36 things to do in Fortitude Valley

From the cranking of a coffee grinder to the final closing doors of nightclubs – Fortitude Valley is the suburb that never sleeps.

While Queensland’s premiere dedicated entertainment precinct is best known for its nightlife, there is plenty else to do dawn to dusk from shopping the hip laneways and leafy streets to eating through a melting pot of restaurants and sipping lattes at our best cafes and coffee shops.

1. Head in early for brunch in the Valley

Breakfast at Campos Coffee

Try our picks King Arthur, Harvey’s, Treehouse Cafe & Bar and Campos or any from our top 13 Valley breakfast list.

2. Sinking beers and sipping cocktails is more fun sky-high

Head to the top on a rooftop bar crawl through Elixir, Eleven, Up on Constance and Limes.

3. Go for a swim at the Valley Pool

Popular with elite swimmers and athletes, you might bump shoulders with an Olympian here. 

4. Shop your way along leafy James St

With more than 130 stores calling this strip home, shop from top to bottom to find flagships, local boutiques and Brisbane designer items. Discover more details in our Valley shopping trail here

5. Go for a street art greet

The Brisbane Greeters run bespoke tours all over Brisbane. Choose Fortitude Valley as your location and say you're interested in street art to be taken on a three-hour tour exploring the stories and people behind murals and other pieces in the area.

6. Jump in the spa at Les Bubbles

Les Bubbles

Les Bubbles serves just one dish – steak and frites. The good news is you won't get food envy, and the fries are bottomless. There is no bad news. Head downstairs to the Bathhouse and go for a cheeky dip in the spa with cocktails. 

7. Order the Lobster Coconut Tumeric curry at LongTime

Slip down the leafy laneway and into popular restaurant-slash-bar LongTime. It's the sort of place that calls for a cocktail with dinner and the Lobster curry is a must.

8. Catch a show at the Judith Wright Centre

There's always something new and unique to see at the Judy. From circus and cabaret to dance, music and performance art – catch original shows right here.

9. Go on a record store trail

Hop your way between the Valley's best vinyl shops. Get the wheel turning at Foundry Records then head to Phase 4 Records and Cassettes and further along pop into Tym Guitars

10. Dance salsa at Cloudland 

Cloudland

Every Thursday night the downstairs dance area at Cloudland transforms into a Latin nightclub with a live band, dance lessons and then free dance time late into the night. Don't miss Soul'sa.

11. Grab a damn fine coffee 

The coffee game is strong here and it's easy to find a good cup on almost every street. Hunt down LTD Espresso, Reverend's, One Drop Specialty Coffee, Bellissimo and Campos.

12. Pop into Brisbane’s best boutiques

Easton Pearson store

The Valley houses a stack of local Brisbane designer stores, boutiques and more. Read our Fortitude Valley shopping trail hit-list here.

13. Dance at The Beat MegaClub

It's been there for more than 30 years and if you haven't been for a groove on the dancefloor of Brisbane's biggest and oldest LGBTI-friendly bar – today is the day.

14. Catch a live gig at The Zoo

Come check out the animals at The Zoo – yes it's a live music venue but things can get truly wild in there. Especially in summer, extra life points for sweaty summertime gigs.

15. Get your mitts around an ice-cream sandwich from Mister Fitz

Small batch ice-cream, house-baked cookies, malted pretzel crumbs ... need we go on? Tick Mister Fitz off your to-eat list any day of the week. 

16. Order a beer at Wagaya and time how long it takes to get to your table

The staff here are quick – real quick. Get out your stopwatch and time how long it takes them to serve your beer after you order it via tablet.

17. Go on a small gallery trail

Hop between Artisan, the Institute of Modern Art and Heiser Gallery. Stop for lunch before trekking on to Jan Murphy Gallery, Mitchell Fine Art, Philip Bacon Galleries, RedSea and TW Fine Art. Phew! 

18. Check out the selection at Tym Guitars

This independent guitar shop offers an incredible range of vintage and second-hand guitars and effects pedals, plus make a limited number of hand-crafted guitars, basses and amps. The store has an eording spic record selection inside, rectudios and a stage, and it has helped out Powderfinger, Grinspoon, Trpy Cassar-Daley and Regurgitator with equipment.

19. Eat your way through Chinatown

The Chinatown Mall is a buzzing hive of restaurants and bars – and most are BYO. Stop by the Valley Wine Shop on the corner of Brunswick and Wickham streets for a drop.

20. Shop the laneways

Winn Lane Fortitude Valley

Move over Melbourne – Brisbane’s strong list of hip laneways is ever-growing. Drop into Bakery Lane or Winn Lane for burgers, arvo bevvies, boutique shopping and late-night eats.

21. Join a free yoga class at Lululemon 

Every Sunday morning at 8.30am and greet the day with a free yoga class at Lululemon in James St. You don't need to bring a mat – just yourself and an open mind.

22. Cocktail crawl!

The Press Club

Surprise – Brisbane's entertainment precinct is home to excellent cocktail bars. Pop by Emporium Cocktail BarThe BoweryPress ClubGerard's BarEleven and Barbara.

23. Get your foodie on at Scrumptious Reads

For once we're not talking about actually eating food. Scrumptious Reads is an incredible boutique bookshop that specialises in cookbooks and magazine and books about food.

24. Go back to the original Doughnut Time

Doughnut Time and Alfredo's Pizzeria

Doughnut Time has exploded with a chain of stores all around the country. Go back to where it all began and order a doughnut from the original window on Alfred St.

25. Don’t miss big annual music events Bigsound Live and Valley Fiesta

The Valley is the live music hub of Brisbane and each year plenty of gigs roll through the venues and big festivals through the showgrounds – but there are two events we really love. With serious roots in Brisbane, Bigsound Live is a music festival held across two nights that shows serious up-and-coming talent to industry bigwigs and those smart enough to book a ticket. Valley Fiesta is an annual celebration in the Brunswick Mall.

26. Have a burger at Ben’s

Perfection shouldn't be messed with – and for that reason at Ben's Burgers you can't make alterations to your burger (oh, and it only offers three sorts). If you missed it on your tour of Winn Lane (see #20), then get back and realise the hype.

27. Get down on market days

Pop by any weekend and the two pedestrian malls (Brunswick and Chinatown) play host to the Valley Market. Expect to find local designers, food stalls, live music and more.

28. Get a snap with the Woolly Mammoth 

Craft beer megabar Woolly Mammoth has plenty of space for all your drinking. Snap a pose with the giant mammoth, play giant jenga upstairs and catch a gig on the Mane Stage.

29. Sink a pint and play a game at Netherworld

Netherworld

An old-school arcade games bar and diner, Netherworld is home to gaming relics from the past that will transport you back in time. There's pinball machines, arcade machines, classic consoles and countless board games from the 70s to present day. 

30. Stuff your face with traditional pizza at Johnny's Pizzeria

Pizza is always better when you get two for the price of one, and even better when the pizza's start at $12. That's $6 each for epic woodfired pizza people! 2-4-1 Fridays are always a must at Johnny's Pizzeria in Bakery Lane. 

31. Eat the cheesebuger spring rolls at Heya

It's one of those food stuffs that has to be tried at least once – and the kitchen at Heya is open until late. Knock back a round of pool and a plate of these.

32. Drink a Zombie bowl, have a dance at Alfred & Constance

Alfred & Constance

You wanna dance? Go to the upstairs tiki-themed lounge at A&C. Here the music the loud, the dance floor is pumping and the fun times are limitless. Go one extra and share a giant tiki-bowl cocktail with four friends.

33. Head in for a Sunday sesh at Sixes and Sevens

If you've driven down James St on a Sunday afternoon, surely you've made a mental note to return to "that bar that spills out into the courtyard triple its size". On Sundays, Sixes and Sevens goes off – join the party vibes.

34. Find love at I Heart Brownies

We're talking about the heart-shaped brownies that will give you butterflies and melt you at the knees. Branch out beyond original with jaffa and Nutella fillings.

35. Love cake? Visit Jocelyn's

Slip into Jocelyn's Provisions along James St and walk out with a sour cream chocolate cake #noregrets.

36. Order the cheeseburger at Gerard's Bar

Staff hand-torch the burger before your eyes. Best served beside a dirty martini. Need we say more?

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