If there was ever any doubt that Brisbane was the place to be, let us change your mind. We’ve compiled a list of fifty must-do Brisbane experiences.
From visiting the Museum of Queensland, to catching a gig at Brooklyn Standard or consuming your bodyweight at Eat Street here are a few Brisbane favourites.
Just passing through? Here’s your itinerary.
Brisbane local? See how many you can check off.
Hit up the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
GOMA is one of the most popular things to do in Brisbane, and for good reason.
You’ll find the Gallery of Modern Art in the South Bank precinct. It’s home to Australian and international artworks, as well as a range of interactive installations and displays.
The best part? General entrance and many of the installations are free. If you’d like to dig a little deeper, upgrade your experience with a free guided tour.
Visit The Queensland Museum
Queensland Museum is located right next to GOMA.
This museum tells the story of Queensland, from its Aboriginal heritage through to contemporary life.
There are also always plenty of travelling exhibitions on show, so there’s something new to see every time you visit.
Take A Tour of City Hall
City Hall is one of Brisbane’s most iconic buildings.
Completed in 1930, this building has been the site of many important events in Queensland’s history.
You can explore the grandeur of City Hall for yourself with a guided tour. It’s even free!
Climb the Clock Tower
The Clock Tower in Brisbane City Hall is as iconic as the building itself.
You can book a free tour that even includes a ride in one of Brisbane’s oldest working cage lifts!
Visit The Planetarium
Sir Brisbane Thomas Planetarium, located on Mt Coot-tha, opened in 1978!
The planetarium runs regular shows that will take you on a journey through our solar system and beyond.
Eat & Drink
Get Crafty (on a Craft Beer Tour, obviously)
There’s a number of craft beer joints floating around. Brisbane has been truly turning heads with our breweries in recent years and they’re well worth experiencing.
For a ‘don’t think, just drink’ experience book a tour with Hop On Brewery Tours.
Care to go at your own pace? Plan your own self-guided brewery tour with our list of Brisbane’s best breweries – just make sure you have a designated driver!
Browse the Farmer’s Markets
For fresh produce, gourmet goods, and a great day out, head to one of Brisbane’s many farmer’s markets. Some of our picks are the Jan Powers Farmers Markets at the Powerhouse in New Farm, The West End Markets in Davies Park, and Northey Street Organic Farmer’s Markets in Windsor.
Plus, you’ll be supporting local growers and makers. Winning!
Drink Excessive Amounts of Coffee
There are so many good places to get your caffeine fix around but as a starting point here are some of the best spots according to locals.
Head to Eat Street
Eat Street is foodie heaven. Located in Hamilton, this huge open-air market is home to over 70 traders, themed bars, and micro restaurants.
You’ll find everything from Indian curries and wood-fired pizza to cronuts and gelato.
Check Out Brisbane’s Own Inner-City Winery
One of only a handful of urban wineries you’ll find Brisbane City Winery in Fortitude Valley.
Pair their wines – made on site! – with their equally stellar menu and you’re set for a good time.
Try some of Brisbane’s Best Burger Joints
We have some truly cracker joints around for one of our favourite guilty pleasures. Check out the full list here.
Luxe Up Your Meals at The Calile
The Calile Hotel in Fortitude Valley boasts some of the best restaurants around. From SK Steak & Oyster to Hellenika, every outlet serves some truly spectacular dishes.
Immaculate presentation meets some of the best chefs Brisbane has to offer, alongside the highest of quality ingredients at each location. It’s an experience truly worth splurging over.
Bottomless Tacos at Rita’s
Our kind of Sunday session is one that involves a lot of Mexican food, and Rita’s delivers with bottomless tacos and margarita jugs on Sundays.
Sip Rainbow Coffee
Piggyback Cafe in Jindalee offers some truly ‘grammable coffees. Sip the rainbow and some truly epic latte art with one of their beautiful rainbow coffees.
Nightlife & Party
Make The Best of Choices at Brooklyn Standard
For nearly a decade Brooklyn Standard has been “the place to be” for some seriously wild times in Brisbane city. Live music six nights a week, a ripper cocktail menu and even a guitar you can do shots off of.
Head to Friday’s After A Broncos Home Game
A time-honoured tradition amongst fans: heading to Friday’s riverside bar in the hopes of meeting the Brisbane Broncos.
Get Your Tiki on at Jungle
For tropical vibes and drinks served in pineapples, Jungle in West End is the place to be.
The Polynesian tiki hut may be small in size, but packs a punch when it comes to their atmosphere and their drinks list.
Challenge Your Friends at Holy Moly
Indoor putt-putt with beer? Don’t mind if we do.
Shoot Pool at Fat Louie’s
If you’re heading to Fat Louie’s in Brisbane City, be prepared you won’t be going to the upper echelons of Brisbane’s boutique bar scene. What you should prepare for though is some seriously good times.
Despite the sticky floors and party-worn decor, Fat Louie’s is a favourite for Brisbane uni students and many a backpacker.
Dance All Night at The Beat
One of Brisbane’s oldest nightclubs, and the biggest, The Beat is always packed. A proud LGBTQ+ venue, The Beat is well known for its multiple dance floors, eclectic music and generally good times.
Have some Deep & Meaningful Chats in Ric’s Backyard
If you’re a Brisbane resident who’s gone through your late teens and twenties in Brisbane, there’s a solid chance you’ve been to Ric’s Bar at one point or another.
Ric’s has been on the Fortitude Valley bar scene for what feels like eons.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find their backyard empty when the weekend rolls around.
Party Hard in Fortitude Valley
Fortitude Valley is home to much of Brisbane’s best nightlife (like the aforementioned Ric’s and The Beat), including bars, clubs, and live music venues.
Some of our other favourites are The Zoo, Retro’s, and Suzie Wong’s Good Time Bar. Just remember to pace yourself – things can get pretty wild in the Valley!
Catch A Game at The Gabba
The Gabba is Brisbane’s home of cricket and AFL. If you’re in town when there’s a game on, be sure to get tickets and head down for an afternoon or evening of sport.
The Gabba is located in Woolloongabba (hence the name) and has been hosting games since 1931.
Check Out A Gig at The Triffid
A former WW2 hanger, The Triffid has been transformed into one of Brisbane’s most popular live music venues, showcasing local talent and larger acts.
The Triffid has a huge outdoor beer garden, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a few drinks and catch up with friends.
And if you’re feeling peckish, they’ve got you covered with wood-fired pizzas, burgers and more.
Visit The Powerhouse
The Powerhouse in New Farm is Brisbane’s go-to for comedy and local shows.
The Powerhouse is also home to a bar, restaurant, and cafe, so you can make a night of it.
Take In A Show at QPAC
From musicals to ballet, opera to plays, there’s always something on at QPAC.
QPAC is located in the Cultural Centre in South Brisbane, and is within walking distance of some of Brisbane’s best restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Catch A Drag Show (And Grab Drinks) At Cloudland
Cloudland plays host to weekly risque brunches, in the form of their ‘Brunch with Bite’ series. They go down every Sunday. Think a little bit naughty, a little bit nice, all hosted by Brisbane’s best queens.
Plus, of course, some delightful cocktails to sip on over your brunch.
Watch Local & International Acts at Fortitude Music Hall
Fortitude Music Hall plays host to some of the largest international and national acts around, all conveniently located in the heart of Fortitude Valley.
The Great Outdoors
Take A Hike (Up Mt Coot-tha)
Mt Coot-tha is a must – the views are incredible.
The summit lookout offers 360 degree views over Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay, and even the Glass House Mountains on a clear day.
We recommend taking a hike up to the summit – sure, you’ll work up a sweat but it’s well worth it! The trail is gorgeous and the view is an extra payoff.
Visit The Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha
Keeping in theme, the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha are one of Brisbane’s most beloved green spaces.
The gardens span 56 hectares and are home to over 20,000 plants.
There are also plenty of walking trails, picnic spots, and lookouts for you to enjoy.
Take a Walk Through Roma Street Parkland
Roma Street Parkland is one of Brisbane’s most beautiful green spaces.
The parklands are made up of manicured gardens, rainforest walks, and open grassy areas – perfect for a picnic or family day out.
They also host numerous events throughout the year, including an open-air cinema and live music sessions so check their website for more details.
Take A Dip at Enoggera Dam
If you’re looking to cool off, head to Enoggera Dam.
The reservoir is a great spot for a swim, kayak, or just to relax and take in the views.
There are also plenty of walking and biking trails if you’re feeling active.
Have A Picnic at New Farm Park
One of Brisbane’s most popular parks, New Farm Park is perfect for a picnic.
The parklands are huge and there’s plenty of space to set up shop. If you can get there early enough, grab one of the gazebos.
Explore The City By Bike
Brisbane is relatively flat, making it the perfect city to explore by bike.
There are plenty of dedicated bike paths and cycleways so you can explore without having to worry about traffic.
And if you don’t have your own bike, you can always hire one from one of the many CityCycle spots dotted around the city. Just be sure to wear a helmet.
Swim at Streets Beach
Brisbane may not have any actual beaches within the city limits, but this is pretty close.
Streets Beach is located in South Bank and is man-made, but it’s still a great spot for a swim.
Best enjoyed with an ice cream (obviously).
Run The Kangaroo Point Stairs
The Kangaroo Point Stairs are a grueling, near-verticle climb that Brisbane athletes like to take on on a regular basis.
Found (funnily enough) at Kangaroo Point they do offer some seriously picturesque views across the river and of the city.
Learn to Wakeboard or Waterski at UQ
The University of Queensland offer wakeboarding and waterski lessons right on the Brisbane River every Sunday. Whether you’re a UQ student or not, everyone can join in on the fun.
Head to Queen Street Mall
The epicentre of Brisbane, Queen Street Mall is the city’s main shopping precinct.
You’ll find everything from high-end fashion to department stores, homewares, and souvenirs.
Check out James Street
James Street in Fortitude Valley is a truly lux shopping experience. With brands like Camilla, Zimmerman, Aje, and Bailey Nelson. It’s the place to go if you’re looking to treat yourself.
Explore The Valley Laneways
The Valley Laneways are made up of California Lane, Winn Lane and Bakery Lane.
You’ll find a mix of local creators, food stalls and beauty spots here.
Hit Up Paddington’s Op Shops
The suburb of Paddington is home to some of Brisbane’s best op shops. If you want to shop good and feel good make sure you check out the many offerings on LaTrobe Terrace.
Climb Brisbane Story Bridge
Not recommended for those with vertigo. Did you know you can climb Brisbane’s most iconic bridge?
Brisbane Story Bridge offers incredible views of the city and river.
For the thrillseekers out there, you can even abseil down the bridge! Just make sure you book in advance.
Do A Pub Crawl (by Helicopter)
A rather dramatic twist on your classic pub crawl, Bekaa Air will take you on a truly once-in-a-lifetime pub tour.
A full day of touring, five pubs, and transport by helicopter. While the places you visit aren’t in Brisbane itself, you will be departing and returning to Archerfield Airport.
The Wheel of Brisbane
Want a panoramic view of Brisbane from South Bank?
Take a spin on the Wheel of Brisbane.
It’s 60 metres high and has 42 air-conditioned capsules, so you can take in the views in comfort.
Abseil at Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Combine one of Brisbane’s most iconic views with the adrenaline of scaling 20m down.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs offer spots for both rock climbing and abseiling – you can book online with Riverlife.
Visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to over 130 koalas, so it’s the perfect place to get up close and personal with these fuzzy friends.
You can also feed kangaroos, cuddle a wombat, and see native birds and reptiles.
Do A Tour of The XXXX Brewery
The iconic XXXX Brewery has been around for over 140 years.
So naturally, there’s a bit to cover in the tour. You’ll also finish with a tasting of Queensland’s most popular brew.
Take A Ghost Tour of Boggo Road Gaol
Boggo Road Gaol was formerly Queensland’s most notorious prison. Now a heritage-listed site, it comes with plenty of spooky stories and haunted horrors. Take a two-hour nighttime tour of Boggo Road to learn all these twisted tales for yourself.
Do A Scavenger Hunt
One surefire way to see a lot of Brisbane city is with a Scavenger Hunt through Brisbane’s most iconic venues! Plan your own or – perhaps much more easily – book one through Let’s Roam.
Take in The City from The River
You haven’t seen The River City until you’ve seen it from the river. Hop onboard one of the many CityCats that travel up and down Brisbane’s banks for a cost-effective and beautiful way to see our city.