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Your Ultimate South Brisbane Travel Guide

Your Ultimate South Brisbane Travel Guide

Did you know that The South Brisbane Railway Station, dating back to 1891, is one of Brisbane’s oldest railway stations, serving as a vital transportation hub connecting commuters citywide? 

Today, South Brisbane thrives as a vibrant cultural precinct, boasting scenic parklands, renowned arts venues like the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and a dynamic dining scene along its riverfront.

Curious to explore more about what South Brisbane has to offer? Read on to uncover its hidden gems and vibrant attractions.

Getting to Know South Brisbane

Getting to Know South Brisbane

South Brisbane centres around South Bank, a busy riverfront hotspot packed with cultural and science exhibits at the Queensland Museum.

You’ll also find art galleries and a giant Ferris wheel, perfect for soaking in those panoramic views.

For those of you looking to chill, Streets Beach is the go-to spot, offering a sandy escape right in the heart of the city. And don’t miss the weekend Collective Markets, where you can grab handcrafted homewares and unique finds.

At South Brisbane, you’ll also find Grey Street, a popular cineplex for movie buffs and a lineup of brewpubs and upmarket tapas bars for those craving a night out. Plus, if you’re into casual dining, you’ll love the burger and sushi places scattered around the area.

With so much to explore and experience, South Brisbane promises a vibrant and diverse journey. So, why wait? Dive in and discover the endless possibilities that await you along the riverfront!

How to get around South Brisbane

How to get around South Brisbane

Brisbane is known for its sustainability, so it’s no wonder that public transport is one of the best ways to get around South Brisbane and the other nearby suburbs. However, you can also opt to drive your car or choose other public transportation options that are available in the city.

Let’s check out how you can get in and around South Brisbane:

  • Go Card If you want the easiest way to get around town, make sure to pick up a TransLink Go Card so you can travel seamlessly on all TransLink bus, ferry, and rail services across southeast Queensland.

You can grab your go cards from Queensland rail stations, purchase online, over the phone, at any 7-Eleven or Night Owl store, and select retailers displaying the ‘buy’ symbol.

Make sure that you top up the card balance like a prepaid mobile phone whenever it suits. Find out more here.  

  • Free Transport – Yes, you can get on a bus for free in South Brisbane! This initiative is part of an 18-month trial of the city council, which will run until mid-2024.

The free bus loop can go around popular stops in West End and South Brisbane, operating daily every 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Ferries – Brisbane’s ferries, also known as CityCats, are one of the most enjoyable ways to explore South Brisbane and the rest of the city.

If you want to see more sights and access key city spots, then South Brisbane is the way to go! Just remember to bring your Go Card with you as it’s required to travel on a CityCat or Cross River ferry.

There’s also an option to catch the free CityHopper ferry service to get around inner-city precincts for free. 

  • Buses – You can explore South Brisbane’s neighbourhoods through a comprehensive bus service.

These buses run throughout the city, connecting the central business district, major shopping centres, entertainment and dining precincts, railway stations, and ferry terminals.

For late-night travellers, you may take advantage of special NightLink bus services running after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays! 

  • Trains – Brisbane’s speedy network of electric trains has the Greater Brisbane region covered and provides direct access to the city, quirky neighbourhood precincts like South Brisbane, and outer suburbs.

You can also catch the handy Airtrain service that is completely connected to the Queensland Rail suburban network, with regular trains running from Brisbane Airport directly to Brisbane City and the Gold Coast.

You can travel on a single ticket from any station in South East Queensland to Brisbane Airport. 

  • TaxisTaxis are available in South Brisbane and the rest of the city! You can easily jump in a taxi for a more efficient and quick way of getting around town. 

A standard taxi can cater for four passengers or fewer. And if you need to transport more passengers, or even need a vehicle with wheel-chair access, it’s best to order a multi-passenger taxi for added comfort and convenience.

  • Rideshare – Brisbane is home to Uber, DiDi, and Ola. Just whip your phone and conveniently book your ride.
  • Driving – You are permitted to drive in Queensland if you hold a valid Australian or foreign licence. If your licence is in a language other than English, you should carry an English translation of it when driving. 
  • Bikes & Scooters  – Make the most of South Brisbane’s wonderful outdoor climate by biking or scootering around town.

Here, extensive bicycle paths are running throughout the city and pedal-power offers a healthy and inexpensive way of getting around.

Make sure to download the Neuron and Beam mobile applications to hire handy e-bikes and e-scooters to navigate the rest of the city with ease. Just remember to always wear your helmet and follow all speed limits!  

The Best Time to Go to South Brisbane

For those of you planning a visit to South Brisbane, the best time to go is typically during the cooler months from April to October

This period offers milder temperatures and lower humidity levels, making it more comfortable for exploring the city’s attractions, parks, and outdoor spaces.

From leisurely walks along the riverfront to exploring cultural sites and dining at outdoor cafes, you’ll find plenty of enjoyable activities to fill your days.

Additionally, South Brisbane hosts various festivals, art exhibitions, and cultural events throughout the year, so be sure to check the events calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

Whether you’re a fan of live music, food festivals, or art shows, there’s always something exciting to experience in South Brisbane. 

Things to Know about South Brisbane

Things to Know about South Brisbane

Before you start your South Brisbane adventure, it’s helpful to know a few essentials to make your trip smooth sailing. From currency to safety tips, here’s what you need to keep in mind when exploring this part of the city:

  • Currency: If you’re visiting South Brisbane, you’ll be using the Australian Dollar (AUD). Make sure to check the current exchange rates before your trip.

Most of the shops accept major debit and credit card holders but consider carrying some cash for smaller purchases.

  • Language: English is the primary language spoken in South Brisbane, so you won’t have any trouble communicating with locals. 
  • Calling Code: Remember to dial +61 followed by the area code (7 for Brisbane) and then the local number when making calls in South Brisbane.

Don’t forget to check your phone plan for international rates or consider using mobile messaging applications for free communication.

  • Parking: Parking in South Brisbane can be a bit tricky, especially in busy areas like South Bank. Keep an eye out for street parking or consider using parking garages and lots, which may offer hourly or daily rates.

Also, be mindful of any parking restrictions and time limits to avoid fines.

  • Safety: South Brisbane is generally a safe and welcoming area for visitors. However, as with any city, it’s important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

Keep your belongings secure and avoid isolated areas after dark.

  • Public Transportation: South Brisbane has an excellent public transportation option, including buses, trains, and ferries.

Consider getting a TransLink Go Card for seamless travel across South East Queensland and explore the city like a local.

  • Cultural Diversity: South Brisbane is a melting pot of cultures and influences, reflected in its vibrant culinary scene and diverse community events.

Be sure to explore the multicultural neighbourhoods and taste the flavours of the world right in the heart of the city.

  • Weather: South Brisbane’s climate is known for its warm temperatures and sunny days, but it can also be unpredictable at times.

Pack accordingly with lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and a hat to stay comfortable while exploring the city’s outdoor attractions.

  • Local Etiquette: Aussies are known for their laid-back attitude and friendliness, so don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with locals or ask for recommendations. 

Things to See and Do in South Brisbane

When you find yourself in South Brisbane, get set for a world of adventure and discovery right at your fingertips.

Housing some of the city’s known art galleries, bustling bars and eateries, picture-perfect riverside strolls, stunning central business district skyline vistas, and lush parks, South Bank isn’t just your run-of-the-mill tourist spot.

Let’s dive right in and check out the things to see and do in this area. 

Address: Stanley Pl, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3840 7303

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

When you’re in South Brisbane, you absolutely can’t miss checking out an art exhibit at the Gallery of Modern Art. It’s where you’ll find some of the best examples of contemporary art from Australia, Asia, and the Pacific

Plus, it’s the home of the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT)—an incredibly ambitious and visually stunning exhibition that happens every two years. If you can time your trip to South Bank during APT, trust me, you’ll want to lock it in.

And hey, if you’re a fan of street art and sculptures, take a stroll along Fish Lane. This area was once just a dull street, it’s now a lively dining and arts hub!

It even hosts Brisbane’s annual Brisbane Street Art Festival (BSAF) and offers a working studio for artists to showcase their creations.

With massive murals, sculptures, and installations, this colourful laneway stretches from end to end and even extends under the South Brisbane Railway line, connecting to the famous G20 Pillars Project. 

Media credit: @lilac_in_purple 

Address: Cultural Precinct Cnr Grey, Melbourne Street, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 136246

Check Schedule Here

If you’re in South Brisbane, you’re in for a treat because you can catch live music performances and other musical events at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).

It’s not just any venue—it’s home to some of the biggest names in Australian performing arts, like Queensland Theatre, Queensland Ballet, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Queensland.

QPAC’s year-round program is packed with exciting shows that can rival those in any capital city.

From one-man shows to legendary West End and Broadway musicals, you haven’t truly experienced South Brisbane until you’ve watched someone perform on the QPAC stage.

South Brisbane, specifically in South Bank, also has the South Bank Piazza and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

While the piazza tends to host more intimate gigs, both venues have welcomed their fair share of international artists and feature an exciting lineup of local and international acts.

Address: Clem Jones Promenade, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3029 1797

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM

If you’re in South Brisbane, why not spend an afternoon having a delightful picnic with the whole family at South Bank Parklands? Spread across 17 acres, this park offers lush gardens that are absolutely free to enjoy. 

Nature enthusiasts will be in heaven exploring the Rainforest Walk, wandering along wooden walkways through tropical and sub-tropical plants until they reach the enchanting Nepalese Peace Pagoda.

And if you’re in search of a great picnic spot, just choose a corner at River Quay Green, Rainforest Green, and Liana Lounge. 

Walk further south along the park, and you’ll stumble upon South Bank’s famed Epicurious Garden—a specialist volunteer-led herb and vegetable garden. Here, you can learn the basics of horticultural.

And if you want to catch the weekly harvest, just go there on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where you can pick up freshly harvested produce to add to your picnic spread. 

Media credit: @olympus___23

Address: Little Stanley St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

If you’re up for a rejuvenating workout session, head on over to the lawns along Little Stanley Street. Here, you can join in on free outdoor fitness classes, including yoga, Pilates, and HIIT sessions, all year round.

Just bring along your own towel, and you’re ready to go! It’s a fantastic way to stretch, strengthen, and unwind amid the lively atmosphere of South Brisbane. 

Media credit: @storditiontheroad

Address: Stanley St Plaza, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3029 1797

If you’re in South Brisbane and looking to beat the heat, look no further than Streets Beach! It’s not your average beach—it’s a man-made oasis complete with real sand, a refreshing lagoon, and stunning views of the central business district skyline. 

Where to eat in South Brisbane

There are a variety of cuisines and food options when you’re in Brisbane. Let’s check them out:


Address: 186 Grey St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Operating Hours: Monday – Tuesday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM; Wednesday – Thursday: 12:00 AM – 3:00 PM; 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM; Friday – Saturday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM; Sunday: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM

If you’re in search for some Middle Eastern delights then Baba Ganouj in South Brisbane is the place to be.

Picture yourself enjoying your meal al fresco under the sun or stars at their inviting outdoor seating area. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by a cosy ambiance filled with warm, earthy tones and vibrant decor. 

This spot isn’t just about delicious food—it’s also vegan-friendly with a tempting selection of plant-based dishes. And for those of you with little ones, they’ve got you covered with a thoughtful kids’ menu.

Make sure to try their savoury Lamb Shawarma served with fluffy pita bread and tangy tahini sauce—it’s an absolute must-try!

Address: Emporium Hotel South Bank, Level 21/267 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia

Operating Hours: Sunday – Wednesday: 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM; Thursday – Saturday: 6:30 AM – 12:00 AM

If you’re looking for a spot to unwind with stunning views, Terrace Rooftop Bar at Emporium Hotel is where it’s at! With its rooftop seating, you can soak up the city skyline while enjoying your favourite cocktails and snacks.

The outdoor seating adds to the charm, offering a breezy atmosphere perfect for relaxation. Plus, they often feature live music, adding to the vibrant ambiance.


Address: 3 Sidon St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3846 7784

Operating Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM; Monday – Tuesday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

If you’re craving authentic southern Italian cuisine with a sleek ambiance, then head over to Popolo in South Brisbane! This charming restaurant has an open street view, allowing you to soak in the lively atmosphere as you dine.

From regional dishes like Seared Scallops to an extensive wine selection, Popolo offers a true taste of Italy. Keep in mind that reservations are required to secure your spot at this popular eatery.

With outdoor seating available, you can savour your meal while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Plus, for those of you with dietary preferences, they also serve delicious vegetarian dishes. 

Where to stay in South Brisbane

If you want to explore South Brisbane for days, it’s a great idea to check out comfortable accommodations nearby. 

Let’s find a great place to make your stay in this area memorable!

Address: 267 Grey St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3556 3333

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If you’re seeking luxury and sophistication, Emporium Hotel South Bank in South Brisbane is a great choice.

With its elegant rooms and suites, rooftop pool, and gym facilities, it’s a haven for relaxation. Plus, indulge in exquisite dining experiences where you can also enjoy stunning views of the Brisbane skyline.

Address: 9 Glenelg St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3364 0800

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For those seeking convenience and comfort, Rydges South Bank in South Brisbane is one of the top picks.

Here’ you’ll be welcomed with modern rooms, friendly service, and not to mention the prime location near major attractions in South Brisbane.

Relax by the pool, dine at the on-site restaurant, or explore the vibrant neighbourhood—all within easy reach. 

Address: 161 Grey St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3305 2500

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If you’re looking for a home away from home when you’re in South Brisbane, Mantra South Bank offers spacious and well-appointed apartments perfect for families and extended stays. 

Here, you can enjoy the convenience of fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, and separate living areas.

Moreover, with its central location, you’ll have easy access to South Bank Parklands, cultural attractions, and dining options. 

Where to shop in South Brisbane

When you’re in South Brisbane and want to shop, there are plenty of fantastic options to explore. Let’s check them out:

Media credit: @buffychick71

Address: Stanley St Plaza, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Operating Hours: Friday 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM; Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

If you’re a fan of artisanal goods and unique finds, the South Bank Lifestyle Market is a must-visit every weekend. Here, you’ll discover a diverse range of stalls offering everything from handmade crafts to gourmet treats.

Media credit: @australianmanagementcollege 

Address: 124 Jane St, West End QLD 4101, Australia

Operating Hours: Saturday: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM

For a taste of the local culture and community vibe, head to the West End Markets in South Brisbane. 

From organic fruits and veggies to handmade jewelry and vintage clothing, you’ll find a treasure trove of goodies to explore. It’s 

a great weekend spot to soak up the lively atmosphere and support local artisans.

Address: 79 Boundary St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Operating Hours: Friday: Saturday: 4:00 PM onwards

If you’re craving a lively atmosphere and delicious street food when you’re in South Brisbane, look no further than the Boundary Street Market.

This busy weekend market is home to a great mix of food vendors, artisanal producers, and live entertainment. Treat yourself to mouthwatering dishes from around the world, browse unique handicrafts, and enjoy the vibrant energy of the markets. 

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