Brighton is known to be an expensive city, despite having 3 universities based there. So what is there to do on a student budget in the gorgeous seaside city? Well, here are 10 cheap things to do in Brighton for students!

1. Visit Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Location: Royal Pavillion Gardens, Pavillion Parade, BN1 1EE

Brighton Museum
Source: Wikipedia

The museum, connected to the Royal Pavillion, offers discounted rates to residents and university students attending the University of Brighton, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College or the University of Sussex. It costs just £6.75, which grants you access to exhibitions, including temporary exhibitions. The ticketing structure essentially functions as an annual pass too, providing ongoing access to their exhibitions and events throughout the year.

If you’re interested in some of the other museums across Brighton, here are exhibitions worth visiting:

  • Lee Miller: Dressed (BMAG – free with annual pass)
  • The Shining Lights of Service (Royal Pavilion Facade, Adelaide Balcony – free)
  • Godai: Japanese Woodcuts (Hove Museum of Creativity – free)
  • Christmas at the Booth Museum (free)

2. Explore the Open Market 

Location: Marshalls Row, Brighton, BN1 4JU

Explore the Open Market 
Source: Brighton Open Market Facebook

Open from 7 am to 7 pm most days, the Open Market is a covered market corridor that comes off of London Road. There, you can find a mix of stalls, small shops and sellers. Strolling through the market you will find everything from fresh produce, toffee, and crystals, to antique books, candles and jewellery. There are even a few eateries!

3. Game away at Loading Bar 

Location: Unit 11, Lower Promenade, Madeira Drive, BN2 1ET

Game away at Loading Bar 
Source: Loading.Bar

This tucked away little gem is bursting at the seams with everything a gamer could want. It has a huge range of tabletop games, card games, arcade games and most consoles. You can enjoy any of these games alongside their amazing range of game-themed grub and cocktails, all at reasonable prices. Or just get a lemonade and enjoy the games!

4. Take a stroll around Preston Park 

Location: Preston Road, BN1 6SD

Take a stroll around Preston Park 
Source: Wikimedia

Preston Park is a large nature park just out of the centre of town, and within it is a museum! The park is free to enter and features a rock garden, greenery, benches and the perfect backdrop for a picnic.

5. Visit the pier 

Location: Madeira Drive, BN2 1TW

Source: Brighton University

It seems obvious, but if you’re looking for something to do, gather your spare change and pop down to the pier! Great views, a fun atmosphere and plenty of arcades to keep you busy until you run out of coins.

6. Go to the charity shop superstore

Location: Drove Road, Portslade, BN41 2PA

emmaus brighton
Source: Emmaus

Emmaus, a huge charity shop, can be found just out of Brighton in Portslade. Hope on a 1 or 1a from town towards Mile Oak and get off at St Nicholas’ Church to find this hidden gem. The charity shop is free to enter, and its grounds are just as wonderful as the shop itself. There’s also a cheap cafe on site for anyone looking to grab some grub!

7. Take a hike around Devil’s Dyke 

Take a hike around Devil's Dyke 
Source: Wikipedia

This 100m deep B shaped valley is based in the South Downs and you can bus up to it from the town centre. Just buy a student CitySaver on the Brighton and Hove bus app for £3.45 and off you go! Explore the sites and the hills of Devil’s Dyke, and finish up with a drink in the pub on the top of the hill.

8. Wander around The Laines 

Wander around The Laines
Source: Wikipedia

Whilst it can be expensive to go shopping in The Laines, window shopping is completely free. Have a wander around the bizarre shops within Brighton’s famous Laines and see what oddities you can find. Shops like Snooper’s Paradise will provide you with hours worth of rummaging!

9. Sunday Car Boot Sale

Location: Brighton Racecourse, Freshfield Road, BN2 9XS

Sunday Car Boot Sale
Source: Bright on Car Boot

Whilst the Car Boot is only open on Sunday, it’s usually a pretty big turnout of sellers. You never know what you’ll find, from plushies to gaming consoles, art, jewellery, and designer clothing. Just hop on a bus or walk up to the race track and have a slow Sunday morning stroll through the stalls.

10. Brighton Flea Market 

Location: 31a Upper St James’s Street, Kemptown, BN2 1JN

Brighton Flea Market 
Source: Brighton Kemptown Flea Market Facebook

This little flea market has a wonderful array of weird and wacky antiques, models, furniture and other knick-knacks for you to peruse. There’s plenty in there for anyone genuinely looking to buy, or if you just want to waste some time wandering around, it’s great for that, too.

Still looking for more cheap things to do in Brighton? Check out our guide: Boredom to Fun: 50 fun activities for a cheap day out.

Last Updated on June 25, 2024