How to Spend 24 Hours in Brisbane

How to Spend 24 Hours in Brisbane

Carly Williams

Updated January 16, 2020 Updated January 16

Brisbane has a bit of a reputation for being just another city in the east coast of Australia that isn’t worth exploring. I mean, why would you stop at yet another high-rise destination when you could be lounging on the beach? Well, don’t let that perception fool you. In reality, Brisbane offers a heck of a lot to its visitors if you simply take the time to look around. From amazing eats, beautiful parks and walkways, a variety of entertainment, a ton of museums and galleries, and a vibe that’s worth stopping over for. Read on to find out more about what you should explore on a brief trip to Brisbane.

Morning: riverside strolls and avo toast

If you’re feeling adventurous, start your morning off right with some exercise along one of the many walking routes in the city! The Brisbane River Loop in South Bank is a terrific option, with views of the skyline along the river and native bushland. There are also free fitness classes held in South Bank, depending on the time of year.

Once you are finished your morning workout, head to one of the many brunch spots the city has to offer for a well-deserved flat white and avocado toast (when in Rome). Some spots worth mentioning include Sourced Grocer for a relaxed feel, Nodo for some waffles and donuts, and Sassafras for a traditional Aussie breakfast spread. Get your camera ready, because these are some seriously Instagramable meals.

Itching for some koala cuddling after breakfast? Head to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the oldest and largest koala sanctuary in the world!

Afternoon: culture, beach, and free concerts

Spend the afternoon exploring all that this bustling city has to offer, starting with a little bit of culture at Queensland’s GOMA—Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art. And the best part is…entry is completely free! There are so many amazing galleries and museums in the city, you could spend hours and not break out your wallet once. 

If it’s a hot day out (and let’s face it, in Australia, it almost always is), head to Streets Beach, the beach-style lagoon that overlooks the city skyline. It’s a popular tourist spot simply because there’s a little slice of paradise right in the middle of the downtown core! Another great option is to hop on the CityHopper ferry, which takes you from one side of the city to the other, completely free of charge. You cover more ground quicker and get a top-deck river cruise without paying a penny.

After a day of exploring, head to one of Brisbane’s free outdoor concerts, which are frequently held in the major parks on weekends. You can pack a picnic and some drinks and enjoy some amazing entertainment without paying for a concert ticket.

Night: a sunset picnic and rooftop drinks

An absolute must do when you are in Brisbane is to spend dusk over at Kangaroo Point (ha, very fitting), where you can grill your own barbeque whilst witnessing the sunset over the high rise buildings. It's truly something special to see the sun light up the city, resulting in the outlines off the skyscrapers beaming off the river surface.

After the sun sets, the night is young! Head to one of the city’s many rooftop bars where you can witness the bright lights of the city at night—truly a perfect way to finish your 24 hours in Brisbane.  

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This article was originally published in March 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020

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