How is life in Brighton UK

English coast: Brighton is like London - but by the sea

From outside there are screeching gulls and murmured conversations under the bay window, then Arif knocks on the breakfast tray. This is how a perfect June morning begins in the British seaside resort of Brighton on the English Channel coast.

Arif comes from Brunei and is co-owner of the bed-and-breakfast house "Nineteen". Because he is gay, the family disowned him. And since Brunei introduced Sharia law in December 2014, he faces the death penalty if he returns home. But he feels in good hands in Brighton, the youngest city in the United Kingdom. It is a tolerant, free-spirited place that has always attracted lateral thinkers, fun-loving people and celebrities.

Cate Blanchett lived here and still misses Brighton to this day; Paul McCartney had a house with the universally despised Heather Mills (disparagingly in local jargon: "that woman"); Laurence Olivier resided here from 1960 to 1978. In Brighton, VIPs are not bothered, you are relaxed like in a London that has shrunk to 280,000 inhabitants. It is the largest seaside resort in England, has an eventful history and is as picturesque and cosmopolitan today as San Francisco in distant California might once have been in its best days.

Accordingly, this city has a lot of tourism to deal with. Tens of thousands of language students in numerous colleges, dozen investment bankers converted to real life - and a total of around eight million visitors a year. You need them, but you still moan sometimes in Brighton. Because there are too many. The day visitors from London in particular are unpopular.

Those who stay make themselves popular

On sunny Saturdays, hordes from the capital, 50 minutes away by train, invade Brighton, pounding on shops and restaurants and pouring their way down the hilly streets from the train station to the beach. Then it is often so full that there is no way of getting through in the opposite direction. These “daytrippers” make noise, dirt, sometimes trouble, and they leave an average of just £ 30 (38 euros) in the city before they flood back into their trains in the evening, burned bright red.