Is Brisbane worth visiting

Is Brisbane worth visiting?- Absolutely and here is why!

If you are wondering if Brisbane is worth visiting, this is the article for you! Brisbane is often used as a stopover city when travelling to the Gold Coast or The Great Barrier Reef. I have a lot of friends who have visited Australia who seem to only visit Brisbane briefly before jetting off to some tropical getaway in North Queensland. As Australia’s 3rd largest city it is not somewhere to be overlooked. I might be biased as I grew up here but it really is a beautiful place waiting to be explored. So is Brisbane worth visiting? Absolutely. Read on to find out why.

Is Brisbane worth visiting
Is Brisbane worth visiting? Pin this guide for later

Some Background

Before we answer the question is Brisbane worth visiting, here is some background. Brisbane or ‘Brissie’ as the locals call it is the capital of the state of Queensland and is the third biggest city in Australia. The city was built around the Brisbane River which provides the backdrop to a lot of the city’s attractions, like the Story Bridge Climb, Southbank Parklands and more.

With a growing population of over 2 million in recent times Brisbane has seen a real boom in terms of amazing restaurants and experiences. Life in Brisbane tends to be more laid back in part due to the humidity but also the friendly and welcoming nature of its residents.

Is Brisbane worth visiting, and other common questions

If you are hesitant about visiting Brisbane, or you want to know a little bit more about what the city is like then you have come to the right place. Here we list some of the common conceptions and misconceptions about the city, and answer the questions once and for all ‘Is Brisbane worth visiting?’.

And if you are trying to decide between Brisbane and Melbourne, here is a handy guide.

Is Brisbane expensive?

A question we hear a lot tends to be is Brisbane expensive? Australia in general is a pretty expensive destination, although the cost of living is a lot lower than places like Melbourne or Sydney. What that translates to is cheaper food and drink compared to some of the bigger cities in Australia.

How much money you need on your trip to Brisbane will of course come down to individual spending habits. That being said, on average we recommend budgeting around $200 per person per day for your trip to Brisbane. This doesn’t include accommodation, but should include things like transport, meals, drinks, and attractions.

Hotels can be pricey, particularly in the city centre. For a 4 star hotel you should expect to pay around $200 per night. Although this will depend on the time of year you are visiting and how far in advance you book your accommodation.

Do I need cash in Brisbane?

You don’t really need a huge amount of cash when visiting Brisbane. The vast majority of places will accept credit card. The only reason you may need cash is if you are buying smaller items, as sometimes there is a minimum card payment.

What language do they speak in Brisbane?

English is the language most commonly spoken in Brisbane. Australia is pretty multicultural and there are over 250 languages spoken in the city, but generally you will need basic English to get by.

Is Brisbane easy to get to?

Brisbane has two airports. The domestic, and the international airport. The domestic airport has several flights operating daily to different destinations in Australia. The international airport, obviously has international flights. Not as many international airlines fly to Brisbane as say Sydney or Melbourne, and since the pandemic, many airlines have ceased direct flights to Brisbane (I’m looking at you Etihad). That being said there are many flights to the Middle East, Asia, New Zealand, The USA and beyond.

Once you have landed it is easy to get into the city centre. You can hop on the Airtrain which takes you to the city centre every 15 minutes (30 minutes off peak).

It costs around $20 for an adult return ticket if purchased online, or $40 for a return ticket purchased at the station.

You can also get a taxi or Uber, from the airport. This will cost around $50 to get you to the city centre, although you can get a cheaper fare if you book an Uber.

Is Brisbane Safe?

I grew up in Brisbane and I can honestly say that Brisbane is a safe city. Even being out late at night, generally does feel safe particularly in or around the city centre. You should take normal precautions when visiting Brisbane, but as a whole tourists don’t usually encounter many issues.

From experience there are some parts of town that have issues with homelessness. Fortitude Valley is one of those places, but generally you will be left alone. It’s also worth noting that crime rates in Brisbane are a lot lower than places like Sydney and Melbourne.

Is Brisbane worth visiting compared to other Australian cities?

If you are wondering is Brisbane worth visiting compared to other Australian cities, then the answer is yes. Brisbane has a very unique feel to it. It’s got this small town vibe, despite being a big city. It’s way less fast paced compared to places like Sydney or Melbourne, so it is definitely worth visiting for something a little different.

Can I use public transport in Brisbane?

A lot of the key attractions in Brisbane are relatively close together. But that being said there may be times when you do need to use public transport.

The bus, train, and ferry network are all linked, and you will need to purchase a ‘Go Card‘ to travel on them. You can go to any newsagent, to purchase the card and you can also add credit here as well. When you get on the bus, train, or ferry you just tap your card and you are off (don’t forget to tap off at the end).

Is Brisbane worth visiting in Summer?

Summer in Brisbane does get pretty hot. The weather averages at about 32 degrees celsius in the summer months, with January being the hottest. The heat isn’t so much the issue in Brisbane as is the humidity, which makes it feel warmer than it is. The good news though, is that buildings tend to be air conditioned, as does public transport.

And as long as you carry water with you, wear a hat and sunglasses, and of course slap on the sunscreen you should be ok. We also don’t recommend basking in the sun smack bang in the middle of the day, but you can always hot the beaches of South Bank, or sip on a nice cool cocktail instead.

South Bank in Brisbane

Is Brisbane worth visiting in Winter?

So it might feel that Brisbane is geared up for the summer months with the number of al fresco dining spots, and outdoor activities. But the winter months in Brisbane are just as good. The weather is mild to start with, averaging at about 21 degrees celsius. I mean for anyone that has ever lived in the UK that is basically our summer!

The winter months tend to be far less touristy, meaning that you get a way more authentic experience in the city.

Is Brisbane friendly?

Ok so I might be really really biased especially on this point but we really are a friendly bunch of people. There is a certain reservedness that you can find in Sydney and Melbourne, but Brisbane is something else. And before you get too made at me, my friends from the Southern States of Australia often agree. There is almost a small town friendly vibe with a big city feel.

Is Brisbane worth visiting for outdoor activities?

Brisbane’s landscape is diverse making it the perfect place to visit for outdoor activites. You have mountains, rivers, forests, parks, and lakes all waiting to be explored. You can start your day with a hike around Mount Coot -tha and admire the view of the city.

Once in town you can hop on a boat and visit one of the city’s most popular parks, New Farm Park, and smell the roses as the sun sets for the day. The city is built around the Brisbane River which makes for a lovely atmosphere. Some of the public transport is incorporated into this with the City Cat taking passengers around the city by catamaran. It’s also lovely to sit and have dinner near the river especially in areas such as Southbank.

Mount Coot -tha

Is Brisbane worth visiting for the culture?

Brisbane is definitely not short of culture. The Queensland Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art are located around the Southbank area. And on top of this is the Queensland Performing Arts Centre where you can catch a play or a ballet. These are only some of the cultural experiences ready to discover in Brisbane. If you are lucky enough to be in the city during the Brisbane festival you will be treated to some wonderful performances. The festival is usually held around mid September to early October.

Is Brisbane worth visiting for the nightlife?

The nightlife in Brisbane is incredible, with the clubbing scene mainly centred around Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. You can also catch some amazing live music that Brisbane prides itself on in one of the venues around the Valley. There are also some more up market bars in the city centre that are worth a visit. Especially around Eagle Street where the views of the river and Story bridge are unmatched.

Taken at Friday’s on Eagle Street.

Is Brisbane worth visiting for the shopping?

If it is shopping you are after then you have come to the right place. The city centre is home to all your big name brands and high street shops. If you start around the Queen Street Mall area you will find stores to fit all tastes. That being said if you are after something a little quirkier then places such as Fortitude Valley and Paddington are home to local designers, boutique shops and some more edgy finds.

Queen Street Mall in Brisbane

Is Brisbane worth visiting for the food and drink scene?

The food scene in Brisbane is the best it has ever been. Because of the great weather it’s always nice to dine outside. Explore some of the back streets in the city for a taste of Brisbane’s coffee shop culture. Brisbane has some of the best coffee I have ever drank, because it is freshly ground and none of that weak watery stuff you get elsewhere.

When it comes to food, Brisbane is really starting to make a name for itself as a foodie favourite. There are so many areas to explore, and indulge in some excellent cuisine. South Bank offers some excellent Al Fresco dining options, whilst West End offers contemporary cuisine, and international fare. If you don’t know where to start you can book onto one of the culinary experiences available in the city.

Brisbane also has a number of really amazing bars. You have rooftop bars dotted around the city and South Bank, as well as some really amazing cocktail bars like Death and Taxes. There is basically something to cover all tastes, and with that perfect Brisbane weather sipping cocktails and admiring the city views is an absolute must.

Cocktails with a view in Brisbane

Is Brisbane worth visiting for attractions?

One of the criteria for answering your question, ‘is Brisbane worth visiting’ is based on the things to do in the city. You might hear people say, ‘oh there is nothing to do in Brisbane’ but we will prove you wrong. Here is a bit of a to do list, so that you can make up your own mind and decide if Brisbane is worth visiting. For a more extensive list check out our full Brisbane itinerary.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

If you want to do the quintessential Australian thing and hold a Koala or hand feed a Kangaroo then head to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Climb the Story Bridge

Forget the Sydney Harbour the real bridge to climb in Australia is the Story Bridge. The bridge is an iconic structure in the city, and a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the Brisbane River and the skyscrapers is to do the Story Bridge Climb.

Story Bridge Climb

South Bank Parklands

South Bank is a kind of inner city oasis perfect for exploring, swimming, and eating. You can have a BBQ or dine at one of the many restaurants in the area. There are several trendy bars, and there is also a public swimming facility with the CBD as a backdrop.

South Bank is also home to the cultural precinct, so if you love art or museums then make sure you plan to spend some time here.

Enjoy the green spaces

There are so many beautiful green spaces in Brisbane. In the city centre you have the Roma Street Parklands and the City Botanical Gardens which are perfect for leisurely strolls and picnics.

Brisbane City Botanical Gardens

Ride the CityCat

Brisbane is a river city, so it would be only right to schedule a trip on the CityCat. You can glide down the Brisbane River with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face whilst standing at the front of a blue and yellow painted catamaran as part of the Brisbane ferry network.

View from the CityCat

Is Brisbane worth visiting for solo travellers?

There is a lot to do in Brisbane, so as a solo traveller you won’t get bored. It’s also a pretty safe city too so you shouldn’t receive unwanted attention if walking around alone. There are also a number of group tours you can join where you can meet other like minded travellers if you do want company.

Is Brisbane worth visiting for couples?

Brisbane is a really good city to visit as a couple. The atmosphere is great, and there are lots of food and drink spots to try.

Overall there is a lot to do as a couple when visiting Brisbane. There are romantic spots like Mount Cootha where you can watch the sun set, or New Farm Park where you can sit with a picnic basket. Basically there are so many beautiful moments to share in this city.

One of our favourite places when it comes to date night ideas has be South Bank. You can ride the Wheel of Brisbane and sip wine, or enjoy some views from a rooftop bar. Or our personal favourite, you can do a sunset cruise along the Brisbane River.

Is Brisbane worth visiting for families?

Brisbane is a good place to visit as a family. For starters it’s a very safe city, and many of the key attractions are close together.

There are some great things to do as a family in Brisbane. You have places like the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary that is perfect for kids. You also have South Bank, which has museums, galleries, the Wheel of Brisbane and a fun man made beach, again perfect for family days out.

So is Brisbane worth visiting?

So I hope this has convinced you to to give Brisbane a second look and has answered the big question-is Brisbane worth visiting? If you ever do find yourself in Australia then we absolutely recommend this amazing city. From the people, to the weather, you are bound to find something incredible to do when you visit.

If you found this article useful please make sure you pin it for later.

And if you are still undecided on where to visit as part of your trip to Australia, here is a helpful guide to Brisbane vs Sydney.

Is Brisbane worth visiting
Is Brisbane worth visiting? Pin this for later

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