There are so many things to do in Brisbane you could quite easily spend a week or two exploring this lively city which thrives with fun activities, retail shops, and iconic landmarks.
Brisbane really is quite a vibrant city and for a slightly smaller city in comparison to some of the others within Australia, it definitely packs a punch!
I spent a few short days in Brisbane City and have put together this easy guide of must-see Brisbane attractions to help you plan your trip.
WHERE IS BRISBANE CITY & HOW TO GET HERE
Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland on the southeast coast of Australia. Brisbane is quite a large city that is divided into a number of different areas by the Brisbane River.
If you’re driving north from the Gold Coast, it takes approximately 1-hour to reach Brisbane City or if you’re heading south from the Sunshine Coast it takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Whether you’re coming from abroad or taking an internal flight within Australia, you’ll fly into Brisbane Airport. From here you can grab a taxi or take the train and make your way into the city.
Brisbane City is only about 18 minutes drive from Brisbane Airport, depending on traffic.
Search All → Flights to Brisbane
Linked up by a system of trains, it’s super easy to make your way into Brisbane City via the train. The main station you’ll come to if you’re heading into the center of the city is Brisbane Central Station. If you plan to visit the southern areas of Brisbane you can get off the train at Southbank Station or South Brisbane Station.
Car Hire – Search, Compare & Save!
GETTING AROUND BRISBANE
Honestly, if your feet allow it, the best way to get around Brisbane City is on foot. It’s a relatively small city, everything is within easy reach and you get to experience everything the city has to offer and see a hell of a lot more.
If you’re unable to walk, the next best thing is the train where you’ll need to purchase a Go Card that you’re able to top up and use to tap on and off the trains.
If you have your own rental car then great, this makes it much easier for you to explore at your own pace.
MAP OF BRISBANE
BEST TIME TO VISIT BRISBANE
The best time to visit Brisbane is during the Autumn months between March and May for good temperatures and fewer tourists.
Alternatively, visiting Brisbane in Spring between the months of September to November is also a great time of the year, weatherwise.
The Most Functional Day Pack EVER!
The Nomatic 20L Travel Pack is perfect for everyday use and for those shorter 1-3 day adventures.
With 20+ innovative features and a minimalist design, this functional day pack gives you confidence for life on the move!
5 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN BRISBANE
BRISBANE STORY BRIDGE
First and foremost, It’ll be very hard to visit Brisbane without checking out the Story Bridge. Standing proud in the heart of the city, this bridge is quite spectacular and one of the best things to do in Brisbane.
Brisbane Story Bridge is incredible from whatever angle you look at it. Take the long walk over the bridge or stand from afar, marveling at this epic piece of architecture… either way, this has to be one of the top Brisbane attractions!
HOWARD SMITH WHARF
Talking of the Story Bridge, if you’re in the area you must also drop down and explore Howard Smith Wharf. For me, this was one of the most unexpected, yet most vibrant places in Brisbane.
Howard Smith Wharf is built along the river beneath Brisbane Story Bridge. Full of bars, cafes, and restaurants, this new, young, and vibrant area is a must-see on your list of things to do.
Plan a night out, exploring what Howard Smith Wharf has to offer, sampling some of the food and drink from the bars and restaurants along the wharf, or after a long day of exploring the city, stop off here for a breather on the water.
With comfortable outside seating as well as grassy areas to relax on, this area of Brisbane is a great way to spend a couple of hours.
RELATED ARTICLE: 3 DAY MELBOURNE ITINERARY
The BEST Affordable Camera For Travel
If you’re on the hunt for a professional camera for traveling, check out the Canon G7 X Mark II.
This tiny camera fits in your pocket, captures high-quality photos and videos, and has Wi-Fi so you can instantly transfer to your phone!
QUEEN STREET BRISBANE
For those of you who enjoy a little retail therapy, you have to head down to Queen Street. Running right through the city, this lively street is full of all your favorite shops that have everything you may need.
Not only is it full of shops, Queen Street Brisbane has a great range of restaurants for you to enjoy.
It’s very easy to see away an entire day, dotting in and out of the many shops along Queen Street and making it one of the best places to visit in Brisbane.
Related Article: Weekend Getaways From Brisbane
LONE PINE KOALA SANCTUARY
Let’s move on to something a little more ‘touristy’. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the most popular and highly rated Koala Sanctuaries in the country. An 18-hectare Koala Sanctuary located in the Brisbane suburb of Fig Tree Pocket.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has a range of animals from Kangaroos to Tasmanian Devils and of course, Koalas. It’s here that guests are also able to hold Koalas and capture that iconic shot.
Purchase your tickets online with Klook to receive a 10% discount and e-tickets are also available for 12 months. Purchasing tickets on the door retail for around $42 AUD.
BRISBANE BOTANIC GARDENS
Located in the heart of the city, Brisbane Botanic Gardens offers the perfect place to retreat from the hectic city life.
Take a wander through the gardens, admiring the different arrangements, lakes, and wildlife. Grab something for lunch and take a seat in the gardens, topping up the tan and recharging in that midday sun.
It’s a great way to see away a few hours and enjoy a little peace and quiet… and what’s even better, it’s one of the free things to do in Brisbane!
WHERE TO STAY IN BRISBANE
Brisbane has hundreds of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Brisbane to suit the needs of luxury travelers and budget backpackers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Emporium Hotel South Bank
This luxury hotel boasts grand design rooms and large comfortable beds right in the heart of Brisbane. The Emporium Hotel South Bank offers rooms with balconies, wifi throughout, and large flat-screen TVs. With on-site parking, airport shuttle and buffet breakfasts served daily, you really have everything you need at this luxury Brisbane accommodation.
Mid Range: Madison Tower Mill Hotel
This convenient, centrally located hotel offers the ideal accommodation for those looking to enjoy time exploring the city of Brisbane. With large rooms, offering spectacular views of the city, this mid-range accommodation option has everything you need. From wifi, family rooms, a restaurant and bar as well, all within walking distance from Brisbane’s tourist hotspots.
Budget: Bald Hills Motel
Located a little further out of town, the Bald Hills Motel offers a great option for those looking to travel to Brisbane on a budget, but don’t want to compromise comfort. With large private rooms, boasting comfortable beds, wifi, and even kitchenettes, this motel is great for those traveling on a budget. The kitchen facilities make it even easier to save money on food and prepare your meals from the comfort of your room.
WHAT TO PACK FOR BRISBANE
When visiting Brisbane, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
Must-Have Travel Essentials
Hidden Money Wallet
Keep your cash and other valuables safe with this anti-theft hidden money wallet!
Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best reusable bottle that allows you to purify water from anywhere!
The Nomatic Travel Backpack has 20+ innovative features, perfect for everyday use!
Quick-Dry Travel Towel
The most compact, lightweight, and quick-dry towel for traveling!
Keep your phone, laptop, and accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker PowerBank!
More Australia Travel Guides
Click the button below to view all articles related to Australia!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Things To Do In Brisbane, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
Search and book accommodation worldwide.
Compare and book cheap flights to anywhere.
Find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world.
Book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance.
Search all rental cars in your next destination.
Need travel insurance for your next trip?
THANKS FOR READING
Hey friend, thanks for reading this guide!
Please know this post may contain affiliate links. When making a purchase through one of my links, I earn a small kickback at no extra cost to you and it’s a big help to keep the site up and running. Rest assured, I only promote products and services that I personally use and recommend.