Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, Australia, is a vibrant and diverse city with a unique blend of modern architecture, historical landmarks, and natural beauty. It offers visitors a perfect blend of cosmopolitan city life and laidback coastal charm. If you’re looking for a weekend in Brisbane itinerary or activities suitable for solo travelers or families with children, you’ll find plenty of options. Here’s a suggested 3-day itinerary to help you make the most of your time in Brisbane.

Situated on the Brisbane River, the city offers a wide range of activities, from exploring its bustling downtown area to relaxing in one of its many parks or gardens. With a population of over 2 million people, Brisbane is known for its warm climate, friendly locals, and vibrant cultural scene.

As a visitor, one of the best ways to truly experience the city is to “act like a local.” This means exploring some of the lesser-known neighborhoods, trying out the local cuisine, and engaging in the many cultural activities that the city has to offer. In this blog, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the heart of Brisbane, exploring its hidden gems, and providing insider tips on how to experience the city like a true local.

So if you’re planning a trip to Brisbane and want to immerse yourself in its rich culture and heritage, then stay tuned for some insider tips on how to get the most out of your visit this weekend in Brisbane. Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or an outdoor enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city, and we can’t wait to show you around!

Weekend in Brisbane

If you’re looking for accommodation in Brisbane City or the Central business district (CBD), there are plenty of options to choose from to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some areas and accommodation options in the CBD: 

No matter which area you decide to stay in Brisbane, I recommend using and sorting with price, then consider the ones with highest reviews plus within 1km of center/old town in order to be between all the actions during this weekend in brisbane.
For tours, I recommend using get your guide and walking tours available in most places

  1. Central Business District: This is the heart of the city, with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Accommodation in the CBD ranges from luxury hotels like the Hilton Brisbane and the Sofitel Brisbane Central to more affordable options like the Ibis Styles Brisbane Elizabeth Street and the Ibis Brisbane.
  2. South Bank: This area is located across the river from the CBD so it’s very close and within easy walking distance. It’s only about a 10-15 minute walk from the CBD to South Bank and is known for its parklands, museums, and entertainment precinct. Accommodation options in South Bank include the Rydges South Bank, the Mantra South Bank, and the Emporium Hotel South Bank.
  3. Fortitude Valley: Located just northeast of the CBD and is about a 5-10 minute drive or a 20-30 minute walk from the CBD to Fortitude Valley, depending on your exact starting point. Fortitude Valley is known for its nightlife, dining, and shopping options. Accommodation options include the Tryp Fortitude Valley, the Ovolo the Valley, and the Sage Hotel James Street.
  4. Kangaroo Point: This area is located just south of South Bank. It’s a little further away than South Bank, but still within easy reach. It’s about a 10-15 minute drive or a 30-40 minute walk from the CBD to Kangaroo Point, depending on your starting point. There are also public transport options available, including buses and ferries, to get to Kangaroo Point from the CBD. It is known for its beautiful views of the city skyline. Accommodation options in Kangaroo Point include the Point Brisbane Hotel, the Story Apartments, and the Bridgewater Apartments.

How to spend 3 Days in Brisbane weekend

Friday Brisbane itinerary:

  • Arrival in Brisbane: Depending on what time you arrive, you may want to check into your hotel/hostel and take some time to settle in and get your bearings in the city.
  • Free things to do in Brisbane this weekend: If you’re looking for free things to do in Brisbane this weekend, there are plenty of options. You could take a stroll through the beautiful Botanic Gardens, explore the City Hall Clock Tower, or check out the Queensland Museum and Art Gallery. 
    Don’t worry if you didn’t have time to see much today as Saturday’s itinerary covers it also.
  • Things to do in Brisbane this weekend family: If you’re traveling with family, you might want to visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, take a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane, or explore the Queensland Maritime Museum.
  • Dinner at South Bank Parklands: For a dining experience, head to South Bank Parklands, a beautiful riverside area with plenty of dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. Some popular choices include Stokehouse Q, River Quay Fish, and Popolo Italian Kitchen and Bar.

Saturday weekend in Brisbane guide

Assuming you have the whole day, here is the full-day itinerary for the Saturday weekend edition.

9:00 AM – Breakfast at West End Start your day with breakfast in the trendy West End area. Some popular breakfast spots include The Gunshop Cafe, Morning After, and Plenty. West End is a bohemian neighborhood known for its street art, independent shops, and multicultural dining options.

10:30 AM – Explore South Bank Parklands After breakfast, head to South Bank Parklands to explore the beautiful gardens, riverfront promenade, and cultural precinct. Check out the Queensland Museum and Art Gallery, the State Library of Queensland, and the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). Take a dip in the Streets Beach, a man-made beach in the heart of the city, or rent a bike and cycle along the river.

12:30 PM – Lunch at Eat Street Northshore Take a short ferry ride to Eat Street Northshore, a vibrant outdoor market with over 70 food stalls, bars, and live music. Try some of the local and international cuisine on offer, such as wood-fired pizza, Korean barbecue, and fresh seafood.

2:30 PM – Visit Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park Take a walk along the Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park, which offers stunning views of the Brisbane River and city skyline. You can also try rock climbing on the cliffs or take a scenic abseil tour with a local company.

4:00 PM – Shop and Explore Fortitude Valley Take a short ride to Fortitude Valley and explore the quirky shops, galleries, and boutiques in the area. Check out the Chinatown Mall, the Brunswick Street Mall, and the James Street precinct for unique shopping experiences. You can also grab a drink at one of the many bars or breweries in the area.

6:30 PM – Dinner at Eagle Street Pier End your day with dinner at Eagle Street Pier, a waterfront dining precinct with stunning views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge. Some popular restaurants include Aria Brisbane, Pony Dining, and Matt Moran’s Riverbar and Kitchen.

8:30 PM – Nightlife at Howard Smith Wharves After dinner, head to Howard Smith Wharves, a revitalized waterfront precinct with bars, restaurants, and live music. Enjoy a drink and some live music at the Felons Brewing Co. or Mr. Percival’s before heading back to your accommodation for the night.

Markets in Brisbane 

Alternatively, you can skip a few above and head to one of the several markets in Brisbane that are open on the weekends. Here are a few options:

  1. The Collective Markets: This market is located at Stanley Street Plaza in South Bank and is open on Fridays from 5 pm to 9 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 9 pm.
  2. The Davies Park Market: This market is located at Davies Park in West End and is open on Saturdays from 6 am to 2 pm.
  3. Brisbane Farmers Market: This market is located at the Brisbane Showgrounds in Bowen Hills and is open on Saturdays from 6 am to 12 pm.
  4. Eagle Farm Markets: This market is located at the Eagle Farm Racecourse and is open on Sundays from 7 am to 12:30 pm.
  5. Riverside Markets: This market is located at the City Botanic Gardens and is open on Sundays from 7 am to 3 pm.

These markets offer a range of products, including fresh produce, arts and crafts, clothing, and more. They are great places to explore, shop, and sample local food and drinks.

Also, there are seasonal festivals in Brisbane on weekends so don’t forget to check them out.

Sunday weekend in Brisbane itinerary

You can use the Saturday and Sunday activities Brisbane 2 day itinerary or as a long weekend Brisbane itinerary.

9:00 AM – Breakfast at Paddington Start your day with breakfast in the charming suburb of Paddington. Some popular breakfast spots include Kettle and Tin, Shouk Cafe, and Anouk Cafe. After breakfast, take a stroll down Latrobe Terrace, which is lined with boutiques, galleries, and antique stores.

10:30 AM – Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha Head to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha, located just a 15-minute drive from Paddington. These beautiful gardens offer stunning views of the city and feature a variety of plant species from around the world. Check out the Tropical Display Dome, the Bonsai House, and the Japanese Garden.

12:30 PM – Lunch at Mount Gravatt Marketta Take a short drive to Mount Gravatt Marketta, a popular food market that offers a range of international cuisine, craft beers, and live music. Try some of the delicious street food on offer, such as gourmet burgers, Mexican tacos, and wood-fired pizzas.

2:30 PM – Visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Head to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located about a 20-minute drive from Mount Gravatt. This sanctuary is home to over 130 koalas, as well as a variety of other Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats. You can cuddle a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, and watch a sheepdog show.

5:00 PM – Sunset at Mount Coot-tha Lookout Drive back up to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha and make your way to the Mount Coot-tha Lookout, which offers stunning panoramic views of the city skyline. Watch the sunset over the city and take some amazing photos.

6:30 PM – Dinner at West End Head back to West End for dinner at one of the many international restaurants in the area. Some popular options include The Vietnamese, The Greek Club, and The End. After dinner, you can check out some of the live music venues in the area, such as The Bearded Lady or The Hi-Fi.

8:30 PM – Nightlife at the Valley End your night with some nightlife in the Fortitude Valley area. Check out some of the popular bars and clubs in the area, such as The Tivoli, The Press Club, and Cloudland. You can dance the night away before heading back to your accommodation for the night.

Also, check out some of the recommended tours if interested.

Day trip suggestions from Brisbane:

1. Moreton Island

If you have an extra day to spare, a day trip to Moreton Island is a great way to explore the natural beauty of Brisbane’s surrounding areas.

8:00 AM – Departure from Brisbane Book a day tour or catch a ferry from the Port of Brisbane to Moreton Island. The ferry ride takes approximately 75 minutes.

9:30 AM – Snorkeling and Sandboarding Upon arrival, head to the Tangalooma Wrecks for a snorkeling tour. These sunken ships provide an excellent habitat for a variety of marine life, including colorful fish, coral, and turtles. After snorkeling, you can try sandboarding on the island’s sand dunes.

12:30 PM – Lunch at Tangalooma Island Resort Enjoy lunch at Tangalooma Island Resort, which offers stunning views of Moreton Bay. You can choose from a variety of restaurants and cafes, or bring your own picnic to enjoy on the beach.

2:00 PM – Hiking and Wildlife After lunch, take a hike along one of the island’s many trails, such as the Blue Lagoon Walk or the Cape Moreton Track. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as dolphins, whales, and kangaroos.

4:00 PM – Return to Brisbane Catch the ferry cruise back to the Port of Brisbane and return to your accommodation in Brisbane.

6:00 PM – Dinner in Brisbane CBD After a day of adventure, head back to Brisbane CBD for dinner. You can choose from a variety of restaurants and cuisines, such as the Bavarian Bier Cafe, The Blackbird Bar & Grill, or Madame Wu.

8:00 PM – Nightlife in Fortitude Valley End your day with some nightlife in the Fortitude Valley area. Check out some of the popular bars and clubs in the area, such as The Tivoli, The Press Club, and Cloudland. You can dance the night away before heading back to your accommodation for the night.

Day Trip to Stradbroke Island

2. Day trip to the Gold Coast

8:00 AM – Departure from Brisbane Take a bus or drive to the Gold Coast. The journey will take around an hour depending on traffic.

9:00 AM – Surfers Paradise Beach Start your day trip by visiting Surfers Paradise Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the Gold Coast. Take a stroll along the beach or enjoy a refreshing swim in the ocean.

11:00 AM – Visit a Theme Park The Gold Coast is famous for its theme parks, and you can choose to visit one of the following: Dreamworld, Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, or Wet’n’Wild. All of these theme parks have a variety of rides and attractions suitable for all ages.

2:00 PM – Lunch at Broadbeach Head to Broadbeach for lunch, where you will find a range of restaurants and cafes serving different cuisines.

3:00 PM – Visit Burleigh Heads National Park After lunch, drive to Burleigh Heads National Park, which is a 20-minute drive from Broadbeach. This park is known for its stunning coastal views and walking trails, including the popular Oceanview Walk.

5:00 PM – Sunset at The Spit Head to The Spit to watch the sunset. The Spit is a narrow strip of land that separates the Gold Coast Broadwater from the Pacific Ocean. It is a popular spot for fishing, picnics, and walks.

6:30 PM – Dinner at Surfers Paradise Return to Surfers Paradise for dinner, where you will find plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from.

8:00 PM – Nightlife at Surfers Paradise After dinner, experience the nightlife at Surfers Paradise. You can choose from a range of bars, clubs, and live music venues.

10:00 PM – Return to Brisbane Drive or catch a bus back to Brisbane, which will take around an hour depending on traffic.

This day trip will give you a taste of what the Gold Coast has to offer, from its beaches and theme parks to its natural beauty and nightlife.

I hope this thing to do Brisbane weekend gave you an insight into how to plan your weekend in Brisbane.

Let me know in the comments:

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2-3 Days Weekend In Brisbane Itinerary

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