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Visiting Brisbane on a budget: 5 tips on how to explore Queensland’s capital without breaking the bank

Brisbane is arguably the most charming capital city in Australia. Brisbanites are famously friendly, our city landscape marries Queensland’s natural wonder with ultra-modern design and nearly 300 days a year, we are blessed with sunshine.

That ‘big country town’ feeling that is uniquely Brisbane doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to experience. Brisbane has plenty of free events available for you to enjoy, so you can save your pennies for the big ticket activities – like eating at Restaurant of the Year, Joy, or staying at the ever-popular Calile Hotel.

#1 Explore South Bank’s Cultural Precinct

South Bank’s Cultural Precinct is home to the Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Art Gallery and Queensland Museum. A hub of curiousity, beauty and knowledge, the Cultural Precinct is like a spa day for your mind. With free entry into each of the museums, you’ll emerge from your visit feeling refreshed and enlightened.

Travelling to South Bank is easy with Airtrain, simply hop on at Brisbane Airport stations and hop off at South Bank – easy! No changing trains and no fuss.

#2 Visit local markets

Brisbane has an array of markets to choose from. Farmers’ markets, vintage sellers and food stands – we have it all. We recommend heading to the Eagle Farm Markets or the Milton Markets to pick up your fresh produce. Not only will you save a tonne from avoiding eating out, but you’ll also feel better from munching on fresh fruits and vegetables.

#3 Book your accommodation close to the city

A simple way to save on travel expenses is by booking accommodation in the heart of the CBD. With everything you need in close proximity, you can avoid the extra costs of daily transportation, get your steps up and improve your carbon footprint.

Airtrain travels directly from Brisbane Airport to the centre of the CBD in just 20 minutes. Less time in traffic means more time to explore our amazing River City.

#4 Take a free tour

Participating in a tour is a fantastic way to learn about Brisbane’s rich history and unearth some lesser-known local secrets. Brisbane Greeters is a free tour led by locals who are deeply passionate about sharing the love for their city. Made up of over 100 volunteers and offering guided tours in over 20 different languages, you’ll finish your tour with a new friend and a wealth of new knowledge.

If you’re looking for a tour that will show you the city from a different perspective, check out Clock Tower Tours. Operating every 15 minutes between 10:15am-4:45pm, the daily Clock Tower Tours are completely free and give guests a special insight into Brisbane City Hall and a striking bird’s eye view of Brisbane. To get there, just hop on an Airtrain service from Brisbane Airport and jump off at Central station. From there, the clock tower is a short walk away.

#5 Catch some free live music

City Sounds is Australia’s biggest and longest standing live music program. Every week, the team at City Sounds transforms regular urban spaces into live music venues for the whole community to enjoy. Featuring some of Australia’s most promising up-and-comers, City Sounds showcases a wide range of styles and genres in locations like Queen Street Mall, Post Office Square and Reddacliff Place.

Airtrain travels directly from Brisbane Airport to the heart of Brisbane’s CBD. Get off at Central station and your urban entertainment is just a hop and a skip away.

Referred to as “a boutique music festival that never ends”, City Sounds is the perfect place to grab a friend, grab a picnic basket and settle in for a night of totally free entertainment. Check out the City Sounds gig guide to keep up to date with the latest acts and locations.

In Brisbane, the best things in life really are free.
For more handy travel tips, head over to the Airtrain blog.