Planning a vacation to Brisbane doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. All you need to do in advance is good research and a list of the top things to do in Brisbane.
Most tourist attractions in Brisbane are ideal for a short weekend getaway or an extended vacation with your family or friends. Brisbane offers a plethora of unique and creative things to do and it guarantees a well-spent time that you will remember for a long time.
However, the vast list of things to do in Brisbane can get a little bit overwhelming and research can become exhausting.
But no worries! We have singled out the 7 most popular things to do and pointed out the best venues, restaurants, cafes, and tourist attractions in Brisbane so you save time on planning your itinerary and focus on creating memories.
1. Take A Memorable Coastal Walk
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when the South East Queensland coast is mentioned? Most likely your first thoughts are the endlessly beautiful beaches, fine sand, and dancing sea waves. This area can certainly boast with all of them. Here are some of the best beaches you must visit when you choose Brisbane, Queensland as your place for vacation.
If you are wondering if a paradise exists, the answer is yes it does. Noosa Heads is one of the most scenic areas in Queensland and on the top of the best tourist attractions in Brisbane list. The reason for this is the amazing Aussie wildlife, serene rainforest and the big pools sculpted among the rocks that will make you feel like you are in a luxurious spa, while the ocean waves dance around you.
Point Lookout North Stradbroke Island
Abundant wildlife is something that Point Lookout North Stradbroke Island can boast with. By taking a walk on the island you can see turtles, dolphins, and even kangaroos and koalas. With a little luck, even the migrating whales can be spotted.
If you prefer hiking more than a leisure walk, or you want a little bit of extreme adventure, Mount Coolum is the right place for you. Climbing the 197-meter high mountain will reward you with an amazing panoramic view of the beautiful coastline.
2. Spend A Day At South Bank
Want to feel the true urban vibe when you visit Brisbane? Consider putting the South Bank on top of your things to do in Brisbane list. Located on the south bank of Brisbane River it is one of the most luxurious parts of the city with amazing views of the river, exclusive restaurants and cafes, and unique experiences. Here are a some of the things you must remember about South Bank:
- South Bank is the number one cultural spot in Brisbane. It abounds with upscale restaurants and bars, art exhibitions, music, dance events, and more.
- South Bank’s walking and cycling tracks offer beautiful views of the river.
- You can visit Australia’s largest Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Theater Company, Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Center, and State Library of Queensland.
- The Brisbane Wheel is located on the South bank as well and it is considered one of the most visited tourist attractions in Brisbane.
If you’re hungry or you crave a sip of coffee then Little Stanley Street and Gray Street offer casual dining or coffee, the Arbor View cafe has a delicious takeaway, Stanley Street Plaza abounds with both relaxed cafes and bars and River Quay is a perfect place to eat with your family.
Getting to the South Bank is simple! There are a lot of car parks in and around the area and several public transport options such as bus, train, City Cat and ferry.
3. Plan Your Tour Ahead
As we already mentioned, the list of things to do in Brisbane can get pretty long and you don’t want your trip to be ruined by bad weather. However, don’t be afraid because Brisbane has around 261 sunny days and it’s located in the Sunshine State. The best months for visiting Brisbane are from November to March due to the temperatures between 31 – 33 °C, but for cooler weather lovers the best period to visit is from June to August when the thermometer reads 20-25°C.
Another useful tip to know is that the city has a Brisbane Greeters Program for residents and visitors. Brisbane City Council offers the opportunity to learn more about the city by providing free Brisbane Greeter tours. The friendly Greeters are proud and passionate volunteers who are willing to retell Brisbane’s most important stories and introduce you to the playful city in more than 15 different languages. You can pick the tourist attractions you want to visit or they can suggest the best places.
4. A Delicious Food Tour
Food tours aren’t the most likely tourist attractions in Brisbane but you will certainly get hungry from all that walking around.
If you are looking for a place that will completely buy you with its atmosphere, perfect ambience, and most importantly great food in Brisbane then let us take you through the best gastronomic offer.
Buffalo crispy at Lucky Egg
An original fried chicken with American cheddar, spinach, pickles, buffalo sauce, and kewpie mayo. You will surely want to come back and try it again.
Burger at Ben’s Burgers
Ben’s Burgers serve only three types of burgers and you can’t make alterations. Their unique way of preparing the food has almost elevated them to the status of a tourist attraction in Brisbane.
La Vue Waterfront Restaurant
The raving reviews online describe it as “the best in town” and they aren’t wrong. The staff is very kind, the food is delicious, and the owner of the restaurant is willing to go above and beyond to make customers happy. Not even to mention the stunning views of the Brisbane river. It is an ideal place for a date, family dinner, or relaxing drink.
Alchemy Restaurant and Bar Brisbane
For true jet-setters, the Alchemy restaurant is on top of the things to do in Brisbane. Try the best wagyu beef in your life, sip a delicious cocktail and enjoy the serene atmosphere – just like a dream.
5. An Unforgettable Day Tour
With the plethora of one-day tours from Brisbane, many visitors will find themselves in sweet trouble. It is almost impossible to make a list of places worth visiting in one day, but we will do our best to single out 2 unavoidable tourist attractions around Brisbane that are a pity not to visit.
Located north of Brisbane, just 45 minutes drive from the center of the city, and spread across 110 acres of land, the Zoo is a “must-see“ tourist destination in Brisbane for all animal lovers. It’s recommended to plan a whole day to be able to see the whole list of animals.
Sumatran tigers, elephants, cheetahs, zebras, and rhinos are only a part of the overall offer at Australia ZOO Beerwah. Be aware of extra pay for special encounters with your favourite animals, including tigers, koalas, red pandas, cheetahs, rhinos, and the Leapin’ Lemur.
Springbrook National Park
Approximately 100 kilometres south of Brisbane is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Australia, if not in the world. Amazing natural beauty with gushing waterfalls, cool creeks, remarkable rainforests, and fragrant eucalyptus trees provide the perfect place for all-natural lovers.
You will enjoy the smell and sound of pure nature. The hiking pathways provide unforgettable views over the volcanic gorges and valleys for the hikers. The most visited trail is the four-kilometre Twin Falls Circuit with an amazing view of two waterfalls flowing like veils.
6. Best Party In Brisbane
If you’re a late-night bird and you want a little bit of entertainment, Brisbane is certainly a perfect party destination for you. The city offers rich nightlife, beautiful experiences, and unforgettable moments. Here are some of the best venues that should be put on your to-do in Brisbane list.
- The best outdoor and rooftop bars are the Sixteen Antlers Rooftop Bar, the Terrace Rooftop Bar, Hibiscus Room, Stock Exchange Hotel’s rooftop bar, and MAYA Mexican.
- The best live music venues are The Triffid, The Tivoli, Brooklyn Standard, The Bearded Lady, and The Zoo.
- The best dance clubs are Prohibition Brisbane, The MET Brisbane, The Beat Megaclub, and Retros Fortitude Valley.
7. The Best Neighborhoods To Stay
Brisbane has a lot of options where tourists can stay. Among the rich offer of hotels, hostels, Airbnb, or Booking accommodations we single out the top 3 areas to stay.
Brisbane Central Business District
Popularly called the “heart of Brisbane” it is our favourite place to stay. Plenty of shops, nightclubs, elegant jewellery stores, and artisan craft-makers famous for quality and luxury pieces make the place a perfect blend of peace, elegance, and accessibility.
A residential community with a charming history, Spring Hill is a suburban area in the north of Brisbane where locals and tourists are waking up with birdsong and streaming rays of sunlight. It is the oldest residential area in Brisbane, where some of the homes date back to the nineteenth century. Very convenient for booking via Airbnb due to the large number of residential units in the area.
Located around 2 kilometres east of Brisbane Central Business District, New farm is a quiet suburb area. Known for towering Queenslander-style homes here you’ll also find leafy trees and old-world charm. Suitable for a shopping tour due to the rich offer of boutiques and shopping malls. At the park’s edge is the New Farm riverfront walkway, convenient for walking and enjoying stunning views.
However, if you want to stay in an upscale neighbourhood where you will be noticed we recommend you to stay on the South Bank. The prices are much higher but it is definitely worth the thrill.
On the other hand, if you are a party animal and you want to avoid the tourist attractions in Brisbane then Fortitude Valley is the place to be.
As you see above, Brisbane has a lot to offer. With a rich menu of tourist attractions, Brisbane can certainly be inserted into the top tourist destinations in Australia.
We hope that our tour guide will serve as inspiration for your next adventure!