Things to do in Southend

If you've just booked a hotel in Southend-on-Sea with us, then it's the perfect time to check out top attractions in Southend like Adventure Island, and top Southend-on-Sea activities like riding the Southend Pier train. Soak up the incredible Essex culture and entertainment on offer with trips to the Palace Theatre or Southend Central Museum and Planetarium, before finding some of the best places to eat in Southend-on-Sea to refuel for the rest of the day. Shopaholics can pick up a new outfit at Southend-on-Sea's best shops before enjoying the famous nightlife in Essex. You won't want to miss out on all the best things to do and won’t have to as it’s easy to get around in Southend-on-Sea, so check out our guides and start planning your coastal getaway. Our friendly teams and comfy Hypnos beds look forward to welcoming you soon. 

Show more
Show less

Attractions

While Southend Pier is the town’s most iconic sight, there’s so much more to see as well, from the historic Hadleigh Castle ruins to scenic parks with majestic views over the seafront.

Show more
Show less

Culture

Away from the colourful appeal of the seafront, Southend-on-Sea boasts art galleries and museums, which are well worth a visit. The town also stages popular cultural events throughout the year, including its annual film festival.

Show more
Show less

Activities

When you’re by the sea, why not have a go at something new and exciting, like kitesurfing or kayaking? Alternatively, you can stick to dry land with the thrills of Adventure Island theme park.

Show more
Show less

Shopping

Two main shopping centres full of major high street chains will more than meet your retail therapy needs on a visit to Southend-on-Sea. On top of that, the town also has some interesting markets to offer.

Show more
Show less

Theatre

Southend’s two main theatres both offer a glimpse of thespian history, as well as a wide variety of high-quality performances, from mainstream musicals to acclaimed comedians. Find out everything you need to know to catch a show during your stay.

Show more
Show less

Entertainment

There’s a vibrant live music circuit in Southend-on-Sea, or if you prefer drama and comedy, the town’s two main theatres attract some top-drawer shows. Add in the sporting scene and there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

Show more
Show less

Places to eat

Local seafood specialities rub shoulders with more exotic flavours from around the world, including Sicilian, Mexican and South Indian. This variety makes the many cafés and restaurants in Southend tempting to every palate.

Show more
Show less

Nightlife

Whether you’re looking for a club with urban vibes, boisterous live music or a sophisticated setting for post-beach cocktails, there’s nightlife aplenty in Southend-on-Sea. Read our guide to discover the best places to be when the sun goes down.

Show more
Show less

Pubs

There are gastropubs and backstreet locals galore in Southend-on-Sea. You can take your pick from a contemporary setting or a quaint slice of tradition offered by the historic Crooked Billet.

Show more
Show less

Southend Pier

No matter when you visit the town, it’s well worth taking time out for a stroll along the world famous Southend Pier, which also offers its own museum revealing the pier’s fascinating history.

Show more
Show less

Getting around

You won’t have any trouble getting to the town, thanks to Southend Airport. Plus, there are no fewer than three main railway station. And once you’re there, you’ll find it’s easy to get around by bus or by using the extensive cycling trails.

Show more
Show less

Our video guide to Southend

Our map of Southend

Southend Map