How To Spend 48-Hours In Brisbane's Cultural Mecca

How To Spend 48-Hours In Brisbane's Cultural Mecca

See Brisbane’s most iconic suburb in a new light.

By Siobhan Taylor and Melissa Myrteza | 22nd November 2018

South Bank is Brisbane's central hub for social, cultural and recreational activities, with nothing further than a short walk away. As our river city continues to grow, interstate visitors and locals alike flock to precincts such as South Bank to experience the best the Brisbane has to offer. If you're looking for an excuse to enjoy a bit of a staycay or have out-of-town rellies that need some tips, we've put together the ultimate 48-hour itinerary for those who want to experience Brisbane's cultural mecca.



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Drinks at Little Big House

Whether you’re into karaoke, dancing, nostalgia-inducing snacks, people watching, or chatting over a frothy beer, you can’t go wrong at the local favourite, Little Big House. The heritage-listed building is the perfect option for whatever late-night activity takes your fancy, open until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights. Love live music? They have a regular rotation of local and interstate acts. A sports fan? They screen most big games on their large TV screens. Not afraid to belt out a love ballad? Make sure you check out the karaoke room! Have a personal or work event coming up, they have so many spaces available for you to celebrate in. With plenty of nooks to discover, this quintessentially-Aussie menu (did someone say chicken parmy spring rolls?), and a wrap-around veranda taking in views of South Bank, a Friday drink at Little Big House is just like enjoying a drink at your mates house, but better.

If Friday nights aren't your thing or if you just want to enjoy the good times all over again, wind-down your weekend with their prime Sunday sessions – where the beer is flowing and the tunes are good! The Queensland-inspired bar is your one-stop shop and specialises in celebrating birthdays and events of all sizes. For more information, bookings or party enquiries, click here.


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Discover GOMA’s Latest Collection

Exploring the varied exhibitions that make up the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is as Brisbane as it gets. Located across two riverside buildings in Brisbane’s vibrant Cultural Precinct, QAGOMA is somewhere where you can disappear for hours. If you are travelling with children in tow, their Children’s Art Centre will keep the little ones just as engaged, with plenty of interactive activities to discover.

Their flagship summer exhibition for 2018/19 is APT9, the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. The ambitious exhibition showcases a diverse array of contemporary art from across the Asia Pacific, featuring over 80 artists from over 30 countries. Overflowing with colour and life, it presents a unique mix of creativity and cross-cultural insight. The free exhibition includes a broad spectrum of activations, including a cinema program, hands-on experiences for kids and daily guided tours. The exhibition will run from 24 November 2018 – 28 April 2019.


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Riverside Lunch at GOMA Restaurant

All the exploring will surely have worked up an appetite, so rather than searching for somewhere to eat why not make your way to the picturesque GOMA Restaurant? With a philosophy to deliver a dining experience as contemporary and creative as the artwork that surrounds it, the menu is sure to inspire. Why not also chat to the team and order a bottle of wine to perfectly complement your dish? You are on holiday, after all!


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Pre-show Drinks at Maker

A small bar that packs big flavours is the perfect go-to for a refined bev to start your evening at South Bank. Potentially in the running for the smallest bar in the world, these guys do what they do without the hustle and bustle of a big bar scene. They are expert mixologists, creating powerful flavour combinations, as well as the usual desired drink options. A hop and a jump away from QPAC, this is your perfect pre-show drinks.


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See a Show at QPAC

Every global show and charming musical reaches the doors of QPAC, at the heart of Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct. This centre of performing arts challenges the cultural norm, introducing the most talented dancers, singers, comedians, musicians and performers into the lives of Brisbanites. With epic stages and an electric ambience, a night at the theatre begins as a rite of passage and ends up as monthly tradition.


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Quick Bite to Eat at Julius Pizzeria

Pizza is given a new name at Julius. Home to the ultimate truffle degustations, its location on Fish Lane boasts convenience in its short stroll to QPAC. Featuring the a-z of carbs, you’ve got your usual suspects of pizza, pasta and burgers transformed with fresh ingredients and bold flavour combinations. Get yourself an Antipasti, a Primi, a Secondi or just a Dolci if you so feel!


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Or, a German Feast at Munich Brauhaus

It is always October at the Munich Brauhaus. Bavaria has been brought to Brisbane at this iconic spot for all things Deutsch. With steins of every strength, flavour and colour, the Brauhaus lives up to its name of a German beer hall. Dig into a crispy pork knuckle while downing your steins. Lederhosen’s and Dirndl’s galore, this is your weekly slice of Europe. Why is it in Australia? Because Australian’s are the only ones who could ever outdrink the Deutsch, and we’re bloody proud of it!


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Browse Through the Markets

When Sunday morning rolls around, you may be feeling a little dusty if the “one or two drinks” from the night before turned into…. a bit more. After enjoying breakfast from the comfort of your bed, grab your comfy walking shoes and make your way down to The Collective Markets for a morning spent strolling throughout dozens of stalls. With an eclectic mix of original art, photography, unique gifts, trending fashion and vintage clothing, as well as foodie stalls and live music, the Collective Markets are a vibrant cultural melting pot set in the artisan's heart of Brisbane.


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Enjoy a Feast at The Greek Club’s Nostimo Restaurant & Bar

Situated right on the fringe of South Bank and West End, Nostimo Restaurant & Bar is a must-try for Brisbane locals and interstate visitors alike. As part of the newly refurbished Greek Club, Nostimo is known for their mouth-watering selection of traditional Greek dishes prepared just like γιαγιά makes. From the BBQ kefte to the lamb skaras, every dish is lovingly prepared by Head Chef David Tsirekas. Plus, taking the excellence from the kitchen to bar, their drinks menu also includes a range of Greek aperitifs to accompany your dining experience. Ouzo, anyone? Pull up a seat on their terrace, enjoy sweeping views of Musgrave Park and the Brisbane City skyline, and prepare to enjoy a long, lazy afternoon indulging in delicious Greek fare!


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Sunday Sesh’ at Aquitaine Brasserie

When Sunday afternoon finally rolls around, you’re probably feeling a little worn out. Your feet may be a bit sore. You might even be a bit bloated from over-indulging. But, don’t let a perfectly good Sunday afternoon go to waste! Round-off your weekend away the right way, and swing by Aquitaine Brasserie for one last tipple. The French-inspired restaurant and bar boasts prime real estate and waterfront frontage, overlooking the River Quay Green and the Brisbane River. Grab a Bellini, snack on some oysters, and relax knowing you’ve just enjoyed an epic weekend.


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A note on accommodation…

If you're a Brisbane local, it's easy enough to come and go from the precinct, but why not make it something extra special and make it a stay-cay? With so many amazing hotels within in the precinct, it can be hard to choose where to stay. To keep in theme with the cultural aspect of the experience, we recommend you book yourself a stunning suite at the French-style Novotel South Bank!

With more than 400 hotels in 60 countries, this global 5-star hotel has its home in Brisbane’s South Bank. The Novotel provides both luxury, work or family holiday options. Book in a room to stay, dine at the spectacular Spice Central Kitchen & Bar, book a workroom, utilise the facilities of their gym, pool or spa, and treat yourself to a little stay-cay within our beautiful city. Plus, they are even able to help you organise tickets to shows or experiences you may want to enjoy during you stay, so make sure you chat to their concierge.

Psst... They are also able to bring you a luxury breakfast straight to your hotel room! Perfect for those mornings when you are busy planning your itinerary or perhaps a little dusty from drinks the night before.


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Image: GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (akaShoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA


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Article by Siobhan Taylor and Melissa Myrteza

This story has been written by a Guest Styler for Style