Last Updated on February 24, 2023
As the capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a great city to visit at any time of the year. It’s not too big, but there are plenty of things to do. I have been staying here for over one month, so I had a lot of time to discover one of the most beautiful cities in Australia. If you have as much time as I do, you can just start walking around and discover the things by coincidence. But if you only have a couple of days to explore the city, like most of the tourists here, you might like my top 10 of the best things to do in Brisbane.
1. Art Gallery
First of all, Brisbane is a great city for artists and art lovers. There is the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art, as well as special temporary exhibitions, like the 9th Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, which you can visit from 24.11.18 until 28.04.19. Everything is for free and you can enjoy contemporary art from all over the world.
Southbank is probably the most popular precinct of Brisbane. Located next to Brisbane River you have a great view of the skyline during the day and at night. The Parklands are the center of entertainment and lifestyle, best known for the beach next to the river, where you can swim for free.
3. Australia Zoo / Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
4. Mt. Coo-tha
Located on top of Mt. Coo-tha, the lookout gives you a breath-taking view of Brisbane City. While there are locals as well, it’s a must-do for all tourists. Make sure you catch the sunset or sunrise! By the way, there is a bus station as well, so you can go there, if you don’t have a car.
5. Brisbane Botanic Gardens / Roma Street Gardens
Looking for a break after shopping, Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens or Roma Street Gardens are what you are looking for. Perfect for a walk or just sitting on the grass and enjoying the view, they are located just a couple of minutes away from the heart of the city. But don’t be afraid of lizards, they might join you.
6. Food Market
Brisbane is full of food markets. You can find them anywhere, in the center of the city or in some suburbs. On Wednesdays there is always one near Victoria Bridge with different types of food, from Italian to fruits or ice cream, you’ll find everything. Another weekend market is “Eat Street Northshore” next to Brisbane River. It’s definitely worth a trip, because there is a huge variety of delicious food from all over the world, which you can enjoy in nice ambiance with life music.
7. Moreton Island / North Stradbroke Island / Bribie Island
Brisbane is surrounded by three islands: Moreton Island, Stradbroke Island and Bribie Island. One of those islands is definitely worth a daytrip, since Brisbane itself doesn’t really have a swimming beach. I have only been to Moreton Island, click here to get to my blog post. If you like the beach and the ocean, it’s a perfect daytrip for you.
8. Queen Street Shopping
You shouldn’t miss Brisbane’s center with all its shops and churches. The main shopping mall is Queen Street with lots of different shops, shopping centers and food courts. Even if you don’t want to buy something, you can enjoy walking and looking at what the shops have to offer.
9. King George Square
After your shopping trip, you can go to Adelaide Street and King George Square. There you will find Brisbane City Hall with the Museum of Brisbane. It’s free and you can also take a clock tower tour. I saw this building for the last four weeks every single day, because my language school was located right next to it, and I still think the building is really beautiful and great for taking a photo.
10. Fortitude Valley
Fortitude Valley is one of the most famous suburbs of Brisbane, known for its night life and clubbing. So that’s what I did as well and I was pretty surprised, that you usually don’t have to pay entry. You can just walk in and out wherever you want, as long as you’re over 18 years old. Definitely worth it, if you want to listen to music and enjoy Brisbane’s nightlife.
All in all, Brisbane was a great experience, especially because there are so many free things to do, and I paid almost nothing for my free time activities. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post and are thinking about visiting Brisbane in the future, you won’t regret it!