October 5, 2016

Your Travel Questions About Brisbane Answered

Set on the banks of the serpentine Brisbane River, Brisbane was established in 1824. Once a sprawling colony for convicts during the penal era, it is now Queensland’s capital and also Australia’s third most populous city.

One of the most underrated cities in Australia, Brisbane is definitely gaining ground as an ideal tourist destination for its relaxed and sophisticated vibe, friendly locals, and a subtropical yet relatively cooperative weather. And with Brisbane’s interesting mix of modern, traditional, and natural attractions, it has outgrown its outdated reputation of being “large, sleepy, and boring.”

If you’re planning a trip Down Under, never miss the opportunity to explore the charming laidback city. Still have some doubts? Here are 5 travel questions about Brisbane, answered.

1. How do I get around Brisbane?

One thing you’ll definitely love about Brisbane is that it’s pretty easy to navigate and there are many modes of transportation available. While you can rent a car, parking may be too expensive, so it is recommended that you take advantage of the local transport. You can get around by bus, ferry, train, or bike. They also use Go Card, a cashless, hassle-free, and affordable payment system they use on their buses, trains, and ferries. If your travelling on a tight budget, a great way to save on transportation expenses is the free city loop bus that runs from 7am to 6pm on weekdays.

2. Where can I stay?

There are many hotels, hostels, apartments, and B&Bs in Brisbane, depending on your budget. Of course it is convenient to stay within the city centre but rooms might be a tad expensive. You can save more if you choose a location that’s not centrally located. Also, the trend right now among visitors to Brisbane, especially if they are travelling in a small group, is to rent a serviced apartment to minimize food expenses. And if you’re lucky, you just might get an apartment with an amazing view of the Brisbane River!

3. What are the must-see attractions?

Brisbane City Hall

You will never run out of things to do while in Brisbane. On top of your must-see list should be the Brisbane City Hall. It’s one of the older buildings in the city but still looks as beautiful as it did in the 1930s. Boasting of Renaissance architecture, the Brisbane City Hall was once the tallest building in Brisbane. To get panoramic views of the city, take the elevator to the clock tower. By the way, you can also find the Museum of Brisbane on the ground floor so be sure to spend an hour or two viewing the museum’s exhibits.

For a taste of the city’s arts and culture scene, head to the South Bank, an area where you’ll find various attractions like the Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum, the State Library, and the two most significant galleries in Brisbane – the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art. Aside from cultural attractions, you’ll also find really cool cafes, hip restaurants, beautiful street art, and a man-made inner-city beach in South Bank.

If you prefer going to outdoor attractions, the trail leading to Mount Coot-Tha Lookout will be perfect for you. The Mount Coot-tha Lookout is the best place to be if you want to appreciate the city’s ever-expanding skyline. And while you’re there, do not skip touring the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, located just at the base of the mountain. The Brisbane Botanic Gardens features many themed gardens, the most beautiful of which is the very relaxing Japanese Garden.

Another noteworthy attraction is Kangaroo Point. Join a walking tour that will take you to Kangaroo Point for a chance to go rock-climbing on the sandstone cliffs or walk across the top of Story Bridge.

Just a note when you are touring Brisbane’s attractions during daytime that it can get scorching hot so protect yourself by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen with a high SPF.

4. Is it true there’s a lack of dining, shopping, and entertainment options in Brisbane?

Contrary to what you may have read or heard, Brisbane offers various entertainment options. There are bars, clubs, and theatres where you can catch lively shows, concerts, and live performances. Do not be swayed by naysayers who say that nightlife in the city ranges from minimal to nonexistent. To sample Brisbane’s eclectic entertainment scene, rush to Fortitude Valley, the entertainment district. Fortitude is valley is home to the hippest bars and clubs in Brisbane so grab the chance to immerse yourself in the district’s pulsating music and entertainment scene.

As for shopping and food, Brisbane is a modern metropolis so you will have a wide range of shopping and dining options at your disposal. For the best restaurants, the recommended precinct is still Fortitude Valley. You’ll also find great hawker-style food stalls in Sunnybank, though it’s a bit out of the way. If you have the budget, you can also dine at any of the trendy and upscale restaurants on West End.

If you plan to shop for souvenirs, clothing and whatnots, a good place to start will be Queen Street Mall, you’ll surely find what you’ll looking for in the shopping centres inside the complex. For fun weekend shopping, bring the whole gang to Southbank markets. The Valley Markets in Fortitude Valley is a great option during weekends as well. For cheap and fashionable clothing, you might want to check out the Korean stores and boutiques in Sunnbybank.

5. What is the most-awaited cultural event in Brisbane?

Brisbane Festival

The most popular cultural event in Brisbane is the Brisbane Festival. Held annually every September, the Brisbane Festival features a series of events happening in select locations in the city. The most popular of these mini-events is the Sunsuper Riverfire, the explosive culmination of the festival. Time your visit to city during Riverfire and witness first-hand how the skies come alive with the amazing pyrotechnics display.

Gearing up for your Brisbane adventure? Make the most of your holiday with these tours and excursions.

By: Brendelyn Balaga

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