The Ultimate Student Guide to the City of Brighton
Brighton: a beautiful, vibrant, colourful coastal city; famous for its fish and chips, for being the UK’s LGBTQ+ hub, and for its fun atmosphere. The city is also home to two popular universities- the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex- which means that there is a sizeable student demographic. In fact, Brighton has the largest student population of any UK city!
Brighton is an amazing place, particularly for students. It can be hard to know where to begin with exploring this exciting city, so we have compiled the ultimate student guide to Brighton!
WHAT TO DO
What we love most about Brighton are its endless possibilities. The city is the ideal combination of green, coastal and urban life, meaning that there is so much to see and do.
Naturally, the first thing that people attribute to Brighton is the seaside! In the summer months, tourists flock from far and wide to come and swim in the Channel and relax on Brighton’s stunning coastline. The beach is a popular hangout spot for Brighton’s students, particularly when the weather is warmer. Make the most out of studying by the sea! Take walks to breathe in the salty air, or go for a rejuvenating morning swim if you’re feeling brave.
If you’re visiting the beach, you also need to make a stop at Brighton Palace Pier. Unleash your inner child in the arcades- see if you can get lucky on the 2p machines! There is also a fairground on the pier, with rollercoasters, dodgems and waltzers. Make sure to try the famous mini sugared doughnuts, served hot by several vendors. From November to March at dusk, you can spectate the breathtaking murmuration of starlings from the pier.
Another of the top things to do in Brighton is to attend the Pride festivities! Brighton is an extremely inclusive, liberal city which makes it popular with the LGBTQ+ community. Held annually in August, Brighton Pride is a flamboyant celebration of diversity. The whole city is covered with rainbow flags, Pride attendees in the streets, and world-famous music acts like Britney Spears come to perform.
Whilst studying in Brighton, you should go and see the city’s treasured landmarks and historical sites. One of the best-known is the Royal Pavilion, a gorgeous Regency-style palace built for King George VI. Take a stroll in the Pavilion Gardens, or make use of the discount for Brighton and Hove residents to go inside the palace. In the winter, you can go ice skating in the grounds of the Pavilion.
Brighton is full of quirky independent stores, vintage clothing shops, markets and not forgetting the usual high street brands! It is the ideal city for shopaholics.
If you’re planning to shop in Brighton, we first need to set the difference between the North Laine and the Laines straight!
The North Laine is Brighton’s bohemian quarter located between Church Street and Trafalgar Street; a buzzing matrix of people, street art, culture and independent stores. Here you will find the Brighton favourite, Snooper’s Paradise: a flea market with dozens of stalls selling an eclectic mix of second-hand wares. The North Laine is also laden with trendy vintage clothing emporiums. Beyond Retro is a student stomping ground; the go-to place for picking out the most stylish 90’s Adidas jackets and 60’s flared jeans. If you love music, the North Laine will pique your fancy. Resident Music stocks thousands of vinyl records, and is known for its seriously cool vibes.
The Lanes on the other hand are a labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets and squares closer to the seafront, adorned with jewellers, antique stores, designer shops and restaurants. Here you will find Hannington’s, a pedestrianised retail hotspot filled with high street classics, upmarket fashion brands and several beauty, jewellery and gift boutiques.
WHERE TO EAT
Food is arguably one of the most important aspects of any city, and Brighton certainly does not disappoint in this department! With hundreds of restaurants and street food offerings from nearly any cuisine imaginable, Brighton is a gastronomic heaven with no shortage of options.
Brighton is often called the ‘vegan capital of the world’, for good reason! Vegans will never feel like they are missing out in this forward-thinking city.
Here are just some of our favourite eateries for students to try out:
For classic fish and chips – Bardsley’s
If you’re studying in Brighton, you’ve got to have a taste of the classic fish and chips. Bardsley’s is one of Brighton’s most iconic ‘chippies’, and serves this famous British dish to loyal customers each day. Whether you have yours with salt and vinegar or curry sauce (controversial!), you’re going to love Bardsley’s super fresh food and relaxed vibes.
23A Baker Street, BN1 4JN
For homemade ice cream – Boho Gelato
It might be cold in Brighton but you’re by the beach, so it’s only right that you go for ice cream; and Boho Gelato is known for selling the best in the city! Boho uses local, sustainable ingredients to produce countless flavours of luxurious Italian gelato. From the tried and tested vanilla, to the more wacky hibiscus and tequila, you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your taste buds here. There are also many vegan sorbets and ice creams made with dairy alternatives at Boho.
6 Pool Valley, BN1 1NJ
For vegan sushi burritos – Happy Maki
Not only is Happy Maki delicious, it’s also cruelty-free, healthy and Instagrammable! With a varied menu serving everything from hoisin ‘duck’ sushi burritos to tempura cauliflower, there’s something for everyone at this Japanese-fusion eatery. Happy Maki currently operates two restaurants: a take-away spot on the seafront, and a dine-in joint in the North Laines.
23 Sydney Street, BN1 4EN (eat-in)
8 Pool Valley, BN1 1PN (take-away)
WHERE TO DRINK
Brighton is full to the brim with eccentric bars and lively pubs- we did say it’s a great city for students!
But fear not if you don’t drink. Brighton also has a wonderful array of non-alcoholic options of juice and smoothie bars, bubble tea shops and more.
Here are a few to try out:
For student deals and DJ sets – Hobgoblin
If you’re looking for a proper student bar, Hobgoblin is the place to go. Boasting cheap drink deals every night of the week, DJs each weekend and a funky beer garden, it’s no surprise that Hobgoblin is extremely popular with the student crowd.
31 York Place, BN1 4GU
For drinks over retro arcade games – The World’s End
The World’s End is the perfect watering hole for any arcade game fanatic! Be crowned Scaletrix champion and have a go at Pacman, all with a craft beer or gin in hand. You can also book out one of the pub’s virtual reality booths or test your luck in their escape room.
60-61 London Rd, BN1 4JE
For Taiwanese bubble tea – Tee Tea Bubble Tea
Try out traditional Taiwanese bubble tea, a delicious non-alcoholic drink consisting of fruity flavoured tea and chewy ‘boba’ bubbles. Tee Tea has so many combinations and flavours on offer, from brown sugar, to kiwi, to Nutella!
11 Church St, BN1 1US
HOW TO GET AROUND THE CITY
Travelling around the city is pretty simple! Not only is it very easy to walk and cycle in Brighton, but there are also extensive public transport networks.
Both the University of Sussex and Brighton campuses are well-served by buses. The University of Brighton even runs a shuttle bus service between the Varley Park halls of residence and the university campuses, which is free of charge to students.
Students are eligible for savings of up to 25% on citySAVERs and networkSAVERs bus tickets. Find out more here.
You can also travel around Brighton by train. From Brighton station, you can easily reach London and Gatwick Airport. The University of Sussex campus is conveniently situated close to Falmer station which can take you to the city centre and further along the coast.
Be sure to check out the Roome website, where we post loads of tips and tricks for university students every single week. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to learn more about how we’re revolutionising the student housing market!
Posted by Owen Redman
Co-founder of Roome