Experience Brisbane CBD like the locals

The heart of Queensland, Brisbane CBD, is a central business district unlike others in Australia. Despite being a corporate hub, there is an abundance of culture, recreation and nature for locals and tourists to discover. With a prime riverside location, dedicated footpaths connecting key sites and almost 300 days of sunshine every year, you can enjoy many Brisbane CBD attractions on foot. Check out our tips on how to experience Brisbane CBD like the locals.

Meander along the riverside

Strolling along the riverside walkways is a quintessential Brisbane CBD experience and one of the best ways to move between the vibrant precincts of the city. You can walk, run, cycle or scooter the paths that connect several inner-city highlights including Queen Street Mall, the City Botanic Gardens and Howard Smith Wharves. As you walk adjacent to the Brisbane River you’ll find waterfront cafes and restaurants, and plenty of benches to just want to sit and take in the views.

Shop up a storm

Brisbane’s largest open-air shopping precinct, Queen Street Mall, hosts an extensive collection of local boutiques, department stores and specialty shops. Along the mall you’ll find various shopping centres, including QueensPlaza for high-end brands, Wintergarden for local and national boutiques and Brisbane Arcade for specialty brands and jewellery.

Eat under the bridge

For a true Brisbane CBD experience, dine under the Story Bridge at Brisbane’s coolest precinct, Howard Smith Wharves. This modern waterside development is nestled right on the river below the New Farm Cliffs, with 180-degree views of the city skyline and Brisbane River. At the heart of the precinct is Felons Brewing Co, the brewery and gastro-pub founded by Brisbane locals. There are also restaurants serving a huge variety of cuisines, including Greek taverna Greca, Japanese izakaya Yoko Dining and Italian eatery Ciao Papi.

Relax in the gardens

The City Botanic Gardens are one of the most popular Brisbane CBD attractions, offering a relaxing green oasis in the heart of the city. You can explore the vast gardens by wandering the many pathways and themed gardens, or pack a picnic rug for a lazy afternoon in the sunshine. With ponds, sculptures, a playground and a café, you can easily spend hours soaking up the green surrounds. On Sundays the eclectic Riverside at the Gardens markets are held at the main gates of the Botanic Gardens, with live music and a huge variety of unique stalls.

Cruise along the river

Brisbane’s public transport system is vast and well-connected, but by far the best form of transport for the river city is the CityCat and ferries. Not only are they exceptionally quick and comfortable, but they offer beautiful views of the riverside areas. When the weather is fine, sit outside to experience the fresh river breeze on your face and take in the scenery. There are several ferry terminals scattered around Brisbane CBD, from North Quay to Howard Smith Wharves. The CityHopper is Brisbane’s free inner-city ferry service that runs every 30 minutes Sunday to Thursday.

Go on a laneway crawl

Among the bustling city streets, Brisbane CBD is home to many unique laneways with hidden gems. On Brisbane’s oldest laneway, Burnett Lane, you’ll find cool restaurants, bars and art. Wander up Albert Lane for some delicious lunch and dinner options. Gresham Lane is a social hotspot for locals, with cafes, burger joints and Brisbane’s best bar, The Gresham Bar.

Getting to Brisbane CBD

There are endless Brisbane CBD experiences to enjoy, and Airtrain can help you get there. Airtrain provides a reliable and comfortable service that bypasses unexpected delays and helps make travel easy.

Our services run express from Brisbane Airport and stop at Fortitude Valley, Central, Roma Street and South Brisbane stations.

When you’re travelling to your Brisbane CBD attractions you can get around with ease using a go card – the fast and convenient way to travel on all Translink transport, including Airtrain.

Translink’s Smart Ticketing system offers more ways to pay, for a more convenient journey. Smart Ticketing allows you to pay with your Visa, Mastercard and American Express debit and credit cards.

Check out the Translink Journey Planner to help plan your next adventure in Brisbane CBD.