Brisbane City Guide Introduction

When Australia's metropolises get together for their end of year Christmas party, the claws come out as Brisbane walks through the door. But when you’re the capital of the state tagged ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next’, you kind of get used it.

What makes Brisbane really shine is the effortless blend of easy-going Aussie character, with the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of big city life and all its wonderful trappings. As a holiday destination, it’s something the other party guests can only dream about.

Best time to go

To be honest there’s really not a bad time. Sitting in the south of the state, summers are a bit drier than up in tropical north Queensland. But even in winter the surf and beaches are a hit with temperatures around 20°C. The warmest most humid months are over summer, from November to February, and the milder drier months July to September.

Brisbane events

There’s just over 1.6 million Brisbanites, so the city still has a real community feel, with frequent sport, food, arts, outdoors and the extraordinary events and socialising among and between cultural groups:

  • Winter is the season of arts and history fun with the Brisbane International Film Festival (July-August) Abby Medieval Festival, which includes a jousting tournament, Masque Ball and Banquet.

  • Families will love the Royal Queensland show (aka ‘Ekka’) in August, with amusement arcades and special shows involving horses, dogs, and sheep.

  • In springtime November, new foods and international chefs strut their stuff at the Good Food & Wine Show in November.

  • Locals and tourists alike get into the sunshine spirit of summer. There’s cricket at the Gabba, and music in the park as Sunset Sounds rocks the Botanical Gardens.

  • While the end of summer is no laughing matter, February and March is Comedy Festival time, hosting national and international comedians in multiple locations.

  • And in late March, autumn weather brings sunny days without too much heat to the Great Brisbane Bike Ride around the city streets and along the Brisbane River.

    Getting around

    In addition to normal city buses rolling around town, there are Cityxpress services that run between the city centre and the ‘burbs and Rockets for impatient peak-hour commuters. The fast Citytrain network has seven lines, plus there’sa great ferry service along and across the Brisbane River. Or you can erase your carbon footprint using the riverside bicycle track that runs from the City Botanic Gardens out to the University of Queensland.

    Hotel.com.au Staff Favourites

    The Hotel.com.au team have road-tested some of our Brisbane hotels and here are a few personal recommendations of their favourite places to stay.


  • 4.5 star
    161 Grey Street South Bank South Brisbane 4101 Australia
    With a stay at Mantra South Bank in South Brisbane (South Bank), you'll be minutes from Queensland Conservatorium and Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. This 4.5-star hotel is within close proximity of Southbank Institute of Technology and South Bank Lifestyle Market.Rooms Make yourself at h...more
    4 star
    52 Astor Terrace Brisbane 4000 Australia
    Mantra Terrace Hotel Brisbane is a contemporary boutique hotel in the heart of Brisbane, less than 500 metres from Central Station. It offers rooms with a 40-inch LCD HD TV that has 20 selected cable channels. Mantra Terrace Hotel is located on Astor Terrace, just 4 minutes’ drive from Queen Street...more
    4 star
    142 Constance Street Fortitude Valley 4000 Australia
    When you stay at Limes Hotel in Fortitude Valley, you'll be in the business district and minutes from Tivoli and Brunswick Street Mall. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of RNA Showgrounds and Chinatown Mall.Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 21 air-conditioned rooms featuring refr...more

    Oaks 212 Margaret

    4 self rated
    212 Margaret Street Brisbane 4000 Australia
    Located next to the Brisbane Botanical Gardens and overlooking the Brisbane River, the Oaks 212 Margaret features self-catering accommodation with a private balcony. Guests enjoy a heated swimming pool, sun terrace and fitness centre. Oaks 212 has a total of 107 apartments, divided into one and 2 be...more
    4 self rated
    73 Wickham Terrace Brisbane 4000 Australia
    The New Inchcolm Hotel and Suites is in the heart of Spring Hill, walking distance from St. John's Anglican Cathedral and ANZAC Square War Memorial. This 5-star hotel is within close proximity of Brisbane Customs House and Tower Mill.Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 50 air-conditioned rooms f...more
    4.5 star
    21 Lambert Street Kangaroo Point 4169 Australia
    With a stay at The Point Brisbane – Hotel in Kangaroo Point, you'll be in the historical district and minutes from St Vincent's Hospital Brisbane and close to The Gabba. This 4.5-star hotel is within close proximity of Kangaroo Point Cliffs and Brisbane Botanic Gardens.Rooms Make yourself at home...more
    5 star
    Corner of Edward Street and Margaret Street Brisbane 4000 Australia
    Featuring elegant rooms with stunning views over Brisbane River, Stamford Plaza Brisbane is perfectly positioned on the banks of the Brisbane River and only 300m from the Botanical Gardens. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, 4 restaurants and a fitness centre. Located in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD...more
    4 self rated
    551 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill Brisbane 4000 Australia
    The Park Hotel Brisbane (Formerly Watermark Hotel Brisbane) is a 4 star hotel located opposite Roma Street Parklands in Spring Hill. It offers luxurious rooms, a grand outdoor pool, and upscale dining, just a 10-minute walk from Brisbane’s city centre. The rooms at The Park Hotel Brisbane are spacio...more

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