Flights to Brisbane (BNE)

‘Booming Brisbane’, as it’s often called, is one of Australia’s hippest destinations, thanks to its thriving cafe culture, arts and nightlife scenes.
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Brisbane, Australia

What to do in Brisbane

Shop the shelves at Folio Books

Brisbane is home to many indie bookstores including Melbourne import Title, Riverbend Books, and Avid Reader ¬– but if you’re a really serious book lover, Folio Books is the place to go. This beloved bookstore has been keeping the city’s bookworms happy for over 30 years, making it a little piece of Brisbane history.

133 Mary Street
4000
+61 7 3221 1368
foliobooks.com.au

Stroll around the South Bank Parklands

Need a little rest from the relentless pace of touring? Walk in these 17 acres of green parkland on the south shore of the Brisbane River, taking advantage of the slower pace. And once you're rejuvenated, there are plenty of eateries and cultural attractions sprinkled among the trees.

Stanley Street Plaza
4101
+61 7 3156 6366
visitbrisbane.com.au/South-Bank

Explore the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

GOMA is the go-to destination in Brisbane for modern art. The gallery’s impressive collection highlights Aussie artists from 1970 until the present day, such as Tracey Moffatt, while also reserving space for the likes of David Lynch and Hiraki Sawa. Check out the cinema schedule for tickets to some cool arthouse and independent film screenings.

Stanley Place
Cultural Precinct
South Bank
4101
+61 7 3840 7303
qagoma.qld.gov.au

Cuddle a koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

You can't go to Australia and not make a trip to see koala bears, can you? Of course not. Check out the cute marsupials at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the largest sanctuary in the world, featuring more than 130 of the adorable animals. You can also hand feed some kangaroos while you're there.

708 Jesmond Road
Fig Tree Pocket
4069
+61 7 3378 1366
koala.net

Browse the art at Brisbane Powerhouse

Located in a former powerhouse (which is where the name comes from), this cultural attraction is the place to see a huge variety of visual and performing arts. It hosts over 1,000 events and shows every year. Afterwards, tuck into some Italian food at Bar Alto or hit up Watt Restaurant + Bar for some Australian flavours.

119 Lamington Street
New Farm
4005
+61 7 3358 8600
brisbanepowerhouse.org

Bag a bargain at Boundary Street Markets, West End

The Boundary Street Markets know no bounds in terms of things to buy, sell and see. You’ll find everything from street artists to massage tables and fashion stalls. Make sure to come on a Friday night for the best fun and festivities; bring your cash and your appetite for the excellent street food.

91 Boundary Street
West End
4101
+61 418 739 136
boundarystreetmarkets.com.au

Where to eat in Brisbane

Alchemy Restaurant + Bar (Australian)

You’ll find that there’s a bit of magic about the Alchemy. Part of it comes from the kitchen, and its focus on using the best possible ingredients from local suppliers. Then there’s the setting, right on a boardwalk next to the Brisbane River, which has amazing views. Both combine to make a truly enchanting evening.

175 Eagle Street
4000
+61 7 3229 3175
alchemyrestaurant.com.au

The Euro (Mediterranean)

The name of The Euro perfectly reflects the continental vibe of this European-inspired brasserie, with its exposed brick walls and extensive beverage list. The menu mixes a Mediterranean influence with local ingredients – try the five-course degustation set menu to sample as much of the cuisine as you can.

179 Mary Street
4000
+61 7 3229 2271
theeuro.com.au

The Spice Avenue Balti Restaurant (Indian)

The best curry in town, just a short walk from the water and even closer to the romantic Wood Canals. You're still in Australia, but the traditional Balti cooking and ingredients will transport you to the Kashmir region for an hour or so while you eat.

190 Birkdale Road
Birkdale
4159
+61 7 3822 9822
thespiceavenue.com.au

Jellyfish (Seafood)

It's hard to decide what's better about this easy-going but impeccable restaurant: the name or the food. Then again, the location right on the shores of the Brisbane River might be the strongest sell for some. Regardless, you can't go wrong with Jellyfish's creative cooking.

Riverside Centre
123 Eagle Street
4000
+61 7 3220 2202
jellyfishrestaurant.com.au

Gerard's Bistro (Middle Eastern)

This James Street restaurant makes a perfect afternoon pit stop. The menu offers Middle Eastern food, including tasty Bekaa wings – fried chicken wings served with kishk yoghurt, named after a valley in Lebanon. With Chef Ben Williamson in the kitchen and some of the city's best shopping just steps away, Gerard's is worth the trip.

14/15 James Street
Fortitude Valley
4006
+61 7 3852 3822
gerardsbistro.com.au

Esquire (Seafood)

Head Chef Ryan Squires runs this classy establishment, which sits right on the shores of the Brisbane River. As you’d expect from such a sublime location, there’s a seafood-focused menu serving up some of the freshest fish and shellfish in the city. Like Brisbane itself and the surrounding neighbourhood, Esquire is at once refined yet brilliant.

145 Eagle Street
4000
+61 7 3220 2123
esquire.net.au

Places to stay in Brisbane

Gambaro Hotel

Gambaro Hotel is one of Brisbane’s finest five-star hotels. Part of the appeal is the location, which gives you easy access to all the action on buzzing Caxton Street and Suncorp Stadium. There are also plenty of attractions on-site if you don’t fancy travelling far from your hotel, including the excellent Gambaro Seafood Restaurant.

29 Caxton Street
4000
+61 7 3369 9500
gambarohotel.com.au

Aussie Way Backpackers

This brilliant hostel sits in a beautiful colonial building close to attractions like Roma Street Parklands, the Brisbane Transit Centre, Suncorp Stadium, and the lounges on Paddington and Caxton Streets. A ten-minute walk takes you to the heart of the city centre. For such a great location, the rates are very reasonable.

34 Cricket Street
4000
+61 7 3369 0711
aussiewaybackpackers.com

Watermark Hotel Brisbane

The historic Spring Hill neighbourhood hosts this four-star hotel that overlooks Roma Park. Stop by 551 Restaurant for a bite to eat before taking the short walk to Brisbane's central business district, or stay inside and enjoy the comfortable rooms and friendly staff.

551 Wickham Terrace
4000
+61 7 3058 9333
watermarkhotelbrisbane.com.au

Spicers Balfour Hotel

The trendy suburb of New Farm is home to one of the hippest and chicest hotels you’ll find in Brisbane. Spicers has large, well-appointed rooms, comfortable common areas, and a rooftop lounge with gorgeous views of the city and Story Bridge. It’s also just a 15-minute walk from the city centre.

37 Balfour Street
New Farm
4005
+61 1300 597 540
spicersgroup.com.au/about-spicers

Emporium Hotel Brisbane

As the first luxury boutique hotel to open in Queensland, the Emporium signified the growing cosmopolitan and bohemian nature of the state. Today, it continues to take this role seriously, with a combination of the highest quality and the coolest features located in Fortitude Valley.

Homemaker City Fortitude Valley - South
1000 Ann Street
Fortitude Valley
4006
+61 7 3253 6999
emporiumhotels.com.au

Bowen Terrace

If you're after a hostel with a relaxed backpacker vibe, this secluded house in the New Farm neighbourhood is for you. The rooms are fairly priced, the back deck sits above a shimmering outdoor pool, and it’s just a 15-minute ferry ride to the heart of Brisbane.

365 Bowen Terrace
4005
+61 7 3254 0458
bowenterrace.com.au

Emirates Crew Tips

Articles from Open Skies

The Land Divers of PentecostEvery weekend between March and June, the male inhabitants of the South Pacific island of Pentecost hurl themselves from a timber tower with only a vine tied to each ankle to prevent them from colliding with the ground below. World Press Photo award-winning photographer Tim Clayton’s striking images capture this spectacular tradition. Chief Lauran Tho, 39, is the most respected elder in his village, which is located near Lonorore Airport in the south west of the island of Pentecost
Place
The Land Divers of Pentecost

  Brisbane