• Mario Ng

Brisbane Attractions - What to see and do in Brisbane

Brisbane is often associated with Gold Coast, as it used to be the gateway for travellers to head there. As a result, tourists often spend only a day or two in Brisbane, or sometimes simply bypass the city altogether, to travel to Gold Coast. This is quite unfortunate, as Brisbane has much to offer. While it may not have the famous beaches of Gold Coast, much less being a surfer's paradise, Brisbane has many cultural attractions and museums, along with Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. It is also the place to be if you want to roam amongst kangaroos. If you wish to have a more 'holistic' destination where singles, couples, and families can enjoy, Brisbane is the place to be at. I really enjoyed my time in Brisbane, and want to be back again one day. Check out our list of attractions below that Brisbane has to offer!

For your convenience, refer to this list of attractions you should head to while in Brisbane!

1. Story Bridge

​2. Eat Street Northshore

3. Queensland Art Gallery

4. Gallery of Modern Art

5. Queensland Museum and Science Centre

6. State Library of Queensland

7. South Bank Parklands

8. Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

9. Brisbane City Hall

10. Museum of Brisbane

11. ANZAC Square and Memorial Galleries

12. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

13. Brisbane Botanic Gardens

14. Mount Coot-tha Lookout

15. Riverside Markets

16. Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

Scroll all the way down to get our list of attractions and food places in Brisbane on Google Maps!

1. Story Bridge

​​Story Bridge needs no introduction. Construction first started in 1935 and lasted for 5 years, where it finally opened to traffic in 1940. Made of steel, it is Brisbane's pride, much like how the Sydney Harbour Bridge is to Sydneysiders. It has since become a Brisbane icon that travellers love to take a photo of and with.


While it is really 'just a bridge' mainly used by vehicles and occasionally cyclists and pedestrians, it is also a beautiful one that complements the Brisbane skyline. If you are at Howard Smith Wharves, you will love the views come day and night as it offers a fantastic view of the bridge.

View of Story Bridge above Howard Smith Wharves
View of Story Bridge above Howard Smith Wharves

Adventure-seekers may wish to climb Story Bridge, where they promise an amazing view come sunset. For the rest of us who are satisfied with both feet on the ground, you should really try taking a walk across the bridge. As I was staying at The Fantauzzo, located at Howard Smith Wharves, it was a convenient and short walk to Story Bridge, where I strolled and snapped pictures of the Brisbane skyline while walking along the bridge. It was really quite amazing to walk on history while admiring the city view. The best part of this is how you can enjoy the sights and have a workout at the same time. Of course, it is also free!

Walking along Story Bridge is a must if you fear walking at the top of the bridge
Walking along Story Bridge is a must if you fear walking at the top of the bridge

If you come to Brisbane, you should definitely take some time out to admire Story Bridge. If you can, complete the trinity of driving across, walking across, and climbing the bridge!


Story Bridge Adventure Climb: https://storybridgeadventureclimb.com.au/

View of the Brisbane skyline from Story Bridge
View of the Brisbane skyline from Story Bridge

2. Eat Street Northshore

Located near Brisbane Airport, this place used to be a container wharf that has since been transformed into a lively destination for people of all ages to gather and have a good meal. Open only during the weekends, Eat Street Northshore, as the name suggests, sells food from all over the world, and is hugely popular with families, couples, and friends. It is not uncommon to see a packed crowd during weekend evenings, as they queue, eat, repeat while listening to live music.

Roam through the crowd to get unique and delicious food
Roam through the crowd to get unique and delicious food

Some offerings include crowd favourites fish & chips, Mexican, fresh oysters, and various sweet treats. Other types of food on offer include Filipino cuisine, South American food, and various Chinese offerings. Really, there is at least more than a stall that will cater to the pickiest of people. Have a beer, chill out with your friends, and enjoy the live music! There is plenty of car park space as well! This is one place that you cannot miss if you want to enjoy a good evening having really delicious street food-style fare in Brisbane!

Fresh oysters - a must-try at such markets
Fresh oysters - a must-try at such markets

Opening hours: Fridays to Saturdays (4 pm to 10 pm); Sundays (12 pm to 8 pm)

Entrance fee: $3 per adult, free for children (12 years and below)

Website: https://eatstreetmarkets.com/

3. Queensland Art Gallery

Essentially part of the larger QAGOMA organisation, which is the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art combined, the Queensland Art Gallery is really part one of the two galleries.

A picture of Story Bridge under construction
A picture of Story Bridge under construction

Here at the Queensland Art Gallery, it is more “conventional”, so to speak, when compared with the Gallery of Modern Art. What this means is how art is presented mostly in paintings and some cases, artefacts like china and vases. This is not to say the gallery is plain or uninteresting. Far from it. In fact, there are quite a few galleries that really open your eyes to how art is presented through paintings. There really is very little conventional about this gallery. I enjoyed the display on “Day In Day Out”, where a theatre light is shone on identical aluminium houses. An example of our lives perhaps?

Day In Day Out
Day In Day Out

Make sure you check out those “ordinary” plates and vases as well, where those on display date back hundreds of years ago. Maybe I do not know what I am talking about, but those from England look similar to those produced in China. My take on this is that it shows the effects of globalisation even hundreds of years ago, way before the Industrial Revolution. With the world constantly getting smaller, it is really a question of how to make globalisation beneficial for everyone, instead of only benefiting certain countries.


I definitely enjoyed my time at the Queensland Art Gallery, and was a little disappointed that the next artefact to be displayed, by Ai Weiwei, is still work-in-progress!

This ceramic horse was created during the Tang dynasty
This ceramic horse was created during the Tang dynasty

Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily; 12 pm to 5 pm (ANZAC Day)

Entrance fee: Free

Website: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/

4. Gallery of Modern Art

Part two of QAGOMA, the Gallery of Modern Art is really, modern! Through the different galleries within GOMA, it re-defines how art is represented and seeks to move away from more conventional and traditional methods of displaying art. Think of a display of fluorescent lights to re-create an artist’s experience of seeing the Lascaux Cave, which was first discovered in 1940. Or how about the use of items seen in circuit boards to re-create the concept of thinking. These are just a few of the exhibits you should be expecting to see when at this gallery. The museum really tries to make use of more than just sight to engage the visitor. There are also other exhibits where you listen, rather than look, at the display. This museum is really quite fascinating.

Electrical components or tribal people?
Electrical components or tribal people?

While I was there, I was fortunate that Water, a paid exhibition, was available. In Water, the exhibition is trying to explain the importance of water to all cultures, and indeed, everyone on Earth. Take a look at a picture of the undersea cable, and just marvel at how peaceful it is in the ocean. Check out the exhibit on various animals having some water, which is quite poignant really. All creatures need water, and water is really just precious and important to everything on Earth.

Gathering of the creatures
Gathering of the creatures

Make sure you also see the picture of Julian Charriere attempting to melt an iceberg using a blowtorch. He did it for eight hours, and of course, the iceberg did not melt. However, amidst the dark humour behind this display, Julian seeks to remind people of climate change and the drastic changes that have already occurred. Already, many glaciers are declared non-existent, and this will only continue in more places. It is frightening to note that the Arctic route is now a plausible route for ships to use, as opposed to only some 20 to 30 years ago. While potentially economically beneficial for many countries, this only serves to show the balance required between economic benefit and saving the Earth, which is a real and important concern.

Using a blowtorch to melt an iceberg
Using a blowtorch to melt an iceberg

With so many thought-provoking displays at GOMA, it would be good to head over while you are in Brisbane. It is a must-visit!


​Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily; 12 pm to 5 pm (ANZAC Day)

Entrance fee: Free for most galleries unless otherwise stated

Entrance fee for Water exhibition: A$18 per adult; A$8 per child (5 to 15 years); Free for children below 5

Website: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/

5. Queensland Museum and Science Centre

The Queensland Museum and Science Centre is possibly Brisbane’s main museum for families, as it holds many exhibits that are designed for families to enjoy. Housed over four levels, it provides visitors with different perspectives of Queensland and Australia.


One exhibit, Wild State, shows visitors the diversity of Queensland, where there are various types of creatures roaming the state. From the larger-than-life killer whale to the ubiquitous kangaroo, visitors will be amazed to see how there are so many different types of animals that treat Queensland as their home.

The koala bear and her young
The koala bear and her young

One of my favourite exhibits is probably Antiquities Revealed, which displays the different artefacts from ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian civilisations. It is really quite awesome to see a piece of tool, oftentimes as simple as a vase, that has lasted for millenniums. It sometimes makes you wonder how humans will see our mobile phones and laptops as an ancient artefact in 2000 years.

This artefact dates back to the 6th century BC
This artefact dates back to the 6th century BC

The museum's permanent exhibition, ANZAC Legacy Gallery, explains the story of how Australia was involved during the Great War, and how the locals continue to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice more than a hundred years ago. The coolest artefact on display is most likely the German tank, named Mephisto. After it was abandoned by its crew, it was then captured by Australian forces and dragged behind Australian lines. Since then, it has travelled to various places in Australia, including for conservation works, before finally residing in Queensland Museum. It is worthy to note that Mephisto is the only A7V tank left in the world.

Mephisto at the ANZAC Legacy Gallery
Mephisto at the ANZAC Legacy Gallery

While I was at the museum, there was a paid exhibition on spiders. It was fascinating to learn more about this eight-legged creature, and how it is quite the creature, with many interesting facts about it. The majority might not know that the spider is actually not considered an insect, as it has eight legs as opposed to six, and has two body parts, as opposed to three. I also learnt how spiders court their partners, and in some cases, the female spider eats the male spider after mating! With some live spiders on display as well, this was one cool exhibit!

A live spider on display at the exhibition
A live spider on display at the exhibition

With many exhibitions rotating constantly, the museum really keeps things fresh and makes it necessary for visitors to head over to the museum periodically to find out more about the state and country!


​Opening hours: 9.30 am to 5 pm daily; 1.30 pm to 5 pm (ANZAC Day)

Entrance fee: Free for most galleries unless otherwise stated

Entrance fee for Spiders exhibition: A$15.50 per adult; A$12.50 per child (5 to 15 years); free for children below 5

Website: https://www.qm.qld.gov.au/

6. State Library of Queensland

Besides being a full-fledged library, where students actually head over to study and search for reference books, it is also in fact a place of interest for tourists and visitors. The State Library of Queensland regularly holds free exhibitions where visitors can simply head over to check them out.

State Library of Queensland
State Library of Queensland

While I was there, I managed to catch Spoken, which seeks to allow visitors to understand more about the variety of Queensland’s languages. Some interesting facts include how there were actually more than 250 indigenous languages spoken before the British landed on Australian shores in 1788. Since then, the number of such languages still picked up by children has dropped to 13, while only about 100 such languages are still spoken by the older generation. Evidently, these languages are at the risk of being extinct forever. This exhibition really shows just how diverse the human race is, even in just one country. Due to globalisation where there is a need for a common language, other less-used languages become unnecessary and these important cultures are then lost.

Statistics on the loss of languages over time
Statistics on the loss of languages over time

The exhibition also seeks to explore how art has been used over time for communities to showcase their unique cultures. Take a look at the amazing paintings done by the various communities and you will see the beauty of diversity.


The State Library of Queensland regularly holds free exhibitions, so make sure you head over when you are in Brisbane!

austracism
austracism

Website: https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/

Information on Spoken exhibition: https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/spoken

7. South Bank Parklands

Located near Queensland Museum and Science Centre, it is a short walk to this city park and should be complemented with a trip to the art galleries and museums nearby. Filled with fun things to do, it is the preferred place to be for families and friends.

View of Brisbane from South Bank Parklands
View of Brisbane from South Bank Parklands

The Wheel of Brisbane, Brisbane's answer to the London Eye and Singapore Flyer, is proportionate in size to the city landscape. A great thing about it is how it is also open at night. While this might seem obvious, we were surprised to find out that London Eye closed at 6 pm while we were there! It lights up quite beautifully at night and it should be spectacular even if you are on taking a ride on it.

The Wheel of Brisbane
The Wheel of Brisbane

Around the parklands are also a man-made swimming pool and beach area, so families do not need to travel all the way out of Brisbane to enjoy some sun, sand, and sea. It was quite fascinating to see this in the middle of a city, so it was actually pretty cool. Surrounding it are some restaurants, so it makes for a perfect day out for the family. The fact that it offers a great view of the city helps too, and you will realise how beautiful Brisbane really is.

A man-made beach at South Bank Parklands
A man-made beach at South Bank Parklands

Opening hours: 10 am to 10 pm (Sundays to Thursdays); 10 am to 11 pm (Fridays and Saturdays)

​Entrance fee: A$20.90 per adult; A$13.80 per child (4 to 11 years)free for children 3 years and below

Wheel of Brisbane website: https://thewheelofbrisbane.com.au/

8. Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

As the name suggests, Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park is a park, which also stretches for quite long, and is located by the river. The cliff comes about due to the cliffs you see whether you are at the top of the cliff, or below it.

View of the Brisbane skyline from the top of Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park
View of the Brisbane skyline from the top of Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

Some actually gather to climb the cliffs, while the rest of us are content with having a nice stroll at this park and look at the city while doing so. Many people take the opportunity to have a nice jog, while the rest of us once again is content with having a meal at the top of the cliffs, enjoying the view of the city.

View of the river and Brisbane skyline from the bottom of Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park
View of the river and Brisbane skyline from the bottom of Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

There is a store offering kayaks and rock climbing, so you can actually do so while at this park. Not forgetting the amazing city sights you will get to see while you kayak, this is why this park is a good place for some water adventure.

The famous cliffs at Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park
The famous cliffs at Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

No matter what you choose, know that this is a really nice place to hang out, with many locals having a picnic or barbecue while engaging in some friendly ball games. Couples can also make use of this park to rekindle their love, as it is really nice and peaceful. If you need some peace of mind in already peaceful Brisbane, Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park is the place to go. I know I had some well-needed peace while walking here!

9. Brisbane City Hall

Once the tallest building in Brisbane, it has since been surpassed by numerous buildings over the years. Brisbane City Hall, however, still possesses the unique beauty that makes many head over to admire its beauty. That it has a beautiful clock tower does not hurt either. It is now the main venue for classical concerts in the city due to its large auditorium.

View of Brisbane City Hall from King George Square
View of Brisbane City Hall from King George Square

For most tourists, you can do a few things in Brisbane City Hall actually. Do check out the City Hall tour and Clock Tower tour, both of which can be booked online, and are free! Bookings are strongly encouraged as the City Hall tour only has 3 timings a day, while the Clock Tower tour runs every 15 minutes. ​

View of Albert Street Uniting Church from the Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower
View of Albert Street Uniting Church from the Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower

A good tip before/after the tours would be to hang out in the vicinity of Brisbane City Hall and wait for the clock to chime. The best part would be at 12pm, where the bell would ring 12 times. I also found out that the rhythm of the clock chiming is identical to Big Ben’s. So now you know!

Looking through the elevator at one of the faces of the Brisbane City Clock Tower
Looking through the elevator at one of the faces of the Brisbane City Clock Tower

Be sure to look out for the different statues erected at King George Square, which the City Hall faces. Those two lion sculptures were modelled after the ones at Trafalgar Square in London, and along with the statue of King George V, were created as a tribute to King George V back in 1938. The lions now reside at the entrance of the City Hall guarding it.

The ceiling of Brisbane City Hall
The ceiling of Brisbane City Hall

City Hall tours: 11.30am / 12.30pm / 1.30pm daily (approximately 45 minutes duration)

Clock Tower tours: 10 am to 5 pm (Saturdays to Thursdays); 10 am to 7 pm (Fridays) (approximately 15 minutes duration)

Entrance fee: Free

City Hall tour booking: https://www.museumofbrisbane.com.au/cityhalltours/

Clock Tower tour booking: https://museumofbrisbane.rezdy.com/352807/clock-tower-tour

10. Museum of Brisbane

Located on the third floor of Brisbane City Hall, the Museum of Brisbane is a small museum that is quite modern and has many rotating exhibitions. Among the different exhibits, my favourite was New Woman, which celebrates the lives of Brisbane women over the past 100 years. It displayed various art pieces completed by women, and the entire exhibit was simply beautiful. It was by far the largest exhibit in the museum and I loved it.

One of the displays at the "New Woman" exhibit
One of the displays at the "New Woman" exhibit

Do take some time to check out Perspectives of Brisbane, which is the only permanent exhibit. It shows you how Brisbane came into being, and how indigenous Australians were the original settlers of the land before the Europeans headed to Australia in the 1800s. It is heartening to see how Brisbane and Australia face up to their past, and how they continuously put in the effort required to acknowledge indigenous Australians’ roles in creating Australia.

Understanding the perspectives of Brisbane
Understanding the perspectives of Brisbane

There was also one paid exhibition, High Rotation, which celebrates Brisbane music for the past 30 years. It was an enjoyable experience as it allows you to listen to some of Brisbane’s hottest acts, including the famous Keith Urban and Savage Garden. There are also some authentic costumes and guitars worn and used by the musicians that are on display. It was quite a cool experience hearing their music in the museum.

Keith Urban's guitar on display at the "High Rotation" exhibit
Keith Urban's guitar on display at the "High Rotation" exhibit

The Museum of Brisbane is really unique where most of its exhibits are always changing, and makes this museum quite refreshing and different from most other museums. Rather than keeping things the same over years, MOB challenges itself to keep itself relevant and I know I will be seeing entirely different exhibits the next time I am back in Brisbane. Kudos to MOB!


​Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm Saturdays to Thursdays; 10 am to 7 pm (Fridays); 1 pm to 5 pm (ANZAC Day)

Entrance fee: Free for most galleries unless otherwise stated

Entrance fee for High Rotation: See, Hear, Feel Brisbane Music: A$12 per adult; free for children below 12 years of age

Website: https://www.museumofbrisbane.com.au/

11. ANZAC Square and Memorial Galleries

Situated right in the Central Business District of Brisbane, ANZAC Square and Memorial Galleries pay tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that the people today can enjoy peace and prosperity.


The journey should probably start on ANZAC Square, where the Shrine of Remembrance always has its eternal flame burning. It is a magnificent recognition to those who have served the country over the centuries.

The Shrine of Remembrance at ANZAC Square
The Shrine of Remembrance at ANZAC Square

Right below are the memorial galleries, where it is separated into three galleries. The first one is on World War 1, where there are many plaques paying tribute to the different battalions and units that served during The Great War. The Second World War gallery is an interactive one, where it is quite suitable for families to understand some of the tremendous things Australian units did during the war. Find out more about the Japanese bombing of Townsville, or check out Australia’s contributions during the fight against Japan. It is really interesting and one can spend some time fully exploring the interactive gallery. The third gallery focuses on Australia’s part in conflicts after the Second World War. This includes Korea and Vietnam, and the plaques remember those who serve. Indeed, Queensland was a major contributor to soldiers, as it was calculated that 10% of Queensland population enlisted for the Second World War. The memorial is indeed fitting for the people of Queensland.

An interactive gallery explaining ANZAC's role in World War 2
An interactive gallery explaining ANZAC's role in World War 2

The fact that ANZAC Square is now a nice place for people to relax and have lunch is a testament to those who served. It was indeed because of them that we can now enjoy a peaceful meal right at the square. It is a solemn and very meaningful place to visit when you are in Brisbane.

A peaceful time at ANZAC Square
A peaceful time at ANZAC Square

Memorial Galleries opening hours: 10 am to 4 pm (Sundays to Fridays); Closed on Saturdays

Entrance fee: Free

Website: https://www.anzacsquare.qld.gov.au/

12. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Located just 20 minutes away from central Brisbane, it is also a short drive away from Mount Coot-tha, which makes it perfect for travellers to visit both Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Mount Coot-tha on the same day.


First, about koalas. This sanctuary is home to some 130 koalas! There are many koala exhibits and you can observe them either taking a long nap or having a snack. Although I saw 9 out of 10 having a deep sleep! For those who are keen, you can take a picture with these lovely animals, and you will also be happy to know these are always subjected to whether each koala is up to it that day. Hence, the koalas’ welfare is always put first.

A koala bear that is awake, perhaps looking for his friends for a chat
A koala bear that is awake, perhaps looking for his friends for a chat

Yet, there are much more than just koalas, despite having 130 of them! Being in Australia, this sanctuary is also home to kangaroos, wallabies, and dingoes. The highlight must be the free-range area where kangaroos and wallabies simply roam about and chill out in the cool autumn weather. Many visitors can be seen taking those important pictures with them, and you can feed them as well. Do note that there are many other animals here, and it is really like a zoo, despite its name as a koala sanctuary. Do spend some time checking out the other animals as well.

A day of pure relaxation for these kangaroos
A day of pure relaxation for these kangaroos

Check out the sheep show as well, and see how the resident dog commands the sheep to go where he wants them to. With the sheeps cheeky at times, the dog can be pushed to show his leadership qualities to bring the sheep to safety at all times. It was quite a treat to watch them.


With Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary being the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, you simply must head here when you are in Brisbane!

Dingoes having some fun together
Dingoes having some fun together

Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm daily

Entrance fee: A$42 per adult; A$25 per child (3 to 17 years of age); free for children below 3 years of age

Website: https://koala.net/

13. Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens is actually located right in the city centre, named the City Botanic Gardens. However, due to many floods hitting the city, which caused severe damage to the various plant collections, a decision was taken to build a second botanic garden that will not be prone to such floods. It was decided that the plot of land at Mount Coot-tha was the most viable option and Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha came into being.


Similar to its cousin in the city, this botanic gardens gives one a sense of peace and calm when you are walking in it. It is really calm and one can see how heading over here can give you some well-needed peace and serenity. There are also many places to explore around here, from different themed gardens to children’s trails.

A colourful blooming tree at Brisbane Botanic Gardens
A colourful blooming tree at Brisbane Botanic Gardens

There are three places where they close by 3 pm or 4 pm, so do time your visit to make sure you do not miss them. The Tropical Dome houses different tropical plants, while the Fern House and Bonsai House house, well, ferns and bonsais respectively. If you, unfortunately, timed your visit wrongly, fret not. I missed the opening hours for these places but still enjoyed myself at the gardens. There are many other exhibits where you are free to roam around and enjoy.


Among my favourites include the Japanese Garden, where you enter an area designed to look like someone’s own Japanese garden in his own home. It is truly beautiful and you can really just rest and relax here while listening to the water flowing down the mini-waterfall.

Enjoy the serenity of the Japanese Garden within Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Enjoy the serenity of the Japanese Garden within Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Look out for the arid region plants, where you can see various cacti. Remember to snap some photos while enjoying the peace and looking at the various plants.


After the visit to the botanic gardens, make sure you head up Mount Coot-tha to look out over the city! It has an amazing view!

Some beautiful flowers blooming at Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Some beautiful flowers blooming at Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm daily (September to March); 8 am to 5 pm daily (April to August)

Opening hours for Tropical Dome: 9 am to 4 pm daily

Opening hours for Fern House: 9 am to 4 pm daily

Opening hours for Bonsai House: 10 am to 3 pm daily

Entrance fee: Free

More information on these websites:

https://www.visitbrisbane.com.au/brisbane/things-to-do/eat-and-drink/restaurants/brisbane-botanic-gardens-mount-coot-tha?sc_lang=en-au


​https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/things-to-see-and-do/council-venues-and-precincts/parks/brisbane-botanic-gardens-mt-coot-tha

14. Mount Coot-tha Lookout

Right at the top of Mount Coot-tha is the Lookout, where families and friends gather to watch the sun set over the city. Connected to Brisbane Botanic Gardens, one can either hike, take public transport, or drive up to the Lookout. Perched at the top of the mountain, it offers the best views of Brisbane, save for a helicopter ride!

Some final direct sunlight onto Brisbane city before sunset arrives
Some final direct sunlight onto Brisbane city before sunset arrives

Once people have arrived at the top, most will undoubtedly head over to the lookout area and start snapping pictures. This is not uncommon, and I found myself doing just that for 10 minutes, trying my best to get the best angle, do some panoramic shots, and trying to capture the sun over the horizon.

Capturing the sunset that is happening behind the Lookout
Capturing the sunset that is happening behind the Lookout

After all that has been done, you should rest and chill out at the cafe that has just opened, and perhaps get a latte and some ice cream. You should also get a slice of their banana cake, which was delicious. You can wait and enjoy the breeze while the sun slowly sets over the city, before heading back out to snap even more pictures. The night view is just amazing and it was unfortunate my iPhone was not up to the task of taking night pictures. Nevertheless, it was a good experience watching the city light up as the sun sets, even as some enjoy a picnic or simply each other’s company. It is a really good place for couples to have a romantic day and night out here.

A couple waiting for and enjoying the sunset together
A couple waiting for and enjoying the sunset together

For those who are wondering, you will not exactly get to see the sun set OVER the city, as you would be facing the east. Instead, the sun will set behind you instead. For those who really want to capture a nice sun(rise), get up early! I could not do it, but I heard really great things about those who went up early in the morning to catch the sunrise. While I need my sleep, I will definitely try it the next time I am in Brisbane. Who does not love a good sunrise?!


Website: https://brisbanelookout.com/

15. Riverside Markets

Taking place every Sunday unless the weather is too bad for it to continue, Riverside Markets is the best way to start your Sunday. Set casually with stalls selling various products, from clothes to candles, and from boomerangs to bracelets, many locals and tourists head here for a nice Sunday morning.

Riverside Markets in the middle of the city
Riverside Markets in the middle of the city

While contemplating over more purchases, there are also quite a few food stalls, with the usual breakfast items like croissants and coffee on sale. There are also Thai food, gelato, and poffertjes (Dutch mini pancakes). A good tip is to have some coffee after your meal, or with a croissant, and sit by the seats at the coffee stall. Located just by the live music area, you can slowly sip your coffee while enjoying the music, and just relax. Together, it really completes a great Sunday morning!

Fresh croissants and coffee on sale at Riverside Markets
Fresh croissants and coffee on sale at Riverside Markets

Opening hours: Every Sunday (8 am to 3 pm)

Entrance fee: Free

Website: https://www.theriversidemarkets.com.au/

16. Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

Located right in the middle of the city, the City Botanic Gardens is also near Parliament House and Queensland University of Technology’s Gardens Point campus. The Gardens were first created way back in 1828 before it was slowly expanded to its size today. If the weather is kind, a walk around the Gardens provides a really calming feeling. It is great for families, friends, and couples to simply stroll around the gardens. It is not uncommon to see couples and families set up a picnic at a spot among the many green areas. The others simply lay on the grass and take a well-deserved breather, or just read a book.

Relax in the wide spaces while at Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Relax in the wide spaces while at Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

Besides walking around, there are also different plants and trees planted and one can take some time to slowly admire them. The flowers are colourful and enhance the beauty of the Gardens, while the bamboo trees give a charming yet practical shade to visitors. The fountains near the entrance are also quite popular, where our feathered cousins also enjoy their time at (in) the fountains!

A duck having a ball of a time at the fountains of Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
A duck having a ball of a time at the fountains of Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

The Gardens is a convenient place to head to for some greenery and it is really peaceful, allowing one a break from the rest of the buzzing city. For those of us who want some peace and serenity while in the city, the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens is the place to be!

Google Maps: List of attractions and food places in Brisbane!

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