Must-see museums in the CBD

Lose yourself in Brisbane’s history with a number of historical venues showcasing the wonders of ye old days. Architectural grandeurs, great wars and Australian politics make up the foundations of Brisbane’s history in this expedition through the CBD museums.  

MacArthur Museum

MacArthur Museum

Visit the office of General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during World War II, and sit at the desk where strategies were developed to win the war. You can also experience life in Brisbane during the dark days of the war when people feared that the city might be invaded, public air raid shelters lined the streets and children wore identity discs.

Museum of Brisbane

Museum of Brisbane inside City Hall

Do you really know our city? Examine how Brisbane and its people continue to change over time and reveal how each of our individual and collective stories are the milestones of the city’s evolution. A changing program of exhibitions provoke thought and discussion about the city and its communities. From the museum you can also take a free tour up the City Hall clock tower.

Mercy Heritage Centre

Step into the atmospheric Mercy Heritage Centre and explore the life and work of the Sisters of Mercy in one of Brisbane’s oldest surviving buildings. A convent for 144 years, visitors can now visit this historic building and learn about the lives and duties of the nuns that lived there. 

Customs House

Customs House

While technically not a museum, you are able to stroll through the building and capture its historic flavour while a display of Customs Service memorabilia from those bygone years stirs the imagination. Enjoy a meal at the building’s restaurant known for exquisite river views and fine dining while you absorb the style and grandeur of the building.

Old Government House

Old Government House

Queensland’s first public and heritage listed building, Old Government House is swimming in history and has its doors open for the public to enjoy. The building boasts a historic house museum and art gallery as well as restored 1860s architecture. 

Queensland Police Museum

Bit of a crime fiend? The Queensland Police Museum showcases some of the city’s most notorious crimes. Try your hand at solving a crime with the simulated murder scene – could you be Queensland’s next best detective?  

Parliament House

Parliament House

It may not be a white house but you can enjoy the beautifully restored interior of Parliament House that showcases Queensland's history, as shaped by the governments and laws that have been made in the Parliament. A free half-hour tour is on offer to marvel at the house and its antiques or watch parliament in session from the visitor’s gallery.

Army Museum South Queensland

Used as a base in World War I and headquarters in World War II, these barracks are now run by the Australian Army as a memorial for the military. This military heritage museum houses weapons, medals and uniforms used and earned in war between 1899 and 1972, by Australian, allied and enemy forces.

Discover more in the CBD