Are you visiting Australia and on your route is Brisbane? Are you wondering which are the best areas to stay in Brisbane? Well, you have found the right place to answer your questions. In this post, we will review the neighborhoods that you should consider when booking your accommodation.
The 8 best areas to stay in Brisbane
1. Brisbane CBD, the best area to stay in Brisbane
Brisbane’s Central Business District is the heart of Brisbane. It is hands down the best place to stay in Brisbane for almost everyone.
Triangular in shape and bordered by the Brisbane River to the east, south and west, the central tip of Brisbane’s CBD is called Gardens Point. Gardens Point inherits its name from the beautiful City Botanical Gardens, a site added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 1997.
At any time of the year, the gardens flourish with rare and exotic plants in an extensive green landscape. Wandering more than 49 acres among shady trees and lush shrubs, an avenue of weeping figs, and a royal fountain – all of which are the turning point of a bustling metropolis.
Brisbane is also known as a city where fashion is very present and in general a very interesting destination for shopping. And, there may be no better place to spend your money than the Queen Street Mall.
Queen Street Mall offers four department centers, big-name stores, high-end fashion lines and specialty Australian brands.
Also be sure to visit the Brisbane Arcade at 160 Queen Street, another heritage site with gleaming terrazzo floors, elegant jewelers, and artisans renowned for their quality and luxury pieces.
For a great night out, head to the Eagle Street Pier. With 15 restaurants, bars and casual trendy spots. You will also be able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Story Bridge, which thousands of tourists climb each year and which offers panoramic views of all of Brisbane and the Kangaroo Point cliffs.
The CBD after the workday is relatively quieter than other parts of Brisbane in terms of nightlife. So if you’re looking for a wild party, Brisbane’s CBD may not be your best place.
But if you want to enjoy culture and history while exploring the center of a big city, a stay in Brisbane’s CBD is your best option.
Brisbane’s CBD is relatively safe, but like most large cities basic precautions should always be taken, especially at night. When you come back at night use the taxi or uber. If you are traveling alone, avoid walking alone at night in inconspicuous areas.
This district has many lodging options, including high-rise hotels with river views and less glamorous hostels that are more accessible for less bulky wallets.
2. Spring Hill, very central residential area
Spring Hill is a residential area neighboring the CBD. Its location is already a guarantee to choose it as an area to stay in Brisbane.
It is a good place to stay in Brisbane for those who like to be close to natural areas. In the past natural springs surrounded Spring Hill and supplemented the water supply.
Spring Hill is a neighborhood that offers something for everyone, from families with young children looking for fun activities to retired seniors looking to relax.
As one of the oldest residential areas in Brisbane, many of the houses date back to the 19th century. These buildings are combined with modern mansions and trendy restaurants.
A beautiful day in Spring Hill begins with a stroll through Roma Street Parkland, with its perfectly manicured and extensive lawns and lush flower gardens. You can spend half a day here just leisurely walking the trail.
Roma Street Parkland also has green spaces for picnics and games and remains a popular social spot all year round.
The Park is home to a large amphitheater, so be sure to check the events calendar to see if a performance or play is taking place during your visit.
Next, head to any of the quaint cafes, fine dining, or upscale restaurants for lunch, before enjoying the Spring Hill Baths. These baths are the oldest remaining in the southern hemisphere, originally built in 1886.
Another great historical place to visit is the Windmill in Wickham Park. It is a large mill that was originally built by convicts in 1828.
Spring Hill is a perfect area to stay in Brisbane if you are traveling on business. The hotels here are not as expensive as those in Brisbane CBD, but they still offer the same high level of luxury add-ons and services for the working professional.
Because this area is so residential, you will also find several AirBnbs and other vacation rental options.
3. South Brisbane (South Bank), an area of Brisbane with a wide cultural offer
Situated on the other bank of the river from the CBD, South Bank is a stone’s throw from Brisbane’s CBD. It stands out for its great cultural offer.
In the 1930s, the South Bank was a busy river port and highly industrialized area with factories, multiple churches, and warehouses. The port prospered but slowly fell into decline.
However, that changed in 1984, when South Bank hosted Expo 88, which drew more than 18 million people in a 6-month period.
Since then, South Brisbane is now home to world-class restaurants, artistic performances, and atmospheric bars. Despite this urban renovation, it still retains some old-school charm in its alleys and historic houses.
If you are a fan of food and drink, you will love South Brisbane. And there may be no better place to sample a good range of options than Fish Lane, perhaps the most diverse foodie area in all of Australia.
Fish Lane has great bars and restaurants, as well as street vendors from various countries, so there is sure to be something for everyone. Gray Street and Little Stanley Street are two other popular streets with great dining options.
In addition to great food, South Bank also has a great cultural offering in the form of music, dance, and art, with the Queensland Cultural Center dominating the scene.
The Queensland Cultural Center includes the Queensland Center for the Performing Arts, which with its indoor and outdoor theaters, and the Queensland Art Gallery, which also hosts regular exhibitions. The Lyric Theater is Brisbane’s premier venue for opera and ballet performances.
The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center, a huge center that regularly hosts conferences, exhibitions and charity galas is another of the most important and inspiring places to visit.
End your night on the South Bank by walking through the South Bank parks, located on the south bank of the Brisbane River, and enjoy breathtaking views with the city illuminated.
South Bank offers a host of hotels, motels, hostels, and shared house accommodations. Also, the prices are more moderate than those of CBD.
4. Fortitude Valley, where to stay in Brisbane if you are looking for nightlife
It is a very lively eclectic area full of trendy shops, casual restaurants and nightclubs. Some say Fortitude Valley is the neighborhood that never sleeps. That’s right!!
Fortitude Valley offers many options for a fun night out, including rooftop bars, quiet spots for a drink, or trendy clubs to dance the night away.
The locals call it ‘The Valley’, and curiously it was the first entertainment district in Australia.
Live music thrives here too, from street performers to world-class DJs drawn to this fun suburb.
Fortitude Valley is also perhaps one of the most diverse areas in Brisbane. It should be noted that it is in Brisbane’s Chinatown.
As you stroll through the Chinatown Mall, you’ll see food options from a wide variety of Asian cultures, including Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese, as well as upscale restaurants and casual grocery stores.
After feasting, head to James Street, home to more than 130 shops. Here you will find designer labels from Brisbane, as well as antique and vintage pieces, as well as street art and large murals everywhere.
Fortitude Valley is also known for its historic streets, such as Winn Lane and Bakery Lane, which offer great places to eat and cute pop-up shops.
At nightfall, the neighborhood comes alive. Head to The Pig and Whistle for a night of trivia at their brewery or Gerard’s Bar for deluxe deli, specialty appetizers, and premium wine.
The Elixir Rooftop Bar on Ann Street offers stunning views of Brisbane, and if it’s live music you’re after, check out The Tivoli or The Triffid, which regularly host local and touring groups.
Because Fortitude Valley is such a fun place to go out at night, it may not be the best place to stay in Brisbane for families with young children.
Although Fortitude Valley is relatively safe, make sure you have made arrangements to go home at night and avoid partiers who have had too much to drink.
As the area has grown significantly in recent years and attracts large crowds, accommodation here can be a bit more expensive than in other areas of Brisbane.
In short, with its fantastic views of the Brisbane River and all its leisure offerings, Fortitude Valley is a very interesting place to stay in Brisbane.
5. New Farm, where to sleep in Brisbane with the family
Situated just 2 kilometers east of Brisbane’s CBD, New Farm is a quiet and picturesque residential area and the inland suburb of northern Brisbane.
Known for its ornate, towering Queenslander-style homes and charming apartment buildings, you’ll also find tree-lined streets, cafes, and family-friendly restaurants here.
New Farm is perhaps best known for its namesake park, one of the oldest and largest parks in all of Brisbane. With 15 hectares it offers you a wide space to do sports, have a picnic, or simply walk under the trees. It’s no wonder New Farm Park welcomes more than 18,000 visitors a week.
At the edge of the park is the New Farm boardwalk, perfect for strolling and enjoying stunning views.
And, adjacent to the park is the New Farm Power Station. This performing arts center is a cultural arts mecca in a former power station.
Now one of Brisbane’s most popular venues, Central offers a variety of performing arts, live music shows, festivals, an open-air plaza, and even a rooftop terrace.
For a treat at the end of the day, try the New Agricultural Confectionery, which serves delicious and sugary Parisian-inspired chocolates and sweets.
New Farm’s dining out is a far cry from the eclectic restaurants of Fortitude Valley. It is rather simple, relaxed and casual.
Of course, there is a clear Italian presence that has formed an area known as Little Italy, ideal for eating traditional pasta and pizzas.
As a residential area, New Farm is an amazing place to stay in Brisbane if you have young children. With its green spaces, children have plenty of space to run and have fun.
Hotels often offer large amounts of space for a fairly cheap price.
6. West End, a very popular area with young travelers
Like New Farm, West End has a residential and professional vibe. But with several new cultural and food venues appearing each year, the suburb has begun to transform itself into an interesting destination for nightlife as well.
This laid-back neighborhood has become a fusion of old and new, alternative and elegant, local and international. A true contradiction, the West End offers something for every lifestyle and preference.
After World War II, an influx of Greek immigrants made the West End their home, leading parts of it to be regarded as “Little Athens.” The area continues to be a multinational melting pot as the West End’s population grows and develops.
If you are wondering what to do during your stay in the West End, there are plenty of options at your disposal. There always seems to be a lot of energy but the area really comes alive on the weekends.
Davies Park Market is an open-air market that sells fresh produce, specialty meats and cheeses, and fresh flowers, all under the shade of fig trees. The market is only open on Saturdays, so be sure to plan your itinerary accordingly.
Boundary Street is another great place to buy hot food, see the surrounding street art, and people-watch over coffee.
Orleigh and Musgrave parks offer magnificent views across the West End and Brisbane CBD, as well as play areas and extensive green spaces to relax.
The area also has its nightlife offer. So, it’s worth stopping by local favorite The End for the luxurious Lychee Lounge cocktail bar and grabbing a craft beer at Archive Beer Boutique and Bistro.
But, if you are not a drinker, you can opt for a good number of live music venues where you can dance.
As one of the most diverse and free areas in Brisbane, the West End may not be for everyone. But if you’re up for interesting conversations, a warm reception from the locals, and a colorful take on city life, the West End is a great place to stay in Brisbane.
Popular with young travelers, you’ll find more hostels and cheaper housing in the West End than in areas like Brisbane’s CBD.
7. Kangaroo Point, urban adventure, and breathtaking views
Set against the backdrop of the Story Bridge and the cliffs of Kangaroo Point, Kangaroo Point is a Brisbane city center neighborhood very close to the CBD.
As one of Brisbane’s oldest locations, Kangaroo Point has long been a favorite with local and world travelers, especially those seeking a thrill in an urban setting.
And, there is no shortage of excitement, or history, in this area. As Queensland’s first penal county, Kangaroo Point has transformed over time into a vibrant community in its own right.
Looking to start your day with some high-flying adventure? Do the Story Bridge Adventure Climb. This 1.5 to 2 hour climb crosses the entire bridge and reaches the top 80 meters above the river.
Once you reach the top, you will have unrivaled views of all of Brisbane, the mountain ranges that surround it and the river islands. Everyone over 6 years old is welcome.
For more height-defining excitement, pay a visit to Kangaroo Point Cliff. Once you reach the top, you can rappel down (for the more daring) or go down the 93 stairs of the cliff.
If you’re interested in keeping your feet on the ground, Kangaroo Point continues to offer fun, day-to-day activities. There is no shortage of restaurants and cafes in and around Kangaroo Point.
Eagle’s Nest, one of our favorite bars, offers stunning views of Brisbane, which you can enjoy while sipping a good cold Australian beer. Cafe Medley is another great option for casual dining.
If you’re not feeling tired yet, you can rent bikes at various locations along the Brisbane River, and ride around Kangaroo Point until sunset.
Because Kangaroo Point is so close to Brisbane’s CBD and offers many options for outdoor recreation, the area is very crowded on the sunniest days.
If you choose this area to sleep in Brisbane you should bear in mind that the closer you get to the river, the more expensive accommodation tends to be.
8. Woolloongabba, sports, beers, and an incredible view of the Brisbane skyline
Known for being the home of the Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba is also known for its rich history. Woolloongabba is said to translate as “meeting place” in the Aboriginal dialect, and it is not surprising why.
This is where lovers of food, sports, and culture meet, chat and experience Brisbane. The Cricket Ground, also known as “The Gabba”, is part of the cricket legend, with its first ground established in 1895.
Now the internationally recognized sports stadium has a capacity of 42,000 seats. On any given game day, tens of thousands of cricketers or AFL fans can be seen cheering for their team in the stadium.
If sports are not your favorite activity, there is still plenty to do in Woolloongabba. Woolloongabba is increasingly known for its diverse food and drink scene, from trendy and high-end cafes to more casual venues with local cuisine.
The neighborhood has a vibrant reputation for amazing craft beers and cocktails.
After a big game, you’ll see fans celebrating or drowning their sorrows at the Brisbane German Club, or, for a more elegant evening, visit Ms. J. Rabbit’s Speakeasy, an intimate and award-winning bar serving excellent cocktails.
As a booming area, young professionals and students love how cheap Woolloongabba is, and this shows in the energy that flows throughout the area.
Also known for its rare antiques, Woolloongabba is home to several small shops and boutiques with hidden gems that you won’t find anywhere else.
And before you go, be sure to stop by Absolutely Fabulous, a Brisbane store that sells jewelry, novelty items, and other take-home gifts.
Although Woolloongabba offers great deals on hotels, hostels, and motels throughout the year, the area tends to be especially crowded during games, and accommodation is booked quickly due to the influx of travelers from abroad.