Here's another list of recommendations for backpackers or budget travellers searching for things to do in the great city of Brisbane.
- Australia -
Part 10: Brisbane
Most backpackers start their journey either in Sydney or Brisbane and then make their way up north to be astounded by the beauty of the Australian east coast.
As I've already published an article about Sydney giving advice on what to do in the buzzing metropolis of New South Wales, I thought I should also write one about Brisbane, since I spent most of my time there when I travelled around Australia last summer.
Brisbane can make anyone happy, no matter their interest. If you love art, you'll find a place to be inspired by Australian and international artists. If you like exercise, you'll find a place to run as far as you like. If you like learning about different cultures, you'll find a place to broaden your horizons.
So this is a list of wonderful things to do in Brisbane and while you're at it, also check out my recommendations for Sydney – here.
1st visit the Botanic Gardens and Mount Coot-tha. If you're looking for a place to look over the entire town of Brisbane, maybe watch the sun set with your loved ones or if you're just interested at exploring the great flora of the garden or the Sir Thomas Planetarium that is located in the garden, this is the place to be.
2nd take a tour on the CityCat or the CityHopper (it's for free) to gain a first overview of the City of Brisbane. Go all the way to Kangaroo Point to look at the amazing cliff (you can also go climbing there, if you're more of the adventurous kind). Hop off at the terminal Riverside or Eagle Street Pier and have a look at the great skyscrapers and luxurious restaurants, e.g. Pony.
Unfortunately I couldn't afford a meal at the Pony restaurant this time, but I went to a different restaurant of the same owner in Sydney a few years back and absolutely loved it. It's definitely not cheap, but it's definitely delicious..
3rd go for a run (or walk) along the riverside, start your exercise at the campus of the University of Queensland in St. Lucia and make your way to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens and the historic centre of Brisbane. It's for free and your body will love you for your motivation!
4th visit West End and check out the food market at Davies Park (open every Saturday from 6am - 2pm) and the Boundary Street Markets (open every weekend). You'll find creative shops, delicious street food (also check out my recommendation for Planted, an organic café nearby – here) and interesting people to look at (a man was wearing a cowboy hat, skinny jeans and some ballerina shoes whilst standing in line for a veggie burger).
On Boundary Street you can also find the great second-hand book shop Bent Books. Definitely a must-see for book lovers!
5th go out partying in Fortitude Valley. Make sure to dress nicely (no trainers or jumpers), otherwise some doormen might not let you enter a club or bar. Also check out the Royal Exchange Hotel on a Wednesday night. For Brisbane students it's the place to be. It's located directly at the Toowong train station near the University of Queensland.
6th visit GOMA, an international, open and free to anyone art museum offering a wide variety of artwork. There's a shop right next to the gallery, where you can buy books about art, smaller pieces of art (e.g. posters of Aboriginal art that I couldn't leave behind) and music.
Next to GOMA you can find the Sciencentre (especially suitable for kids wanting to learn more about science related phenomena). Moreover there's the Queensland Museum dedicated to Queensland's history and environmentally related effects happening in Queensland.
7th if you're interested in international food, pay a visit to the Eat Street Markets, which takes place on Macarthur Avenue in the eastern part of Brisbane. As soon as you enter the market ground (unfortunately there's an entry fee) you'll be taken from Thailand to France from Mongolia to Argentina and from the States to the Netherlands within seconds. They often invite musicians to perform at the centre of the market to make it even more internationally. As we were there, we listened to a band made up of artists from Columbia, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, El Salvador and more! Make sure to try one of the fancy dessert fusions. Have you ever heard of the Cronut?
8th visit the Southbank Parklands near the centre of Brisbane where you can listen to street music, wander around the artificial beach or the tropical garden, explore the Asian temple inmidst the garden and eat at various restaurants.
Firstly I'd like to point out my favourite burger and hot chips restaurant Grill'd (167 Grey St.), try the sweet potato chips with the Summer Sunset burger.
And secondly check out the chocolate bar Max Brenner's offering all kinds of chocolate; melted with strawberries to dip in, as a pizza or hot chocolate - you name it.
9th while you're at Southbank walk a bit further east to explore the Epicurious Gardens, it's a public vegetable and fruit garden that is organised by volunteers to offer public access to organic food production. You're welcome to have a little taste of the herbs you can find in the pots and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays volunteers offer even more to try in their harvest cart.
When I went there, I plucked off a chili to use later on for pasta sauce.
At times lectures will be held inmidst the plants to teach the audience methods of growing your own little veggies and to talk about sustainable lifestyle.
You can also become a volunteer if you're interested.
You can also become a volunteer if you're interested.
10th make your way up north to the Sunshine Coast for a day or two. It's much less crowded than the Gold Coast and offers magnificent national parks, a beautiful coast line, peaceful villages and amazing cafes. Don't miss out on Noosa (especially Tea Tree Bay, located in the national park), Caloundra (Kings Beach) and Montville (in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast).
That's it for now. I hope I could give you a small insight on what to do in the great city of Brisbane. It's a very liveable city and is one of my favourite cities around the globe.
I'd choose the city every time over Paris or Berlin.
Make sure to not give up your travel bug and keep exploring!