35 things to do in West End

West End is an unapologetic inner-city suburb rich with history and culture. Its eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants, bars and nightlife meets aspiring designers, live music and underground movements along the main street.

This is where ideas begin and grow, and community matters. Join West End in celebrating its alternative inner-city village.

From the CBD it is a 30-minute or 2km walk. Alternatively catch the blue CityGlider bus (number 66) or consult TransLink for more options.

1. Stock up at Davies Park 

West End Markets

Any weekend in West End should begin with a shop around the Davies Park Markets. Locals come by for breakfast, to buy produce for the week and sip coffee while sitting under trees listening to live music by the river.

2. Get your Greek feast on

A strong part of West End’s migrant history falls to the Greeks. Greek food is delicious, so stop by The Greek Club, Lefkas, Little Greek Taverna, Kafe Meze or Ouzuri for a feast.

3. Discover Greek culture too

Greek Orthodox Church, West End

Also pop by the St George Greek Orthodox Church (next to The Greek Club) to see inside the amazing space. In 1958 the foundation stone was laid for the building.

4. Check out a live band 

Max Watts

Live music has a home in West End at medium-sized venue Max Watt's. The Boundary Hotel and smaller pubs and bars around the area host live music too.

5. Drink local brews 

Catchment Brewing Co

Grab a brew from one of West End’s two microbreweries, both located on Boundary St. Catchment Brewing Co or Brisbane Brewing Co will sort you out with a beer and a feed.

6. Make your mysterious escape 

For something a little different, try Escape Hunt Experience off Boundary St. There are three puzzle rooms where you and friends must solve the crime within an hour. 

7. Brunch your heart out 

Morning After (Photo: Florian Grohn)

West End’s cafe scene is rich with old favourites The Gunshop Café and The Burrow, and newcomers Morning After, Billykart and Miss Bliss Wholefoods Kitchen.

8. Get about on two wheels 

Bring your own bike or hire a CityCycle and cycle around town or along the river to experience more of the suburb.

9. Hit the D-floor 

Put those two left feet to work at Rio Rhythmics and learn the tango, salsa and more.

10. Find a BYO 

Restaurants that let you BYO are not hard to come by in West End. Try Little Greek Taverna, Trang, Caravansarai

11. Dive into its street art 

Street art in West End

The bohemian suburb’s alleyways and venues are filled with street art. Hunt it out yourself or let a Brisbane Greeter (free tour) show you around. Bring your camera!

12. Dive into food markets

Boundary Street Markets

Every Friday and Saturday night the Boundary Street Markets take up residence behind the Rumpus Room and in the rooftop car park of the Boundary Hotel. Pop by for a smorgasbord of cuisines.

13. Go for the views 

Pop by nearby Orleigh Park for incredible views over West End and the whole CBD.

14. Ditch the tights 

Leave your lycra in New Farm and join good and bad dancers at No Lights No Lycra, a global movements of alcohol-free, dark dancefloors where you truly can dance like no one is watching.

15. Join a cooking class 

Mondo Organics runs cooking classes that teach you to cook, source and prepare organic produce.

16. Go on a cocktail crawl 

West End has a top small bar scene. Jump between The End, Jungle, BOSC, The Bearded Lady and Lychee Lounge.

17. Opa! Mark the Greek festival in your diary 

Every May, Paniyiri takes over Musgrave Park for a weekend of Greek food, dancing, culture and more. Don’t miss it.

18. Drink a chai bowl 

Three Monkeys is a classic cafe that is open until 11.30pm on weekends serving late-night cake, coffee and its famous bowls of chai.

19. SWOP ‘til you drop 

SWOP

Brisbane’s first clothing exchange SWOP is located above the main street offering a range of clean, quality vintage and second-hand clothing at a reasonable cost. 

20. Feeling bookish? 

If books are better than cocktails, do a bookshop crawl through West End. For new books, Avid Reader is a must-stop and next door its younger sibling Where The Wild Things Are sells only kids' books. Up the road, Bent Books will sort you out for second-hand novels.

21. Get comical 

Junky Comics Store

Also on the printed side of things, drop by Junky Comics for new and old comic books.

22. Grin and Barre it 

Drop by Barre Brisbane for a new kind of workout that combines yoga and pilates in a ballet studio-style environment. 

23. Eat nose to tail 

Bird's Nest

Try the yakitori skewers at Bird’s Nest where you can eat everything from chicken hearts to arteries to cartilage cooked over a hot white coal grill.

24. Experience West End by the full moon 

Every full moon the West End Fire Festival congregates in Orleigh Park for an evening of fire spinning and twirling. Head down to learn, make friends and join a drum circle. 

25. Pick up local goods 

The Stores is a grocer and small goods store stocking only local goods and produce from the surrounding region. Pick up salami, cheese, vegetables and wine.

26. Join the Brazilian street parade 

Each summer, Rio Rhythmics coordinates a Brazilian Carnaval with all the colour and costumes one could ask for.

27. Satisfy a sweet tooth 

Cake & Bake

Well-known baker Jocelyn Hancock’s Cake & Bake is the place to go for whole cakes, sweet treats, homemade pies and more 

28. Je ne sais pas? 

Improve your French language skills at Alliance Francaise Brisbane. The hub runs French courses for adults plus cultural events throughout the year.

29. Get a whisky education 

Cobbler Bar

Small bar Cobbler has more than 400 different whisky types behind the bar. BYO food and sit down to learn more.

30. Contain your rev head 

Jump in the seat of the MXJ F1 Simulator for a unique racing experience with virtual races on the most famous racing circuits in the world.

31. Hunt craft beer bars 

Good Times Bar

Craft beer is here to stay. Hop your way down Boundary St between Archive, The Bearded Lady, Good Time Bar, Lock ‘n’ Load and the two breweries, Catchment and Brisbane Brewing.

32. Climb to the top 

Experience indoor rock climbing at Urban Climb. The centre offers a range of experiences including boulder routes, training and fitness courses, and kids' classes.

33. Grab a Blackstar coffee 

Blackstar Coffee

Roasted in West End, Blackstar also bottles cold brew coffee and sells it around Brisbane. Head straight to the source.

34. Cut laps 

Grab your goggles and head to Musgrave Park Pool. Entry is just $5 for adults.

35. Get deli goods 

Swiss Gourmet Delicatessen

Mega Continental is the go-to for all Greeks. The warehouse is hidden away on Duncan St and stocks European goods of every variety. On Boundary St, Swiss Gourmet Delicatessen has been open since 1980 selling coffee, light snacks, baked goods, cheese and other deli items.

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