Experience The City like a local - Visit Brisbane

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Experience The City like a local

New in town? Brisbane City is a welcoming cosmopolitan hub with international shopping, world-class dining, abundant parklands and plenty of entertainment options that are easily accessible within the walkable compact centre and free public transport options, such as the City Loop red bus service. 

To get to know The City like a local, go beneath the surface to uncover the hidden laneways, rooftop bars, green spaces and Brisbane boutiques to know. Here’s our expert guide to fast-track your insider knowledge and do Brisbane City like a local.

Hidden laneways

Intersecting major streets, tucked behind shopping precincts and adjacent to heritage buildings, Brisbane City’s laneways are hidden in plain sight. Surrounded by interesting architecture and covered in curated street art, we love meandering down The City’s laneways to discover secret drinking holes, cute coffee pit stops and eclectic eateries. There’s always something new to add to the list of must-visit bars and cafes, such as The Coop Espresso Bar on Eagle Lane, Felix for Goodness in Burnett Lane and Gresham Lane’s aptly named The Gresham Bar.

Discover more about Brisbane City’s hidden laneway gems

Rooftop bars and alfresco dining

Blessed with abundant sunshine, locals like to make the most of the gorgeous weather by dining and drinking outdoors. Brisbane City has the perfect backdrop with river and cityscape views plus plenty of alfresco dining and rooftop bars to soak up the ambience. From The Pool Terrace and Bar at Hyatt Regency Brisbane atop Queen Street Mall and W Brisbane’s WET Deck to riverside restaurants and bars such as Will & Flow, Blackbird, Madame Wu and Alchemy, here’s cheers to the sunkissed City lifestyle.

Find more about Brisbane City’s rooftop bars and outdoor dining

Green spaces

Acting as the lungs of The City, Brisbane’s CBD is surrounded by verdant parklands and green pockets that provide an oasis amid the commerce. From the expansive City Botanic Gardens with ponds, groves and flower beds to compact lawns and urban squares that are ideal for lunchtime picnics, The City has a plethora of green spaces to enjoy the sunny climate. Choose from Queens Gardens, Anzac Square, King Edward Park or Post Office Square for a quick respite from your busy day.

Uncover more about The City’s top picnic spots and parks

Open-air shopping and Brisbane boutiques

Like other capital cities, Brisbane City’s shopping epicentre is its open-air pedestrian mall, Queen Street Mall. With more than 700 retailers, ranging from international brands to high-street labels, shopping arcades, department stores, designer boutiques and everything in-between, you can find everything you need to kit out your wardrobe, house and lifestyle. Beyond Queen Street Mall is a further 300 or so stores that showcase local designers, foodie finds and niche wares for a made-in-Brisbane gift. We love Noosa Chocolate Factory, Biome, Sacha Drake and Christie Nicolaides, to name just a few local luminaries.

All you need to know about shopping in The City

City markets

When it comes to shopping, Brisbanites are spoilt for choice with two weekly markets offering artisan goods, gourmet meals and fresh produce within the city centre. Wednesdays are for the Brisbane City Markets at Reddacliff Place at the top of Queen Street Mall where you can purchase farm- or trawler-fresh produce, gourmet foods and more. Every Sunday, Riverside at the Gardens Market offers stalls with international cuisines, handicrafts and artworks in City Botanic Gardens. There’s the occasional Suitcase Rummage in Reddacliff Place and BrisStyle Twilight Markets at King George Square, too.

Your guide to markets in Brisbane City