Date nights under $50 - Visit Brisbane

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Date nights under $50

So, you’ve got a pineapple burning a hole in your wallet and a hot date who’s looking for fun. What’s a guy or gal to do? Don’t work yourself into a frenzy thinking of the perfect date – give these 43 date night ideas a whirl. Keep your phone handy, you’ll be expecting a call-back.  

1. A date for the foodie

Julius Pizzeria

Arguably the best pizza this side of Italy, Beccofino’s prosciutto pizza with added rocket is perfect to share. Across the road at La Macellaria, the seemingly never-ending list of gelato flavours may be a difficult choice, but no matter what you choose, expect greatness. Head off for a walk along the Brisbane Riverwalk towards the city where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Story Bridge. If you're doing to enjoy dinner and a show at South Bank, stop in at Julius and ask for the arancini - they're not on the menu, so your date will definitely be impressed. Get your hands on more Italian here

Cost: Arancini $10, Pizza $25 Gelato x2 $9

2. Photography date

Wilsons Outlook

Work on your photography (or selfie) skills together at 10 of Brisbane's best photography spots. If you want to make it really adorable, take some shots from Wilson's Outlook then relax and enjoy the sunset together - it's one of Brisbane's best-kept secrets.

Cost: free

3. Laugh your head off

Knockoff

A good giggle need not cost you an arm and a leg, so head to the Brisbane Powerhouse every Sunday from 5pm for Livewired – one hour of free comedy by a variety of local and national comedians. Stop by onsite Bar Alto for drinks with unspoilt river views to wrap up (or kick start!) your Friday night.

Cost: Depending on your drop of choice, about $10 per glass of wine.

4. Get to know one another over a cheese board

Gerard's Bar

The way to anyone's heart is usually through their stomach, and you can learn a lot about a person based on their cheese preferences thanks to this well-researched Buzzfeed quiz. Once you know what you both want out of a cheese board, check out this cheese-lovers' guide to Brisbane and go from there.

Cost: Anywhere from $15+. Good cheese is worth the $$

5. Buena vistas

Sunrise at Mt Coot-tha

Walk (or drive) up to Mt Coot-tha or Mt Gravatt to enjoy a magical sunrise or sunset. What’s more cute than that? 

Cost: Free

6. Adventure sports at Riverlife

Hire a couple of bicycles, rollerblades or scooters from Riverlife to experience the meandering Brisbane River all the way from Kangaroo Point to South Bank by following along the Clem Jones Promenade. 

Cost: Bike 1.5h $23pp, Rollerblades 1.5h $29pp, Scooters & Kick Bikes 1.5h $23pp

7. Work on Brisbane's food bucket list

Coppa Spuntino

These are the dishes that everyone talks about, that shape this fine city, and the dishes a venue simply can’t take off its menu without public uproar. Work on some of the more affordable options together and food is always a good talking point. Budget-friendly highlights include the baked choc-chip cookies from E'cco Bistro, the black garlic bread from Gauge and the gnocchi from Coppa Spuntino.

Cost: $6+

8. Explore New Farm

Friends enjoying a picnic in New Farm Park

The Jan Power’s Markets are on every Saturday at the Powerhouse from 6am-noon. Why not take your delicious treats to nearby New Farm Park for a riverside picnic, followed by a visit to the Brisbane Powerhouse to soak up the latest art exhibition.
 
Cost: A few bucks for baked goods

9. Bust out a classic move

Kangaroo Point Cliffs

Picnics will always be romantic for the guy or girl who appreciates a no-fuss date. Gather some local cheese, salads and a bottle of wine from The Stores and take it all down to Orleigh Park in West End. Don’t forget the rug! Want to create the ultimate picnic experience? Find out how here.

Cost: As little or as much as you want! 

10. Explore the Brisbane River on two wheels

CityCycle

Jump on one of the many CityCycle bikes that dot the city for a cruise around the river’s edge. Brisbane’s bike paths offer scenic views with plenty of Instagram-worthy stops along the way. Put your foot to the pedal – check out this list of paths to get you going. 

Cost: $2 per day (just be sure to dock your bike every 30 minutes before taking off again)

11. Strike!

Bring back childhood memories with a game of bowling at Strike Wintergarden. This classic date always ensures fun will be had. If you’ve been there, done that, give the adrenaline-packed laser tag experience a try. Duck and weave your way around a replica airport, featuring a flight bridge, lounge and control tower. 

Cost: $17pp one game bowling, $14 one game laser tag

12. Challenge your golfing skills (or lack thereof) at Victoria Park

Victoria Park

Work your way through the 18-hole putt putt course where you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Brisbane City as the sun goes down – how romantic. The rocky terrain throws you some curve-balls – think water and sand traps, and a swinging pole, just to keep it interesting. Stop by the 19th hole before you leave. Need more golfing options? Try one of these courses. 

Cost: $21.50 - $24 for 9 holes; $34 - $40 for 18 holes

13. Leave an impression

holeymoley

If you want to guarantee a call back after the date, leave a lasting impression. Head to Holey Moley in Fortitude Valley for a 9 hole round of mini putt putt golf and fight it out to take your place on the Iron Throne (yes, it's an iron throne made from golf clubs), or destroy each other's high scores at Netherworld Arcade on the pinball machines.

Cost: Holey Moley $18pp, Pinball $1 each play 

14. Music by the river

Roll out your picnic rug at South Bank’s River Quay for laid-back Sunday Sessions on the Green. This area is licensed, so bring a bottle of your favourite vino with a bite to eat and enjoy the tunes of Brisbane’s best musicians every Sunday from 2-5pm. 

Cost: Free

15. Scale to new heights

Experience a whole new level of trust with your partner as you clamber your way up a wall at Urban ClimbRocksports or Crank Indoor Climbing. And best of all, no experience is necessary.
 
Cost: From $18

16. Cheap city eats

Papparich

Brisbane City has some affordable restaurants that don’t skimp on big flavour. Try Miss Kay’s for your burger fix, The Cheese Pleaser for top-notch toasties (order the mushroom & taleggio toastie), or Fat Noodle for a warming bowl of beef pho. Head off on foot to explore the CBD – a stroll through the City Botanic Gardens is a must. Looking for more ideas? We’ve got 40 up our sleeve

Cost: From $12.50pp

17. Sink it like it’s hot at Fat Louie’s 

This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bar in the CBD is suitably dark while allowing you to show your competitive side with a game of pool. If you’ve got a decent set of pipes on you, or are just feeling ultra-brave, give karaoke a blast. 

Cost: $5.50 basics. A game of pool is $14 after 5pm.

18. Serious brunching in Paddington

Locals of Paddo know a good brunch spot when they see it. Simply walk up and down Given and Latrobe Terraces for a plethora of options. Our picks? Middle Eastern-inspired Naim for the shakshuka, Chapter IV for the signature softshell crab benedict, or Sassafras for moreish homemade baked treats. 

Cost: $20-25pp

19. Serious brunching in general

Gauge Cafe

If you just really love brunch and want to venture out of Paddington, these best brunch spots in Brisbane will keep your date calendar filled for weeks to come. To jazz up the brunch theme a bit, check out the Avo Toast Index and judge for yourself whether you're getting the best value for money.

Cost: $20-25pp

20. Dating a film buff? 

Ain’t nobody got time for $20 movie tickets. Lucky for us, the awesome folks at Cineplex have kept prices low so you can continue to do the standard dinner and movies date on the cheap #classic. Catch the latest blockbuster flick at Balmoral before heading to Suki for fresh poke bowls & sushi burritos. 

Cost: $8.50pp for a movie ticket, $11.50 for a bowl

21. See a live show

The Triffid

Brisbane has a prominent and constantly evolving live music scene and is not only a destination on many touring artists’ schedules, but is also home to a fantastic variety of local bands and musicians who play on a regular basis. Check out the best live music venues in The City.

Cost: a drink, and maybe a plate of hot chips

22. How much pizza and pasta can you eat?

The Boomtown Rats sang that they don’t like Mondays, but that’s probably because they didn’t have all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta at Gianni’s Kitchen. With any drink purchased from 5.30-9.30pm, you can demonstrate that your eyes are too big for your belly for just $20pp. Mondays are your new favourite date night. 

Cost: $20pp 

23. You heard it on the grapevine

Wine tasting at City Winery is everything you need in life. Offering nothing but the best wine and local produce, discover your new favourite drop at this inner-city Fortitude Valley winery & restaurant on your next date.

Cost: $25pp for a cellar door tasting & winery tour

24. Ain’t no mountain high enough

Mt Barney National Park

A 16km hike over nine hours at 1351m above sea level? Challenge accepted. Lace up your most comfortable runners for a day spent climbing some of the most challenging mountains around Brisbane (don’t worry, there’s easy ones around for us mere mortals). 

Cost: Free

25. Keep it cool

The notoriously hot and humid Queensland weather sometimes calls for extreme cooling-off measures. Keep your power bill down and resist pestering your neighbours for a dip in their pool with these heat-busting ideas to keep you feeling cool, calm and cheerful.

26. Hit the trails

Couple walk through D'Aguilar National Park

If the sound of climbing mountains has you weak at the knees (and not in a good way) then try some of these walks and hikes near Brisbane. You’ll be rewarded with some outstanding views and not just of the scenery. 

Cost: Free

27. All you can eat in one street

Yes, you read that right. All of the food, in one handy location. Eat Street Markets have been going from strength to strength since opening at Northshore Hamilton in November 2013. It’s the perfect place to grab a few bites to share and you’ll no doubt be back to sample all the stalls you missed. Check out our guide so you don’t miss the good stuff. 

Cost: $3pp entry + $10-20pp for food

28. Don't (do) go chasing waterfalls

O'Reilly's bush walk Moran Falls

Perfect for when the weather heats up, Brisbane’s nearby waterfalls, lakes and water holes are waiting to be explored. A lakeside picnic is the order of the day, or hike through lush rainforests to discover cascading waterfalls. 

Cost: Free

29. Find your way to their heart via their stomach

Gelato Messina

Summer, winter, whatever – Brisbane has the perfect temperature any time of year to tuck into a bit of the cold stuff. Head to one of our best ice-cream or gelato vendors – any excuse for a tub of mango and macadamia ice-cream will do.

Cost: A one scoop averages between $5-7

30. Be spontaneous! 

Not sure where to go next? Why not give these day trip ideas a try. You could be beach bums one day and museum nerds the next – the choice is yours. 

Cost: Varies depending on the activity

31. Get cultured

Couple view Aboriginal art collection at GOMA

Art galleries may not be to all tastes, but if you don’t take it too seriously, they can be a great date idea. Catch world-class art exhibitions at QAGOMA followed by lunch at the Queensland Art Gallery Cafe, GOMA Restaurant or cafe bistro. Find more galleries to get lost in here

Cost: Free entry to the galleries + $20pp for lunch

32. Have car, will travel

Couple view Redlands from a headland

Escape to the country where the air is clearer and the grass is greener. We’ve got 23 scenic drives for you to take. Nothing tests the strength of a relationship more than a road trip. You’ve been warned. 

Cost: Fuel

33. Hop between the laneways

Bakery Lane

Venture off the beaten track and wander through Brisbane City’s hidden laneways to discover a wealth of glistening gems. These venues are perfect for a quick bite, drink with friends or a gastronomic delight surrounded by some of Brisbane’s best architecture and street art.

Cost: Varies, but a Gresham QLD Colada will set you back $19, a cheeseburger at Brooklyn Standard is $12 and a coffee at Felix For Goodness will be less than $5

34. Head back to basics

Camping trips are the ultimate way to get to know your other half. Roll up the swag, pack the billy and pitch a tent at one of these spots for a weekend away to get in touch with nature. 

Cost: Free

35. Extra cute and cuddly

Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Get up close with the adorable koalas at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre, then head around the corner to the Chung Tian Temple for a walk around the gardens, temple, art gallery and tearoom. If you've seen one too many koalas, try these wildlife parks, zoos and farms instead. Read: alpaca picnic. 

Cost: Free

36. The Swedes have it

Get lost in IKEA. This will test even the strongest relationships – it’ll either make or break you. Swing by the restaurant for the iconic Swedish meatballs, then make your way through the maze that is the showroom and see how you both perform under pressure in your-future-life-together scenarios. Just don’t blow the budget on candles or pick 'n' mix lollies at the exit. 

Cost: Meatballs $8 + whatever must-have items you can find ($2 mugs for sure)

37. Get fishy 

Feel the salty air in your hair as you stroll hand in hand along the Manly foreshore. Pick up some fresh-wrapped fish and chips (and a few cheeky scallops) fro Corner House Fish & Chips in Manly. 

Cost: $22 pack for two (including cod, potato scallops, calamari rings, seafood bites & chips)

38. Jump, for my love 

BOUNCEinc

Bounce – it’s your backyard trampoline on steroids with over 100 interconnected tramps with circus-grade padding, giant air bags and springs. Have a laugh while doing a great cardio workout. We know exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, so get jumping.

Cost: $15-20pp for first-time jumpers, $9-11 per session thereafter

39. Tourist Brisbane

When was the last time you cruised down the river on a CityCat? Disembark at South Bank and go for a dip at Streets Beach – it’s quieter in the evenings. Swing by Happy Pops afterwards for a DIY ice-cream pop.

Cost: About $3 with a go card (more on-peak), $5.60 for a two-hour, two-zone paper ticket. Ice-cream pop from $5.

40. You spin me right round, baby

Wheel of Brisbane, South Bank

Ride the Wheel of Brisbane. Do it. Just once. 

Cost: $20.90pp

41. Bookworms

Avid Reader

Be the cute couple you know you are and buy each other a book from Avid Reader in West End. Get lost in your own little nook in the onsite cafe. 

Cost: About $25pp for a book and coffee

42. Rock out to live tunes

The Foundry

Brisbane’s live music scene is constantly evolving with bars and dedicated music venues regularly hosting local and international artists. No matter what you and your date’s genre, there’s an intimate bar or pumping venue for you. 

Cost: Cover charges vary depending on the venue and artist playing

43. BYO - bottle at the ready

If payday is a little bit too far off but you're still keen to impress your date, try one of Brisbane's best BYO restaurants. This way you can take a whole bottle of wine along for the price of roughly 1.5 glasses without sacrificing the quality of your meal (or drink).

More impressive date ideas