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How to Spend 48 Hours in Brisbane, Australia

Picture of Kelly Hawke
Kelly Hawke
Updated: 10 March 2017

Brisbane may not be Australia’s most well known city, but it sure packs a punch when it comes to places to see and things to eat. It’s always best to go where the locals go, so here are the best things to do when you have 48 hours in Queensland’s sunny capital.

Day 1 

Morning

Head straight to the French concept store, Vieille Branche, for a European-inspired morning. Grab a table and enjoy breakfast at their Farmhouse Café, where the hardest part is deciding what to eat! After this, get lost in the homewares and vintage finds on offer before tasting some cheeses at the fromagerie next door, Emile & Solange.

Next, head to the Powerhouse Farmers Markets located next to New Farm Park. These markets are full of fresh fruit and vegetables, gourmet food vans and artisan stalls. Once you’ve sampled the produce on offer, head to the park for a little respite.

From New Farm Park it’s easy to hop onto the City Cat and take a ride along the Brisbane River before getting off at Brisbane’s cultural hub, Southbank.

Farmhouse Café at Vieille Branche, Albion | © Vieille Branche

Farmhouse Café at Vieille Branche, Albion | © Vieille Branche

 Afternoon

When in Brisbane, a must-visit is the spectacular Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. This gallery holds a collection of more than 17,000 works of art. Get lost in the current exhibitions on offer and admire the stunning gallery design. It’s an art lover’s heaven.

Once you’ve had your culture fix, stroll along Southbank’s esplanade and take in the sunset while looking over the river to Brisbane’s ever growing downtown area.

GOMA | © Tourism and Events Queensland

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art | © Tourism and Events Queensland

Evening

After a big day of exploring, it’s time for a night out. After a few cocktails and some delicious pizza at Julius Pizzeria, walk into West End for some live music and bar hopping.

Boundary Street in West End has an abundance of bars. Head to Archive for live music and craft beer, Lychee Lounge if you’re after decadent cocktails and Cobbler bar if you fancy a tot of whisky.

If you’re looking for something a little more tropical, head to Jungle Tiki Bar where cocktails are often served in pineapples. It’s an oasis in the hustle and bustle of West End.

Day 2

Morning

La Trobe Terrace in Paddington will be buzzing on a Sunday morning, filled with trendy cafes and shops to explore. Start with breakfast at Naim or Kettle and Tin, then follow La Trobe Terrace, stopping in at a number of boutiques and antique stores on the way.

If all that shopping has you thinking about the next meal, then a burger and beer should do the trick. However, Fritzenburger isn’t your standard burger joint. They offer gourmet burgers, loaded fries and a selection of their own craft beers.

Afternoon

There is still plenty of this friendly city to see and an easy way to squeeze it in is on one of the Brisbane Greeters guided tours. Run by locals who know the city best, they will share their knowledge and favourite spots with you.

After all that exploring on land, it’s time to go higher. Eleven is a rooftop bar to rival all others in Brisbane. The panoramic views will really take your breath away.

Brisbane City | © Paul Ewart/Tourism and Events Queensland

Evening

The final meal in Brisbane should be a special one, so it’s time for Longtime. This trendy modern Thai restaurant down an alleyway in Brisbane’s Chinatown is worth queuing up for. Not only is it one of the city’s most popular, the food is delicious. On trend baos, fragrant curries, fresh salads and stellar cocktails will ensure your return when you’re next in town.

Next stop is the Triffid. This popular music venue is set in an old commercial hanger, flanked by an outdoor pop-up beer garden. The industrial setting in the middle of bustling Newstead, makes it even more of an experience when listening to some of the best music Brisbane has to offer.

Betel Leaf with caramelised pork, prawn and chicken| © Longtime

Betel Leaf with caramelised pork, prawn and chicken| © Longtime