If you love art, music, and mellow city life, then make your way to Brisbane, Australia, one of the country’s most underrated destinations. The city has great restaurants and cafes a humming nightlife scene, and is just a stone’s throw away from incredible beaches, National Parks, and outdoor adventures. Brisbane is easily one of Australia’s most exciting and livable cities. It’s such a great city that we chose to base ourselves here for over 3 years during our stint living in Australia. 

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For us, it’s home, but for many travellers, it is a common stopover before venturing further north to explore the rest of beautiful Queensland. 

While planning your trip, you’ll certainly wonder where to stay in Brisbane, Australia, since there are so many diverse neighbourhoods and accommodation options. This post breaks down our top recommendations for places to stay in Brisbane city and why we love them.

brisbane to cairns
Bridge from South Bank to Brisbane City. Photo credits: Tourism and Events Queensland
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Where To Stay In Brisbane, Australia

West End & South Brisbane

The West End and South Brisbane are two neighbourhoods located on the south side of the Brisbane River. They’re both essentially surrounded by the river, making them suitable areas to stay in Brisbane, Australia, if you want to be within walking distance to the city. 

West End is alternative and edgy. It is known as the artist and student neighbourhood in Brisbane. This is our favourite neighbourhood in Brisbane and it’s where we used to live for over 3 years. The neighbourhood’s main drag, Hardgrave Road, is filled with cheap restaurants and alternative shops and plays host to a number of markets depending on the season. This area is also where you’ll find Brisbane’s biggest market – West End Market.

South Brisbane is closer to the Brisbane city centre and has amazing views of the city across the Brisbane River. This inner city suburb is more upscale compared to the West End and features lots of green spaces and great places to eat. One of the best things to do in this area is to visit the South Bank Parklands, 17 hectares of riverfront land that features free swimming facilities, walking tracks, licensed picnic areas, and more.

Australia Brisbane 2531
West End Market, Brisbane. Australia

where to stay in Brisbane australia

West End, Brisbane. Australia
Hardgrave Road, West End, Brisbane 

Attractions in West End and South Brisbane 

  • West End Fire Festival is held in Orleigh Park on the night of each full moon. Watch fire-spinners and other performers perform to the beat of live music at this fun event. 
  • Queensland Performing Arts Centre runs a number of amazing live performances, including concerts, musicals, plays, and operas.
  • Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art sit 150 metres apart in the Queensland Cultural Centre on Grey Street. The incredible art galleries house thousands of traditional and contemporary works from Australia, Asia, and the Pacific.
Streets Beach, Southbank Parklands, Brisbane
Streets Beach, Southbank Parklands, Brisbane

Best Luxury Hotel in West End/South Bank

The Emporium Hotel is a boutique luxury eco-hotel located in South Bank, right on the river overlooking the city. It has an excellent restaurant and bar, as well as a rooftop infinity pool. All rooms feature a Bose sound system, wine fridge, mini bar, and amazing views of the city or the South Bank Parklands and river. 

Emporium Hotel is just a short walk away from the Southbank cultural precinct, the central business district, and the beautiful City Botanic Gardens. 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in West End/South Bank 

If you’re looking for a clean, modern, and affordable choice on the south bank, choose the Riverside Hotel. This hotel offers rooms and apartment-style accommodations, and it’s right next to a number of museums and theatres. All accommodations feature private bathrooms and a private balcony or small courtyard, while apartments include fully-equipped kitchenettes.

Riverside Hotel is within walking distance from several green spaces, King George Square, and the iconic Wheel of Brisbane. While the hotel does feature an onsite restaurant, there are cafes and eateries all around.

Best Budget Hotel in West End/South Bank

Brisbane Backpackers Resort is a fun hostel in the centre of these two neighbourhoods. Aside from all the usual hostel amenities, it also has an outdoor pool, basketball court, a computer lab, and ping pong and pool tables. Brisbane Backpackers Resort offers both private and dorm-style rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Brisbane Backpackers Resort is the first hostel in Australia to offer Capsule Beds, an affordable option to shared or private rooms for those who only need quick overnight stays. The hostel also offers a free shuttle to the city and Southbank.

Fortitude Valley 

Perhaps the coolest part of town, Fortitude Valley is just where to stay in Brisbane, Australia if you’re looking for some fun and excitement. The best nightlife can be found here, thanks to countless cool bars, restaurants, and cafes. 

Fortitude Valley is considered the cultural centre of Brisbane. It’s home to Brisbane Chinatown, a European section, and many other multicultural venues. There are often markets here on weekends, as well as a fun music scene. Generally, this neighbourhood draws a young crowd and has plenty of shopping areas and quirky boutiques, too.

where to stay in Brisbane australia
Overlooking Brisbane from Spicers Belfour Hotel

Attractions in Fortitude Valley

  • Excellent shopping on James Street, where you’ll find an eclectic collection of independent boutiques and bigger Australian and International retailers. 
  • The Institute of Modern Art houses experimental art exhibitions, like large-scale sculptures built with Tasmanian kelp or building-sized light projections!
  • Street Art can be found all over “The Valley.” There are several murals concentrated between Ann and McLachlan Streets in particular.

Best Luxury Hotel in Fortitude Valley

Ovolo The Valley is an award-winning hotel just a short walk away from the best live music venues, art galleries, and shopping in Fortitude Valley. The design and decor are inspired by the eclectic art and culture of the Valley. All rooms feature a minibar, an Alexa, and several more modern amenities. Ovolo The Valley offers guests a complimentary Middle-Eastern style breakfast, a Daily Social Hour with a complimentary drink, and free laundry facilities. 

In addition to attractions in Fortitude Valley, this luxury hotel is close to the famous Story Bridge, the New Farm Park and Riverwalk, and several green spaces in the city.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Fortitude Valley

Apartments on Connor offer fully-equipped apartment-style accommodations for a moderate price. All units feature a balcony or patio, a seating area, and an equipped kitchen with a dining area. 

Conveniently located near The Valley’s bars, restaurants, and nightlife, Apartments on Connor is just a 10-minute walk from the Valley Metro Train Station and around the corner from a bus stop. 

Best Budget Hotel in Fortitude Valley

Bunk Brisbane is a modern hostel with an eye for design. It’s right in the centre of the nightlife in Fortitude Valley. This hostel offers dormitory style and private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Bunk Brisbane has recently undergone a renovation to all rooms, dorms, and communal areas.

Guests have access to the hostel’s outdoor pool, spa, and a fully equipped shared kitchen. If you don’t feel like cooking, some of the best restaurants in Brisbane are just steps away. 

Spring Hill And CBD (Central Business District)

Spring Hill, also known as the CBD or the Central Business District in Brisbane. We’ll be honest; there’s not too much going on in Spring Hill as far as nightlife or culture. However, if you want to be close to transportation links with easy access to other parts of the city and of the greater Brisbane area, then staying in Spring Hill can be a good option.

Brisbane’s Central Business District is the business area just to the south of Spring Hill. The neighbourhood’s main attraction is the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens and the Mayer Centre shopping area. There are also a number of decent restaurants and a few pubs and bars that are particularly lively on Friday nights with the Brisbane 9-5 working crowd. 

Brisbane, Australia
View of the Brisbane CBD across the river

Attractions in Brisbane CBD and Spring Hill

  • Roma Street Parkland covers 16 hectares in the heart of the city. This park encompasses sprawling lawns that are perfect for picnics and people-watching, designer gardens with colourful and unique subtropical plants, and walking paths.
  • Queen Street Mall is Brisbane’s iconic shopping strip, featuring over 500 Australian and International retailers.
  • BrisStyle Twilight Market only happens once a month, but it’s worth a visit if you happen to be in Brisbane. This evening market takes place in King George Square and features 100% locally made goods from over 60 Brisbane-area designers. You’ll find all-natural skincare, hand-crafted ceramics, and art to take home.

Best Luxury Hotel in Spring Hill and CBD 

In what was once a doctor’s office, you’ll now find the Ovolo Inchcolma quirky and sophisticated design hotel. The museum-like interior will impress you while you enjoy their bar and restaurant. They offer rooms, suites, and lofts, with free self-service laundry and a complimentary cocktail during Daily Martini hour.

This boutique hotel is just a short walk from Queen Street Mall, Roma Street Parklands, and the Eagle Street Pier. 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Spring Hill and CBD

Situated right next to the beautiful City Botanic Gardens and Brisbane River, Royal On The Park Hotel offers the best views in Brisbane’s CBD. This hotel features 153 elegant rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, an espresso machine, and many other modern amenities. The onsite restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and high tea service.

This award-winning hotel is a 5-minute walk from Queen Street Mall and several other landmark attractions like Brisbane City Hall and Anzac Square. 

Best Budget Hotel in Spring Hill and CBD 

The Pacific Hotel is a surprisingly affordable 4-star hotel located right next to the park in Spring Hill. It’s a simplistic and lovely place to stay, all while being easy on your wallet. Recently refurbished, the Pacific Hotel features an expansive lobby with a co-working space, an outdoor pool, and an onsite bar and restaurant.

You’ll be within a short walking distance of no less than six green spaces, the Wheel of Brisbane, and New Farm Riverwalk.

Petrie Terrace 

This small, triangle-shaped neighbourhood just to the west of Spring Hill is an excellent option for where to stay in Brisbane, Australia. Its main claim to fame is Caxton Street, an especially fun place to be on weekends. Here, you can go to the Suncorp Stadium for a game, eat at a boisterous pub, or stroll in one of the many nearby public parks.

Petrie Terrace
Petrie Terrace

Attractions In Petrie Terrace

  • The 2.7km Petrie Terrace Heritage Trail is a self-guided walk through this historic inner city suburb. There are 18 points of interest on the Potter about Petrie Terrace Heritage Trail, which starts at Lang Park and winds along the neighbourhood’s landmarks.
  • Palace Barracks Cinema screens the best blockbuster and arthouse films and hosts annual film festivals. The glass-walled mezzanine bar lounge features stunning city views and serves premium beers and wines, charcuterie platters, and coffee.

Best Luxury Hotel in Petrie Terrace 

The Gambaro Hotel is a luxury accommodation located right next to the stadium and within close proximity to awesome local restaurants. The interior is elegant, and the rooms are huge.

This boutique hotel is home to two multi award-winning restaurants – Black Hide Steakhouse and Gambaro Seafood Restaurant, which is renowned for its signature mud crab and lobster recipes. Nearby attractions include the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane Arts Theatre, and the famous Story Bridge.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Petrie Terrace

Park Regis North Quay is perched above the Brisbane River and offers spectacular views of the city and across South Bank. The Park Regis offers modern rooms as well as apartment-style accommodations with well-equipped kitchens.

This hotel is conveniently located at the edge of Petrie Terrace and CBD, offering quick access to attractions, restaurants, and beautiful green spaces in both neighbourhoods.

Best Budget Hotel in Petrie Terrace 

YHA is one of our favourite hostel chains in Australia. YHA Brisbane is pretty luxurious as far as hostels go, and it boasts great views of the river and city skyline. You’ll have your pick from dormitory-style or private rooms and access to a fully equipped communal kitchen. There is an onsite bar and cafe, plus you’ll be within a 2-minute walk from the dining and nightlife on Caxton Street.

The YHA tour desk can arrange excursions like Stradbroke Island tours, and hosts weekly activities like BBQs, guided walking tours of Brisbane, and more. If you’d like to explore more in the Brisbane area, the Roma Street Station is just an 8-minute walk away.

Rooftop views at Brisbane YHA

where to stay in Brisbane australia
Private room at Brisbane YHA

where to stay in Brisbane australia

 

Brisbane is one of our favourite cities in Australia and is sadly overlooked by many travelers in Queensland. It may not be a city with many tourist attractions, but it has a great atmosphere, lots of art, awesome food, and stellar weather. If it’s not on your Australia itinerary, we highly recommend you add it!

Have You Visited Brisbane Before? Where Did You Stay In Brisbane During Your Visit?

READ NEXT: Things To Do In Brisbane, Australia

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