Three days in Brisbane allows you just enough time to see the sights and soak up a bit of that laid-back culture for which the city is famous. Set along the banks of the Brisbane River, the capital of Queensland is a place to discover lush parks, world-class art venues, incredible dining options and lively nightlife.
Take a look at our three-day itinerary to get the most out of your Brisbane adventure.
Set yourself up for the day with a hearty brunch before heading out on a Brisbane Greeters Tour. These tours are free and run by local residents, guaranteeing you lots of insider knowledge. They’ll help you understand the geography and history of the city before sending you on your way to explore.
Head downtown for lunch. If you feel like splashing out, high tea at Stamford Plaza is a sophisticated and elegant option, offering spectacular views of the Brisbane River.
Spend your first evening in the city climbing the Story Bridge. There’s no better place to see a Brisbane sunset than from the 80-metre-high summit. You’ll also get panoramic views of the whole metropolis and learn lots of local history on the walk up. Walk or abseil to the bottom before heading to Fortitude Valley for your pick of restaurants for dinner. There’s lots of international cuisine to choose from and a great selection of bars and clubs if you have enough energy for after-dinner drinking and dancing.
Travel to the Paddington neighbourhood for breakfast at Darling & Co. or Naim. This hilly part of the city is characterised by traditional tin and timber houses and quaint old cottages. It’s also home to a host of independent stores selling vintage, retro and antique goods. Shop for clothes, homewares or a special keepsake before heading back into the city centre.
Stop for lunch at a South Bank restaurant or enjoy a laid-back picnic in the gardens. After you’ve eaten your fill, explore the cultural destinations along this side of the river. There’s GOMA (the Gallery of Modern Art), Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Cultural Centre.
For evening entertainment, return to the South Bank after sundown to watch an opera, ballet or theatre production at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Alternatively, take a taxi or the CityCat to the Brisbane Powerhouse, an old industrial building which features regular contemporary arts performances.
Before bed, be sure to stop for a nightcap at one of the city’s best rooftop bars. Elixir and Eleven are both excellent options, offering stunning views and deliciously crafted cocktails.
For an action-packed morning, take a guided kayak or paddleboard tour along the Brisbane River. You’ll see the city from a different perspective and build up quite an appetite for lunch.
After a bite to eat, take a taxi to the Holt Street Wharf where you can catch the boat over to Moreton Island. The island offers yet more adventure – you can feed wild dolphins on the beach, ride quad bikes over the sand dunes and hike to Cape Moreton to see the oldest lighthouse in Queensland. If you’d prefer a more relaxed afternoon, just chill out on the beaches or by beautiful lagoons, drinking cocktails and eating canapés until the sun goes down.
Whether you’re looking for luxury or travelling on a budget, Brisbane offers a wealth of possibilities. And once your three days are up, there are plenty of onward travel options too. You can go on a three night cruise to another destination in Australia or on a seven night cruise to see the Pacific Islands. You can also head off on a road trip into the wilds of the outback, or discover more of Queensland’s beautiful coastline on a train ride to the Gold Coast.
About the author: Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at NYBizDb – an online resource of relevant business.