The Only Weekend Getaway Itinerary In Brisbane You Need

Brisbane is blooming. If there was even the slightest doubt that Brisbane is a global metropolis, it’s been put to sleep with the news that the 2032 Olympics will be hosted here. Although, truth be told, this rapidly-evolving city has been much more than a pit-stop for those on their way to the Gold Coast, for a long time.

With a newly invigorated food culture, a thriving arts hub featuring some of Australia’s most voguish galleries, bustling farm markets, a multitude of outdoor adventures, and an iconic river at the heart of  it all, “Brisbane is a city that dances to its own rhythm”.

But would you believe us if we tell you that in a matter of two days, you could pretty much explore the very best of Brisbane's best tourist places (and not-so touristy ones). No? Well, allow us to show you how it’s done!

The Ideal Brisbane Weekend Itinerary

Day 0 - checking in at South Bank & QAGOMA

South bank precinct

We can’t stress this much, but it's best if you check in the night before to make the most out of your two days. We recommend staying near the South Bank precinct. Here, you can find some of the popular choices of accommodation in Brisbane. From luxury digs at South Bank Parkland Apartments to quirky riverside hotels and wallet-friendly stays at the Mantra, you got options. Check in, settle in, and zone in - let’s start your adventure in Brisbane!

Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art or QAGOMA is the go-to for art aficionados, but did you know you could experience it by night? Only on select Fridays, the gallery hosts exclusive adult-only gigs that elevate the ongoing exhibition with live music numbers, themed foods and drinks!

Alternatively, you can keep it simple with dinner and drinks at a rooftop bar near your accommodation. The choice is yours.

Day 1 - river cruisin’, koala meetups & South Bank precinct

Koalas at koala sanctuary

Trust us, you don’t wanna sleep in when there’s a whole lot of possibilities waiting to be explored. Be an early riser and kick off your weekend in Brisbane with a visit to one of the farmer’s markets. A top pick would be Jan Powers Farmers Market – here you can find over 120 stalls of everything from fresh fruits and veggies to artisan treats, and food trucks. Engage in a tête-à-tête with the local grower as you fill your basket with goodies, then find a spot or even a shade under a tree to enjoy them.

Brisbane’s river tours are one of the best ways to see the city, but you can double the delight by adding a stop at the largest koala sanctuary in the world. Hop on a river cruise  and see the impressive Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point Cliffs and other attractions from the waters. This combo tour includes a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you can get up close to some of Australia's cutest critters. Koala cuddles and kangaroo selfies are a must! There are other unique Brisbane river cruises as well, including those which take you to Moreton Bay, or Bribie island. It all comes down to your itinerary – make your choice.

Your river cruise will drop you back at South Bank, where your next adventure awaits. This popping pedestrian precinct has seen drastic changes over the course of the last few years – so much so it can make half your list of ‘top things to do in Brisbane, Australia’. Go for a stroll along the Arbour, have a picnic or just cool down at the artificial lagoon. Oh, if the sunset beckons, then we highly recommend going up the Wheel of Brisbane and enjoying the city lights below.

And when dinner time rolls around, South Bank’s got a whole lot of options to cover your cravings.

Day 2 - local brekkie, Nepalese Peace Pagoda & Fortitude Valley

Nepalese peace pagoda

Rise and shine! Come Sunday, you can venture beyond the South Bank regions and see more of Brisbane, Australia. Start the day off right with a delightful brekkie at a cafe by the river. The relaxed Sunday morning vibes are perfect to ease into your day of exploration.

You can continue taking a stroll along the promenade, past the giant wheel, along the rainforest, and find the Nepalese Peace Pagoda. Here, you can admire the traditional Nepalese architecture, embrace the tranquil environment, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Depending on the day, you can also take part in cultural and community events.

The rest of your day can be reserved just for exploring the Fortitude Valley, which is a staple in the capital’s fashion and shopping scene. This is also where you should head to if you’re looking to hunt for some souvenirs before heading back home. James Street is brimming with trendy boutiques and cafe culture.

Before wrapping up, you must head to Netherworld, a notable entertainment heavyweight in Brisbane. It’s three things – bar, diner and arcade. Sip on house cocktails, and enjoy local delicacies as you play vintage arcade games or pinball! They also pack free board games and classic consoles!

If you’re sticking around for dinner, we suggest heading back to Howard Smith Wharves, right under the legendary Story Bridge. They have heaps of restaurant and bar options which offer exquisite food as well as stellar views! Or, maybe even go on a dinner cruise for that matter, if you want to add a touch of class to your evening.

To sum it up

Brisbane is an absolute cracker of a city – its laid-back lifestyle coupled with serious entertainment and culture offerings makes it the best destination for a weekend getaway. We’ve rounded up some top spots in this blog, but the truth is Brisbane’s got a bit of something for everyone. So gather your crew, explore this city, and have yourself a bloody good time!