Things to do in Brisbane

Top attractions in Brisbane

About Brisbane

The must-see attractions in Brisbane include the bustling South Bank Parklands, the cultural precinct featuring QAGOMA, the panoramic views from Mount Coot-tha Lookout, and the iconic Story Bridge. Also, a trip to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a must for a close encounter with native wildlife.
For families with kids, the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre offers interactive fun, while the South Bank Parklands provide playgrounds and a beach experience. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is also a winner for animal-loving children.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the Brisbane Riverwalk for jogging or cycling, kayak along the Brisbane River or climb the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Exploring the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha is another excellent outdoor activity.
Indoor activities abound with a visit to the Museum of Brisbane, engaging with interactive exhibits at the Sciencentre, or catching a performance at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Indoor rock climbing and visiting boutique breweries offer more indoor fun.
The best Brisbane tours include river cruises, cultural precinct walks, self-guided audio tours through historic neighborhoods, and guided food tours to explore the culinary scene. There are also specialized tours like the Story Bridge Adventure Climb and ghost tours.
The most popular museums include the Queensland Museum for natural history, the Museum of Brisbane for local history, QAGOMA for art lovers, and the Maritime Museum for nautical enthusiasts.
On rainy days, indoor attractions like brewery tours, the Museum of Brisbane and the Planetarium offer sheltered yet engaging tour options. Additionally, the QAGOMA hosts a variety of art displays and installations suited for wet weather.
Short tours in Brisbane include the informative Clock Tower tours, a quick CityHopper river cruise, and the self-guided audio tours around the city's historical spots and public art installations, each offering rich experiences in under an hour.

Best Things to Do In Brisbane

Immerse yourself in Brisbane's enchanting mix of cultural landmarks, natural beauty, and vibrant city life.

Brisbane: Story Bridge Adventure Climb

What is it?
An exhilarating bridge climb offering breathtaking panoramic city views.
Why you should go?
The Story Bridge Adventure Climb is a standout Brisbane experience that allows adventurous souls to scale the iconic bridge. With sweeping views of the city, river, and distant mountains, it's a thrilling way to see Brisbane from above. Climbs are available at various times, including at dawn and twilight, providing a spectrum of awe-inspiring cityscapes. It's a safe and guided excursion that promises an adrenaline rush alongside a stunning urban panorama.

Brisbane: Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha

What is it?
Vast botanical wonderland on the slopes of Mt. Coot-tha offering nature and views.
Why you should go?
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha are an expanse of the botanical bliss located a short drive from the city center. Featuring themed gardens, including a fragrant herb and zen garden, and the tropical greenhouse, the gardens are a haven for those looking to immerse themselves in nature. It’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, photography, or even a picnic – complete with panoramic views of Brisbane and beyond.

Brisbane: North Stradbroke Island

What is it?
A picturesque island paradise with stunning beaches and abundant wildlife.
Why you should go?
North Stradbroke Island offers a serene escape from the city hustle, with its breathtaking coastal scenery, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Known as 'Straddie' to locals, the island is perfect for surfing, spotting dolphins, and even whale watching during migration seasons. It's an opportunity to connect with the natural environment and indulge in the tranquility of one of the most beautiful things to do near Brisbane.

Brisbane: Queensland Museum

What is it?
A museum offering a rich tapestry of Queensland's natural history, cultural heritage, and science.
Why you should go?
The Queensland Museum is a gateway to discovery, with an array of exhibits that inform and entertain visitors of all ages. From dinosaur fossils to exhibits about Queensland’s diverse ecosystems and Aboriginal heritage, the museum is an edifying experience that delves deep into the past. Rotating exhibits ensure that each visit can offer something new, making it a cornerstone of Brisbane activities.

Brisbane: Brisbane City Hall and Clock Tower

What is it?
An iconic heritage building that serves as a civic cultural hub with a historic clock tower.
Why you should go?
Brisbane City Hall is one of the city's most significant heritage and cultural icons. Inside, visitors can find the Museum of Brisbane, which recounts the city's history through interactive exhibits. A free tour of the clock tower offers a unique opportunity to observe the inner workings of the clock and enjoy panoramic views. Attending an event or taking a guided tour here is quintessentially one of the best things to do in Brisbane.

Brisbane: The Brisbane Riverwalk

What is it?
A floating walkway that offers scenic routes for pedestrians and cyclists.
Why you should go?
Providing a unique perspective of the city, the Brisbane Riverwalk is a pathway that skirts the river, allowing for an unobstructed view of the water and cityscape. It is perfect for an early morning cycle or a leisurely sunset stroll. Vibrant and full of life, the area teems with joggers, casual walkers, and sightseers. The Riverwalk presents an ideal opportunity to partake in Brisbane activities while absorbing the city’s relaxed riverside culture.

Brisbane: Eat Street Northshore

What is it?
A lively, outdoor dining destination offering an eclectic mix of eateries.
Why you should go?
For a taste of Brisbane's culinary diversity, Eat Street Northshore is the go-to locale. Constructed from repurposed shipping containers, this vibrant venue buzzes with energy, offering everything from exotic international cuisines to delicious local fare. Live music and twinkling lights create a festive atmosphere nightly. It's an immersive dining experience that's quintessential among fun things to do in Brisbane.

Brisbane: City Botanic Gardens

What is it?
Historic public gardens with an array of unique plant species.
Why you should go?
The City Botanic Gardens are a sanctuary of tranquility, with expansive lawns, rare plant species, and ornate gardens that date back to the 19th century. Offering serene paths and charming picnic spots, they provide a peaceful escape from the urban hustle. Engage in guided walks, spot local wildlife, and relish the natural beauty that makes these gardens essential among the places to visit in Brisbane.

Brisbane: Kangaroo Point Cliffs

What is it?
Epic cliffs offering outdoor recreation and breathtaking skyline views.
Why you should go?
Kangaroo Point Cliffs are a hub for adventure sports and offer some of the best views of Brisbane. Whether you're rock climbing, abseiling, or picnicking in the areas above, the cliffs provide an exhilarating experience. The illuminated city skyline at night transforms the landscape into a magical backdrop, making it a stunning locale for photography and laid-back evenings, truly one of the best things to do in Brisbane.

Brisbane: Queensland Maritime Museum

What is it?
An informative museum showcasing extensive nautical collections and exhibits.
Why you should go?
Located on the Brisbane River, the Queensland Maritime Museum is an educational treasure trove for nautical enthusiasts. It offers a detailed look into maritime history through engaging displays of historical vessels, maritime artifacts, and even a World War II warship. Interactive exhibits make learning fun for all ages, making the museum a compelling stop during your Brisbane tours.

TOP-5 tours in Brisbane for first time visitors

  • Embark on the 'River City Riches' tour to discover Brisbane's iconic waterfront attractions, historical sights, and stunning city views from the river.
  • 'Cultural Beat of Brisbane' audio tour showcases the city's thriving arts scene, visiting galleries, theaters, and live music venues.
  • 'Green Escape in the City' takes you through Brisbane’s lush parks and gardens, revealing secret spots and city oases ideal for nature lovers.
  • The 'Historic Brisbane' audio tour dives into the city's past, exploring heritage buildings, stories of yesteryears, and aboriginal culture.
  • 'Brisbane by Night' uncovers the illuminated lifelines of the city, guiding you through vibrant nightlife hotspots and evening cityscapes.

Fun things to do in Brisbane with kids

Brisbane is a playground for families, with a host of attractions tailored to entertain and educate curious young minds. The South Bank Parklands are an urban paradise where children can splash in the aqua play areas, glide on the Wheel of Brisbane, or explore the rainforest walk. This hub of fun and relaxation is an essential Brisbane experience, where parents can unwind as their kids play. The Sciencentre, located within the Queensland Museum, makes science accessible and exciting through interactive exhibits and live demonstrations. It's a place where hands-on learning encourages kids to engage with the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and math. For a day filled with nature and wildlife, the Daisy Hill Koala Centre offers up-close encounters with Australia's cuddliest creatures and informative talks about their conservation. Set within a beautiful reserve with ample picnic spots and walking trails, it’s an ideal setting for families to connect with Australia's natural heritage at no cost.

Things to do in Brisbane with family

Creating cherished memories with the family is effortless in Brisbane, a city that caters to both the young and the young at heart. Delight in the wonder of the animal kingdom at Australia Zoo, known as the home of the Crocodile Hunter. A short drive from Brisbane, this world-class zoo offers thrilling wildlife shows and up-close animal encounters that will captivate everyone from toddlers to grandparents. Make a splash at Aquativity in South Bank Parklands, an interactive water-play park that’s both an educational and fun experience. Designed to demonstrate the water cycle and local river life, kids can cool off while learning, making it an ideal spot for a sunny Brisbane day. Finally, embark on a space-bound adventure at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. Dive into the cosmos with captivating shows that take families on an astronomical journey, exploring stars, planets, and the vast reaches of space—an enlightening and entertaining escapade for all.

Free things to do in Brisbane

Experience the rich tapestry of Brisbane without spending a dime, as the city boasts numerous activities that are free of charge. Visit the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), situated in the cultural precinct alongside the Brisbane River, where the exhibits range from historic collections to contemporary installations, providing an inspiring cultural outing for art enthusiasts. Nature lovers can revel in the sprawling natural beauty of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. Immerse yourself in themed gardens, take in the sights and smells of blooming flowers, or simply enjoy the tranquility of this verdant space. Cap off your day of exploration at the Mount Coot-tha Lookout, a prime viewpoint that offers spectacular panoramic vistas of Brisbane's skyline and beyond. Ideal for a sunset view, it's the perfect location for a picturesque photo opportunity and reminiscing on the day's adventures.

Cheap things to do in Brisbane

Brisbane, a city that enchants with its natural beauty and vibrant culture, also offers a plethora of affordable attractions. Meander through the weekly Collective Markets at South Bank, where local artisans showcase handmade crafts, fashion, and artworks. It is a bustling hotspot where visitors can discover one-of-a-kind treasures and enjoy the creativity of the community at small costs. The CityHopper ferry service stands out as an economical way to see Brisbane. Admire the city from its iconic river, hopping on and off as you please to explore various precincts and riverfront landmarks, absolutely free of charge. For a dose of history and architecture, a visit to St. John’s Cathedral offers insight into gothic revival architecture. Regularly open to the public, this heritage-listed cathedral invites you for self-guided tours or simply a moment of quiet contemplation amid its stunning stone carvings and stained-glass windows.

Things to do in Brisbane for couples

Brisbane beams with romantic possibilities and offers couples a chance to create unforgettable moments together. A sunset climb on the iconic Story Bridge presents an enchanting experience; couples can ascend to panoramic views, watching the city lights flicker to life under the evening sky. It’s an exhilarating blend of adventure and intimacy. For a tranquil outing, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha are an idyllic setting. Amble hand-in-hand through a mosaic of themed gardens, inhaling the fragrant blooms and basking in the serene ambiance. The secluded spots within the gardens offer a peaceful retreat for couples. By night, treasure the enchanting atmosphere at the Eat Street Northshore. Stroll through fairy-lit alleyways, share gourmet street food, and sway to live music. This riverside container village offers a vibrant culinary adventure, perfect for a couple’s night out to sample the best of Brisbane’s local flavors and entertainment.

Things to do in Brisbane at night

As dusk falls, Brisbane transforms into a luminescent metropolis teeming with nighttime activities. The CityHopper ferry presents a delightful way to view the city's twinkling lights from the river. Glide along the Brisbane River, disembark at various precincts, and behold the illuminated skyline, all at no cost. Music and laughter echo from the trendy bars and clubs in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane’s entertainment district. Couples and groups alike merge here to indulge in the vibrant nightlife; live bands, DJs and unique venues set the backdrop for an electrifying evening. Not to be missed, the Brisbane Powerhouse comes alive after sunset, offering a medley of arts and culture. Enjoy an array of performances, from theatre and music to comedy and dance. Wrapping up a night with a captivating show at this iconic venue cements a visit to Brisbane as an extraordinary experience.