Nightlife in Brisbane
Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley is home to Australia’s first designated entertainment precinct. Come nightfall, The Valley’s streets are alive and pumping with the sound of live bands, laughter and nightclub beats. With countless bars, clubs and restaurants on every block, deciding where to go can be the hardest part.
Queensland has year-round good weather and it’s worth making the most of the great outdoors. Elixir rooftop bar on Ann St is a new addition to Brisbane’s bar scene and has a fresh, holiday feel with concrete slab tables, plenty of tropical greenery and a water feature.
For something with a grungier feel, Ric’s Bar will welcome you with a young crowd, alternative music and cheap drinks. Step into its big backyard and feel like you’re at a friend’s house.
A few blocks away, Alfred & Constance is a local favourite, open seven days a week, and featuring three themed bars. Using two Queenslander-style homes with a deck flowing between them, grab a bite and a beer on the main floor, or head upstairs to the tiki bar for pina coladas.
At nearby Limes Rooftop Bar, a recent renovation has added plunge pools to the astro-turfed rooftop – making it the perfect place for a Sunday session.
Live music venues
There is always a huge selection of live music in Brisbane every weekend. The Tivoli and The Zoo are two medium-sized live music venues that act as a temporary home to many national and international acts passing through.
For a more intimate vibe, head to Black Bear Lodge or The Hideaway – many locals go here to discover new and up-and-coming talent.
If you’re looking for somewhere you can dance, The Valley is the place to be. Popular with the 20-something crowd, Oh Hello is a busy nightclub where university students can be seen dancing the night away with a jam jar cocktail in hand.
For those wanting variety, The Met has three dance floors within the club pumping RnB, house and techno music all night long.
A bar with good vibes, The Press Club has live funk bands on Friday nights from 10pm ’til late. The sophisticated venue attracts an older crowd who know how to have fun and boogie down.
For somewhere a bit different, Brisbane has a unique range of bars popping up all around town. In The Valley, Nant Whisky Bar is a small space that boasts more than 150 boutique whiskies from around the globe.
New kid on the block Papa Jack's has captured the heart and soul of New Orleans. With live blues, roots and jazz music, Creole cuisine and specialty drink sazerac on tap – it’d be hard not to have a good time.
Hidden away, petite-sized The Bowery takes its inspiration from prohibition-era New York. This small bar is known for its world-class cocktails.
There comes a time when a pub doesn’t cut it and listening to the top 40 dance beats on repeat tires. Brisbane has a few alternatives, the first being X & Y bar. This place is known for its grunge vibe and live bands in a club atmosphere. On student Thursdays, X & Y spins 90s hits.
Across the road, Cloudland is a magical mega-club. Like stepping into a scene from The Great Gatsby, the two-storey club is filled with masses of hanging plants, vertical gardens and crystal chandeliers, plush lounges and a funk-dance vibe. On Thursdays, join Soul’sa – from 8.30pm a live band and dance instructors help get your hips shaking.
Brisbane’s biggest gay nightclub, The Beat Megaclub, has been spinning tunes from its Ann St location for more than 30 years. Still ever-popular, this is the place to dance, meet friends and party seven days a week.
The City nightlife
Down by the river, the Eagle Street Pier precinct is home to plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes. To join the “suits” crowd, head to Fridays or Riverbar for knock-off drinks any night of the week.
Mr & Mrs G is an intimate bar with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing uninterrupted views of the Story Bridge, and the Bavarian Bier Café has litre steins to keep you busy.
Parallel to the Queen Street Mall, between George and Albert Sts, Burnett Lane is a best-kept secret for the alternative and hidden range of bars, cafes and eateries. Favourites include Brew, Super Whatnot and Survey Co.
In between, The City is home to a stack of friendly Irish pubs including Gilhooleys, Irish Murphy’s and Mick O’Malley’s, as well as Embassy Bar – the CBD’s first craft beer bar – and The Gresham, a whisky and bourbon saloon oozing old-world charm with an eccentric touch.
West End nightlife
West End has always been a melting pot of cultures. The quirky local style is diverse, alternative and vintage, with the bars reflecting this eclectic atmosphere.
Boundary St is at the heart, with Archive growing craft beer appreciation and Sling Lounge boasting a selection of more than 250 cocktails.
Other popular watering holes include The End, Jungle Bar and The Rumpus Room, while Boundary Hotel, Lock ’n’ Load Bistro and Melbourne Hotel provide a solid pub atmosphere with better-than-ordinary bistro food.
Catch a gig at The Hi-Fi, where the hottest international acts or home-grown artists grace the stage.