Top Hostels in Brisbane

Brisbane Essentials:

How big is Brisbane?
Brisbane is the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland. It is approximately 904.8 km² (2,279.9 sq mi) in size.
How many people inhabit it?
Just over two million people populate Brisbane and it is the third most populous city of Australia.
What are the language and the currency?
English is primarily spoken in Brisbane but you will also find many other different languages spoken in Brisbane including Chinese and Japanese. The Australian dollar is the currency.
  • Brisbane Skyline
Brisbane Skyline Brisbane at night

Things to see in Brisbane

The Queensland Cultural Centre is a must see.
What is Brisbane's number one attraction?
The Queensland Cultural Centre/ Precinct is one of Brisbane’s must see attractions for all ages and tastes.
What makes it so special?
The Queensland Cultural Centre/ Precinct can be found along the South Bank and includes the Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Museum, State Library and Gallery of Modern Art. This is a great area to explore and its location alone along the riverside makes it a beautiful place to walk around or sit out in. There are always lots of performances and exhibitions taking place in the venues around here so make sure to check out what events are happening during your visit.
Anything else which shouldn't be missed in Brisbane?
Take a stroll through Roma Street Parkland to see the world’s largest urban subtropical garden. This is a paradise right in the heart of the city. Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha is Queensland’s premier subtropical garden and makes for a great place to spend a few hours and have a picnic! Also, for the best views of Brisbane stay on Mt Coot-tha and go to the 'Lookout Point' viewing deck.
What about art and culture?
As previously mentioned, The Queensland Cultural Centre/ Precinct is the hub of arts and culture in Brisbane. However there are lots of different theatres, galleries and museums scattered all over the city. The Brisbane Powerhouse is an innovative venue for performing arts that was once a power station. Also, there’s the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts which is an intimate arts venue. And then there’s the Nine Lives which is a gallery space that features local, national and sometimes international artists too.

Going out in Brisbane

There is a great variety of nightlife on offer in Brisbane.
Is it expensive to go out in Brisbane?
Brisbane’s nightlife has moved up the ranks in recent years and now boasts a wide range of entertainment options. Depending on your tastes you can find bars and clubs that will cover both cheap and expensive tastes.
Where are most of the bars found?
Brisbane’s nightlife is separated into different neighbourhoods and areas. These areas include the city centre namely around Edward Street, Mary Street and Eagle Street. The Fortitude Valley area is where you will find a lot of Brisbane’s popular bars and clubs due to a recent revamp of this once down and out area. If you are looking for live music then this is the neighbourhood to find it in. The West End is another popular entertainment neighbourhood in Brisbane that is less crowded than others. This is a bohemian district with a laid back atmosphere.
Do I need to carry my ID with me when going out?
Some clubs will ask for ID so to be safe bring it out with you.
Is there anything to do that doesn't include alcohol?
Brisbane has some great cafes boasting superb atmosphere’s so make sure to check these out. There’s lots of art and culture to avail of in Brisbane so check out the local listings to see what performances and shows are on during your visit. Brisbane is also one of the best places for live music in Australia so check out what bands are playing around the city.
Anything else I need to know?
If you are a smoker then take note that Brisbane has strict no smoking policies. Smoking is now banned in 'all areas where food & drink is served', that means both indoors and outdoors. So smoking is banned in all hotels, clubs, and cafés except in designated smoking areas. Also, be aware that after 3am pubs and clubs will not let anyone else in to their premises as a safety measure.

Eating Out in Brisbane

Steak is a popular dish in Brisbane
Is it expensive to eat out in Brisbane?
There is a huge variety of restaurants and cafes all over Brisbane that cater for all tastes and budgets. You will find some great value eateries as well as expensive establishments serving food from top chefs.
Where is the best selection of restaurants in the city?
Like the nightlife, most of Brisbane’s eateries can be found in certain areas and neighbourhoods. Brisbane city centre and the Spring Hill area boast an array of restaurants, as too does the Fortitude Valley, New Farm, South Bank and Paddington areas. If you are looking for good food on a budget then check out the area around the University and its surrounds.
Are international cuisines well represented?
Very well represented. You can sample Indonesian, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, Turkish, and Italian along with a wide variety of traditional and modern Australian dishes.
Anything else I need to know?
Brisbane restaurants are renowned for their steaks! So if you like a good steak then ask the locals to direct you to the best steakhouse in the neighbourhood.

Transport in Brisbane

The CityCat are a great way to see Brisbane
How many different modes of public transport are there in Brisbane?
There are three forms of public transport in Brisbane – ferries, buses and trains.
Taxis are also available throughout the city. CityFerries and CityCats are an icon in the city of Brisbane. They are a great means of touring the city along the river and most stops connect to nearby bus stations or popular tourist destinations. Buses in Greater Brisbane will bring you to Queen Street, Adelaide Street, Elizabeth Street or Fortitude Valley. Almost all buses have a display next to the route number that tells you approximately where it's going.
Trains in Greater Brisbane run from Central and Roma Street Stations. Interurban services can also be caught to the Gold Coast (using connecting bus services at Nerang and Robina) and Sunshine Coast (using connecting bus services at Landsborough and Nambour) as well as Australia Zoo (connecting bus at Beerwah). Sunday-Thursday the first trains start around 5am and run till midnight.
Is there one ticket which covers bus/train/subway?
Translink is the common ticketing system used on ferries, buses and trains. This then allows for free transfers to be made between these three different modes of transport (there are some zone and time restrictions). Go Card’s are also available and these are pre paid cards that you can continuously top up as you travel.
Will I need to use public transport at all?
The centre of Brisbane city is relatively flat and condensed so it is very easy to walk around here. Cycling is also a great way to get around the city. For everything else public transport is worth using as it is easy and quick to use.

Make your trip go further with Hostels.com. We offer the most comprehensive selection of hostels on the internet with over 35,000 hostels in 180 countries. Bringing you great value and providing a service that is fuss free, reliable and frankly brilliant! Hostels.com the ultimate resource for great value accommodation all over the world.

  • Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2010
  • Comments: 0
City Guides and Information

Video guides, travel podcasts, city maps & free city guides. What to eat, where to stay and things to do and see - our travel guides have it all.

Find a guide »
Latest Blog Post

Using an InterRail pass (for EU residents) or a Eurail pass (for non-EU) is the perfect way to easily check off all the dreamy European destinations on your travel bucket list. Ride the rails like a pro with these five tips.

Read more »
Great Value and Choice

We offer the most comprehensive selection of hostels on the internet with over 35,000 great places to stay in 180 countries. The ultimate online resource for hostels everywhere.

Find great value hostels »