The Best 2 Days in Brisbane Itinerary

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A city skyline with a large water body and a bridge in front of it
Brisbane is Australia's third-largest city and is located in Southern Queensland

Brisbane is Australia's third-largest city and is a happening, thriving place with a vibrant cafe and outdoor scene. You will be enjoying Brisbane in the same way a local person might enjoy a free (but jam-packed) weekend in Brisbane. I've spent many months in Brisbane over the years, as my partner calls the city home.

Brisbane is on a river, aptly named the Brisbane River. Much of the sights covered in this Brisbane itinerary take you along and around the river. Try staying in the Central Business District (CBD) in Brisbane. Staying in the CBD will give you the best access to all the main attractions.

Suburbs just on the outskirts of the CBD but close enough to walk into the city are Spring Hill and Fortitude Valley. Brisbane hotels in these areas are usually cheaper than those in the CBD. For Airbnbs, New Farm is a great location. It is around a 30-minute walk to the CBD or a 10-minute public transportation ride.

Getting around Brisbane city is relatively easy as most of the sights are within walking distance. To get around the central city area, the Brisbane City Council provides a free City Loop bus. Keep reading for the perfect 2 days in Brisbane itinerary!

Organizing a last-minute visit to Brisbane?

To make the most of your visit to Brisbane, we recommend you book accommodations and experiences soon. Below are some top recommendations to get you started.

🏨 Top accommodations in Brisbane

☂️ Top tours and experiences in Brisbane

Brisbane 2 Day Itinerary

Brisbane 2-Day Itinerary Map

A map of Brisbane. Use the map to explore all the days and stops.

Brisbane 2-Day Itinerary Map

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Brisbane's Central Business District (CBD)

On the first day of this itinerary, you will be exploring the Central Business District (CBD) and the surrounding sights. You'll be north of the Brisbane River.

To make the most of this day, you should wear a comfortable set of walking shoes. You will be walking in and around the city, which is the best way to see all of the sights and to enjoy Brisbane's warm climate.

The first day of this itinerary covers some of the best parks in Brisbane and the city's history at the Brisbane Museum. You will also experience Brisbane's culture by visiting some of its most famous cafes, restaurants, and nightlife areas.

Breakfast at Felix for Goodness

Felix for Goodness is where your day is going to kick off. It is a modern, contemporary cafe located within the city. The cafe is a popular all-day breakfast and brunch spot that opens around 8 AM and serves food and drinks through to the early afternoon.

Delicious things to order include hotcakes with rhubarb and a falafel bowl. To drink, you can get coffee as well as alcoholic brunch drinks and smoothies. The turmeric latte is popular!

🏨 Stay near Felix For Goodness

Alex Cimbal/
A park with a historic building and greenery and high-rise buildings around it
Anzac Square commemorates Queenslanders who participated in wars

Anzac Square and the Memorial Galleries

Not too far away from breakfast is Anzac Square. You don't need to spend too long here, but it is near your next stop, so it is worth pausing here for a few minutes and enjoying the park.

Construction of the square began in 1928 and was completed in 1988. The square hosts the Dawn Service every year on April 25th. The Dawn Service commemorates the fallen soldiers of historical wars.

Below the memorial structure is the Anzac Square Memorial Galleries. The galleries contain a curated collection of exhibits that showcase Queensland's military history.

🏨 Nearest accommodations to Anzac Square & Memorial Galleries

An old tower in a green park with a footpath and road next to it
The Old Windmill Observatory in Brisbane has been around since 1825

Old Windmill Observatory: The Tower Mill

The Old Windmill is the oldest surviving European structure to visit in Queensland. It has been in existence since 1825. Initially, the mill was used to grind grain.

Humans first powered the mill - convicts turned the millstones. Sixteen men worked together to operate it while another ten were on standby to provide relief.

In 1861, the mill was repurposed to be a telegraph signal station. In the 1890s, it was repurposed again, this time as an observation tower for the fire brigade.

The Brisbane City Council has been managing the mill since 1922, and it has gone through multiple restorations. A quick 10-minute stop by this attraction should be sufficient.

🏨 Stay nearby the Old Windmill Observatory The Tower Mill

Make sure to add the Roma Street Parkland to you 2 days in Brisbane itinerary
The Roma Street Parkland is a must-visit on your 2 days in Brisbane itinerary

Roma Street Parkland

Located west of the CBD are some beautiful gardens known as the Roma Street Parkland. The gardens are easily accessible, and you can take a self-guided tour through them.

You can start your walk at the Roma Street Parkland Information Booth located in "The Hub," which is right in the middle of the parklands. Some areas to wander through include the Spectacle Garden in Colin Campbell Place, The Lookout, The Rainforest and the Fern Gully, and the Lakeside Meadow.

☂️ Join a tour to see Roma Street Parkland

🏨 Accommodations nearby Roma Street Parkland

King George Square

On your way back towards the CBD, you will pass by King George Square. The square lies between Ann Street and Adelaide Street. It often plays host to markets, entertainment, and other events.

When passing through the square, take note of the City Hall building, which was built between 1920 and 1930. This building is one of the most prominent and oldest buildings in the city. It is no longer used as a city hall and currently hosts various events.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to King George Square

Lunch at Sage on Ann

After all the walking through the parklands and the walk back into the CBD, you are most likely starving. Sage on Ann is a modern cafe that serves sandwiches and pasta all day long.

Sage on Ann is a trendy choice for the city's workforce, and the queues around noon can get quite long. The restaurant has tables lined against large glass windows, making it a great spot to sit down, relax, eat, and people watch.

🏨 Accommodations near Sage On Ann

A historic government building with a clock tower, and high-rise buildings behind it
The Museum of Brisbane usually features local artists

Museum of Brisbane

After lunch, with another coffee in hand, consider visiting the Museum of Brisbane. This museum showcases the city's unique art, culture, and history. Their exhibits change often and usually feature local artists, and entry is free.

The Museum of Brisbane also has permanent collections on display called "The Perspectives of Brisbane" and "Making Place: 100 Views of Brisbane" that are open daily. Moreover, it has an archive of Australian fashion designer Easton Pearson's notable pieces as well.

🏨 Places to stay near the Museum of Brisbane

A metallic board that reads "Queen Street Mall" with a high-rise building behind it
The Queen Street Mall has both local shops and international brands

Queen Street Mall

The CBD's main attraction is most definitely Queen Street Mall. The pedestrian-only street features local shops and international brands. Even if you don't have anything to buy, you should still consider wandering down the street and enjoying the vibrancy of the area. There are usually street entertainers singing or playing instruments, too.

On this street, you will find six major shopping centres: Uptown, Queens Plaza, MacArthur Central Shopping Centre, The Wintergarden, Brisbane Arcade, and Queen Adelaide Building.

🏨 Places to stay close to Queen Street Mall

A park with different types of green trees and green grass, with skyscrapers behind
The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens can be found along the Brisbane River

Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

Located on the eastern end of the CBD are the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. The gardens run along the Brisbane River and end at Queensland University of Technology. They feature majestic ponds and shady paths bordered by Alice Street and the Bunya Walk.

You could enter the park at Alice Street and walk towards The Gardens Club. Once at the Gardens Club, follow the Bunya Walk along the riverside. The path will allow you to see the beautiful river, and the walk will end at the Botanic Gardens Edward Street Gates.

🏨 Accommodations near Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

A large water body, a cantilever bridge, and tall city buildings on the left
View of Brisbane's skyline and Story Bridge from afar

Dinner at Riverbar & Kitchen

When spending a weekend in Brisbane, you must have dinner at some of the city's best eateries. The Riverbar & Kitchen is a great choice and has fantastic views of the Story Bridge. Try to get a table on the footpath, as it lets you have unobstructed views of the river and bridge.

The best time of day to be at this restaurant is in the late afternoon or early evening, as this allows you to observe the river as the day transitions into night. If you're here in the spring or fall, it can be chilly in the evening by the water, so bring a coat!

🏨 Places to stay near Riverbar & Kitchen

Richie Chan/
A large rectangular heritage building lit up with colourful lights in the evening
Treasury Casino also has a hotel, restaurants, bars, and more

Treasury Brisbane Casino

If you are looking for a venue to round out your day, visit the Treasury Brisbane Casino. The casino first opened its doors in 1995. It is open 24 hours a day but comes to life in the evenings.

If you are not into gambling, the casino still has much to offer. There are bars and restaurants within the casino itself, which liven up during sporting events or when a DJ is performing at one of its bars.

🏨 Stay near Treasury Casino and Hotel Brisbane

South Bank and its Surroundings

A park with a giant wheel, a large water body in front, and buildings around the back
The area of South Bank in Brisbane was constructed for the World Expo of 1988

The second day of your 48 hours in Brisbane will take you to the southern banks of the Brisbane River. South Bank and the surrounding parklands are some of the most beautiful parts of Brisbane city.

In 1988, the South Bank area was developed for World Expo 88. Since then, the district has been renovated several times, which has turned it into a sprawling green parkland adorned with restaurants, entertainment, and gardens.

Similar to your first day in Brisbane, this day will be filled with lots of walking and exploring. Once again, to ensure you are comfortable, you should wear a comfortable pair of shoes and pack loose-fitting clothing, especially for the blistering hot summer days.

Breakfast at The Gunshop Cafe

Located in the West End, the Gunshop Cafe is just outside of the popular South Bank precinct. It is a 15-minute walk from today's second stop, the GoMA. The cafe has been around for several years and is well-loved by the locals. It is bustling during breakfast on the weekend. Fan favourites include their eggs benedict and the rosti with salmon.

They take reservations, which you can book through their website. The friendly cafe serves a delicious breakfast menu with great coffee and generous portions - what more could you want?

🏨 Accommodations near The Gunshop Cafe

Entrance to a grey building with glass and a board that reads "Gallery of Modern Art"
GoMA is popular with families as well as it is child-friendly
  • The Gallery of Modern Art, or "GoMA" for short, is an art museum that features modern art from international and local artists. The museum is located on the western end of South Bank and has beautiful architecture. There are several permanent and temporary exhibition galleries in the building. GoMA is child-friendly and has free entry. One to two hours should be enough time here.

  • The Queensland Museum, representing the state that Brisbane is the capital of, showcases culture, natural history, science, and human achievement. Within it, you will find exhibitions on dinosaurs, animals, and more. It also has a science centre for children and a new rotation of seasonal exhibits. During the school holiday season, the museum can get quite busy, so try to visit outside those times. A quick search online will tell you when the holidays are happening every year.

🏨 Stay near the Gallery of Modern Art

The colourful Brisbane Sign at South Bank

The Brisbane Sign

The Brisbane Sign was initially installed for the 2014 G20 summit that was held in Brisbane. The sign is beautifully coloured and is perfect for taking that "one memorable photo" of your time here.

The sign is extremely popular with tourists. On a typical day, there will be a small to a large group of people patiently queuing to take a photo with it. If you happen across the Brisbane sign when there are no other people, then enjoy the moment!

However, if you are there when it is crowded, take your time and respect the tourists who have arrived before you - allow them to take their photos first.

🏨 Accommodations in close proximity to the Brisbane Sign

A giant wheel with a tree to its left and a blue cloudy sky
Each capsule of the Wheel of Brisbane provides a 360-degree view of the city

The Wheel of Brisbane

The Wheel of Brisbane is an iconic landmark in South Bank and features prominently in photos of the area. It takes you quite high up into the air, 60 metres to be exact. At that height, you can gaze up and down the river and enjoy sweeping views across the CBD and South Bank.

As you ride the gondola, an audio guide will explain the various sights and landmarks that will be visible to you as you complete your rotation. As you reach the highest point, the gondola will pause for a moment before it continues going around.

A gondola can fit up to eight people. There is an option to rent a VIP gondola that comes with food and drinks and allows you to enjoy the gondola all to yourself!

☂️ Join a tour to see The Wheel of Brisbane

🏨 Stay near The Wheel of Brisbane

Lunch at The Plough Inn

The Plough Inn is a 19th-century style pub and sports bar serving typical British-influenced Australian pub food. Located on one of the busier boulevards in South Bank, try sitting outside in their patio area facing the mall. That way, you can watch as the crowds of people go by.

🏨 Accommodations nearby The Plough Inn

Martin Valigursky/
A park with pink flowering plants on the left, palm trees around, and a swimming pool
South Bank Parklands has free swimming facilities

South Bank Parklands

The parklands in South Bank are beautiful. It can get crowded on the weekend, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the space. Take your time strolling along the paths that take you through the lush landscaped gardens.

When walking through the parklands, be aware that there are two pathways. The first pathway takes you along the river, giving you a view of the CBD on the other side. The second pathway brings you inside the parklands, taking you past markets, restaurants, and shops.

🏨 Accommodations near the South Bank Visitor Information Centre

Martin Valigursky/
A human-made lagoon with flowering plants and palm trees around and buildings behind
Streets Beach at South Bank Parklands is a great place for all, especially children

Streets Beach

Streets Beach is a human-made swimming lagoon in the middle of South Bank. The artificial beach is patrolled by lifeguards during daytime hours and is a safe place for young children to swim. There is also a small sandy beach where you can relax and soak up the atmosphere and rays.

Around the lagoon are several seating and barbeque areas. As mentioned above, this area can get quite busy on the weekends, so try arriving early to secure a comfortable spot.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to Streets Beach

The Cliffs Boardwalk

After an hour or so of walking through the parklands and past Streets Beach, you will eventually reach the southernmost end of South Bank. To get to Kangaroo Point Cliffs, follow the Cliffs Boardwalk, as it will take you there.

Cliffs Boardwalk is a well-maintained walkway that takes you along the Brisbane River and passes by mangroves, barbecues, picnic areas, and gardens.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to The Cliffs Boardwalk

Kangaroo Point Cliffs Lookout

The lookout at Kangaroo Point is one of the most popular lookout spots in Brisbane. At the bottom of the cliffs, at river level, you will need to walk up several flights of stairs to get to the top of them. At the top of the viewpoint, there is a cafe, a children's playground, and a large metal monument.

Once at the lookout, you can look down both ends of the Brisbane River. The views toward the left (when facing the river) consist of the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, South Bank, and Goodwill Bridge. The views toward the right (when facing the river) show the end of the CBD.

If you have been following this Brisbane guide since Day 1, you will be able to see the location recommended for dinner from the first night - the Riverbar and Kitchen.

🏨 Accommodations nearby Kangaroo Point Cliffs Lookout

Dinner at the Pineapple Hotel

The Pineapple Hotel is located just around the corner from Kangaroo Point Cliffs. It is a lively pub and restaurant with several bars inside. Depending on the day, the hotel provides entertainment - whether it be local music or live sportscasting.

The food offered at the restaurant is typical Australian food, but they have a signature steak list and offer several pub favourites with a modern twist.

🏨 Places to stay near the Pineapple Hotel

In Summary

At the end of your two days in Brisbane, there is no doubt you will be drained but fulfilled. Two days is not a long time anywhere, and in Brisbane, this is also true - there is always more to do and see!

If you have longer in the area, then consider visiting some of the beautiful nearby waterfalls or doing a weekend getaway from Brisbane. Whatever you end up doing, you'll have a blast!

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Written by Loredana Elena

loredanaelena STAFF Loredana has travelled to dozens of countries and has been living overseas for almost a decade. She previously taught English in South Korea and Singapore, and completed a Master of Science in Global Mental Health while living in London, UK. She is also passionate about fitness and photography.

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