How to do Brisbane in a day!

We’ve all been in the position before, where you find yourself in a place with less time than you expected and have to cram a whole city worth of exploring into one day.

Well, lucky for you it is actually half do-able in Brisbane!

A lot of backpackers will say that Brisbane isn’t worth it, or Brisbane doesn’t have that much to do – but that’s the same as any other city! Personally, I loved the atmosphere of Brisbane and the city as a whole, and found that no matter how much time you have you could definitely find something to do!


Obviously depending on which location in the city you are will change where you may or may not want to start. But for this scenario of events, let’s start at the Botanical Gardens.


  1. Brisbane Botanical Gardens are a vast amount of trees and space where you can explore, with the best part (the mini lake pictured above) nearest to the city gate! Even better.

Here you can scope out all the wild lizards, and spot the eels swimming around, or you could even grab a picnic and go find a spot to sit, soak up some of the Queensland sun, and eat to your wallets content!

2. After exploring the trees, checking out the strangler figs, and the hundred odd year old banyan trees, why not make your way to the hustle of the shops in the CBD where you can find the odd bargain in the sales.

You can also spot the different installations going on around the city centre and see if there are any decorations for any events going on soon!

3. Now let’s go and get a free ferry across the river. Why would you go to a city with a free ferry and not use it? Are you crazy?! 20170920_111501

Brisbane isn’t the only city to have water transport but most places (like Leeds in England) have water taxis which can be expensive. Brisbane has them for free!

4. Southbank. Definitely. Depending on where you got the ferry from, and where you get it to will determine which side you will start. But you have to walk along it all!

Along Southbank, we have the Brisbane Letter sign. Of course you have to go and get a picture in front of it. Yes it may one that has loads of random people in the back, and you didn’t quite get in the ‘ne’ – but then you can show your family at home, or post it on social media to definitely show you went to Brisbane whilst in Australia…


Next walk through the tropical rain forest, and see the shrine which has some questionable statues on the bottom (I only noticed them the second time visiting). Watch the lizards running around, and the birds swooping. Then enjoy a lazy stroll through the trees whilst keeping out of the hot Aussie sunshine.


Then you will find the crazy amount of people relaxing on the beach and going for a dip! Wait, did you say beach in Brisbane?? In the city centre there is a man made beach, with pools, adventure areas for kids and random fun activities! It may be quite busy, but it is definitely worth a visit. You can enjoy a refreshing dip if you remembered to bring your swimming stuff whilst looking on the Brisbane river and the city scape.


5. Maybe now you are feeling a bit peckish. You could grab a bite to eat along Southbank and relax whilst admiring the views. Depending on how you’re feeling, you could always head back to the CBD where you are sure to find something cheap to get your hands on. Or check out some online articles of Brisbane’s best cheap eats!

6. Further along from Southbank is Kangaroo Point. If you are feeling adventurous you can abseil down the steep cliff face (I wish I had done this!).

7. Now onto the evenings! If you are looking for somewhere to eat a good place to head is West End! Down Melbourne St and Boundary St is a lot of different eateries and bars where you can hang out!

I went to The Fox Hotel, where you can check out the rooftop bar, or you can enjoy some lovely burgers whilst having a cheeky game of pool!

Further down the street is a hidden place called the Cobbler. From the outside you can’t quite tell if it is open or not, but just try the door and be amazed by the interior! It is a whisky bar where the bartender uses a ladder to get the desired alcohol off the shelf. With a quirky old fashioned interior and some very original cocktail choices enjoy a different taste whilst feeling sophisticated! Also, upstairs is some cool booths and some great artwork on the walls! (I may be slightly biased as I worked with the artist of the Artwork in Noosa – the owners brother – but definitely worth checking out!)


Another great stop is Netherworld in Fortitude Valley. Here you can play on any game imaginable – from arcade games to old fashioned pinball to a wide range of board games!

Eagle Street Pier area is also a lovely spot to treat yourself to a cool pint after a warm day of walking around! Here you can check out Bavarian Bier Cafe where you can enjoy a German themed bar with pints that come in a stein! If you go in the evening you can admire the lit up bridge and see what colour is it on the day!

There are many hidden places around Brisbane and you just need to ask around, or check out some more articles that are more detailed for specific restaurants or quirky bars.

8. Finally, if you are lucky enough to have more than a day in the Brisbane area be SURE to hire a car (or have your own) and head to one of the many beautiful National Parks in the area. The Glass House Mountains, Kondalilla Falls,  Tamborine National Park, Lamington National Park, Springbrook National Park, etc etc. Queensland is amazing for its national parks and waterfalls so DEFINITELY check them out whilst you can!

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If you find this helpful, or have any of your own recommendations for Brisbane feel free to leave a comment or share this on!


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