Brisbane, the capital of Queensland and a city I’ve never been particularly interested by (sorry Brisbane). Until several of my closest friends moved there. Then I was slightly more intrigued. I began doing my research and found some return flights from Sydney over the ANZAC day long weekend for $120. My intrigue grew. Then I came to the realisation that if I don’t return to Australia until February next year, I’ll go over a year without seeing my closest friends. And that’s just not OK. So I closed my eyes, pressed confirm, threw some clothes in a carry-on bag and was on my way to Brisbane for the first time.
Brisbane’s public transport is fantastic! Easy to understand and easy to work your way around. As soon as you land at the domestic airport, you simply exit the airport, cross the road and follow the signs to ‘AirTrain.’ I would strongly recommend purchasing a Go Card (the equivalent to a MiKi Card in Melbourne or an Opal Card in Sydney). They cost $10 to purchase, plus whatever credit you want to put on. I put $50 credit on it which was the perfect amount. And the best part is that when you leave again, you can return it and get your $10 back (perfect for an airport coffee). The train heads into the city and from there you can basically get anywhere.
Where To Stay
This is a bit of a trick question because I was lucky enough to stay with my friend in the North of Brisbane. Of course, if you don’t happen to have friends in a city – I would always opt for a centrally located hostel or if you’re travelling with friends, AirBnb!
What To See & Do
If you’re new to a city, what else is there to do but aimlessly explore?! My sister spent a whole day doing that, so lucky for me, when we went exploring, she knew exactly where to go. But these are definitely my top recommendations!
The BRISBANE sign. A bright and colourful sign on the river overlooking the city. A MUST have shot!
Go to the beach. OK, for those of you that are good at geography, you’ll know that Brisbane doesn’t have any beaches. So when you don’t want to go to the beach, you bring the beach to you! On the South Bank, there’s a man made beach, complete with sand and lifeguards! A perfect way to spend a hot afternoon! There’s countless bars and cafes nearby as well! Is there anything better?!
Eat & Drink
OK confession – this trip wasn’t really about the site seeing. Sure it’s a bonus! But what we were really here for was the food, coffee and drinks! And let me tell you, Brisbane delivered!
Barvarian Bier Cafe
We went here twice on our trip and I couldn’t recommend it enough! Not only am I a fan of the chain ‘Barvarian Bier Cafe,’ but this one really excels! It has a beautiful big balcony with stunning views of the bridge and the river. The espresso martini there is to die for, and you really can’t go too wrong with a stein of beer as well!
A dessert and cocktail bar… need I say more? The South Bank is where you can find this hidden treasure! We orderedthe bannoffee pizza with some churos which I would highly recommend. If I wasn’t already buzzing off of a sugar high and about to crash into a food baby coma, I could’ve definitely gone for one of their delightful looking martinis as well!
This one is a bit out of the way (but conveniently down the road from my friends house). Just a short walk from the Gaythorne station is THE BEST BREAKFAST I’VE HAD IN A LONG TIME!!!! I really cannot emphasise how good the food there is! From the outside, it really doesn’t look like much at all. But the quality of their coffee and food was beyond all expectations! So much so, that I went there two days in a row for breakfast! I’d strongly recommend a latte with their carrot pancakes. I know it sounds weird, but just for proof, refer to the picture below. You won’t be sorry.
Jimmy’s on the Mall
Quite fancy and quite pricy, this place is so charming and worth the extra money on your bill. Not only is the food and wine exceptional but the staff are super friendly and attentive. Hello wine refills. Upstairs is a nice bar where they had a guitarist playing some great music. It’s located right in the middle of Queen Street Mall so you feel like you’re in this gorgeous bubble among the hustle and bustle of the city.
Et voilà! Not exactly a complete guide to Brisbane, but if you’re looking for some good food and coffee, this has got you covered! Do you have any recommendations for my next visit? Let me know in the comments below!