What To Do In Brisbane In Two Days

beach by city

What To Do In Brisbane In Two Days

Brisbane, the Gold Coast’s River City, is a popular tourist location for both backpackers and holidaymakers alike. Whether you’re stopping off in Brisbane while travelling up the east coast or simply having a weekend city break, keep reading to find out what you should do with 48 hours in this fantastic city!

woman standing by river

Day One: Central Brisbane

Start your first day in Brisbane by exploring the museums and galleries in the city centre. Begin at the Queensland Museum where you can see some pretty impressive dinosaurs skeletons and learn more about the history of the land beneath your feet. Then head to the Queensland Art Gallery immediately below the museum. Here, you can immerse yourself in the fantastic artwork on display that ranges from the political and historical pieces that explore Australia’s history to more modern artists’ work.

Brisbane city skyline

Continue to spark your creative side by heading over the road to GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art). Here you’ll find equally interesting and evoking pieces spread over its three floors. If you fancy it, also take a look in the State Library next door which normally has quite interesting exhibitions on and is worth a look if you have the time.

After your morning of exploring the galleries and museums in the city centre, walk to Brisbane’s popular South Parklands by following the path that runs along the city’s famous river. Take your time to explore all of the South Parklands, as it runs for 17 hectares along the river, with parks, gardens, and of course the city’s famous Streets Beach to see. Grab some lunch from one of the nearby restaurants and spend the afternoon soaking up that famous Australian sunshine.

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beach by city

If you stay late enough, you might also get to see the South Parklands Collective Market on a Friday Night from 5pm until 9pm. Or visit the Collective Markets during the day on the weekend, from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays and 9am to 4pm on Sundays. The markets are a great place to sample some local food, to pick up some unusual holiday souvenirs or simply for a great spot of holiday shopping.

city street market

If it’s a Friday or Saturday, in the evening take the City Cat from South Bank Ferry Terminal to Northshore Hamilton Ferry Terminal, make sure you take a picture of Brisbane’s famous Story Bridge as you go under it.

From Northshore, walk to Brisbane’s Eat Street Market, an outside international food market where the stalls are made out of old shipping containers from the wharf. It has a huge selection of food to choose from, from all the different corners of the earth, as well as a separate dessert section, bars and live music – the perfect place to end your first day in Brisbane!

If it’s not a Friday or Saturday, stay in the city and head to Urbane to savour some of the best from the city’s dinning scene from a more central location!

RELATED: How To Spend Two Days In Sydney

night food market

Day Two: Beyond The City

Start your second day in Brisbane by visiting one of its most iconic sites, the City Hall.  Not only is the building itself worth a look at, but the City Hall also houses the Museum of Brisbane, where you can learn all about the history of the River City and its people, including the inhabitants of the city today!

town hall with clocktower

If you book ahead or get there early, it is also worth attending the short Clock Tower Tours, which take you right up to the top of Brisbane’s iconic clock tower that once used to dominate the city’s skyline (and are free to attend!).

If you’re feeling peckish, why not treat yourself to breakfast at the City Hall’s cafe the Shingle Inn, which originally opened on Edward Street in 1936 as a fancy Tudor inn styled restaurant famed for its beautiful cakes, but was moved to the City Hall in 2013 with its original layout still in tact.

After an early morning in the City Hall, catch the bus from Adelaide Street up to the Brisbane Lookout on Mt Coot-tha. Here, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Brisbane and the surrounding area. On a clear day you can see for miles!

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view of city from afar

Then, either follow the walking trail through the national park down the mountain or wait for the next bus to head back down to Brisbane Botanic Gardens on Mt Coot-tha so you can spend the afternoon relaxing in the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens are an oasis of calm and tranquillity away from the city, exploring them is a must!

You can even attend one of the free guided walks led by volunteers, leaving from 11am and 1pm, to learn about the different plants that grow here, or follow one of the Botanical Garden’s self-guided walks to make the most of your visit.

palm trees

Once you’re finished taking in the botanical life of Brisbane, take the next available bus back down into the city. If you are still wanting to see a bit more of the Brisbane, head down to Kangaroo Point to watch the sunset over the city as your last day comes to a close. For dinner, head to the trendy Brew Cafe and Wine Bar where you’ll find amazing food in a low-key, tucked away bar off Queen Street.

Travelling around Australia? For more travel inspiration, head over to the Travel section to find more ideas on exploring Australia, like how to spend two days in Sydney



  1. Valerie Hall
    September 13, 2018 / 11:42 am

    Fantastic photos and explanations about Brisbane almost felt I was there, it looks beautiful

  2. Ian Gair
    October 1, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    Brisbane sounds an interesting city and more attractive than I was previously led to believe.

  3. February 15, 2019 / 10:58 am

    The lookout sounds amazing, I’m definitely jotting that down! I heard about the free city hopper – is that any good to travel?

    • Hi there!
      February 17, 2019 / 5:45 pm

      The free city hopper is fantastic for travelling around the inner city, and so much nicer than a bus!

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