One day in Brisbane City - Visit Brisbane


Got one day in Brisbane City? Here's how to spend it

If you’ve landed in The City and only have one day to lap up everything on offer, don't fret – our complete guide has you covered with all the things you need to pack in during your stay in Brisbane CBD, without feeling like you’re missing out on any of the highlights. Hop to it, time is precious.


8am – But first, coffee

Get your day started at one of Australia’s best cafés with coffee and breakfast at Coffee Anthology. Café review site Beanhunter named it as the top spot in Oz a few years ago, and they do a damn good brew. Brisbane City is filled with amazing third-wave coffee spots, so take a look at our guide to specialty coffee in The City for other ideas.

9am – Hit the mall

Queen Street Mall, Brisbane

There are more than 1000 retailers in The City ranging from awesome bargains to the truly luxe, so take the chance to shop up a storm. Most of the stores either spill onto Queen Street Mall or are tucked inside shopping centres off the pedestrian mall. Read more about the mall in our Queen Street Mall shopping guide and find a list of luxury shopping hotspots here to make the most of your shopping spree.

11am – Explore City Hall

Brisbane City Hall organ

She’s a grand old civic building with plenty of history, and even more to do inside. Book a free tour up the clock tower. They only take 15 minutes and are worth it for the view and ride in an antique elevator alone. Be sure to check out the museum itself and explore the gift store - it’s stocked with Brisbane-made artisan goodies. If you have time, take a City Hall Tour to really get under the skin of the building and explore spaces usually closed to the public.

12.30pm - Lunch

Fatcow Tortellini

The City has a range of options for all lunch budgets. You’ll find most high-end restaurants along the river including Alchemy, Madame Wu, Naga Thai, Bar Pacino, Fatcow Steak & Lobster and many more. Or stay closer to the mall for options that are a little more friendly on the wallet including The Bagel Boys, Roll’d, Red Hook, Vapiano, Corbett & Claude and more.


2.30pm – Beautiful one day, perfect the next

Thousands of events happen every year in the heart of The City. It’s hard to suggest what to do with your time in Brisbane CBD without checking what’s on that day. From second-hand clothes markets to produce markets, and from indie arts productions to Aboriginal culture on stage, there’s always music, theatre, art shows and markets popping up in and around The City. If there’s no events on, kick back in the sunshine at the City Botanic Gardens. Set by the river, these gardens make it easy to forget you’re in a concrete jungle.

4.30pm - Sweet hit

Dello Mano brownies

From artisan chocolate to famous brownies it’s easy to sate a sweet craving in Brisbane City. We have a few favourites. Try the famous Dello Mano brownies from Tattersall's Arcade, or Noosa Chocolate Factory offer rustic, tasty chocolate and drinks. Mayfield crafts refined chocolate truffles and don’t forget “baked not fried” donut genius found at Nodo. For more of Brisbane City’s sweet treats check out our list of the best chocolate shops The City has to offer.

5pm - Sunset wine down

City Winery

Did someone say cheese? We did. Cheese boards and wine bottles pair perfectly at Grape Therapy, an underground bar on the city fringe. Nestled amongst international fashion brands on Edward St you’ll find a pop-up cellar and wine door from City Winery, perfect for wine tastings, wine experiences or to pop in for a glass of wine. If you’d prefer to be above ground with sunset views and a cool breeze, hunt out a bar stool by the river or on a rooftop. There are too many good ones to mention, so we’ve put together a guide to bars with a view in the city here.


6.30pm – Treat yo'self

Coppa Spuntino Pasta

If you didn’t splurge at lunch, now is your chance. Book a seat at Italian focused Persone or Coppa Spuntino or dine on an upper class twist on the Aussie turf and surf at Fatcow Steak & Lobster. Three Blue Ducks puts the focus on local produce, while nearby Phoenix serves contemporary yum cha. Chinese cuisine has had a fine dining makeover at super hip Donna Chang, and Walter’s Steakhouse delivers American-style beef in an incredible heritage setting. Find more spots to treat yo’self here.

9pm – A nightcap or warm up

Bar Pacino Outdoor Terrace

It’s tough making decisions. Head to Bar Pacino for cocktails with views of the river and twinkling Story Bridge by night, or go to whisky saloon and award-winning bar The Gresham for fine golden tipple and peanuts. End your night there, or ramp it up. The choice is yours.

10.30pm – Dance your heart out

Brooklyn Standard

Ready to boogie? BYO dance pants. Underground laneway bar Brooklyn Standard has live music six nights a week blasting jazzy tunes, blues and plenty of funk. WET Deck at the W Hotel is another good one for late-night drinks featuring DJs, dancing and epic views.

2am – Breakfast is served

Every Brisbane local knows the only acceptable time to be seen at Pancake Manor is after midnight. This classic venue (housed in an excellent old church) is open 24/7 on Charlotte St. So if you get hungry and need to refuel after throwing many shapes on the d-floor, head to the one and only house of pancakes for a stack.

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