When the temperature drops on my Cloud, I like to float down to sunny Brisbane! The capital of Queensland in Australia has the perfect mix of warm weather, modern and historical attractions, and a fantastic dining scene. It’s the ideal city-break for everyone!
If you take a drive around Brisbane’s surroundings, you will notice its epic nature – there are national parks everywhere! Brisbane was founded on nature. The area has been home to Aboriginal Australians – specifically the Jagera people – for 22,000 years, who settled here due to the abundance of flora and fauna in the region.
It’s a great place for the Jagera people and for us!
Brisbane Airport lies northeast of the Central Business District (“CBD”) and is connected to the city by the AirTrain, taking just 20 minutes to reach the centre. Drive time is about the same, and Uber is available at the airport and throughout the city.
Here’s a Pro-tip: Can’t find an Uber? The taxi apps Didi, Ola, and GoCatch also operate in Brisbane. GoCatch is an Australian rideshare app which often has cheaper fares than Uber, and deals can be found on Didi and Ola as well. It’s worth downloading them all to compare.
You’ll wheelie like biking in Brisbane!
Hop across the river on a free ferry seven days a week! If you would rather explore the city on two wheels, there are 150 CityCycle stations where you can rent a bike for a few hours.
Brisbane is such a friendly city, there is so much to see and do. I’d recommend the following:
- If you do one thing in Brisbane, it should be to climb the Story Bridge. The bridge is the city’s answer to the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, and it is just as iconic on the Brisbane skyline. Scale it to enjoy a breath-taking view of the subtropical city.
- For an insight into Brisbane’s past, I recommend checking out the Boggo Road Gaol. Take a tour and learn about the lives of the British prisoners that were sent to Australia, including some colourful stories about individual characters!
- Another important place to visit is the Brisbane City Hall. This building was constructed between 1920 and 1930. It is an example of the beautiful architecture of the period and the Museum of Brisbane is contained there.
The Story of this bridge spans history!
- And of course, it’s essential to learn about Aboriginal history when in Australia as well. The Black Card is an organisation that offers tours that give a fascinating insight into how Indigenous Australians thrived in the Brisbane area.
Other fun things to do in Brisbane include:
- Shopping at the Collective Markets, a three-day weekend market selling artisanal products, clothing, and local food.
- Browsing the Museum of Queensland, a great place to learn about the history and culture of the Sunshine State.
- Climbing on Kangaroo Point Cliffs, which is known as Brisbane’s outdoor climbing wall!
- Sunbathing on the artificial beaches of Southbank, which are perfect for an afternoon of relaxation after a busy day’s sightseeing. Southbank is often thought to be the cultural heart of the city, with street performers and pop-up events.
Brisbane is in an ideal location to explore some of South Queensland’s best nature. The Glasshouse Mountains are just an hour’s drive away, as are the world-famous Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast (north and south respectively). However, there are some beaches, like Nudgee, only 30 minutes from the CBD.
Here’s another pro-tip: If you have time, I would recommend spending longer in Brisbane to make the most of its excellent location for day trips. There are even more attractions in a 2-3 hour drive. You really can see the best of South Queensland and Northern New South Wales from there! From the city, it’s easy to reach beach towns like Byron Bay, national parks such as Springbrook, and even islands like Moreton Island and Cook Island.
I bet you’ll fancy some food after all of that exploring? Here are my favourites:
- On Fridays and Saturdays, I love heading down to Eat Street in Northshore. Here you can enjoy a lively atmosphere and affordable food stalls from all over the world – one week I’ll try Turkish Street Food, and the next I’ll enjoy authentic Mexican!
- For more formal dining in the CBD, I love the burgers and pizzas at Stanton and the Japanese cuisine of Yoko Dining, which is situated underneath the Story Bridge.
- If you want to treat yourself – you’re on holiday, after all – head to Gerard’s Bistro in the New Farm neighbourhood. This is a contemporary restaurant serving European, Middle Eastern and African food that has often been cited as the best restaurant in Brisbane.
I’m into fitness…fitness whole pizza in my mouth!
- Finally, my personal favourite is Tartufo, an Italian restaurant next to the Emporium Hotel in Fortitude Valley. The pizza and pasta are homemade and excellent!
Brisbane comes alive at night, and if you want to party, you won’t be disappointed. Here are some great places:
- Fortitude Valley was Australia’s first dedicated entertainment district and is home to two of my favourite rooftop bars, Maya and Elixir.
Brisbane is like a vampire. It comes alive at night!
- Also in the area, you’ll find famous clubs, like Family, which is favoured by backpackers, and The Press Club, which attracts an older crowd.
- Eagle Street Pier is another place to check out – some of them have a view of the Story Bridge.
- For beer fans, I recommend heading to Newstead Brewery to try some delicious craft beer.
If you do everything I’ve suggested, you’ll have a packed few days in Brisbane – which means that you’ll want somewhere comfy to rest your head at night! Here are some of my favourites:
- The Emporium Hotel in either Fortitude Valley or its sister in Southbank are wonderfully welcoming with generous rooms!
- Ascot Budget Inn is a short drive from the centre and is a great value accommodation option for those on a budget.
- In the city centre, check out Meriton Suites for some excellently priced apartments.
- The luxury Next Hotel, which has a rooftop pool, restaurant, gym, and extraordinarily luxurious rooms is also a favourite!
The Sunshine State’s capital is the perfect holiday destination for food, culture, partying and nature. Brisbane really does have it all! Whether you are there for a city break, or an extended stay to enjoy both the city and the surrounding countryside, I’m sure you’ll have an unforgettable time!