Sunny Queensland’s laid-back capital city is the perfect base from which to explore riverside parks, subtropical islands and rugged mountains.

Brisbane is home to over 2 million people, but maintains a relaxed atmosphere thanks to the warm weather and easygoing locals. “Brissie” has plenty of nightlife and art galleries, but with its location on the banks of a major river in beautiful sunny Queensland, the biggest attraction is definitely the outdoors.

During the humid summers, catch a cooling breeze along the waterfront. Rent a kayak to paddle along the Kangaroo Point cliffs or spot dolphins and turtles around Moreton Island National Park. Enjoy a balmy night with “fish ‘n chips” and locally brewed XXXX beer along the Brisbane River.

The cooler, dry winters are good for whale watching and fitness activities, such as climbing the Story Bridge or the Glass House Mountains. The winter days are short, but the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Brisbane Powerhouse and the bars in Fortitude Valley keep you entertained at night.

Brisbane offers many free facilities such as pools, barbecues, playgrounds and frequent cultural festivals. You don’t have to pay for the government-funded attractions and nature reserves either, including the Roma Street Parkland, Gallery of Modern Art, Museum of Brisbane, Botanic Gardens, and Mount Coot-tha.

Apart from walking, the public transport and bike-share systems are convenient ways to get around. Start at South Bank, Brisbane’s attractive cultural riverfront area. From the Maritime Museum, follow the bougainvillea archway past streams with ibis and water dragons, palm tree-lined swimming lagoons, markets, food venues and street performers, all the way to the Ferris wheel, with wooden a Nepalese temple nearby.

Take the public ferry downstream to New Farm Park or book a scenic cruise upstream to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Alternatively, continue along South Bank to the state’s major museums, including the Queensland Museum and art galleries.

Brisbane is surrounded by stunning nature, so book a tour or rent a car to explore. Nothing is rushed here, so relax and take your time to enjoy the cultural displays and natural beauty in the capital of the Sunshine State.

Where to stay in Brisbane

Brisbane Central Business District
Brisbane featuring a sunset and a marina

Brisbane Central Business District

Known for Shopping, Skyscrapers, Family-Friendly

4.5/5(260 reviews)

Are you interested in beautiful gardens, stunning river views, and popular shops? A visit to Brisbane Central Business District might be the perfect thing. You can also explore top sights like Queen Street Mall and Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

Brisbane Waterfront
Tangalooma which includes tropical scenes, a beach and landscape views

Brisbane Waterfront

4.5/5(10 reviews)

If you're spending some time in Brisbane Waterfront, Tangalooma Wrecks and Port of Brisbane are top sights worth seeing.

Top Hotels in Brisbane

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
ibis Brisbane Airport Hotel
ibis Brisbane Airport Hotel
3.5 out of 5
2 Dryandra Road, Brisbane Airport, QLD
¥10,780
per night
Nov 29 - Nov 30

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of DFO Brisbane, Portside Wharf, and Brisbane Cruise Terminal. Doomben Racecourse and Eagle Farm ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,174 reviews)

"Comfortable. Convenient to airport. Great buffet breakfast."…"

Reviewed on Nov 12, 2019

ibis Brisbane Airport Hotel
Meriton Suites Herschel Street, Brisbane
Meriton Suites Herschel Street, Brisbane
5 out of 5
43 Herschel Street, Brisbane, QLD
¥8,271
per night
Dec 1 - Dec 2

Located in Brisbane Central Business District, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of City Hall Clock Tower, Brisbane Private Hospital, and Treasury ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (1,387 reviews)

"Service at this property was excellent and the apartment was great. Beds and pillows were extremely comfortable"…"

Reviewed on Nov 11, 2019

Meriton Suites Herschel Street, Brisbane
Stamford Plaza Brisbane
Stamford Plaza Brisbane
5 out of 5
Corner of Margaret & Edward Streets, South Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD
¥12,142
per night
Dec 1 - Dec 2

Located in Brisbane Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Eagle Street Pier. Queen Street Mall ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (2,055 reviews)

"Elegant hotel with fantastic service and in a brilliant location"…"

Reviewed on Nov 12, 2019

Stamford Plaza Brisbane

Popular things to do in Brisbane

Queen Street Mall
Image for Queen Street Mall

Queen Street Mall

4.5/5(220 reviews)

Shop for books or fashion, grab a bite to eat in a restaurant or bar and watch street performers entertain the crowds along Brisbane’s central shopping district.

Roma Street Parkland
Image for Roma Street Parkland

Roma Street Parkland

4.5/5(99 reviews)

Stroll through this inner-city oasis with lake, subtropical flowers, native plants, public art and water features.

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
Image for Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

4.5/5(6 reviews)

Take a cosmic adventure with an enormous star projector, real artifacts from space missions and an observatory housed in Brisbane’s first planetarium.

South Bank Parklands
Image for South Bank Parklands

South Bank Parklands

4.5/5(109 reviews)

Swim in the sparkling water of an inner-city beach, stroll through lush gardens and taste gourmet gelato all while staying close to Brisbane’s busy downtown area.

Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Image for Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Brisbane Botanic Gardens

4.5/5(124 reviews)

This free, landscaped park offers walks through a lush tropical rainforest and bonsai gardens, and past a manmade lagoon with water dragons and turtles.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Image for Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

4.5/5(74 reviews)

Cuddle a koala, hand-feed kangaroos and see other iconic Australian wildlife only a short distance from central Brisbane.

Top activities in Brisbane

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Day Admission
Image for Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Day Admission

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Day Admission

¥3,169

Spend a day at Brisbane's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary; the world's first and largest koala sanctuary. Meet 130 koalas and 100 species of other Australian native animals, all in beautiful, natural settings.

Noosa & Sunshine Coast Hinterland Tour
Image for Noosa & Sunshine Coast Hinterland Tour

Noosa & Sunshine Coast Hinterland Tour

¥8,225

Explore Brisbane's neighbors, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, on this full-day tour. See the beautiful coastline of Noosa Heads, spend time at the famous Hastings Street, enjoy a scenic ferry ride on the Noosa River, and marvel at the breathtaking Glass House Mountains.

Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour
Image for Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour

Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour

¥11,243

Spend a day in the paradise of Moreton Island, where you can enjoy one of the most spectacular spots off the Australian coast. Relax on the golden beaches, take to the water for some incredible views on a transparent kayak or paddleboard, or ride a toboggan down the island's dunes.

XXXX Brewery Tour
Image for XXXX Brewery Tour

XXXX Brewery Tour

¥2,415

Uncover the history of Australia's very own XXXX beer with more than 140 years of brewing behind it! Discover the heritage of this locally produced beer and browse the many selections provided. Then sample some of the finest beers in Queensland, and learn how to pour the perfect glass.

Brisbane River Kookaburra Showboat Lunch Cruise
Image for Brisbane River Kookaburra Showboat Lunch Cruise

Brisbane River Kookaburra Showboat Lunch Cruise

¥3,697

All aboard a traditional paddle wheeler to cruise down the Brisbane River to see many of the city's waterfront beauties. Relax on the deck of the boat as you cruise through town, and at mid-day get your appetite ready for a delicious buffet-style lunch menu.

Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast
Image for Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast

Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast

¥3,698

Visit: Game Over, 88 Siganto Dr, Helensvale, Gold Coast, Queensland 4212 Australia Your go-karting experience includes approximately 14 laps for adults races and approx 10 laps for junior races, the chequered flag drops when the first kart crosses the finish so try and stay on the lead lap to get the full race allocation.

Reviews of Brisbane

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
83
5 - Excellent 58.04195804195804%
4 - Good
51
4 - Good 35.66433566433567%
3 - Okay
9
3 - Okay 6.293706293706293%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 3, 2019

Ferry rides are fun way to see the city.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 1, 2019

Brisbane is a beautiful city. However, very confusing bus service and Translink mobile app. Tried going to Uni of Qld by bus but the app could not give me a clear direction to the bus stop. Walked for about 2 kms following the app to no avail.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 16, 2019

Incredibly friendly city. Clean too!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 7, 2019

It was truly enjoyable staying in Brisbane. The city was very modern, had great food, and the people were friendly. Brisbane also has excellent city transportation services (particularly the free City Hopper ferry), and is easy to walk.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 3, 2019

Wonderful experience with the locals! Loved this City! Had everything, easy to navigate, never got loss, very walkable, exceeded expectations based on prior research before the trip. Glad we carved out time for this city experience.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Sep 25, 2019

Very family friendly city

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Brisbane

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Jet-setting like a rock star in Australia's wonderland

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