Home to 2.4 million people, Brisbane is the third most populous city in Australia. Though it may not be as popular to the rest of the world as her cousins Sydney and Melbourne, this city in the Sunshine State, Queensland, is not short of attractions and activities that will keep you entertained whilst there. Here's a recommended itinerary should you find yourself in Brissy for just a day:
It is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And there's no better way to start your day in Brisbane than at the breakfast institution Harveys at Fortitude Valley. The airy ambiance and the standard modern Australian menu is a perfect recipe for an awesome casual breakfast. Perhaps a toast, a salad, and a flat white will fill you up before you hit an entire day of activities.
You can spend an hour and a half to two hours here. The restaurant opens at 7:00 AM on weekdays and 7:30 AM on weekends.
While at Fortitude Valley, grab the chance to visit some local boutiques that have sprung alongside hip bars and cafes. The Valley has a whole cluster of laneways of them from Winn Lane to James St. It's safe to say one or two purchase is in order.
Should the morning stroll and a little bit of shopping have completely digested your breakfast, you may want to go Asian for lunch in Chinatown which also happens to be in the Valley. The Chinatown Mall along Duncan Street is also worth the visit.
You may wish to spend a good two to three hours exploring the Valley. It is also worthy to note that Fortitude Valley is also known for its vibrant nightlife.
Continue the Brissy sojourn at Reddacliff Place located in the Central Business District. Admire the impressive neo-Italianate architecture of the Old Treasury Building while people-watching. The CBD is also a major shopping hub. Strolling along Queen Street, you’ll find yourself in the company of malls, retail shops and a number of restaurants.
Unless you plan to break the bank by shopping, you can just spend an hour in the city center.
Crossing the Victoria Bridge will take you from the CBD to the South Bank, an entire stretch of recreational and leisurely space covering the South Bank Cultural Precinct and the South Bank Parklands.
The South Bank Cultural Precinct is situated on the right side of the bridge. It is an excellent area for art and culture appreciation with the Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery among others. The Brisbane sign is located on the left side of the bridge marking the start of the South Bank Parklands.
After taking an obligatory photo with the sign, head to the towering Wheel of Brisbane. You may opt to go on a 30-minute ride on the Ferris wheel for AUD 20 per person or simply appreciate it from down below. The rest of the Parklands include the Nepalese Pagoda, Boat Pool, Streets Beach all the way down to the Picnic Island.
The afternoon of strolling and taking the best photos could be exhausting, so it is my utmost recommendation that you stay at the South Bank until the sun sets for a sweet surprise. Watch the glorious rays of the sun cast upon the buildings of the CBD on the other side of the Brisbane River. And if you're in luck, you may even catch cotton candy clouds.
After a much-needed shower and probably an hour's rest, head to the Northshore Harbour to cap the night at Eat Street. This former container wharf has transformed itself into a lively venue filled with food stalls featuring international street eats. Take your pick from the variety of food and beverage options.
The place is also filled with entertainment with an outdoor movie marathon and live band performances. If you seriously need something to post on your Instagram feed, you know that this place got you covered.
Eat Street is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM and on Sundays from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
If you probably have another day or two, I highly recommend taking a trip to Gold Coast. Adventure seekers will be thrilled as the city is packed with theme parks; while the rest will also enjoy the breeze of the beach at Surfer’s Paradise and the streets full of shops and dining options.
Photo credits: Harveys (harveys.net.au), Visit Brisbane (visitbrisbane.com.au)