Brisbane City Guide
As Queensland's capital, Brisbane is a vibrant town that features a little bit of everything. Whether you are into water activities, shopping, history, or fine dining, there is something in Brisbane for you!
Visit one of the city's many seafood restaurants: Brisbane's seafood is some of the best in the world!
As you might expect, the closer you get to the water, the more seafood restaurants you're going to find. One of the favourites is The Fishmongers Wife in East Brisbane. There, they pride themselves on seafood that's "from the bottom of the ocean to the top of your palate".
Gambaro's has been a Brisbane staple for more than 50 years. The restaurant has virtually every kind of seafood you can think of, but the crab gets the most rave reviews.
Because the east end of it lies right on the Brisbane River, Boundary Street is a great place to find all kinds of yummy treats right from the sea - in addition to some great waterfront views!
Also right on the water is Eagle Street - where you will find Jellyfish serves at least 8 different species of fish every single day! If you're in the mood to combine treasures from both the land and sea, head to Kingsley's Steak and Crabhouse right down the street.
Hardgrave Road is one of the biggest streets in West End - one of the oldest suburbs in Brisbane. Of course, you'll find plenty of seafood on Hardgrave Road, but you'll also find plenty of other things, too - like coffee houses, pubs, Greek food, Mexican food, and even Middle Eastern food.
Another one of Brisbane's older areas is New Farm. Located right on the Brisbane River, New Farm has been given a complete makeover. Now, it's one of Brisbane's trendiest areas. It's also home to some of the coolest restaurants in town - like Anise, a French restaurant and wine bar that's the perfect place to spend a special evening.
Of course, no trip to Brisbane would be complete without spending some time cruising the river. Luckily, there are several companies that offer river cruises. Depending on your mood, you can opt for a big paddleboat that's perfect for a party or a smaller, more intimate boat that's perfect for date night. Many cruises also offer dinner that naturally includes fresh seafood.
For a taste of some of Brisbane's history, head over to the XXXX Ale House, which has been brewing beer since 1878. Go on the brewery tour to see exactly what goes into making XXXX's signature beers. You'll even learn how to make the perfect pour and get to taste a few samples! Or, if you're hungry, check out the lunch and snack menus. If you're lucky enough to be at the Ale House on a Wednesday or Saturday evening, you'll get to take part in the full Queensland-style barbecue out on the balcony!
For some fun on land, West End has you covered. This older area has been completely rejuvenated, and now it is home to all kinds of bars and lounges. Just like the restaurants, the best places to go in West End are on Boundary Street.
For a truly unique experience, head to Lychee Lounge - an Oriental-themed bar, complete with an Opium Den and Samurai decor. If you want to dance the night away, head to Uber Nightclub. There, you'll find a variety of DJ's, all in a swanky lounge environment.
If live music is more your thing, check out the bands in Fortitude Valley. Simply called "The Valley" by the locals, the area is home to all sorts of musicians. Whether you like dance music, jazz, or you just want to see the local bands, this is the place to do it. All you have to do is pick from one of the many venues - most of which are on or near Ann Street - and you're good to go!
For a unique music experience, check out the St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - which is dedicated to new seminal music. There are separate St. Jerome festivals held all over Australia; Brisbane's is held every February.
If you're looking for some fun sporting events, head to Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium. The stadium is home to Brisbane Broncos' rugby league games, Brisbane Roar and World Cup qualifying soccer matches, and even live concerts.
A smaller - yet still beloved - Brisbane sporting venue is The Gabba, which is home to the Brisbane Lions AFL team.
One of Brisbane's biggest sporting events is the annual Brisbane International tennis tournament that's held at the beginning of January. Each year, some of the biggest tennis stars in the world call Brisbane home for a week.
If you'd rather take part in the sports - instead of watching them - sign up for the Tangalooma ocean swim. Located on Moreton Island - about 75 minutes from Brisbane by ferry - the ocean swim is a 2.4 km calm water swim that's held every March. If you take part, you'll get to swim through a true tropical paradise!
As you might guess, South Bank is located right on the banks of the Brisbane River, in the southern part of town. The area is home to shopping, dining, a number of museums and art galleries, along with a giant Ferris wheel called The Wheel of Brisbane. Whether you're headed out for a romantic evening for two or a day of family fun, South Bank has it all!
Not far from South Bank, you will find the Gallery of Modern Art, where you'll be able to see the newest art collections all over the world - all in a building that looks like a modern marvel. GOMA is the newest addition to Brisbane's original art gallery - the Queensland Art Gallery. While the exhibits are always changing, you can count on seeing Australian works and Asian works - along with featured works from different parts of the world.
Most of the city's performing arts can be seen year-round at the Brisbane Powerhouse. A former power station, the Powerhouse sits right on the river and is now home to theatre, music, comedy, and visual arts shows.
If you want to give your credit card a workout, Brisbane is a great place to do it!
One of Brisbane's suburbs, Paddington is a great place to shop. Because it lies right at the foothills of Mount Cootha, Paddington is chock full of steep hills, so both you and your credit card can get a workout! The area was originally a residential area, but many of the historic houses have been converted into shops. Caxton Street, Latrobe Terrace, and Given Terrace have the largest number of converted stores. If you're looking for a bigger shopping experience, head to Paddington Central. Located on Latrobe Terrace, it's got a number of stores - including a grocery store.
If you believe that bigger really is better, head to the Queen Street Mall. Located right in the middle of Brisbane and known to locals simply as "The City", the Queen Street Mall is home to restaurants, luxury stores, and an endless supply of shops. In fact, there are more than 4,000 businesses in it! As an added benefit, many of the restaurants are open 24/7.
For fashion in a less crowded environment, head to James Street in Fortitude Valley. The area is home to dozens of clothing stores, restaurants, art galleries, and even professional office buildings.
If you're looking to relax and spend a leisurely day in Brisbane, head to South Bank Parklands. This area offers everything you could possibly want on a lazy day - from stores, to playgrounds, to parks, to restaurants. South Bank Parklands even features an interior beach... how many other places can say that?
Right across the river from Brisbane's business district, you'll find Kangaroo Point - a suburb that has rock climbing, cliffs to explore, and a popular picnic area. The area is particularly beautiful in the early morning and early evening hours.
Kangaroo Point also represents a piece of history. The cliffs were actually formed more than 30 million years ago, when volcanic rock flowed through the area.
Whether you're visiting Brisbane with your kids or with your significant other, you have to spend some time at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. As the largest koala bear sanctuary in the world, this is a great place to spend an afternoon - whether you're a kid or an adult! This is the only place in the world where you can actually cuddle with these adorable animals. !
If you're looking for great deals on Brisbane hotels - and you don't care which part of the city you stay in - take a look at the hotels on Brisbane's north side. Generally, that's where you can find some of the best discounts.
If you want to stay in nature - without being far from the action - get a hotel in Kangaroo Point. That way, you can sleep amongst the cliffs and rocks, but only a short walk to the city centre.
For a more "artsy" feel, there are a variety of hotels in Fortitude Valley.
If you want a great view, try looking for a hotel on Alice Street. You might be able to get a room that overlooks the City Botanic Gardens.
Luckily, just about every part of town will offer you a view of the river!