Brisbane is often overlooked as a tourist destination in Australia. It is dwarfed on the global stage by other famous Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne and to a lesser extent, Perth. However, after four visits to Brisbane I can say that Brisbane or "BrisVegas", as the locals call it, is worth some time and exploration. Here are some suggestions.
Start out your Brisbane city tour in South Bank for a look at the cool, modern area of Brisbane with great views of the Brisbane city skyline; which is why they call it BrisVegas. It is glows at night and looks world class like New York, Hong Kong or Vegas.
Walk the beautifully cultivated riverfront promenade and check out the surprisingly pleasant man made beach and pool smack dab in the middle of South Bank. It sounds a little cheesy on the surface but in reality, they did a great job and you’ll be thinking other cities should do something like this. It adds a real charm and embraces the proximity of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast to Brisbane.
Brisbane is the gateway into and the capital of Queensland. It is the largest city and the shopping capital. Central Brisbane, or the CBD as all downtown areas are known in Australia, is very pleasant to walk around and had world-class shopping if that’s your thing. It’s also a great place to people watch, have a coffee and enjoy the fantastic Brisbane weather.
Renting a bike is also a great way to see the city and gives you a little more flexibility on a short stay. Another option is hopping on a boat and doing a little river cruise that gives you multiple perspectives to Brisbane where you can hop on and off as you please.
Head back to South Bank for sunset and catch a great view as the lights come on in BrisVegas. It really is one of the best urban skylines in the world. There are plenty of excellent and trendy restaurants to choose from and the nightlife is quite good in Brisbane.
Many people go to Brisbane only to go somewhere else and that’s a shame. It’s well worth a trip on its own merits. It may be a big country town as the Aussies say but I say it’s a cool city with a great vibe.
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