The 10 best things to do in Brisbane

You don't need to look far to find things to see and do in beautiful, subtropical Brisbane. Here are 10 must-do locations for locals and visitors to explore Brisbane's vibrant inner city, neighbourhoods, surburbs and bayside foreshores.

1. Mt Coot-tha precinct

There is no better spot to enjoy Brisbane's outdoors than the Mt Coot-tha precinct. Explore nature's glory at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha where you'll find a variety of native and exotic plant collections across 56 curated hectares. While you're there, make your way up the mountain to the Mt Coot-tha Lookout where you'll be graced with the best view of Brisbane. If you want a challenge, hike the short, beginner-friendly Summit Track in Mt Coot-tha Reserve and reward yourself with an ice cream from The Summit Cafe.

Mt Coot-tha Lookout

2. QAGOMA

Explore our world from different perspectives through the eyes of local and international artists at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Each gallery offers remarkable art exhibitions, complemented by a range of programs and events throughout the year. It is also home to the Children's Art Centre which offers interactive art activities for kids and families to explore their creativity.

3. Howard Smith Wharves

Howard Smith Wharves is Brisbane's best lifestyle and entertainment destination. The ever-evolving precinct brings a diversity of food, music and community together. With several restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from, there's something for everyone.

Fiume Rooftop Bar

4. Queensland Museum and Museum of Brisbane

Experience our city's vibrant culture and history at Brisbane's leading history and art museums. Museum of Brisbane, housed within Brisbane City Hall, celebrates the history-makers of Brisbane to help residents and visitors better understand our city's past. To catch a glimpse of prehistoric giants, modern achievements, and scientific discovery head across the river to the Queensland Museum. Dedicate a day to exploring the ancient world of creatures and culture, or ignite your imagination through interactive science activities in SparkLab.

5. Guided city tours

Undeniably a must do for locals and visitors, the Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower Tour is your chance to explore a piece of Brisbane's rich history. Take fifteen minutes out of your day to ride in one of Brisbane's oldest working cage lifts and peer behind Australia's largest analogue clock faces. Want to learn more about some of Brisbane's most iconic spots? Book a Brisbane Greeters tour. Try the Bulimba walking tour, Nundah German history tour, or explore Indooroopilly's Walter Talyor Bridge – all for free.

Brisbane Greeters

6. Archerfield Wetlands Discovery Trail

Located in Brisbane's southwest, Archerfield Wetlands Parkland has a new three-kilometre trail perfect for walking or cycling. The Wetlands Discovery Trail takes visitors through the floodplain environment, past open grassland landscapes, native forests, and over creeks. Take a break at the shady lookout over an open water section of the wetlands.

Archerfield Wetlands Discovery Trail

7. New Farm Park and Brisbane Powerhouse

With its rich heritage and expansive river frontage, New Farm is know for its grand park and the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse. New Farm Park is one of Brisbane's oldest and largest parks featuring large open spaces framed by giant fig trees and the Brisbane River. It's the perfect spot for a picnic. 

Craving some entertainment? Brisbane Powerhouse hosts over a thousand performances and events each year. Take your pick of theatre, comedy, dance, music, film, visual arts and more. There is something for everyone!

New Farm Park

8. Brisbane's best playgrounds

Brisbane has a number of playgrounds your kids will beg to go back to. Forget a squeaky swing set! Try a flying fox, skywalk, tube slide and mouse wheel – some of the many popular attractions that can be found at Brisbane's favourite playgrounds. Bradbury Park in Kedron, Frew Park in Milton and Calamvale District Park are just a few favourites. For more inspiration, check out Brisbane's best new parks and playgrounds.

Bradbury Park, Kedron

9. Seaside adventures

Put aside a weekend to explore Brisbane's bayside. The Sandgate to Shorncliffe bayside walk is a gorgeous coastal stroll, with plenty to see along the way. If you're keen for a fish, or just want to take in the view, The Shorncliffe Pier is the perfect spot. For more information, read our article - Sandgate | Explore Brisbane's bayside beach.

South of the river, you will find the hugely popular Wynnum Whale Park. Feauturing a large playground, boardwalk, jetty and water play space, it is a great place to spend a warm weekend with family and friends. Find out more about Wynnum parks.

Wynnum Whale Park

10. Catch a CityCat

What better way to see the city than from the water! Council operates a fleet of 24 CityCats and 5 KittyCats with a network of terminals stretching from The University of Queensland at St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton. It is a fun and affordable experience that is suitable for all ages.

CityCat

Related links

Editor's note: The featured content in Brisbane Explore is created to inspire residents and visitors to plan a day out exploring Brisbane. Brisbane City Council disclaims any relationship with, or endorsement of, businesses featured in this article.

Nearby events

Tue 28 May 2024, 9:30am
Free

Experience the magic of story-time with your child at the Bamboo Grove (number 7 on the visitor map) . This interactive session includes stories and songs for...

Mt Coot-tha Library, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, 152 Mt Coot-tha Road, Mt Coot-tha

Wed 29 May 2024, 9:30am
Free

Experience the magic of story-time in a very special location – the Planetarium. Listen to a story unfold with the images floating above on the Skydome. Ideal...

Mt Coot-tha Library, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, 152 Mt Coot-tha Road, Mt Coot-tha

Sat 1 Jun 2024, 11:00am
Free

Drop into the library to get creative with free art and craft activities. Ideal for children aged 4-12 years and their carers.

Mt Coot-tha Library, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, 152 Mt Coot-tha Road, Mt Coot-tha

Tue 4 Jun 2024, 9:30am
Free

Experience the magic of story-time with your child at the Bamboo Grove (number 7 on the visitor map) . This interactive session includes stories and songs for...

Mt Coot-tha Library, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, 152 Mt Coot-tha Road, Mt Coot-tha

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.