Brisbane, the vibrant capital of Queensland, Australia, is known for its lively urban precincts, lush green spaces, and rich cultural heritage.  Whether you’re an art aficionado, a nature lover, or an adventure seeker, Brisbane offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all tastes.  Here’s a guide to the top 15 things you must do when visiting this dynamic city.

1. South Bank Parklands

South Bank Parklands, things to do in Brisbane

Situated on the southern banks of the beautiful Brisbane River, South Bank Parklands features lush gardens, sandy beaches, and plenty of dining options.  The area is also home to the Streets Beach, a man-made lagoon that is perfect for cooling off on hot days.

2. City Botanic Gardens

City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

For a peaceful retreat from the bustling city, the City Botanic Gardens offer a verdant oasis with many rare and unusual botanic species.  It’s the ideal spot for a picnic or a serene walk along the river.

3. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane

Visit the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary, where you can cuddle a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, and meet a large variety of Australian wildlife in natural bushland and lush rainforests.

4. Cultural Centre

Cultural Centre, Things to do in Brisbane

Located in South Bank, the Cultural Centre is the arts hub of Brisbane.  It houses the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), the Queensland Museum, and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), offering a rich tapestry of artistic endeavors.

5. Queen Street Mall

Queen Street Mall, Brisbane

A shopaholic’s haven, Queen Street Mall boasts more than 700 retailers, offering a mix of local, national, and international labels.  This vibrant shopping strip also hosts events and street performers.

6. Story Bridge Adventure Climb

Story Bridge Adventure Climb, things to do in Brisbane

For breathtaking panoramic views of Brisbane, the Glass House Mountains, and Moreton Bay, climbing the iconic Story Bridge is a must. It’s an exhilarating experience that provides a unique perspective on the city.

7. River Cruise on the Brisbane River

River Cruise on the Brisbane River

A cruise along the Brisbane River is one of the best ways to see the city.  You can choose from several options, including sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises, or even a paddle-steamer experience.

8. Eat Street Northshore

Eat Street Northshore, Brisbane

An eating experience like no other, Eat Street Northshore is set on shipping containers, with over 70 food vendors selling dishes from around the world.  It’s a foodie’s paradise, complete with live music and a vibrant atmosphere.

9. New Farm Park and The Powerhouse

New Farm Park is one of Brisbane’s oldest, grandest, and largest parks. The Powerhouse, a former power station, sits right in the park and now serves as a venue for the arts, including theatre, music, comedy, film, and visual arts events.

10. Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Known as ‘The Valley’, this area is the cradle of Brisbane’s nightlife and is brimming with bars, clubs, and eateries. It’s also a great place for live music, with venues hosting everything from jazz to indie rock.

11. Moreton Island

Moreton Island, Brisbane

Just a ferry ride away from Brisbane, Moreton Island is mostly national park, making it a splendid spot for outdoor activities like snorkeling around shipwrecks, sand tobogganing, and dolphin watching.

12. Mount Coot-tha Lookout

Mount Coot-tha Lookout, Things to do in Brisbane

For the best view of Brisbane, head to Mount Coot-tha Lookout. This spot offers stunning panoramic views that stretch to the Moreton Bay and even to the distant mountains. The area is also great for hiking and has a planetarium.

13. Roma Street Parkland

Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane

One of the world’s largest subtropical garden in a city center, Roma Street Parkland offers a spectacular display of themed gardens and recreational areas. The park is beautifully maintained and perfect for a leisurely stroll or a family barbecue.

14. Brisbane Greeters Tour

Join a free walking tour with a local guide to learn about Brisbane’s history, architecture, and culture. It’s a fantastic way to get insider tips and discover hidden gems of the city.

15. West End

West End

Explore the eclectic charm of the West End, known for its quirky shops, organic markets, and an array of restaurants and cafes that serve up international cuisines. It’s a cultural melting pot that reflects Brisbane’s diverse communities.

Enjoy Visiting the Things to do in Brisbane

Enjoy Visiting the Things to do in Brisbane

Brisbane is a city that offers a plethora of activities catering to all interests and age groups. From its stunning natural beauty and wildlife encounters to its thriving arts and cultural scene, there’s always something to do in Brisbane. Each of these top 15 activities offers a unique way to experience the city, ensuring visitors can fully engage with what makes Brisbane so special. Whether it’s your first visit or you’re returning to rediscover the city, Brisbane’s warmth and vibrancy are bound to make your stay memorable.

Visiting Australia?  Read about Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns.