48 hours in Brisbane, Australia

How to spend 48 hours in Brisbane

If you are travelling to Australia, it is highly likely that you will visit Sydney and Melbourne, but neither of these cities is named Australia’s hippest city by the leading travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet. That title went to none other than Brisbane, a booming metropolis made by combining distinct styles ranging from bohemian and hip to exclusive, all of which have deep sub-cultural undercurrents. These are great reasons to visit this flourishing city, but what to do if you don’t have more than 48 hours in Brisbane? Easy: with a bit of legwork and the aid of public transportation you’ll reveal the most important secrets of the River City.

Start with the tour around the city and South Bank

48 hours in Brisbane, Australia
Image Credit: Olivia Williams Jones
Start your 48 hours in Brisbane with a tour of the heart of the city and a place where money is made. The first thing that will catch your eye is the tallest tower of the city on Herschel St. From there, you can head to grab a bite at the upmarket Eagle Street Pier complex or hipster Brew. Continue to the City Botanic Gardens to get a good view of Brisbane’s favorite green space. After a green fix, head to get your cultural fix across the Goodwill Bridge to the South Bank. There you will find art galleries and centers. Finish your tour downtown in crafty bars and innovative restaurants.

Experience Fortitude Valley

48 hours in Brisbane, Australia
Image Credit: Olivia Williams Jones
This series of gentle hillsides is actually one of the most important reasons why Brisbane was named the hippest city. It’s awakening when the sun is down and it can show you the time of your life in the best clubs, bars, pubs and rock rooms. Besides the mainstream joints you can wander off in some really quirky places. Nearby, you’ll find James Street where you can visit the Institute of Modern Arts, arthouse cinema, market and wine bars.

Time for a refined ‘burb

48 hours in Brisbane, Australia
Image Credit: Olivia Williams Jones
Although it is found right next to the Fortitude Valley, New Farm is obviously much higher on the class ladder. An affluent suburb with fabulous eateries and cafes, this area is also home to some of the best and most charming boutique hotels, such as the Bowen Terrace. However, if you are travelling on a shoestring budget, you can sign up for some of the agencies that offer house sitting in Brisbane. This will provide you with a great chance to get free lodging in exchange for taking care of someone’s house and/or pet. In this neighborhood, you will be able to visit the city’s famous cultural hub – Brisbane Powerhouse which hosts theater, comedy, live tunes, outdoor cinema, and a farmers market.

Go west

48 hours in Brisbane Australia
Image Credit: Olivia Williams Jones
Take a ferry from the New Farm to the West End, an even hipper part of the town than Fortitude Valley. This neighborhood is the home to punks, goths, artists and many other interesting people who swarm around Vulture and Boundary Streets conjuring a bohemian vibe. This is the place to purchase secondhand books, hunt for vintage items and sip craft beers (some of the best IPAs are part of the offer).

Across the river to Paddington

48 hours in Brisbane, Australia
Image Credit: Olivia Williams Jones
Home of the iconic XXXX Brewery and fabulous boutiques and antique shops, Paddington should definitely be on your Brisbane itinerary. This is the place to go when you want to have the most delicious coffee ever because you will see it roasted at Merlo Torrefazione, an outlet of famous Brisbane bean-roaster, Merlo Coffee. If you are lucky, you can even spot some of the many celebrities who have residences in this part of the city.
Make sure you plan your itinerary carefully before you arrive in Brisbane, since the bendy river can make getting around the city a bit confusing. The best way to tour the city is on foot, by going across the many bridges or by a ferry, if you prefer to feel the breeze in your hair.

Credit to Olivia at High Style Life for the guest post.

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