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 The 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 Eagle St, Ciccio’s Pasta Bar on Adelaide St or Persone in Brisbane Quarter for a cheeky red wine and plates to share. For other Italian options see our list of Italian dining here or 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 Brisbane CBD. For other must-see museums in The City see our list here.
4. Hit the mall
The City is home to more than 1000 stores, with Queen Street Mall hosting 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. If you’re looking for something more on the luxurious side or want to splash some cash (rather than splashing in the rain), we’ve got you covered with our guide to luxury shopping in Brisbane City.
5. Aim for strikes not spares
After a quick bite to eat from Grill'd, head across the way to Strike Bowling Bar for a round of bowling with friends or to fine tune your skills. Strike hosts laser tag battles for those who like their competition a little more intense and it also offers escape rooms and karaoke so you’ll be set for an entire rainy day (or week).
6. Sing the rain away
Speaking of karaoke, 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 and as we mentioned you can 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 Brisbane CBD 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, Brisbane 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 Stamford Plaza, W Hotel, the Hyatt and the Treasury Heritage Hotel. 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. Elevate your hair with a fresh cut, blow dry or style at Elysium Hair, Toni & Guy, Oscar Oscar or Urban Hair Loft before moving onto a facial, manicure and pedicure, at Stephanie’s Spa in the Sofitel, which will take treating yourself to the next level. Finish with a relaxing massage at the W Brisbane Spa or Aquarius Health & Medispa for the ultimate relaxation experience.
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 – The City highlights include coffee hideout Brew down Lower Burnett Lane, cafe by day and wine bar by night John Mills Himself, and Latin-inspired street eatery Comuna Cantina in Albert Lane. There's also this epic laneway bar crawl to follow through Burnett Lane.
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 duck tacos from Red Hook and finish it off with a chocolate brownie from Dello Mano.
12. See a live show
Nothing washes out the sound of rain quite like live music. Head to Brooklyn Standard, who host live music nightly and specialise in jazz, funk and blues. This bar is all about the experience and you’ll be met with an extensive drinks list, cracking live music and a vibey space.
13. Drink the day away
Kick back at one of Brisbane City'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 underground Boom Boom Room for a cocktail.