21 free things to do in The City - Visit Brisbane

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21 free things to do in The City

Looking for something to do that doesn’t cost a motza? The City has lots of free things you can do – indoors and outdoors. Next time you’re in Brisbane City, add some of these fantastic free activities to your schedule and enjoy a big day out for nix.

Free things to do in Brisbane City

1. Step back in time at Museum of Brisbane

Book your free ticket online to access Brisbane’s stories and history on display in fascinating exhibitions. If you have kids in tow, check out the free craft workshops as well.

2. Picnic at City Botanic Garden

You can also roll out a rug among the towering Moreton Bay figs for a picnic lunch at City Botanic Gardens. Don’t forget to take in the ornamental features and blooms, too.

3. Get your fill at the Brisbane City Markets 

Take a tote to Reddacliff Place on Wednesdays from 8am to 4pm to browse 85 stalls of farm-fresh produce, bakery treats and gourmet eats.

4. Cycle the Brisbane Riverwalk

Run, cycle, walk or skate from City Botanic Gardens to Howard Smith Wharves via Brisbane Riverwalk. We love the breezy views from this elevated path over the river.

5. Window-shop Queen Street Mall

Brisbane’s fave pedestrian mall is a treasure trove of more than 700 retailers in the one compact centre, making it easy to check out what’s new and people watch all day.

6. Tune in to Gigs & Picnics

The City Botanic Gardens turns up the volume with Gigs & Picnics – a feast of food trucks and free tunes. Get along to the festivities on the fourth Saturday of every month from 12-4pm. Tip: Order a picnic basket in advance!

7. Tour City Hall 

Go inside the Neo-Classical façade to learn more about the design and history of City Hall and marvel at the mosaic tiles and stained-glass windows on a free guided tour.

8. Go up the Clock Tower at night

Take a free tour of the Clock Tower, which includes a ride up in a working cage lift for panoramic views of The City. Tip: Book the 6:45pm Friday evening tour for night-time views.

9. Follow the City Centre Heritage Trail

If you’d prefer to DIY, download the City Centre Heritage Trail. The self-guided walk takes in 26 points of interest from Brisbane’s convict sites to the 1970s, starting at Queen Street via Jacob’s Ladder to Wickham Terrace and finishing in Edward Street.

10. Catch a City Loop bus

Did you know there are three free City Loop buses? Look out for the red buses for a free ride from QUT to Eagle Street every 10 minutes from Monday to Friday. Jump on the 40 (clockwise) or 50 (anti-clockwise) routes from the red bus stops.

11. Get your game face on at Vault Games

With more than 200 games available in-store, learn a new game at Vault Games on Charlotte Street. Free Social Saturday Tabletop sessions are on every Saturday from 5pm.

12. See The City’s street art

Keep an eye out for the street art in The City’s spaces and laneways. From vibrant murals to small-scale works and commissioned sculptures, make sure to always look up.

13. Learn about Indigenous culture

Drop in every Wednesday at 12pm to the top of Queen Street Mall for free storytelling, music and dance from an array of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island and South Pacific artists.

14. Browse the Riverside Markets

The Riverside Markets at the City Botanic Gardens is a Sunday institution. Take your furry friend along for a stroll to check out the global cuisine food trucks and artisan wares.

15. View an exhibition at QUT Art Museum

See the latest contemporary art exhibitions from local and Queensland artists on display at the QUT Gardens Point Precinct. Entry includes the William Robinson Gallery in the Old Government House. Pre-booked guided tours are also free.

16. Wonder at the RAZZLE DAZZLE Outdoor Gallery

Until Sunday 22 November, wander the lightboxes, banners and vitrines displaying eye-catching artworks in the BCC Outdoor Gallery RAZZLE DAZZLE exhibition. Visit at night to see the art projections at Howard Smith Wharves as part of the curated exhibits.

17. Do Yoga in the Park

Rise, shine and stretch. Bring your yoga mat to City Botanic Gardens for free 45-minute Yoga in the Park session on Sundays from 8:15am. 

18. Enjoy free music with City Sounds

Listen to local musicians and bands playing for free all around The City as part of City Sounds. Check the schedule, or simply stumble across a session.

19. Go behind the crime scene at Queensland Police Museum

True crime fanatics and history buffs can go behind the blue line at the QPS museum at Police Headquarters on Roma Street. It’s open Monday to Thursday and free to the public.

20. Bag a bargain at Suitcase Rummage

Our fave second-hand and pre-loved clothing market is back every second Sunday at Brisbane Square. Pick through the suitcases to see if someone’s trash is recycled treasure.

21. Get a slanted view from Brisbane Square Library

Go inside the distinctive blue-and-yellow cube that houses a public library for diagonal views of the cityscape and a quiet nook to read a book. There’s a great interactive kids’ corner if you’re with littlies, too.