I suggest you eat more ice-cream and drink more lemonade. It may fit you perfectly in a few months.
4-5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton BN1 1EE
- Contact us:
- Opening hours:
Winter: Daily: 10-17.15h
Summer: Daily: 9.30-17.45h
(Last entry 45 minutes before closing)
Closed 25-26 December
33 reviews of Royal Pavilion in English
At first glance, you would think the Taj Mahal had been relocated to the seaside town of Brighton! This was the royal getaway palace for King George IV, and like its owner, the interiors are utterly mad, quirky and opulent. Each room is absolutely stunning, the whole tour was worth the ticket price. I highly recommend listening to the audio guide as it provides greater context to the pieces and rooms you are viewing. Shame you’re not allowed to take photos here!
I’m usually quite reticent about spending almost 10 quid to visit a palace, but this time after reading about the extravagant and quirky decoration of the Royal Pavilion, I was very curious and decided to come here in my day trip to Brighton. I didn’t regret it at all. Inside is even more impressive than outside, and some of the rooms (specially the banqueting room, with the amazing chandelier) really make you to hold your breath. The audio guide that comes with the ticket is very informative too, and absolutely recommended to explore the rooms.
Definitely a must for any Brighton visitor.
Aw, the Royal Pavilion. Arguably Brighton’s most unique and memorable landmark (the reaction you get taking Brighton-newbies to the surrounding gardens and exterior alone is always unforgettable), it somehow managed to escape my curious-visitor nose until almost 5 years after my arrival in this city!
I can’t comment on the price (it’s included for free if you have an Art Pass), but if you’re a local you can bring proof of residency and get in for under a fiver, so there’s really no excuse.
The Pavilion looks eccentric on the outside, and its interior certainly doesn’t disappoint! The dining room’s crazy, Oriental dragon themed chandeliers are one of the most extraordinary decorations I’ve ever seen in this country – the careful restoration of the Pavilion has certainly ensured that guests get the same sense of grandeur and opulence that George IV intended his visitors to experience, that’s for sure.
Hidden away upstairs, too, are some really interesting exhibits of drawings and cartoons showing (and satirising) the reign of George IV and the public views of him at the time. Head up to near the tea rooms for this.
The only minor quibble I have with the place is the over-heavy reliance on audio guides (‘push number 38 here’) as a way of conveying the information. While I certainly learnt a lot, my time in the Pavilion was probably shorter than the intended visiting length and as a result I didn’t get a chance to listen to everything on the guide – which I would really have liked to! I prefer having boards of information to read, but I understand that’s a personal preference and probably not exactly realistic for the museum to undertake considering just how many tourists come here. I would also have loved to have known what the uses are now for some of the closed off rooms, such as the kitchens and the secret bathrooms – even if they are just used as offices for staff!
Would I recommend the Pavilion? Outside of the busy tourist season, I’d say it’s a must do for anyone interested in architecture or learning more about Brighton’s history – there’s loads of information here and it’s easy to spend ages in the place. If you can brave the crowds, go in the summer too and experience the lovely gardens outside. Maybe next time I return as a paying visitor I’ll take one of the guided tours and get to know more about one of the most-loved landmarks in the city!
Great place to visit. Worth taking your time as you go round.
The Red Room is great for weddings but you will need to pay particular attention to shutter speeds due to the poor lighting…flash is not always the answer.
The Music Room makes wonderful space for group photos but, again the lighting is not very good
one of the must see's in Brighton. it's pretty hard to miss anyway. if you don't want to sign up for the full enchilada of pavilion museum (or you simply want to scrimp on money) visit the Brighton Museum and Art gallery next door (it's free and bitesize). If you really want to take it easy, have a walk around the park or enjoy planting yourself in the grass outside. Don't forget to breath.
been on a school trip today at pavillion, nice tearoom, informative talk and tour from martha gunn highly recommeded
Comment 2 comments on this review
hartingale, 1 December 2010:
so why the 1* - was it the school kids?
ybordley, 1 December 2010:
lol! should have been five finger slippage :-) I actually found the Martha Gunn talk fascinating. ps i like beige but really liked the pink Pavilion must admit. Copper saucepans would look good in my kitchen.
The first time I saw the Pavillion I was really disappointed to find out that is was beige. Burt then the Taj Mahal semed a bit disappointingly monochrome when I visited that so maybe I'm not the best judge of the exterior colours.
Once you are past the beigness it gets much better.
Don't forget that Brighton residents get a decent discount all winter, so if you are visiting ask to borrow a bill envelope off a friend.
It's amazing how many Brightonians have never been inside. Maybe they struggle with the beige too?
The extravagant opulence of the pleasure palace is astounding. I wish I'd been invited to the debauched royal parties that set the scene for modern Brighton.
The copper saucepans in the kitchen are quite good too.
I’ve always admired the architecture of the Taj Mahal inspired Royal Pavilion and was ridiculously excited about getting the chance to go inside when I visited with some colleagues last summer. Regrettably, I left feeling rather disappointed.
Previous reviewers have mentioned informative guided tours, but we were just handed a bizarre walkie-talkie guide upon entrance and told to press the corresponding button for each room. While the most boring voice I’ve ever heard droned on in my right ear, I wandered through the extravagant gaudiness of the Orient-inspired hallway, below the insanely huge dining room chandelier covered in golden dragons (which apparently used to frighten the Prince Regent’s guests) and into the kitchen full of taxidermied rats and pigeons.
I’m not saying the place wasn’t impressive, it was. Every room has a wow factor – particularly the Music Room which is covered in tens of thousands of hand-crafted cockleshells. I just would have enjoyed it even more if we’d had an enthusiastic (perhaps even costumed?) tour guide of whom we could have asked questions.
As a bit of a closet history geek, I adore historical buildings and interesting facts (providing they’re conveyed with the appropriate level of enthusiasm). The Pavilion, sadly, left me feeling more isolated from history than excited about it. I don’t think I’ll be going again.
I visited the Pavilion a few years ago on a trip to Brighton,on first seeing it I really wasn’t sure what it was.I had no idea that there was actually a royal Palace that George IV had commisioned in the style of the Taj Mahal.The palace is absolutely stunning ad gives you a taste of just how ridiculously these wealthy people lived.Words to describe this place could be amazing,garish,ludicrously extravagant….I could go on but it really is something to see.I visited here when I was unwell so used a wheelchair,you get in for free if you are in a wheelchair.Staff are also very nice ad helpful.
well what can i say apart from brillant no matter if it day/night. hot or cold always loads to do from fish and chips to posh nosh, loads of bars and clubs and plenty to do with the kids, funfair paddleing pool etc. its for all ages evev for grannie or granpa to sit on the pier in a deck chair..
The Pavilion is a must for anybody visiting Brighton. It is a great display of lavish playboy living and a lovely house you could happily live in. The music room is out of this world, well designed as music was a great passion of George IV. The royal bedrooms are good as well as this is where Queen Victoria stayed when she was younger. The kitchen is laid out as it would have been in an earlier age to entertain all the guests that came here.
The gilding, paintings, ornaments and silver are special and I wish I could just have one of these.
Great place to visit and easy to get around even if disabled. The architecture is very grand and imposing though I have to say it looks a little out of place in Brighton. I’m sure it was once a hub of cultural excellence and would’ve attracted the finest people of it’s day, now it has to put up with tours of people milling around. The interior decor is opulent and amazing. You’re not allowed to take photos. Worth a day out.
The Royal Pavilion is possibly one of the most ridiculous historical landmarks in Britain. It is a reminder of the height of decadence and self indulgence of the British aristocracy. The Prince Regent (who by the way I’m told ate himself to death) nearly bankrupted the country building this THING that was supposed to be a monument to his greatness.
The outside is supposedly built in the image of the Taj Mahal, which is ludicrous to anyone who has even seen a picture of the Taj. After having lived in Brighton for six years I was finally forced by my mother, who was visiting and wanted to act tourist, to go inside this monstrosity. We paid £8 per person and was given these horrid walkie talkies through which we were to get our automated guided tour. Let me tell you that I was even less impressed with the inside than I am with the outside. Most of the time I was in there, I felt like I was tripping on acid in the land of bad taste. Everything looks extremely expensive yet hideous and repulsive. There is no sense of history or culture in there, only extravagance and a stupid man’s desire to impress his cronies. Needless to say I dearly wished for a refund. The gardens are lovely but that’s about it.
The Royal Pavilion is the heart of Brighton. Its unusual character, based on the Taj Mahal in India, symbolises the uniqueness of Brighton. Even if you don’t go inside, just spending time around the surrounding gardens is a very pleasant experience, with a nice cafe nearby where you can grab a coffee and relax.
I visited the Royal Pavilion when I was in Brighton a few years ago and I still have very fond memories of it. It’s an absolute gem of a place - stunning and imposing yet completely mad. It was built for George IV, who was a terrible old hedonist and undoubtedly a lousy king. when it came to running the country.
Happily for future generations though, his lavish demands and quirky sense of humour when it came to achitecture have certainly left us a little gem - and since it’s no longer officially a Royal building, you can have a proper look around. It’s really interesting to see not only the formal dining room but to walk on to the kitchen which is amazing - technologically massively advanced for its time and decorated in the usual quirky style the Pavilion is famous for - it must have been a real pleasure to cook there.
I recommend the guided tour, as the guides are genuinely enthusiastic and knowledgable and will help you understand the context of what you’re seeing a lot better.
I wasn’t able to spend long enough here but I must go back. I thought that it was truly magnificent. At the time of our visit there was a man painting some of the chinese wallpaper. It was great to see such a skill being used. The kitchen was so advanced for the period and the guide told us that the Prince Regent showed this off to his guests. It is very unusual for a kitchen to be in the limelight at that period. It is so good that it is being restored to its former glory at long last.
I always take weekend visitors to the Pavilion; there’s often cheap entry for residents on proof of residency too.
The most interested visitor was my brother, who was fascinated by the kitchens in terms of working class history. He collared an attendant, who was inspired to show us what all the technology meant in the kitchen - how come the food was hot, how the steam and cooking smells were wafted away, how the cool storage for the meat was kept quite so cool, all sorts of things - including the servants’ passages hidden in the thickness of the walls.
The eyecatching things are still eyecatching, naturally; I love the music room, how rich it is with all its dragons. And I love the calmness of the rooms to which the ladies retired, all dusky greens and drapes.
The bedrooms are fascinating too - this is where he slept! This is her toilet! Her lady’s maid was right next door for whatever she wanted (my word, what did she want at 3am?). Its amazing
I love Brighton Pavilion. Nothing conjurers up Brighton’s diverse Heritage like an Indian mausoleum decorated with mainly Chinese furnishings and lived in by the somewhat hedonistic King George IV who held great banquets there. While to some it may seem a little over the top, to other’s it is the focal point of Brighton - the must see sight for all our EFL students every summer. My particular favourite is the bobbing Mandarin dolls in one of the corridor - a game apparently played by the kings guests where the aim is to get all the dolls heads bobbing up and down at the same time. It may not be as exciting a game as we have now but it’s a nice image to have as you walk around this striking home.
If you have kids try to get them to count all the dragons they can find - there are quite a few!
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