13 things to do on a rainy day in Brisbane CBD
Rain rain go away, come again another day. With an average 300 days of brilliant sunshine per year, you’d be unlucky to arrive on a rainy one. But on the off chance that your chosen day to explore Brisbane City has less-than-perfect weather – we’ve rounded up a bunch of great rainy day ideas.
Here are 13 things to do in Brisbane City on a rainy day.
1. Indulge a little
We all overindulge a little (a lot) on rainy days, so continue the pattern and try some of the City's best comfort food. Few things are as indulgent as Italian food - head to Coppa Spuntino on Creek St or OTTO Brisbane at 480 Queen St for a cheeky red wine and plates to share. If you're on a tight budget, check out our list of best cheap eats in the City.
2. See a film
Popcorn, frozen coke and a movie at Event Cinemas in the Myer Centre is surely enough to make you forget about the miserable weather outside. Check out the Event Cinemas website to see what's playing. For an opulent, vintage vibe head to the Elizabeth Picture Theatre. Housed in a heritage-listed building with reclining seats and a bar, it's the perfect place to settle in on a rainy day.
3. Head to the museum
Museum of Brisbane
There's plenty to see and do inside Brisbane City Hall. Head to the Museum of Brisbane on Level 3 and check out one of its exhibitions, or take a guided tour of City Hall. There's also the Clock Tower Tour that takes you up in an old hand-operated lift and offers a birds-eye view of the city.
4. Hit the mall
Brisbane CBD is home to more than 1000 stores, with Queen Street Mall host to about 700. Yes, that may sound a little daunting but never fear, follow our comprehensive guide to shopping in Queen Street Mall and you shouldn't get lost.
5. Aim for strikes not spares
After a quick bite to eat from Grill'd, head across the way to Strike for a round of bowling with friends or to fine tune your skills. Strike also hosts laser tag battles for those who like their competition a little more intense.
6. Sing the rain away
Live out your dreams of singing your heart and soul out to Mariah or Whitney at one of the City's karaoke spots. Fat Louie's and Music City offer private karaoke rooms so the only people to hear you are those that love you the most, or embrace your inner diva at Strike Bowling Bar. Karaoke is basically a synonym for fun, so it's hard to go wrong.
7. Get bookish
There's nothing like holing up with a good book on a rainy day, and the City is home to some excellent bookstores. Visit Folio Books on Mary St for that special find on just about any topic imaginable, or head to Dymocks and explore its extensive collection spread across two floors. For that special find, head to Archives on Charlotte St, one of the largest second-hand bookstores in the world.
8. High tea
Room with Roses
From quaint to ritzy, the City is home to a fine variety of high tea settings. For the more traditional high tea, try the elegant Customs House, the beloved Room with Roses or the delightful Shingle Inn City Hall. Many of the city's hotel restaurants also offer high tea, including the Sofitel, the Stamford Plaza, the Treasury Heritage Hotel, the Hilton's Vintaged Bar and Grill and the Marriott's Motion Bar and Grill. Read our guide to high tea in the City here.
9. Treat yo'self
Don't let the miserable weather get you down, make the most of it and pamper yourself. Take treating yourself to the next level and visit Stephanie's Spa Retreat at the Sofitel for a massage, facial, manicure, or the whole lot.
10. Check out the City's laneways
The City's laneways are a treasure trove of hidden gems. Here's a detailed guide to Brisbane's laneways – CBD highlights include coffee hideout Brew down Lower Burnett Lane, cafe by day and wine bar by night John Mills Himself, comfort-food haven Melt Brothers in Gresham Lane and Latin-inspired street eatery Comuna Cantina in Albert Lane. There's also this epic laneway bar crawl to follow through Burnett Lane.
Bucket list item #2 - KFD, Public
You may have already ticked off many of these items without even realising – however it is very important that you finish the list. Spend your rainy day working on it – after all, 21 of the 63 must-eats are in the City! If you're a believer of the 'everything in moderation' philosophy, at least try the Kentucky Fried Duck (yes, KFD) from Public and the sandcrab lasagne from Il Centro.
12. See a live show
Nothing washes out the sound of rain quite like live music. Head to Brooklyn Standard, who host live music seven nights a week and specialise in jazz, funk and blues. Settle in at Embassy Craft Beer Bar, for the adventurous have a crack at open mic night on Thursdays, or for the safer option head in on a Friday for live music from 5pm.
13. Drink the day away
Kick back at one of the CBD's many bars and enjoy the sound of the rain with a drink in hand. The Gresham features a range of whiskies, high ceilings and chesterfield lounges that ooze old-world charm. If you like a burger with your beer, pop next door to Red Hook in Gresham Lane for a selection of cocktails and both American and Australian beer and wine. If you'd like somewhere sleeker, drop into the undergound Boom Boom Room for a cocktail.