City Guide: Brisbane

Brisbane is not only an important business destination in Australia, it is also a great place to visit for tourists. In this city guide, I want to give you an idea of what you should see in the beautiful city.

On my tour through Australia, I visited Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. That said, this city guide is the last one of the four I’m releasing. Why is that? Because Brisbane is a nice combination of the named other cities.

It is not too touristic like Adelaide, feels like a real metropolis like Melbourne and has great areas to relax or just have a walk like Sydney. So if you are looking for a combination of all, you should definitely visit Brisbane!

The City Center of Brisbane

With the King George Square in the North and the Botanical Garden in the South, the city center of Brisbane isn’t very big, but yet a brilliant place to visit.

Brisbane City Hall

St. George’s Square & City Hall

Surely, Brisbane isn’t a very historic city. Yet, the City Hall at King George Square reminds you of the founding of the city. The square itself is also quite nice and also allows you to admire the Albert Street Uniting Church.

Speaking of historic buildings in the city center, you should walk a little further to the South to spot the Treasury Building, which nowadays is a hotel & casino.

If you orientate to the East of the city center, you’ll find two further buildings worth seeing: The Cathedral of St. Stephen, which can be hard to find if you don’t take the right way, and the Customs House, which I personally find to be the nicest building in the city center of Brisbane.

Moreover, you can just walk through the streets to spot more interesting buildings in the city center.

Botanical Garden of Brisbane

Another spot I’d like to highly recommend in this city guide is the Botanical Garden. Located in the South of the center island of Brisbane, right below the city center, it’s an amazing place to just relax and enjoy the sun.

Brisbane Botanical Garden

Brisbane Botanical Garden

Personally, I’d recommend taking a walk at the riverfront from the Customs House to the South. This might take around half an hour, but lets you enjoy the most beautiful walk Brisbane has to offer.

The Botanical Garden itself is also big enough to just stroll through for one or two hours and enjoy the treets and special fauna.

Attractions in and around the Botanical Garden of Brisbane include the Water Hill Fountain, the Gardens Theatre and the Queensland University Campus with several interesting buildings including ‘The Cube’. In this area, there is also the Old Government House.

Brisbane Old Government House

Old Government House

If you’ve already visited Brisbane, you already know that I purposely forgot to name one building. Why? Because the Queensland Parliament, located North-West of the Botanical Garden is worth it’s own sentence.

The historic building surely is one of the nicest buildings in the city.

Brisbane South Bank & the Museum Quarter

Another area I would highly recommend visiting is the Brisbane South Bank. Located on the Eastern Side of the Brisbane River, this area combines culture and recreation.

Brisbane South Bank

Brisbane South Bank

The whole promenade along the South Bank is a pedestrian zone and a great place to just stumble through. You can enjoy beautiful views of the Brisbane Skyline, while walking along a very nice path with some greenery around.

In addition, there are some nice buildings and even special ‘events’ like the Brisbane City Beach.

Brisbane City Beach

Brisbane City Beach

The further North you get, the more you get into the Culture & Museum Quarter of Brisbane. After passing The Wheel of Brisbane, you’ll spot the Cremorne Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, the QPAC, the Queensland Museum & Science Centre, the State Library of Queensland and the GOMA.

After visiting these museum, I’d recommend crossing the pedestrian Kurilpa Bridge, which is one of the nicest bridges in Brisbane.

Aznac Square & St. John’s Cathedral

If you happen to have some more time to explore Brisbane, I want to give you another recommendation in this city guide. As I was staying at Sofitel Brisbane for my second night in the city, I had a direct view of the Anzac Square.

This war memorial square is quite nice and also has an architecturally interesting monument on it. If you turn around, you can also see the historic part of the train station.

Brisbane Central Station

Brisbane Central Station

If you are interested in seeing the second cathedral of Brisbane, the St. John’s Cathedral is just a ten-minute walk away.

I’d say it’s worth it as the cathedral is quite impressive.

Wrapping up the Brisbane City Guide

Brisbane is not the most touristic city in Australia. However, this city guide should have shown you that you see lots of interesting places throughout the city. Even if you just stick to the most important monuments and buildings, you can easily spend one or two days with exploring Brisbane.

Brisbane Skyline

If you got some more time, I’d recommend taking a walk along the river. It’s beautiful! I’m sure you’ll utterly enjoy your time in Brisbane!


9 Comments on “City Guide: Brisbane”

  1. Pingback: Looking Back | travelux

  2. Hi Man, I have just been to Australia not so long ago and Brisbane really surprised me, I liked the city more then Melbourne. I see you are subscribed to my blog, so you might have already got a notification from my post about it. Cheers

  3. I’m a little disappointed in your public transport review of Brisbane. The suburban railway network, while not huge is efficient and comfortable with modern air conditioned trains running regularly throughout the metropolitan area and beyond. The bus network which is run by the Brisbane City Council is second to none, with dedicated bus ways reaching far out into the suburbs. The inner city bus stations are underground where you can wait for your bus in air conditioned comfort, also it helps keep the buses off some of the city centre streets. The ‘ jewel in the crown’ for public transport in Brisbane has to be the ‘ CityCat ‘ ferries which ply the Brisbane River. A fast and frequent service that not only transports commuters, but is also very popular with tourists as well. They are a great way to view Brisbane from a different perspective. The city centre, as you said is compact and is easy to walk around. There is also Fortitude Valley where Chinatown is located. I don’t think you mentioned that. Mount Cootha is a 20 minute bus ride from the city and affords spectacular views of the city and beyond. There is also another botanical garden at the base of the mountain specialising in tropical plants and flowers. Brisbane has a lot to offer and is a very easy city to get around.

    • Hey Liam, thank you very much for your feedback. It’s always great to get a local’s perspective. I’m always trying to use available information combined with my personal experiences as a tourist in each city to write my guides (both transportation and cities). I feel that sometimes that might lead to having a different impression of something like public transportation (e.g. as a tourist it’s most important for me to get easily from one point to another in the immediate city center, while commuting might be more important for locals). All in all, thanks a lot for your additional input. I’m absolutely sure that our readers will find it helpful to get another perspective with even more detailed information. Thanks a lot as well for your further tips for sightseeing. I’ll definitely return to Brisbane and update this city guide 🙂

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