenities, and a comfortable atmosphere at this four-star hotel in the city.

Best Airbnb in North Laines: Private double room near Brighton Station

A spacious double room on the first floor of a large 4 bedroom house. With a shared kitchen, garden, and bathroom. The host also offers a travel cot, iron, hairdryer and GHD straighteners available on request.

2. The Lanes Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Brighton on a Budget

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.

Made up of a collection of narrow streets and alleys, the Lanes is where you’ll find many of the city’s small shops, cosy cafes, and pleasant pubs.

We think The Lanes is also the destination of choice for travellers on a budget because of its wide variety of accommodation types and options.

Here you’ll find some of the best hostels and budget hotels in town. Stay in the Lanes to enjoy the best of Brighton at a fraction of the price.

The Lanes, Brighton
source: Tilemahos Efthimiadis (Flickr)

Things to See and Do in The Lanes Brighton

– Visit the Brighton Dome, a stunning building in itself, this venue puts on some of the best cultural and art shows in the county.

– Spend a fun and festive evening at the Theatre Royal, where you can catch great local productions as well as West End shows.

– Climb to the top of the British Airways i360 tower and enjoy panoramic views of the city, sea and beyond.

– Play games, eat cotton candy, and feel like a kid again at the exciting and fun Brighton Palace Pier.

– Explore the labyrinth of lanes that make up this small and charming neighbourhood.

– Relax and enjoy the Pavilion Gardens, a lavish green space in the centre of Brighton.

– Dive deep into the spooky and scary history of the neighbourhood by taking a ghost walk tour of the Lanes.

– Visit the oldest operating aquarium in the world at Sea Life Centre.

– Explore Brighton’s Victorian history by going deep underground and taking a Sewer Tour.

– Fly through the air above the city on a 300-meter long zip line at Bright Zip.

Best Hostel in the Lanes: The Grapevine

Right on Brighton’s seafront, the Grapevine is the perfect location for travellers, backpackers and students on a budget.

Featuring dorms and private accommodations, the rooms are clean and equipped with bunk beds and basins. Close to shops, restaurants, bars and clubs, enjoy a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere just minutes from Brighton’s vibrant and colourful city centre.

Best Hotel in the Lanes: Queens Hotel & Spa

With great views and an unbeatable location, you won’t find a better hotel in the Lanes. On the 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 and a great atmosphere within walking distance of the city.

Best Airbnb in the Lanes: Private suite in the heart of The Lanes

Modern private room with a double bed, closet and armchair for relaxing. The room has its own tea and coffee making facilities. The host offers complimentary toiletries, wifi and an equipped kitchen for guests who want to cook.

3. Kemptown Neighborhood – Where to stay in Brighton for Nightlife

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. Relaxed by day, this little village is one of the liveliest quarters in the city by night. It is busy most nights during term times and on Brighton weekends during the summer.

If you’re looking to enjoy Brighton’s hottest bars and late night pubs then you’ll want to stay in Kemptown. This small village is where tourists and locals alike come to let off steam on the weekends.

Thanks to a recent influx of restaurants, Kemptown is now Brighton’s ultimate destination for good food and great drinks too. For more inspiration, check out this mini guide on Brighton’s nightlife.

Kemptown, Brighton

Things to See and Do in Kemptown Brighton

– Dress up and dance the night away at Club Revenge, Brighton’s most iconic gay venue.

– Enjoy urbane cocktails and sophisticated wine at the Plotting Parlour, a rustic and charming bar.

– Savour a cheap and delicious curry at Kemptown Tandoori, a local favourite.

– Strip down and spend a sunny day at the Naturist Beach.

– Enjoy great cocktails and stunning views on the sea-facing terrace at Patterns.

– Pick up a piece, painting or sculpture by a local artist at the George Street Gallery.

– Shake it all night long as local DJs spin crazy tracks at Concorde 2.

– Discover your new favourite band at Latest Music Bar.

– Enjoy a wide variety of local and international beers at the Brighton Bierhaus.

– Sample creative takes on traditional European dishes made from local and seasonal fares at 24 St Georges Street.

Best Hostel in Kemptown: The Istanbul EV

The Istanbul EV is a small guesthouse in Brighton’s Kemptown neighbourhood. It is a short walk from the 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. Enjoy the best of Brighton’s nightlife by staying at this modern and centrally located guesthouse.

Best Hotel in Kemptown: Fab Guest

In the heart of Kemptown is Fab Guest, a charming and quirky boutique hotel. It’s located a short walk from Brighton’s liveliest neighbourhood, trendiest restaurants and most stylish bars.

Each of the hotels 14 rooms are fully equipped with comfortable beds and everything you need for an unforgettable stay in Brighton.

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

This two beddrom 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 bijou balcony taking in the fresh sea air.

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4. Hanover Neighborhood – Coolest Spot to Stay in Brighton

Hanover is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Brighton. Famous for it’s bright and colourful houses and buildings, this borough sits atop a very steep hill.

It was a low-income area until the 1980s, but as of recent Hanover has evolved into a haven for yuppies, hipsters and families alike.

No matter where you stay in Hanover, you’re never more than 60 seconds from a pub. Lining the area’s steep streets are hundreds of bars, cafes, brew houses and pubs. If you’re looking for good food, great drinks and a fun and funky atmosphere, look no further than Hanover.

Hanover, Brighton
source: KingTa (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Hanover Brighton

– Grab a pint and hit up the beer garden of the Setting Sun for spectacular views of the town and sea.

– Take a stroll through impressive and relaxing Queen’s Park.

– Enjoy a traditional Sunday roast at the Dover Castle.

– Attempt the infamous Hanover Pub Crawl along Southover Street.

– Taste some of the best-stonebaked pizza outside of Italy at the Hanover.

– See impressive works of art by local artists at The Phoenix Gallery.

– Sample cracking good British fare, like bangers and mash, at the Goose.

– Place a few bets and spent a day watching the ponies at Brighton Racecourse.

– Enjoy a rotating menu of beers and great quality food at the Independent near Queens Park.

– Pop by the Muesli Market to pick up a local organic snack or two.

Best Hostel in Hanover: Home Brighton

The closest hostel to Hanover is south of the neighbourhood near Victoria Park. It’s located within walking distance of Hanover, the town centre, and all of Brighton’s top attractions.

Vibrant and social, this hostel has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, a relaxing common space, and a fully equipped kitchen. Enjoy free wifi and daily breakfast too at this safe and fun hostel.

Best Hotel in Hanover: Richmond Place Loft Apartment

Enjoy all the comforts of home with the luxury of a hotel at the Richmond Place Apartments. Conveniently located near public transit, these apartments are well connected and within walking distance of Brighton’s top attractions.

With free wifi, full kitchens, and comfortable accommodations, you won’t find a better place to stay in Hanover.

Best Airbnb in Hanover: Unique Brighton Apartment

A bright and airy, recently renovated ground floor apartment in the emerging London Road area with it’s inspiring new eateries and galleries. The apartment is perfect for 4 – 6 guests with three beds and two bedrooms that have exposed wooden floorboards and multiple double electrical sockets. There is also complimentary wifi and an iMac is available for your use while you staying at the property.

5. Hove Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Brighton for Families

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.

Hove is serviced by bus and train and is well-connected with the rest of Brighton. A short ride from the town’s top attractions, Hove is home to a number of great restaurants, charming cafes, and family-friendly activities. Enjoy small village charm just a stone’s throw from the city in Hove.

Hove, Brighton

Things to See and Do in Hove

– Take a leisurely stroll along the seashore.

– Catch a show at the Brighton Open Air Theatre.

– Run, jump, laugh and play at the Hove Lagoon.

– Sample delicious cheese at La Cave Au Fromage.

– Visit the Old Market, an independent venue showcasing live theatre.

– Learn about local history and cinema at the Hove Museum and Art Gallery, where a main focus of the exhibits is for children.

– Stroll along Church/Western and browse the small and independent boutiques that call Hove home.

– Enjoy great food and a wonderful atmosphere at Archipelagos, a family-friendly Greek restaurant.

– Visit the Brighton Fishing Museum and take a journey through the history of the area’s seafront.

– View works of art by award-winning British artists at the Whistleblower Gallery.

– Relax and enjoy a picnic lunch in Hove Park, a 40-acre green space home to grass, trees, flowers, and play facilities.

Best Hostel in Hove: Smart Brighton Beach

The most family-friendly hostel in Brighton is Smart Brighton Beach. Located near Hove and the Lanes, this hostel is within walking distance of the town’s best attractions.

Offering a wide selection of rooms, free breakfast, and comfortable accommodations, this hostel is perfect for families of any size.

Best Hotel in Hove: Best Western Princes Marine Hotel

Just steps from the seaside, this hotel is centrally located in Hove. Close to the neighbourhoods major attractions, the Best Western Princes Marine Hotel is also a short distance from the centre of Brighton.

Enjoy relaxing and fully equipped rooms with modern amenities at this charming 3-star hotel.

Best Airbnb in Hove: Charming and Tranquil Home

Perfect for 2 – 4 guests, this 2 bedroom English holiday home is filled with natural light and modern decor, with luxe textures that honor the house’s Victorian structure. Neutral hues are offset by jewel tones and cosy accents; from the roof terrace, take in surrounding Clifton Hill.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Brighton

So there you have it, guys. One of the UK’s happiest cities has something for everyone: young backpackers, vacationing families, the LBGTQ+ community, night crawlers, beer aficionados; you name it.

If you’re still unsure where to stay in Brighton, I’ll recap our favorite hostel and hotel. The Grapevine is one of Brighton’s best hostels, located right on the seafront with clean and equipped dorms and rooms. You heard it through the grapevine.

Our favorite hotel in Brighton has got to be Fab Guest because it’s in the heart of Kemptown, Brighton’s nightlife hot spot. Here you’ll be close to some of the best restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Have you been to Brighton? Let us know what we missed in the comments below!

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