New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Brisbane is well on its way to being alive 24/7. There’s something you can do almost every hour of the day in Brissie, so we’ve gathered the Brisbane's best 24 things to do in 24 hours.
1. Grab a pre-dawn coffee
When your caffeine cravings know no bounds, head to Death Before Decaf, a 24-hour coffee joint in Fortitude Valley. It’s perfect if you need to be up and at ’em at weird hours, which you will be if you want to…
2. Watch the sunrise over Mt Coot-tha
Yeah, we know, sunrise is SO EARLY. But this is a Brisbane bucket-list item you need to tick off and you’ve got your coffee to keep you going! Watching as the city become slowly bathed in a golden glow is a totally mesmerising way to truly appreciate the beauty of the River City.
3. Have brekky at West End
Whether you’re after something sweet or savoury, there are loads of breakfast options in Brisbane but for our money, West End is a great little hub with gourmet brekky offerings a cut above the rest. There’s the Gunshop Café, Lock’n’Load Bistro, BillyKart, Plenty, Five Sisters Café and Bar, Mondo Organics… the list goes on.
4. Pop into Avid Reader for a book fix
If you’re a literary fan, or just love quirky book finds then a visit to Avid Reader is a must. Featuring new releases, old favourites, and books you never knew you needed, this store is perfect for uncovering a perfect gift for yourself or someone else. But mostly yourself. Their adjoining store, Where The Wild Things Are, caters especially for the young voracious readers! They also have frequent author events so check out their page for what’s on when.
5. Snap up a bargain at DFO
SHOPPING! DISCOUNTS! Have we got your attention? Why schlep all around town for your favourite brands when you could find them all at DFO Brisbane? Think Adairs, Oroton, Wittner, Mimco, French Connection, Lindt, Peter Alexander, Review, Roger David, Witchery and loads more. Brace yourself, credit card – there’s just so much on sale! #sorrynotsorry
6. Check out the Skygate Dining Precinct
OK, so this one is a little hush-hush, but we love sharing BIG NEWS with you: Skygate is getting a new dining precinct and we can’t WAIT! These new eateries will be the perfect place to refuel for more bargain-hunting at DFO. We’re talking Burger Urge, Burrito Bar, Caffe Cherry Beans, Sushi Rail and Zambeekas. Burger Urge is the first of the five retailers to open AND we hear they are giving away free burgers at their Block Party on March 11 from 12pm-2pm! But for now, there's always treats at the Lindt Chocolate Shop
7. Play a round of mini golf at Golf Central
Because seriously, who doesn’t love mini golf? This particular course has a tourist twist: you’re given a passport and encouraged to travel the world at each hole! Tunes are courtesy of Nova FM and Bose speakers and there’s even a Halfway Drinks Bar in case you need a pick-me-up before playing through.
8. Take a free Brisbane Greeters Tour
Uncover Brisbane’s secrets on a tour run by people in the know, with hidden works of art and the stories that built this city.
9. Get a beauty treatment
We have such fab salons here in Brisbane, you’d be remiss to not pamper yourself while you’re in town. Skygate’s Beauty Stop has a range of treatments from facials and massages to manicures and pedicures. Just what you need to soothe your soul in preparation for more shopping.
10. Visit the Jan Powers Farmers’ Markets
Picture a bustling marketplace selling fresh produce, flowers, breads, artisan products, fish, meat, poultry, plants… so pretty much everything awesome to transform your kitchen into a culinary hub of creativity. The markets are on at the Powerhouse on Saturdays and in the CBD on Wednesdays.
11. Get arty at GOMA
This super sexy gallery is considered one of the most innovative spaces for art in Australia and was a massive coup for Brisbane. Filled to the brim with more than 16,000 pieces as well as constant travelling exhibitions, it’s the perfect place to scratch that creative itch. It sits right on the Brisbane River, and with architecture as gorgeous as the artworks inside, it’s definitely a can’t-miss.
12. Soak up the vibe on James Street
It’s probably time for another coffee, which is perfect because you’re on James Street, home to the kings of coffee culture. James Street is like its own little world, with restaurants, bars, boutiques and more and is pretty much one of our fave places in all of Brisbane.
13. Visit a laneway
While you’re in the area, you should get lost in one of the city’s burgeoning laneways. M & A Lane is an up-and-coming dining hot spot right next to James Street. Duck up to Bakery Lane, home to boutiques including I Heart Brownies (and we DO heart brownies). Or there’s Burnett Lane, one of Brisbane’s oldest laneways that started life as a prison exercise yard and is now full of trendy restaurants and bars. Or there’s Winn Lane, described as a “storybook retro laneway of pocket-sized shops.” So much to explore!
14. Catch a cheap movie
No one outside of Brisbane believes us when we tell them we can see the latest blockbuster movies for $7.50. (Seriously, they’ve made us send photographic proof of a receipt!) For that price, we could even justify TWO movies!
15. Take a photo in front of the Brisbane sign
We KNOW this is cheesy, but you’re really not from Brisbane unless you’ve done this and hashtagged #brisbaneanyday
16. Visit a food truck
Brisbane was a little late to jump onto the food truck bandwagon but we are SO on it now. The Bun Mobile was one of the first, but now there’s Oi Tacos, King Of The Wings, The BBQ Joint, The Pasta Cruiser, Juan More Taco, Vira Lata, Local Mobile Deli, How We Rolls, Chip Tease… we could go on but our mouths are watering too much.
17. Story Bridge Climb
There’s no better view of our city than from the top of our most picturesque icon. You wanna do the twilight climb, and watch the sun set over the horizon.
18. See a show
Catch the latest musical, play, comedy show or concert at a whole host of Brisbane venues, including QPAC, Brisbane Powerhouse, the Judith Wright Centre, The Roundhouse Theatre, Bille Brown Studio, Metro Arts, Brisbane Arts Theatre, and the Schonell. Brisbane also creates arts precincts for various festivals, making use of South Bank’s cultural forecourt, spaces at QUT and even Skygate, which will see the return of Cirque du Soleil in 2016.
19. Eat at South Bank
You’re spoiled for choice at this bustling foodie haven, which is great if you haven’t yet decided what you wanna munch on! Stroll through bars, cafes, takeaways spots, dessert bars and restaurants filled with every type of cuisine your rumbling tummy could ask for. Doughnut Time, Chester Street Bakery and Mister Fitz have even opened their doors for your dessert dining pleasure.
20. Check out a rooftop bar
Kick back after dinner at one of the city’s best glittering rooftop bars such as Soleil Pool Bar, Elixir, Eleven, Limes, Eagles Nest, Up on Constance and Dandy’s Rooftop. Cheers to that!
21. Head to the gym
Remember when we said the city never sleeps? Well, that extends to gyms too. Jetts Fitness at Skygate is open 24/7 so you can jump on the treadmill whenever you please. Now there’s really no such excuse as “I just don’t have time”.
22. Shop whenever you darn well please
Missing the key ingredient for Sunday dinner after all the shops have shut? Arrived in Brisbane on a red-eye and have nothing in your fridge at home? Woolworths at Skygate is the ONLY supermarket in Brisbane open 24 hours. You never have to be chained to a trading hours schedule again!
23. Dine at crazy hours
See a theme here? Brisbane is open for business whenever you like! For a gourmet feed at any hour of the day or night, pay a visit to one of these 24-hour hotspots. There are soooo many more options for a late-night feed than a cheeseburger or a kebab.
24. Check into a hotel to rest before your next big day
You must be exhausted after all your discovering! Whether you’re a visitor in need of a comfy, luxe bed or a Brisbanite looking for a staycation, there are plenty of prime places to lay your head. For a splash of style in the heart of the airport precinct, you can’t go past Novotel; it’s in prime position for DFO shopping, Skygate dining, or a trip to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and is only a short distance from Brisbane’s CBD. It’s also right near the airport in case you decide to take the spontaneous vacay you’ve always dreamed of!