Brighton is a creative vibrant place, like no other, and a very popular student destination. The fact that Brighton and Hove have more pubs per square mile than London, might have something to do with it?! With 477 venues you’ll never be short of new places to try!
The coastal city has bags of character and has been crowned the LGBTQ+ and Green Capital of Britain. But finding your way around the rabbit warren of lanes, packed full of quirky shops and independent cafes and restaurants can be tricky.
So we’ve put together a list of unmissable things to do as a student in Brighton, so you can start exploring the best bits.
1) North Laines
We’re letting you into a well kept secret here, as students often don’t discover the North Laines until their second year! Students first gravitate towards Churchill Square, as the big shopping centre is easy to find and offers all the high street staples. But there is so much going on in the South Lanes, which are closer to the seafront, and the harder to find North Laines.
The North Laines are not to be missed – with a vast array of independent coffee shops, vintage clothing, jewellery shops, vegan shoe shops and kitsch gift shops, there’s something for everyone.
If you love a bargain, Snoopers Paradise is the place for you, you can spend hours looking through unique vintage bric-a-brac. It’s a Brighton institution!
2) Duke of York’s Picturehouse
With chain cinema Odeon in the centre of the city, it can be easy to overlook (or not even find!) Duke of York’s, as it’s tucked away on Preston Road. But as one of the oldest cinemas in the world, Duke of York’s is definitely well worth the trip!
The stunning Grade II listed building was originally opened in September 1910 and has been home to art house and blockbuster films ever since. It’s like travelling back in time, as you are treated to a full theatrical experience the moment you walk through the doors. Cinema goers can enjoy a fully stocked bar and sit on the plush red velvet chairs, enjoying the usual popcorn and cinema treats.
Once you’ve been to the Duke of York’s, you’re unlikely to want to go to another cinema again! Click here to book tickets for the latest films.
3) Casablanca Club
Casablanca always promises to be one of the best night’s out in Brighton!
There’s fantastic live music and if you’re into jazz, funk, disco, soul and motown – and having a good time – this is the place to be.
Student concessions are available on entry with a student card. There’s lots of drink promotions and we recommend getting there early for happy hour to avoid the queues.
Find the latest line-up here.
4) The Font
Nestled deep in the South Lanes, this beautiful former 17th Century chapel has been transformed into a bar and a fantastic student hangout.
The Font has two levels so you can get a great view of the live DJs, or sport on offer, whilst trying out the large selection of cocktails.
Click here to see the latest offers and entertainment, or to book a table.
5) Brighton & Hove Pride
Brighton and Hove Pride is the country’s most popular Pride event and one big celebration! The whole city bursts with energy, as everyone takes to the streets in early August to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Expect to have a fabulous time!
If you want to stay in the heart of the action, you can camp and make a trip to Fabuloso in the Park in Preston Park, which has top acts and showcases cabaret, dance tents and spoken word.
Or you can head straight to Kemptown to continue the party, for lots of lively LGBTQ+ bars and clubs.
6) Great Escape Festival
Brighton has an amazing live music scene and has hosted some epic gigs over the years.
If you want to listen to the best upcoming artists, check out The Great Escape festival. It’s the UK’s leading showcase for new music and features over 400 up-and-coming artists from all over the world.
Get your tickets here.
7) Lucky Voice
If you haven’t tried karaoke before, it’s a lot of fun and not as daunting as it may seem! At Lucky Voice you can enjoy your own private room for 2 hours (for up to 30 people), and with a catalogue of over 10,000 songs, you’re sure to find your favourites to sing along to.
You can even do a cocktail masterclass, learning how to make lots of different cocktails – and of course, enjoy sampling them!
Click here to book.
8) Food for Friends
There’s plenty of choice of restaurants and if you are vegetarian or vegan, you’re really in luck, as Brighton has just been named as the best city in the UK for vegans for the second year in a row!
If you’re new to the city, be sure to try Brighton’s original award winning vegetarian and vegan restaurant, Food for Friends, which has featured in The Sunday Times’ Top Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants and in The Good Food Guide.
The restaurant uses fresh local produce and claims that “you’ll be welcomed as a guest, but will leave as a friend.”
To see the menu, or to book a table, click here. It can get very busy, so booking is recommended.
9) Trading Post Coffee Roasters
Pulled an all nighter? Independent, family run, Trading Post Coffee Roasters will help you get through the next day. This coffee shop offers delicious sustainable coffee that people will queue around the block for. The cafe has 3 levels, including on-street and rooftop seating, which are great places to catch up with friends and do a spot of people watching. They roast their coffee by hand, in small batches to create fresh artisan coffee.
Brighton is a very eco-conscious city and the first and only place in the UK to have a Green Party Member of Parliament. Sustainability and ethical choices are important, as you’ll see in products and venues across the city. In this cafe you’ll also find an eco-friendly toilet, where the water from the sink is reused in the toilet.
To find Trading Post Coffee Roasters, click here
Brighton is a fantastic city for comedy, with comedy festivals and sell out tours for some of the biggest acts. A great intimate venue is Komedia, which offers lots of great student discounts. It’s tucked away in the North Laines, but once you know it’s there, it’s very hard to miss – the building has a bright neon ‘Komedia’ sign and next to it you’ll see an iconic and unmissable giant pair of legs with red and white stripey tights and red shoes.
To see what’s on, click here
We hope this blog has given you plenty of tips and inspired you to discover Brighton’s hidden gems for yourself.
If you would like to learn more about studying in Brighton, contact our friendly student support team today on +44(0)2392 839210.