24 Hours in Brisbane – What to do?

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I'm Jade Scarfone.
A digital strategist and transformation catalyst, merging a decade of corporate systems mastery with a profound journey of self-discovery. From navigating the high-stakes world of banking to making waves in high-ticket affiliate marketing, I'm now dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs through strategic digital innovations. 

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So you’ve only got 24 hours in Brisbane? Not to worry, here’s my guide to the best sights, shopping and of course where to eat and drink.

I’ve only been to Brisbane a handful of times since moving to the Sunny Coast. And most of those times were for networking events or to fly out from the airport. So I hadn’t really had a chance to see what this city has to offer.

So when mum was visiting a couple of months ago we decided to make a day of it and go there the night before she flew home. That way we had 24 hours to explore.

So what do you do with 24 hours in Brisbane?

We were lucky to be there on a Sunday so the city was pretty buzzing. But even on a weekday I think there’s plenty to do with 24 hours in Brisbane.

Being a city it’s got all of your typical attractions – great shopping, lots of restaurant choices, great bars, arts & culture, pretty buildings. And the added appeal, they really make use of their river. So it’s a very pretty city with river views all around.

Here’s some of my top recommendations of what you can do while visiting.

City Hopper

Not sure where to go or how to get around? Jump aboard this cute ferry. It’s a hop on hop off service that takes you all over Brisbane’s hot spots.

I did say they make great use of their river. The ferry comes every 15 minutes and it’s a great free service that you can use to explore the city all day.

Go here for all the info you need about times and pick up points.

Queen Street Mall

One thing I miss most about city living is the huge selection of boutiques for shopping. So any trip to Brisbane definitely warrants a trip to Queen Street Mall for a spot of shopping.

Home to some of the biggest designers it’s a great way to pass some time. Oh and the buildings look quite pretty too.

Wheel of Brisbane

Would it even be a city if it didn’t have some kind of ferris wheel? The Wheel of Brisbane is a beautiful structure with lovely views across the river and city and gardens. We didn’t actually ride it but if you wanted to get 360 panoramic views of the city this is meant to be lovely.

You can get tickets here for as little as $15. And if you don’t ride it, it’s still a lovely walk around the area.

South Bank Parklands

Walk along the gorgeous South Bank trails and enjoy more beautiful views over Brisbane’s river and gorgeous skyline. There’s plenty of walking tracks, picnic areas, places to eat and various pop up events to check out.

Cultural Centre

Also around the South Bank area you’ll find the cultural hub of Brisbane. This is where you’ll find the Queensland Performance Arts Centre; Queensland Museum and Sciencentre; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art; and State Library of Queensland.

And just a little further behind this little hub you’ll find the Convention Centre. So if you’re ever in Brisbane for an event this is the area to stay around.

This is also where you’ll find the big, colourful Brisbane sign to get your perfect Insta pic with the river and skyline behind.

So you've only got 24 hours in Brisbane? Not to worry, here's my guide to the best sights, shopping and of course where to eat and drink.

City Botanic Gardens

On the other side of the river you’ll find the City Botanic Gardens. Take a stroll through Brisbane’s oldest park and enjoy the colours of all the beautiful flowers. Brisbane has a few different Botanic Gardens but you’ll find this one located along the river.

The riverside City Botanic Gardens are Brisbane’s original botanic gardens. And some of the main attractions   include the Bamboo Grove, Weeping Fig Avenue, Riverstage, ornamental ponds and more.

If you happen to be there on a Sunday they have a really cute market set up from 8am-3pm called Riverside at the Gardens. Where you can find a range of coffee, food, arts & crafts.

Riverwalk & Riverland

As you exit the Botanic Gardens you’ll be right at the starting point of the beautiful Riverwalk. It’s a gorgeous walk with sweeping views over the Brisbane river. This also leads you to Eagle Street Pier which is one of the starting points for the City Hopper ferry.

You’ll also find a large selection of bars and cafes in this area and Riverland which has a beer garden and street food.

Walk Around

One of my favourite ways to get to know a city is simply to walk around and take in all it has to offer. Brisbane has plenty of beautiful buildings, colourful walls, sculptures, and has the most trees I’ve seen in a city. So it really is a beautiful place to just walk around and explore.

You never know what you’ll stumble across when you walk around and take everything in.

Eat & Drink

And of course let’s not forget my favourite thing of all. Another thing I miss about city living is definitely the huge selection of cafes, bars and eateries. Don’t get me wrong, the Sunshine Coast has a lot on offer, but nothing like you get in a bigger city. So with 24 hours in Brisbane, mum and I definitely made the most of all the eateries.

Here’s some of my fave pics:

Isles Lane – I went for brunch and their signature waffles dish is delish.

Julius Pizzeria – mum and I were craving a really good pizza and this place definitely delivered.

Santa Monica – the first time I went to Brisbane I was lost and couldn’t find my hotel. Stumbled across this place and had the best pasta and a perfectly named cocktail “netflix & chill”

Taro’s Ramen – mum was craving ramen and I’ve never tried it so we found the best recommended place in Brisbane. Sadly they were under renovations and didn’t have their full menu. It was yummy but next time I would pick a base that isn’t miso as it was too seafoody tasting for my liking.

Corbett & Claude – this is a super cute cafe we just happened by when we were trying to escape the rain. We only had a snack and coffee but it had a lovely vibe and I really loved the big map wall. It’s also meant to do great pizza and their cocktails look divine!

*I also included some of my faves from my previous visits because there’s just so many yummy spots.

So there you have it. Plenty of things to keep you busy if you’ve only got 24 hours in Brisbane.

To be honest, it’s really just another city with city things to do. So unless you’re going there for a particular reason I don’t think there’s much reason to stay there for any longer. However, if you wanted to use it as a starting point to explore more of the beauty Queensland has to offer. Then you’ve got the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast which are both only about an hour out of Brisbane.

Need some ideas for either of these lovely places?

Here’s where to stay in the Gold Coast:

And here’s plenty of things to do on the Sunshine Coast:

Got any other things you would recommend for Brisbane? Let me know in the comments.

And as usual, if you like what you’ve read please feel free to like, comment or share. Your support means the world to me.

So you've only got 24 hours in Brisbane? Not to worry, here's my guide to the best sights, shopping and of course where to eat and drink. So you've only got 24 hours in Brisbane? Not to worry, here's my guide to the best sights, shopping and of course where to eat and drink. So you've only got 24 hours in Brisbane? Not to worry, here's my guide to the best sights, shopping and of course where to eat and drink.

So you've only got 24 hours in Brisbane? Not to worry, here's my guide to the best sights, shopping and of course where to eat and drink.

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