Visitors in town? Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Brisbane like a local
Brisbane has really flourished in the last few years. Our dining scene is thriving, the Brisbane River is being showcased to its full potential and our collection of local producers and makers is enviable. With so much to offer, our sunny city is getting inundated with visitors – who are probably asking you the best way to make the most of their time in town. The best way to do it is like a local, so whether you’re playing host or visiting for the weekend, we’ve put together how you should spend 48 hours in Brisbane.
You’ll likely have booked your accommodation before you get here, but in case you need a little inspiration, Brisbane has recently welcomed a collection of new hotels for you to consider. For chic urban-resort vibes look no further than The Calile Hotel, W Brisbane will certainly bring the wow factor, The Westin comes with Brisbane’s first swim-up pool bar, and Emporium South Bank boasts unrivalled views of Brisbane’s city skyline. Look out for Howard Smith Wharves’ Art Series Hotel The Fantauzzo as well, due to open in March 2019.
Keep things casual Friday night – after all, you’ve got a big weekend ahead of you. Both Hellenika at The Calile and Greca at Howard Smith Wharves will sate Greek cravings, or head over to South Brisbane’s Fish Lane for a smorgasbord of options including Julius Pizzeria, Hello Please and La Lune Wine Co.
Yes sure you’ve got a big weekend ahead … but it’s Friday night, baby! A cheeky tipple is absolutely necessary. If you’ve just been to Hellenika, retire downstairs to The Lobby Bar or across James Street to Gerard’s Bar for cocktails and charcuterie. If Greca was your choice, simply stroll to overwater bar Mr Percival’s or neighbouring Felons Brewing Co. If you’re in Fish Lane, look no further than intimate bar Maker.
Up and at ’em! If you’ve only got 48 hours in Brisbane, you need to make the most of it. A stroll along the Brisbane River is the perfect way to start the day. The Brisbane Riverwalk links the CBD with New Farm and if you navigate a few leafy backstreets you can walk all the way to Teneriffe Ferry. Once you hit Teneriffe you’ll need some caffeinated sustenance – Kin & Co will sate your specialty coffee needs, or trek back to Brisbane Powerhouse to peruse Jan Power’s Powerhouse Farmers Markets with a fresh croissant and coffee in hand.
No doubt by now you are starving (even if you had that cheeky early-morning croissant). Head straight to nodo in Newstead or Camp Hill where you’re encouraged to eat doughnuts for breakfast – don’t feel bad, they’re baked, gluten free and full of wholesome ingredients. If doughnuts aren’t your style, the menu is full of delicious savoury options too such as the Brioche Benedict, with miso-butter hollandaise, beetroot-cured salmon, wild swimmer crab, chilli egg yolk. beach herbs and citrus.
If you’ve got two days in Brisbane, a visit to Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) in South Bank is an absolute must. The world-renowned galleries host an ever-changing program of exhibitions showcasing artists from across Australia and the globe, with each year’s program never failing to be even more awe inspiring than the last.
Hankering for a burger? Fortitude Valley’s Ben’s Burgers has won The Weekend Edition’s reader-voted EAT/drink Awards’ Best Place For Lunch title for four years running, so it should definitely be on your 48-hour list. If you’d rather something a little lighter, head across to Little Valley for modern-Chinese eats.
It’s time to treat yo’self with a shopping spree! Stay in The Valley to hit up its hidden laneways – Bakery, Winn and California Lanes are home to a host of local independent boutiques and pop-up shops to find something uniquely Brisbane. A stroll down to James Street will present you with a collection of flagship stores and boutiques showcasing Australia’s most coveted labels, or head to Brisbane City to elevate you wardrobe at Apartment and Violent Green, and Contra. If shopping’s not your style, work your way through one of our craft-beer brewery crawls.
It’s time to sample the best of the best in Brisbane. Book a table at one of the city’s must-try dining destinations like South Brisbane’s Gauge, Fortitude Valley’s Gerard’s Bistro, Happy Boy or Honto, Brisbane City’s OTTO, or Woolloogabba’s 1889 Enoteca and Detour. Need more inspiration? Check out our list of Brisbane’s ten best restaurants and new restaurants as voted by our readers.
Brisbane’s bar scene has truly flourished of late, leaving you spoiled for choice when it comes to a post-dinner sips. Head to Savile Row and Finney Isles in Fortitude Valley, or make your way The Gresham, The Cloakroom Bar or The Boom Boom Room in Brisbane City. If you fancy a dance-floor session, head to Black Bear Lodge or Brooklyn Standard.
It’s been a big weekend – you deserve a sleep in. West End’s aptly named morningafter is perfect for a lazy Sunday-morning breakfast – the menu here is ever changing, but you can always rely on its famous MaMuffin to soak up the previous night’s revelry. Check out our round-up of Brisbane’s best all-day breakfast if you need more ideas.
Your two-day trip to Brisbane is sadly coming to an end! You should probably stock up on some quintessentially Brisbane snacks and trinkets to remind you of your time in town. The shelves of The Stores in West End and Sourced Grocer in Teneriffe are lined with locally sourced delicacies, New Farm Confectionery and i heart brownies will sate any sweet cravings, and Museum of Small Things and GOMA Store are brimming with coveted curios. If you can’t fit all of that in don’t stress – you can always come back for more.
Visiting the Gold Coast while you’re here? Check out our guide to spending 48 hours on the Gold Coast.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.