3 days in Brisbane

18 JANUARY 2023

In Brisbane for a good time but not long time? No problem. We've curated the ideal itinerary for a short visit that’s packed with things to do. Here’s how to enjoy your three-day stay in Brisbane that spans hip hotels, urban adventures, boutique bars, live performances, gorgeous galleries, pretty parklands and delectable dining.


Day one 

Morning: Shopping in Queen Street Mall 

Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall is the beating retail heart of The City, an outdoor pedestrian mall lined with more than 700 shops and boutiques to browse. From upscale shopping centres, international designer boutiques and department stores to heritage shopping arcades, local labels and high-street chains, you’ll find all your retail faves in the bag on Queen Street Mall along with cafes, restaurants and cinemas if you need a shopping pit stop.

An image of the Regent on the Queen Street Mall.

Queen Street Mall, CBD

Lunch: Eat all the things 

If you’re staying in The City and wanting something delicious but well-priced, check out Communa Cantina for tasty Mexican tacos, Longtime for delectable dumplings, Stanton for classic bistro bites and Felix for Goodness for fresh and ethically sourced lunch options.

Early Afternoon: Check into your boutique accommodation 

Select from a range of boutique hotels with contemporary, heritage or traditional Queensland designs, locations and prices. Check-in to award-winning 5-star establishments such as Emporium Hotel South Bank, Crystalbrook Vincent and Spicers Balfour Hotel, the centrally located Capri by Fraser, W Brisbane or Hyatt Regency Brisbane and the quirky heritage-listed Ovolo Inchcolm.

Afternoon: Explore Museum of Brisbane 

Pop into Museum of Brisbane, which brings Brisbane’s art, culture and history to life through beautifully curated exhibitions inspired by the city and lifestyle. 

Early evening: Boutique beers and bars 

For locally made craft beer, Newstead Brewing Co. and Green Beacon Co are popular hangouts in Newstead. For killer views of the Brisbane River and a laidback vibe, head to Howard Smith Wharves to check out Felons Brewing Co. and overwater bar Mr Percival's, where curated cocktails are a speciality. For more places to imbibe like a local, see our Breweries of Brisbane list. 

A group of people eating and drinking by the riverside with two people standing up and three sitting down and cityscape as background at dusk.
Mr Percival's, HSW

Night: Hit the live music scene

Plan to see a gig or performance at Brisbane’s popular live music venues The Outpost, Princess Theatre, The Tivoli, Fortitude Music Hall, The Triffid, The Zoo or Brisbane Powerhouse

Day two 

Morning: Cruise to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary 

Take a leisurely paced cruise along the Brisbane River from South Bank to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary with Mirimar Cruises. At Lone Pine, you can get up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos and emus, see other native wildlife and be amazed by the raptor and sheepdog shows. 

Afternoon: Urban adventure 

Get active along the riverfront with Riverlife at Kangaroo Point. The urban adventure company offers kayak, bike, URB-E and rollerblade hire, and kayaking, abseiling and rock-climbing experiences. For an elevated adventure, book a sky-high experience with the Story Bridge Adventure Climb and dare yourself to Walk The Plank or do a Cantilever Lean Out high above the river. 

Evening: Sunset Oyster and Champagne cruise 

Enjoy an indulgent Oyster & Champagne Tour with River to Bay. Savour half a dozen oysters and French Champagne on board a leisurely cruise to Moreton Island/Mulgumpin, spotting myriad marine life and revelling in the bayside ambience before a return cruise at sunset back to Brisbane. 

Dinner: Les BubblesBloodhound Corner Bar & Kitchen or Baja Modern Mexican 

Be transported to France at Les Bubbles – a traditional French steakhouse serving mouth-watering steaks and bottomless frites. For craft beer and comfort food connoisseurs, Bloodhound Corner Bar & Kitchen’s cosy and warm atmosphere is where you’ll want to be. For bright and fresh, vibrant South of the border flavours and signature margaritas, Baja Modern Mexican is the way to go.

An image of a large group of people seated at tables at Valley Hops Brewery.
Valley Hops Brewery, Fortitude Valley

Late Night: Rooftop bars 

Raise your glasses sky-high at Fortitude Valley’s stylish and scenic rooftop bars such as Iris Rooftop, Cielo Rooftop, Dirty Sultan and Valley Hops Brewing. Take in the sweeping views of the city while sipping on creative cocktails and signature craft brews. 

Day three 

Morning: Fortitude Valley 

Shop stylish James Street for a great collection of designer and eclectic boutiques and flagship stores, including St. Barts, Scanlan + Theodore, Aje, Bassike, Calexico, Camargue and Molten Store. Continue to walk up Ann Street where you’ll stumble across the hidden laneways of Winn, California and Bakery with quirky shops, boutiques and eateries. Nearby, Brunswick Street and surrounds are home to intimate galleries showing off local talent, including Philip Bacon Galleries, Jan Murphy Gallery and the Institute of Modern Art

Lunch: River Quay 

South Bank is the ideal location for a slightly longer lunch where you can sit and enjoy the Brisbane River views. Take a stroll along the Clem Jones Promenade before dining at OTTO, The Jetty, Popolo, River Quay Fish and Aquitaine Brasserie at River Quay. Or procure the perfect picnic hamper to loll on the River Quay Green lawn. 

South Bank Arbour

South Bank

Afternoon: South Bank Parklands 

After lunch, wander through South Bank, home to Brisbane's most celebrated parklands, by following the bougainvillea-covered Arbour. Stop by Streets Beach for a dip and then pop into the Queensland Museum, which tells the stories of the state. Also in the vicinity, visit QAGOMA – home to Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art, Australia’s largest gallery of modern art.