Planning a trip to sunny Queensland? Don’t miss out on this list of the best things to do in Brisbane!
The capital of Queensland and one of Australia’s largest cities, Brisbane is a highly sought after destination for those coming Down Under.
Brisbane city has a rich history for both colonial settlers and First Nations people, a vibrant food scene, beautiful city views, art galleries, swimming pools, river walkways, and so much to do.
One of the oldest cities in Australia, the city is named after the Brisbane River and was chosen as a place for secondary offenders from the Sydney Colony.
Fast forward to today, and the Brisbane region is a popular destination not only for visitors from overseas but for Australians looking for a fabulous city break.
The city is commonly referred to as ‘Brisvegas’ due to the incredible nightlife, food scene and attractions that give it a similar vibe to that of the American Las Vegas.
READ MORE: Get out of the city on one of these awesome day trips from Brisbane!
Table of Contents
- Our Guide to the Best Things to do in Brisbane
- 1) Stroll Around South Bank
- 2) Wade at Wynum
- 3) Capture or Climb Story Bridge
- 4) Space out at Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
- 5) Get Out on the River
- 6) Roam Around Roma Street Parkland
- 7) Head out to Mount Coot-tha
- 8) Get Your Art on at the Gallery of Modern Art
- 9) Mosey Through the Botanical Gardens
- 10) Head Across the River
- 11) Take a Trip to Eat Street Northshore
- 12) Take in a Match
- 13) Bottoms up at the XXXX Brewery
- 14) Visit Cedar Creek
- 15) Venture Down to Howard Smith Wharves
- 16) Waltz Around the West End
- 17) Catch a Show at The Powerhouse in New Farm Park
- 18) Explore the City’s History
- 19) Take on a Flightless Skydive
- 20) Head to the Seaside
- 21) Check out the Koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
- 22) Take A Day Trip
- Brisbane City Guide
Our Guide to the Best Things to do in Brisbane
In addition to the nightlife, Brisbane is also home to many lush green parks, gardens, art galleries, walking trails and outdoor activities to be enjoyed.
Explore Mount Coot Tha, the South Bank Parklands, the Brisbane Riverwalk and more.
Dive into history, art, and culture in the Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum, Brisbane Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art, or City Hall.
Enjoy a footy match, climb Story Bridge, or visit some of the world’s best restaurants. You name it, Brisbane has got it.
The Brisbane region has an amazing climate, so it’s the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy school holidays soaking in the sun.
Or maybe you fancy a food-and-drink style holiday with friends. Enjoy the clifftop walks, a beautiful river cruise, and fun activities for all.
It’s also conveniently located near the Gold Coast, Surfer’s Paradise, and Byron Bay. So it fits in nicely with an Australian East Coast road trip.
There are also lots of islands off the coast of Brisbane for further exploring, such as Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island. Take a trip to the Sunshine Coast or visit national parks inland like the Scenic Rim.
Here is a list of 22 fun things to do in Brisbane so you can make the most of your visit to this beautiful Australian city.
1) Stroll Around South Bank
The riverside walkways and attractions of the South Bank should have a place on everyone’s list of fun things to do in Brisbane.
Located in South Brisbane along the Brisbane River, this was the site for the Brisbane World Expo in 1988 and then opened to the public in June of 1992.
The bank is home to an incredible amount of history and culture, and where you’ll find iconic spots such as the Brisbane Wheel, The Brisbane Conservatory and amazing lush green spaces to enjoy.
In the Cultural Precinct, you’ll find the Queensland Science Centre & museum, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and the State Library. You can find more info about all of these places on the Brisbane City Council website.
The South Bank Parklands covers 17 hectares with free swimming spots, rainforest parks, fig trees, and picnic areas all to be enjoyed for free.
Clem Jones promenade is the perfect place to take a walk with a coffee and soak in the views over the river or visit a rooftop bar.
The Epicurious Gardens are a community-run garden where you can learn about permaculture and maybe purchase some fresh produce.
The South Bank Grand Arbour is a stunning covered walkway lined with beautiful flowers and makes for some great photographs too.
Tons of markets, restaurants, cafes and food stalls exist in this part of south Brisbane so you have lots of options for meals.
Two of the most iconic Brisbane attractions here are the Wheel of Brisbane, which is a Ferris wheel that takes you up 197 feet for perfect panoramic views of the city.
And Streets Beach, a man-made swimming hole which will make you feel as if you’re at the seaside without having ever left the city. Streets Beach is also a great place to go with the whole family.
2) Wade at Wynum
Located on The Wynum Esplanade are the Wynum wading pools.
This heritage-listed pool was built in 1932 and is a huge part of Brisbane’s history.
The large pool fills with water straight from the sea at high tide and is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer’s day.
A concrete walkway/wall separates the pool from Moreton Bay and several pipes allow water right from the ocean to flow through into the pool at high tide.
A mesh fence has been installed to keep the pool free from any marine life in the ocean and a flood gate installed so at low tide the pool is still full.
Make a day of it by packing up a picnic, some lounge chairs and set off for a paddle in the pool.
Make use of the lush park space surrounding The Esplanade and stop in at any of the lovely cafes along the stretch of shoreline too.
Nearby to the wading pools is the Manly Jetty which is perfect for photographers looking to take photos.
Or if you want to get a better view out to Green Island just across the bay.
Pandanus Beach is just off to the left of the jetty and the Wynum Wading pools if you fancy looking for sea glass or want to tuck into some fab fish and chips by the seaside.
READ MORE: Plan your trip to Australia with our comprehensive Australia Travel Guide!
3) Capture or Climb Story Bridge
Crossing the Brisbane River, Story Bridge is a huge part of the city’s history and one of the top things that should be on your Brisbane sightseeing list.
This steel heritage-listed bridge was opened in July of 1940 and was a toll bridge until 1947.
Story Bridge offers an iconic view of the Brisbane CBD and the city skyline, and is one of the highlights for photographers visiting the city.
Catch it during the day when thousands of people cross it as part of their commute. Or head down as the sun is setting and capture it all lit up with the skyline behind.
If you’ve taken your photos and want to experience the bridge in another way, then strap into a harness and get climbing.
74 meters above the Brisbane River and with some of the best views of the city, climbing the bridge is possible by signing up for a tour with Story Bridge adventure climb.
In 2 hours, adventure enthusiasts will be able to find out why this is one of the most fun things to do in Brisbane.
After a short brief by the crew, you’ll be strapped in and ready to climb to the top of the bridge while getting the low down about the cities history as well as of the bridge.
Once you reach the top you’ll be gifted with 360 degree views of the city and the surrounding Glasshouse Mountain range.
This is a completely unique experience that brings some of the most incredible views, but maybe not for those afraid of heights.
4) Space out at Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
The Sir Thomas Planetarium was opened in 1978 and named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the governor of the New South Wales Colony in the early 1820s.
A visit to the Planetarium, located at the foot of Mt. Coot Tha, is one of the most out-of-this-world things to do in Brisbane City.
The Planetarium features a cosmic skydome theatre that seats 130 people. Here visitors can see different talks, video experiences, and educational programs.
In the display zone, you’ll have access to artifacts and displays which include spacecraft models, a replica of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit and even fragments of asteroids.
The Planetarium is also home to an exhibit showcasing some of Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders who have shared their star knowledge for the first time.
There is also a gift shop and a mini theatre where multiple different videos and space-related shows are held during the day for free.
For those who want to see Brisbane’s skies at night head to the observatory and join the astronomers of the planetarium.
Tours also take place when the weather conditions are just right on Saturday nights at the observatory where you may have the chance to see some spectacular activity in the sky.
Visit the Brisbane City Council website for more info!
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5) Get Out on the River
The Brisbane River is the longest river in South East Queensland and runs right through the city.
While staying in the city, chances are you’ll find yourself somewhere with a view of this gorgeous river.
But if you want to add something unique to your list of things to do in Brisbane then make a plan to get out onto the river.
You can take to the river in a kayak with an outfitter located near Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
With a local guide by your side in a kayak, you’ll paddle for nearly 2 hours learning all about the river you’re floating on and Brisbane.
It’s the perfect option for those who aren’t travelling with their own gear.
If you don’t want to get up close and personal with the river you can take a cruise with River City Cruises.
River City Cruises offer morning, afternoon, lunch and even evening river cruises.
And for everyone travelling on a budget do yourselves a favour and hop on the Brisbane city cat.
These catamarans are the city’s public transport ferry service, and also one of the fastest ways to get around the waterways.
Travellers get 30 minutes free to hop on/hop off the city hopper, making it not only the perfect way to get around Brisbane but also a fun little tour from the river without a high ticket cost.
6) Roam Around Roma Street Parkland
After a long flight or drive to get to Brisbane, chances are you’re going to need a good walk to stretch those legs and get some fresh air.
Look no further than the beautiful Roma Street Parklands.
A 10-minute walk away from the Brisbane CBD exists 16 hectares of gorgeous curated gardens, massive palm trees and stretches of paths to be enjoyed.
If you want to learn more about the Parklands join into a tour leaving from The Hub twice a day.
Or if you’re wrecked from a day of exploring hop on The Parkland Explorer.
This trackless train will take you through the lush fern gully, through the meadows, and around the whole park.
Public bbq’s, bike paths, tons of green space, and dog-friendly spaces, what more could you ever want from a city park?
From December to March there is a moonlight cinema to take advantage of, a lovely little tea house with a patio, and the most immaculate, well-designed gardens you’ve ever seen.
READ MORE: Pack the car and head north with this perfect Brisbane to Cairns road trip itinerary!
7) Head out to Mount Coot-tha
The closest mountain to the city centre is the beautiful Mt. Coot-Tha, less than 10km away from downtown Brisbane.
One of the highlights of visiting this spot is definitely the lookout, which is one of the best free things to do in town.
From the observation deck, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the Brisbane region. You can usually see all the way to Moreton Bay and Moreton Island from almost 290m above sea level.
If you fancy a bushwalk or a mountain bike ride, head to the trails. You can climb from the bottom to the summit.
If you want something a little different from hiking you can also go horseback riding along the trails with 20km of trails to choose from.
After trekking/biking/walking/photographing, relax with a sweet treat or have a meal at Kuta Cafe. Or have dinner at The Summit restaurant which is a bit more upscale.
Wander through the lovely parks, take a picnic or cook up a bbq on any of the public spits here as well.
This is also where people can find the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and The Planetarium.
READ MORE: Plan your trip with plenty of fun things to do on the Gold Coast!
8) Get Your Art on at the Gallery of Modern Art
Not only is the outside of the Gallery of Modern Art (aka GOMA) one of the top things to see in Brisbane, the collections of art housed here are incredible.
GOMA is also part of the Queensland Cultural Centre.
Opened at the end of 2006 and the largest of its kind in Australia, GOMA was also built to compliment the neighbouring Queensland Art Gallery.
The Gallery of Modern Art has held countless modern art exhibitions since they opened its doors to the public, including Marvel; Creating the Cinematic Universe and An Andy Warhol display.
Currently, the gallery is exhibiting a gallery called WATER which has been put together by several artists showcasing the theme of water.
Island Fashion was curated as an ode to the incredible fashions of Australia.
Peruse the Asian Art Collection, The Open Studio, The Australian Art Collection and the International Art Collection just to name a few. And check out the Queensland Art Gallery after for good measure!
9) Mosey Through the Botanical Gardens
Brisbane is lucky enough to be a city with not 1 but 2 botanical gardens.
The City Botanic Gardens are located just off Alice Street and also known as Queens Park.
While smaller, the City Gardens are still beautiful.
They are open 24/7, and they are and the perfect spot to have a picnic, read a book, play with your dog, or chill with friends for the perfect, cheap day out in the sunshine.
Nearby is the Queen Street Mall, an area full of shops and cafes so you can grab a bite to eat after exploring the City Botanic Gardens.
Next up is the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mount Coot-Tha, also with free entry and opened in 1976.
Covering over 50 hectares, you’ll be able to spend hours exploring the beautiful grounds and admiring the local and international plants and flowers.
Featuring a Japanese Garden, natural wildlife, Australian native rainforest trees and a tropical dome, these Botanic Gardens are simply beautiful and should be enjoyed at a relaxed pace.
Tuck into a coffee and a cake in the quaint cafe on-site before or after exploring. Or bring your binoculars and try to get some bird-watching in.
Dogs are sadly not allowed on site, nor is having a picnic.
But the gardens are located right next to Piedmont Park where you can do all those things before coming in to stroll the gardens.
Roaming the gardens is one of the best free things to do in Brisbane.
10) Head Across the River
One of the best things to do in Brisbane is crossing the river either by boat or on the Pacific Motorway.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs are heritage listed cliffs and a popular recreation spot.
If you’re an avid climber, head over to the cliffs on the eastern river banks where rock climbing is popular. There are multiple sections for different climbing levels and even floodlights for when it gets dark.
Also on this side of the city is Kangaroo Point Park containing public bbq’s, toilet facilities and benches. So it’s the perfect spot to head down for a sunset bbq or a Sunday session with friends.
Rent a kayak (or bring your own) and paddle down the river while looking up at the climbers.
Head out at dusk for an awesome viewpoint of the city and Story Bridge all lit up.
This part of Brisbane also connects to the Botanical Gardens which makes it a perfect addition to any trip out to Kangaroo Point.
11) Take a Trip to Eat Street Northshore
Are you a travelling foodie? Or just someone who loves to find new and fun places to eat when you travel? Or maybe you just need to eat?
Whatever the reason behind it, you should definitely take a trip to Eat Street Northshore in Brisbane.
Eat Street Northshore is located on the shore of the Brisbane River and is home to over 180 entertainment and delicious food options all in repurposed shipping containers.
Every Friday and Saturday from 4 pm-10 pm and 10 am-2 pm on Sunday, head down to the historic Maritime Wharf #2 and take on any number of eateries.
Taste the flavours of the world with food stalls serving up dishes from Vietnam, Africa, Brazil, Italy and Turkey just to name a few.
Pizzas, dumplings, Australian favourites, doughnuts, crepes, gourmet popcorn, mocktails, local beers, the options are endless.
Stop in at the multiple shops to pick up everything from gorgeous ottomans, beautiful dream catchers, local art pieces and even something for your dog!
It’s a no-brainer to head over to Eat Street Northshore and eat until you need to buy bigger pants – which you can also do here!
12) Take in a Match
Suncorp Stadium or Lang Park is where to head if you’re looking to get your sports fix while visiting Brisbane CBD.
It was originally established in 1914 and at one time housed sports such as cycling and soccer.
Now in more recent times, spectators can take in a rugby league or union game, soccer and even take in a concert.
The atmosphere alone is something worth experiencing even if you aren’t a die-hard sports fan. For a list of what’s on at Suncorp Stadium, visit their website.
If you really are into sports and what to know more about the history of Suncorp Stadium book in for a tour of the premier sporting facility.
Find out fun facts about the iconic Brisbane Broncos, and even the State of Origin matches.
On the grounds of what used to be a cemetery, you’ll be taken through the stands, the field and even the dressing room to get an all-access afternoon and learn so much about the stadium.
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13) Bottoms up at the XXXX Brewery
First sold over 140 years ago, XXXX beer is an Australian staple for any good summer bbq, Sunday at the stadium, or a night out with friends.
If you want to find out where the beer came from, why it’s named XXXX and learn to pull the perfect pint to impress your friends, why not take a brewery tour?
Visitors will even get a chance to head into the Packaging Hall to see how the beers are labelled and packaged before sending them off to bottle shops around the country.
If you want to get a taste instead of a tour, pop into the Alehouse for a great meal and a cold beer.
Gastropub dining, cold beers, pool tables, and even special function rooms for private hire are all the makings of a great day out in Brisbane.
14) Visit Cedar Creek
30 minutes from Brisbane, you’ll find yourself immersed in the beautiful bushland of Cedar Creek.
If you’re looking for a day trip to escape city without having to drive for hours then this is it!
The creek winds around from the top of Mount Glorious which is part of the D’Aguilar National Park and continues along the creek bed all to way to Moreton Bay.
Not only is the location serene and pretty but you may even get the chance to lay your eyes on some Aussie locals.
Not people of course, but some cool animals native to Australia like kookaburras, platypus and even wallabies.
Pack up a picnic or the fixings for a sausage sizzle and use one of the half a dozen bbq spots along the riverside.
Or pack your swimmers and sit around in the cool rock pools pre or post-hike out to the falls.
The Cedar Creek area has several different trails including one that leads you to a small waterfall which is always a highlight.
Be mindful of the trail to get there and back as it can be a little bit rocky and slippery when wet.
15) Venture Down to Howard Smith Wharves
At the boundary of Brisbane City Center, Fortitude Valley, and the bustling James Street, you’ll find the heritage-listed Howard Smith Wharves.
Constructed in the late 1930s and also known as Brisbane Central Wharves this is a great spot to check out new and exciting entertainment in the city.
More than 80% of the site has been designated as a public space to be enjoyed by visitors who come down to this part of Brisbane.
There is even a beautiful path for cycling/walking along the river’s edge with beautiful views across the river.
And if you want to be right in the heart of all the action that the wharves have to offer, there is even a hotel here.
The Fantauzzo is a luxury hotel built over 6 floors and with absolutely spectacular views.
Not only can you sleep and play here but the dining options are amazing too. From Felons Brewery to champagne sittings at Mr.Percivals.
Try the Greek-inspired menu at GRECA or maybe you fancy a bite to eat at Betty’s Burgers, some of the best in Brisbane.
This should definitely be on your list of things to do in Brisbane if you love good food, a great atmosphere, and a unique night out. Fortitude Valley itself is also classic for a night out in Brisbane, with James Street being a hub of the area.
16) Waltz Around the West End
The inner-city suburb of Brisbane is one full of unique and vibrant shops, cafes, restaurants, and more.
The West End of Brisbane is less than 2km from the city centre, and it’s a great place to wander around, grab a cocktail, see a show, or visit a rooftop bar.
If you’re into street art there are tons of murals to be found. You can even hop on a free Brisbane Greeter tour to learn more and find the best murals.
If you fancy a stroll through the markets you can head to the Boundary Street Markets every Friday & Saturday for some great food.
Or stop by the Davies Street Market on the weekend for fresh local produce and great coffee.
Looking for new views of Brisbane? Head over to Orleigh Park for fantastic views over the West End and Brisbane.
Want to get a little exercise in or try something new? Stop in at Urban Climb to test out the multiple climbing walls they have.
For something truly new and exciting, every full moon the West End hosts The West End Fire Festival full of fire spinning, live music and a drum circle.
Or catch a performance of the incredible Queensland Ballet.
Trawl through the charming vintage stores, op-shops and lovely second-hand bookstores to come home with a few treasures.
17) Catch a Show at The Powerhouse in New Farm Park
The Powerhouse is located at the centre of New Farm Park in Brisbane.
New Farm Park itself is lovely, with lots of green space and banyan trees, a sports oval, two tennis courts, and a croquet pitch. Also it’s just a stone’s throw from the Brisbane Riverwalk.
At the Eastern end of New Farm Park, you’ll find The Powerhouse.
The Powerhouse is used as a multipurpose centre for performing arts and cultural events in Brisbane.
It is housed in a refurbished power station, which is where the name originated from when it opened in 2000.
Today, the theatre space here can be rearranged to accommodate numerous types of events including concerts and dance performances.
Not only are visitors able to catch a show, a comedy night and a number of other events here, there are also 2 restaurants to be enjoyed, Bar Alto and Mary Mae’s Bar & Kitchen.
On the weekends, the space is converted to host a farmer’s market to be enjoyed by all.
Come down and check out Space Pixels, a cool and beautiful light exhibition inspired by video games.
You can even book in for tours of the space and get a behind the scenes look at what the Powerhouse used to be and what it was like as a power station.
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18) Explore the City’s History
Tucked into the Brisbane City Hall near Queen Street Mall you’ll find the Museum of Brisbane.
Here you can explore the contemporary and classic history of this city, all within a beautiful building which is also a piece of history to be admired.
The museum is open daily and entry for visitors is free, with the exception of special permanent exhibitions.
An added bonus is the museum is open until 7 pm on Friday nights with an opportunity to join a clock tower tour.
The museum manages the City of Brisbane collection which was created in the late 1850s and houses over 5,000 pieces of local art, sculptures and ceramics.
Exhibits can change often but some current offerings include Women in Architecture, which uncovers the relationship between practice and innovation in the industry.
Walking with Vida is a walking tour that will take you through the prominent women throughout Brisbane’s history as you step back in time.
Stay up to date with the events and exhibits at the Museum of Brisbane by visiting their website.
A nice little addition to the museum is the option of 2 cafes in City Hall from which to choose.
Visit Commix Espresso for a coffee or even for lunch or stop into The Shingle Inn.
Located on Adelaide St in Brisbane CBD, The Shingle Inn is actually a recreation of one of Brisbane’s most loved and oldest cafes which was opened in 1936.
19) Take on a Flightless Skydive
One of the most gravity-defying Brisbane activities involves making a trip to iFlyWorld.
Instead of heading up into the clouds in a plane you can get the thrill of a skydive without having to take that plunge.
At iFlyWorld you’ll be in the capable hands of a knowledgeable and trained instructor who will give you the safety rundown and how the experience works before suiting up and trying it yourself.
Your instructor will then take you into the wind chamber and then your session will begin.
Everyone will get 1 hour in the chamber and get 2 occasions to try flying. Additional hours can be purchased when you register for your time slot too.
While it is similar to a skydive, you won’t be jumping into the tunnel from any height. Instead, you’ll be lifted by the air below you and allowed to float on the controlled air flowing in the chamber.
No experience is necessary. Just a keen sense of adventure and closed-toed shoes and you’ll be off into the sky (sort of) in no time.
For more details and to book visit their website.
20) Head to the Seaside
Shornecliffe Pier, located north of the city centre, is a lovely slice of history that has been restored.
First opened in 1884, the pier was originally built for incoming ferry services and continued on like that for decades.
In the early 2000s, the city was set to tear down the pier. But the community banded together to have it restored in 2012.
The newly refurbished pier was opened again to the public in March 2016.
Extending nearly 350 m out into Bramble Bay, the pier is the largest in Brisbane and the longest in all of Australia.
While this may be just a pier to some, it is also the start-off point for the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht race and draws incredible crowds for this annual maritime event.
This stretch of beachside connects Shornecliffe, Brighton and Sandgate which makes for the perfect seaside day out.
Indulge in the freshest seafood, watch the windsurfers take on the swells at sea or even try it yourself on this day trip.
Sit out at one of the many cafes looking over the ocean as the sun rises or grab a drink with friends and watch the sunset.
Hit up the Sandgate Golf club for a round or two, go pub hopping in the afternoon or scour the countless op-shops for that hidden treasure.
If you’re traveling on a budget, just walking along the pier is one of the best free things to do in Brisbane.
21) Check out the Koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Founded in 1927, Lone Pine is the World’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary.
Originally opened during a time when koalas were being killed for use of their fur, the sanctuary was taking in sick, injured and orphaned koalas.
Founded by Mr. Claude Reid, who saw a need for a place to care for and protect this iconic Australian species, Lone Pine was created as a place to keep them protected and prospering.
Covering 11 acres, visitors can not only see koalas here but also wombats, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, and various types of reptiles and local birds.
There are opportunities to get up close and personal with the koalas here with the supervision of trained and experienced staff.
Or you can explore the sanctuary and join in on different animal talks and shows throughout the day.
The team at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary have dedicated their lives to the research and education of koalas and all the animals also residing here.
Their aim is to keep the safe and sustainable space they have created as a means to protect all animals who cannot protect themselves.
They pride themselves on being a teaching sanctuary, and one that promotes the social initiative.
For example, they have created a volunteer program so people can learn more about the animals and how to protect them.
In addition to offering visitors a chance to see these animals in a safe space, there are also different events hosted here like yoga mornings, children’s activities, and school programs on offer.
This is one of the most interesting and wholesome Brisbane activities. This day trip can get pretty busy during school holidays, but is always worth a visit.
22) Take A Day Trip
If you have time, one of the best things to do in Brisbane is venture outside the city on a day trip!
There are lots of great day trips from Brisbane, with the offshore islands being top of the list!
One of the best places to go is North Stradbroke Island, where you can either catch a ferry or book a guided day tour from Brisbane.
North Stradbroke Island is known for its pristine beaches and diverse ecosystems. As the world’s second-largest sand island, it offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, including expansive sand dunes, lush forests, and vibrant marine life.
Popular activities on North Stradbroke Island include whale watching, bushwalking, and enjoying the stunning sunsets over the Coral Sea.
Moreton Island is another popular island to visit. A day on Moreton Island can include kayaking or snorkelling at the famous Tangalooma Wrecks, or sandboarding down the massive sand dunes. You can also get here by ferry or guided tour.
Or you can try a land-based adventure and drive out to the national parks and hiking trails of the Scenic Rim!
Brisbane City Guide
Now that you know what to do in Brisbane City, we want to help you make your other plans as well by sharing the best accommodations and places to eat in the city.
Best Accommodation – Where to Stay in Brisbane
This buzzing capital city of Queensland is one of the most visited in the country.
Whether you’re flying straight into Brisbane or coming the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, you’ll want somewhere to rest your weary feet after a long day of traveling and exploring the city.
From luxurious resorts with incredible amenities to the perfect social backpackers for those on a budget, the city has it all. After enjoying all the fun things in the city, stay at one of these great places.
Best Hostel in Brisbane – Bunk Brisbane Fortitude Valley
Bunk Brisbane is in the heart of Fortitude Valley boasting a fun and social atmosphere for all their guests. The hostel is located right on the Brisbane River near Story Bridge.
This backpackers hosts a nightly meet and greet in the onsite bar called Birdies so guests can mix and mingle together after checking in.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Brisbane – Gambaro Hotel
Located less than 5 minutes from Suncorp Stadium the Gambaro is a boutique hotel with a gorgeous selection of rooms and suites.
All rooms come kitted out with triple-play entertainment systems, spacious layouts and a lot of the rooms here offer lovely balconies to enjoy the city views.
Dig into beautiful seafood dishes at the restaurant on-site or treat yourself to a meal at Blackhide Steakhouse in the restaurant as well.
No matter what has brought you to Brisbane you’ll want to keep coming back for this hotel. It is conveniently located near Suncorp Stadium, Roma Street Parkland, and the Brisbane River.
Best Luxury Hotel in Brisbane – The Westin Brisbane
The Westin Brisbane with city views of the Brisbane River and the city skyline, is in a prime location in the Brisbane CBD and offers world-class accommodation.
This 5-star hotel offers guest rooms with floor to ceiling windows, several restaurants, a fitness centre and the Heavenly Spa by Westin.
Gorgeous details run their way through every inch of the hotel making it the perfect oasis after a day taking on all the Brisbane attractions you want to see and more.
Best Restaurants in Brisbane
Eating is honestly one of the best Brisbane activities, and the city is home to a range of different cultures making the city a melting pot for all kinds of cuisines.
From fresh seafood restaurants with views of the river to pub gardens for all to enjoy the gorgeous sunshine, Brisbane has something for all taste buds.
Brisbane City has food options for every budget as well so you can fuel up during a day of sightseeing. The Queen Street Mall, the West End, Eat Street Northshore, and the South Bank are bursting with food options. But here are some specific places to eat in the city.
BUDGET – Melt Brothers
Using only the freshest of ingredients the brothers behind Melt Brothers have created the perfect place for cheese lovers, especially those on a budget with nothing on the menu going for more than $10.
Do yourselves a favour and try the M.C Cheesy mac & cheese or the Shake that Hass toastie. Melt Brothers is located right in the Brisbane CBD in Queen Street Mall.
MID-RANGE – Baba Ganouj
Baba Ganouj on the South Bank is a modern Lebanese restaurant with delicious, quality food at moderate prices. The decor is light, airy, and spacious with Lebanese-inspired additions like lanterns and olive trees.
The menu showcases traditional Lebanese dishes made with fresh ingredients and techniques that have been passed down for generations.
LUXURY – Customs House
With spectacular views of the Brisbane skyline, Customs House is a brilliant restaurant that does not spare anything for its guests (or their taste buds!).
Come for a special holiday meal, Afternoon Tea, Sunday Brunch or just treat yourself to a meal.
Queensland Snapper, mushroom Tarte Tatin, and grilled Mooloolaba prawns are just a few of the delectable items on the menu here.
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