Travel guide Brisbane, Australia: 12 things to do in three days in Brisbane!

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

Brisbane in Australia is a cool and upcoming city. In this blog, you will find a travel guide full of things to do when you have 72 hours/3 days  in Brisbane. Including the highlights of Brisbane, nice (budget) hotels and food hotspots!Travel Guide Brisbane Ferris Wheel South Bank


Travel guide 72 hours in Brisbane: what to do and where to eat?

We are in Brisbane! A relatively young city in the northeast of Australia. Many people skip Brisbane and prefer Sydney or Melbourne. A shame, because Brisbane has a lot to offer, is full of highlights and has beautiful weather year-round. Our advice: go and explore Brisbane!

How many days do you need for Brisbane?

In three days you can already see a lot of Brisbane. If you travel at a slower pace, then five days is perfect. This way you can take it easy and take more time for the beautiful places and sights of Brisbane.

Budget tip: Compared to other major cities in Australia, Brisbane is not an expensive city. Many activities and attractions are free, as are some of the buses and boats. Hotels don’t have to be expensive either. Scroll down to find a nice budget hotel!Travel Guide Brisbane City view


Three days with 12 cool activities, sights and hotspots in Brisbane!

Below is a handy itinerary for when you have three days, 72 hours in Brisbane. A lot of the sights and activities are free, so perfect if you’re travelling through Brisbane on a budget or as a backpacker!

Day 1 in Brisbane: Museums and Parks in the South Bank and West End Districts!

You start the day in CBD but soon you will also visit the South Bank and West End districts. You end the day in Kangeroo Point.

Brisbane tip: put on comfortable shoes because you’ll walk a lot today!

1. City Hall tour: a cool sight in Brisbane!

Today you start with a tour of the beautiful City Hall. Built between 1920 and 1930, Brisbane City Hall is considered to be the heart of the city. Learn about the history and architecture of this imposing building on a free guided tour. Do book in advance through this site.Travel Guide Brisbane City Hall square

Walk from City Hall through the Southbank district to the West End district.

Food hotspots in Brisbane: Brunch in Brisbane with a delicious breakfast at Jo-Jo’s restaurant on Melbourne Street. We can really recommend the poached eggs here. Also nice, and the same owner is interior store The Bach Living, next to Jo-Jo’s. If Jo-Jo’s is full, go to The Garden Pantry where you can eat in a beautiful city garden. More hungry for something sweet? Then Gelato Messina ice cream shop is the place for ice cream in Brisbane.

2. Must do on Saturday in Brisbane: Visit the Farmers Market in the West End

A Farmers Market takes place in the West End district every Saturday. This is the place where you can score fresh fruit and vegetables for little money, but also buy vintage clothing and cheese. In addition, you can enjoy the street music here. There is a melting pot of people on the market, and the vibe is open and relaxed! Walk to the end of the market where you will find food stalls selling dishes from all over the world.Travel Guide Brisbane West End Market Bakery

Continue along the Brisbane River towards Southbank. Here you will find several (free) museums.

3. Visit the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Art Gallery (both free!)

Very cool: many Brisbane museums are free! For instance the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Art Gallery which are located next to each other. The Gallery of Modern Art has three floors full of cool exhibits, often interactive. The Queensland Art Gallery has an impressive exhibit of native Australian art.

We did not visit all the exhibitions but saw part of both museums in two hours.

Walk along the Brisbane River towards the South Bank Parklands

4. Relax in South Bank Parklands or take a splash in the free pool

South Bank is a delightful park built on the Brisbane River. You will not only find large lawns and beautiful flowers here, but there is also a Ferris wheel and swimming pool with a beach. Perfect for relaxing for an hour, cooling off in the water and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Are you starting to feel a bit hungry again? Near the Collective Market bordering South Bank Parklands is Eat Southbank where you can grab a tasty snack. Also a nice place for buying art, jewellery and souvenirs.

Continue along the Brisbane River all the way to Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park, don’t forget to stop at the supermarket along the way!

5. Watch the sunset with a picnic from Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park!

You will end the day with a homemade picnic with a view of the sunset and Brisbane skyline. And that is best done on top of the cliffs of Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park. Rest your feet after the intensive day today and enjoy cheese, baguette and a glass of wine!

Tip: make sure you have mosquito repellent with you. Once it is dark, you will otherwise be a picnic for the mosquitoes!


A must-visit in North East Australia: Fraser Island. Read all about a self-drive on this beautiful island here!


Day 2: CBD, James Street and Story Bridge

Today you start again in the CBD district, where you will now see more. Then you go via the New Farm district towards the hip Fortitude Valley.

6. Free guided tour by locals in Brisbane!

So much fun, Brisbane organizes free tours given by… Brisbanites (Brisbane residents). This Brisbane Greeters walking tour takes you through the highlights of Brisbane from the local guide. If you have a certain area of ​​interest for Brisbane and want to hear more about it, book the Your Choice tour, where you will be matched with someone who has the same interest.

Don’t forget to book in advance through this site.

Food hotspot in Brisbane: A big appetite after the walk? Time for Australian Pancakes! Stop by Pancake Manor on Charlotte Street for the best pancakes in all of Brisbane.Skyline Brisbane travel guide Brisbane

Walk south through City Hall towards the Botanical Garden.

7. City Botanical Gardens

Tired of the Brisbane walking tour, it’s time to relax in the Botanical Gardens! Bring a rug and enjoy the sun for a few hours. Grab an ice cream from the cute ice cream truck or admire the beautiful flowers planted along the river.Travel Guide Brisbane Gelato

Take the free ferry (the City Hopper) to the Brisbane Powerhouse. It is still a bit of a walk, so maybe an Uber is also nice.

8. Visit hotspot Brisbane Powerhouse

A bit charged up again and in the mood for something cultural? Then visit the Brisbane Powerhouse. This old factory hall has been converted into a cool event hall with theatre performances, musical performances and cabaret. In the summer there is even an open-air movie theatre!

Brisbane Food Hotspot: If there is no show going on, enjoy a drink on the terrace at Mary Mae’s Bar & Kitchen.

Walk towards James Street, if it’s too hot perhaps the bus is a good alternative

9. Shop and eat on James Street

Today you end your day in Fortitude Valley, a hip neighbourhood of cosy restaurants, shops, beer brewers and coffee shops. St James Street, in particular, is teeming with hip hotspots. Very nice here is the City Winery, a winery in the middle of the city! You can do a wine tour, wine tasting and even extensive dining.

Other great restaurants near James Street include Botanical Lab and At Sixes and Sevens. Do you want a drink at the end of the evening? Then head to Eleven Rooftop Bar, where you have a great view of Brisbane.Brisbane Travel Guide Best places to eat The Garden Pantry


Are you going to Byron Bay too? Read our travel guide about this hip place here!


Day 3: Brisbane River Cruise, Story Bridge and Mount Coot-tha

During your last day in Brisbane, you will explore the city from the water. Next, visit the Story Bridge and end up out of town on Mount Coot-tha.

10. Cruise on Brisbane River

The Brisbane River runs in the middle of Brisbane. With all its twists, the river passes several neighbourhoods that look very different from the water. So it’s time to see the city by river cruise. Click here for an hour and a half cruise.

Are you travelling on a budget? The Cityhopper ferry (recognizable by its red colour) is completely free and sails from North Quay to Sydney Street. This is a lot shorter than other cruises but a budget solution.Travel guide Brisbane transport City Cat

Food hotspot in Brisbane: Are you already getting a bit hungry? Vegetarian restaurant Govinda’s on George Street, serves a delicious Indian lunch for little money!

Get dropped off by boat near the Story Bridge

11. Drinks under Story Bridge

You have already seen it during the cruise: the imposing Story Bridge. This steel bridge built-in 1940 is Brisbane’s landmark. And now leave a very nice brewery just under the Story Bridge where you can enjoy the view of this beautiful bridge with a drink!

Felons Brewery is a hip brewery which is especially popular every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Not surprising because you have sun here all afternoon, drink nice beers and have a lawn where you can even picnic. Just stop by to enjoy the sun, the brews and the view.

Take bus 471 to the Brisbane Lookout Mt Coot-tha

12. Watch the sunset from Mount Coot-tha

Watch your last sunset here in Brisbane from Mount Coot-tha, a hill just outside the centre. From here you have a great view of the whole city. Fancy something active? There are multiple hikes around Mount Coot-tha and you will find the botanical gardens and planetarium here. In the latter, you can see the stars.Brisbane sunset and city skyline


How do you travel to Brisbane?

Brisbane is located in the state of Queensland. From the Netherlands, you travel to Brisbane in about 23 hours. This flight always includes a transfer, usually in the Middle East or Singapore. You can already fly to Brisbane from € 366 one way. Click here to find this ticket and other flight deals for Brisbane.

Map of Australia with Brisbane:Top attractions of the East Coast of Australia Map of Australia Travel Guide


Is your next destination Noosa? Read our travel guide about this hip city here!


Where to stay in Brisbane?

Below are three nice hotels right in the centre of Brisbane. The first is perfect for backpackers. The other two are good if you have a little more budget. All of these hotels in Brisbane have a pool!

Brisbane City YHA YHA Brisbane 1

This cozy hostel right in the centre of Brisbane is quite luxurious! There is a swimming pool, large kitchen and private rooms with shared bathroom. You stay here from €40 per night (2 persons).

Boek nu!

Next hotel €€Hotel next brisbane 1

The hip Next hotel is located in the Central Business District of Brisbane. There is a swimming pool on the roof, a gym and the rooms are very spacious! You sleep here from € 72 per night.

Boek nu!

Hotel W €€€Hotel W 1

Are you ready for design and luxury? Then spend a night at Hotel W! The rooms ridiculously beautiful, there’s a rooftop pool and a cool bar! You sleep here from €126 per night.

Boek nu!

Click here for an overview of hotels in Brisbane.


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