Often overlooked in favor of Sydney and Melbourne, the small capital of Queensland has been named by Tripadvisor as one of the top 10 cities to visit in Australia in 2018. It has museums and cultural precincts, gardens and parks, markets and shopping malls, cafes and restaurants, as well as easy access to the beautiful Moreton Island. So, do not skip Brisbane like what most tourists do, because the river city offers a wide range of attractions and activities. Our suggested itinerary is designed to show you the best the city has to offer and what are the things you can accomplish in 3 days. Depending on your interests and travel priorities, you can certainly mix and match destinations, activities, and attractions to create your own itinerary.
Things to know before traveling to Brisbane, Australia:
Language – English is the official language in Australia, although you will be surprised by many other different languages spoken across the country. Since the country has turned into a multi-cultural society, which is now clearly visible almost everywhere, you’ll often hear people on the street, shops and restaurants speaking just about anything from Japanese and Mandarin Chinese to Italian.
Currency Exchange – The official currency of Australia is the Australian dollar. Australia is a well-developed country with a good banking and financial infrastructure. This means, exchanging money is easy and follows the same standard to elsewhere in the world. You may transact with banks, foreign exchange bureaus, international airports and hotels. You may also use debit cards and credit cards but watch out for ATM fees and foreign transaction fees, which can be very high per transaction. It is also good to know that there are plentiful of ATMs available throughout the country so you will surely have easy access to cash.
Safety and security – There is currently no nationwide security advisory in effect for Australia. Check your country’s travel advisory website to get the most up-to-date information for your personal safety abroad. Observe the same precautions with your personal safety and health as you would in any other country. For any type of emergencies, you may call 000 if you need a quick response from the fire service, police, ambulance or search and rescue.
Getting around – Getting around Australia, where major tourist attractions are thousands of miles apart, can be a bit daunting and time consuming so it is best to explore by region. Public transport in Brisbane is appealing to budget conscious travelers as it is served by trains, buses and ferries. With the use of Go Card smartcard prepaid system by Translink, you can easily get around the city using a cashless touch-on touch-off system. Visitors can also take advantage of the free city loop bus, which goes to some of the city’s must-see attractions.
Where to stay – There’s a great variety of accommodation in Brisbane; from small guesthouses to five-star luxury hotels. In almost any town, there’s something for every level of comfort and budget. Central Business District (CBD), the heartland of Brisbane, is the central district home to posh residences, lakeside parks and gardens, finest cafes and restaurants, among other things. Fortitude Valley and Kangaroo Point are not in the center but still close to most attractions and offers a more budget friendly accommodation options.
Hotels to consider in Brisbane:
Detailed itinerary: Discover Brisbane, Australia in 3 days
Brisbane sits on the east coast in the Australian state of Queensland. To get there, take a flight that arrives in Brisbane Airport as early as possible and check in to your preferred hotel/hostel. Then, hit one of the breakfast or coffee spots in town like New Farm Deli & Cafe, Goodness Gracious Cafe and Coffee Anthology. Sit at a table, people watch or read a book. You may also go back to your hotel so you can rest a little bit before you check out the city’s attraction in the afternoon.
One of the must visits in the city is the Queensland Cultural Centre located on the southern bank of the Brisbane River, a great educational attraction that will surely give you better understanding of Australia’s arts and cultural heritage. It is home to Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), State Library of Queensland, Queensland Museum and Sciencentre and Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
Avail a Brisbane River Cruise which can be arranged through one of the travel agencies or directly through your hotel in Brisbane. The tour runs for 3 hours along the Brisbane River, which promises a view of some of the city’s most famous attractions like Botanic Gardens, Maritime Museum, Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point Cliffs. A delicious dinner will be served featuring International and fusion cuisine.
Start off your day with breakfast at one of the alfresco cafes in Fortitude Valley. After breakfast, it’s time to hit the sun and bask in the laid-back beach culture of one of the Australia’s best islands, Moreton Island. Situated on the breathtaking waters of southeastern Queensland, Moreton Island is a famous island destination from Brisbane. Some of the attractions of this island are Tangalooma Wrecks, Cape Moreton Lighthouse, Big and Little Sand Hills, Mount Tempest and its numerous beaches. If your travel dates are between June to November, then you are lucky to witness the annual migration of the humpback whales along the Cape Moreton. Once back in the city, experience multicultural dining at the West End.
Taking into consideration that you most likely stayed out rather late the other night, you can start day 9 at around 10 to 11 in the morning. Get a one last whirl through Brisbane to take in any museums or other attractions that you might have missed. Go shopping/window shopping at Brisbane’s CBD along the Queen or Elizabeth Street Pedestrian Mall, the major shopping destination in the city. Head back to your hotel, then to the Brisbane Railway Station, or you may opt to continue exploring Brisbane.
Have you been to Brisbane or anywhere else in Australia? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.
Featured image: Sunrise in Brisbane, Australia (VaNight Photography / Shutterstock)