Brisbane is a lively, vibrant and youthful city. It has a great food scene, excellent art galleries and museums, a rich history and a fun nightlife.
But, Brisbane is a large city and not all of its neighbourhoods will appeal to visitors. Which is exactly why we put together this list of the best areas to stay in Brisbane.
This guide was written by travellers for travellers. It breaks down the best places in Brisbane to stay into easy to read categories so you can quickly find the neighbourhood that’s right for you. So whether you’re looking to delve deep into history, explore the arts scene, or party from dusk until dawn, this guide will give you all the information you need so you can book your accommodation with confidence and ease.
Let’s get right to it. Here are our top picks for where to stay in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Brisbane
- Where to stay in Brisbane for your first time – The CBD
- Where to stay in Brisbane on a budget – Petrie Terrace
- The best area to stay in Brisbane for nightlife – Fortitude Valley
- The coolest place to stay in Brisbane – New Farm
- Best neighbourhood in Brisbane for families – South Bank
In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:
- Climb to the top of the Brisbane City Hall clock tower and enjoy the view.
- Delve deep into the history of the city at the Museum of Brisbane.
- Eat fresh and delicious fare at the Brisbane Riverbar & Kitchen.
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in Brisbane
- Brisbane Neighbourhood Guide
- Brisbane’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in
- #1 The CBD – Where to Stay in Brisbane for Your First Time
- #2 Petrie Terrace – Where to Stay in Brisbane on a Budget
- #3 Fortitude Valley – Where to Stay in Brisbane for Nightlife
- #4 New Farm – Coolest Place to Stay in Brisbane
- #5 South Bank – Where to Stay in Brisbane for Families
Where to Stay in Brisbane
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Brisbane.
Best Hostel in Brisbane: Aussie Way Lodge
Aussie Way Lodge is our favourite hostel in Brisbane. Housed in a heritage building, this hostel is bursting with charm. It has single, double and dorm rooms that are equipped with air-conditioning and free wifi. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, shops and nightclubs nearby.
If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Brisbane!View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Brisbane: Sage Hotel James Street
This hotel is ideally located in Fortitude Valley, the best neighbourhood in Brisbane to stay in for nightlife and partying. It is close to the best bars and clubs in Brisbane as well as shops and restaurants. Rooms at this hotel in Brisbane are modern, luxurious and well-equipped with a variety of great amenities.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Brisbane Neighbourhood Guide
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Brisbane
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Brisbane is a large city located on the eastern coast of Australia. It is known for its positive attitude and creativity as well as its excellent culinary, arts and nightlife scenes.
One of the oldest cities in Australia, Brisbane boasts a rich and varied history and is home to a great selection of tourist attractions and historical landmarks.
The city covers 15,842 square kilometres and is home to a number of neighbourhoods, each offering something unique to travellers. In this Brisbane neighbourhood guide, we’ll look at the best things to see, do and eat in the five best areas.
Starting with the city centre. Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD) is a big and buzzing neighbourhood at the heart of the city. It is the best neighbourhood in Brisbane to stay in if you’re visiting for the first time or are keen on sightseeing because it has so many excellent landmarks and attractions.
Travel northwest to Petrie Terrace. This small neighbourhood packs a big punch. Here you’ll find great bars, restaurants and shops and it is our best recommendation for where to stay in Brisbane on a budget.
Head east from here to Fortitude Valley. A bustling and buzzing area, Fortitude Valley is our pick for where to stay in Brisbane for nightlife thanks to its many bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants.
New Farm is one of the coolest places to stay in Brisbane. It is a trendy and hip district set east of Fortitude Valley and is packed with great shops, eateries, cafes and bars.
And finally, South Bank is situated south of the city centre. It wins our vote for where to stay in Brisbane with kids because it has a central location and is home to amazing museums, galleries and attractions.
Brisbane’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in
Still not sure which is the best neighbourhood to stay in Brisbane based on your needs? Well, don’t worry! In this next section, we’ll breakdown Brisbane’s best neighbourhoods in detail.
The CBD is the best neighbourhood in Brisbane to stay in for first-time visitors and travellers keen on sightseeing.
Referred to by locals as The City, Brisbane’s CBD is a lively and vibrant district set at the heart of the city. It’s where you’ll find Brisbane’s major businesses as well as a great selection of shops, malls, cinemas, museums, restaurants and galleries.
The CBD is also home to many of Brisbane’s most famous tourist attractions and landmarks. From the iconic City Hall and the Museum of Brisbane to the Roma Street Parkland and the Botanical Garden, there’s plenty to see, do and experience in this central neighbourhood.
Things to See and Do in The CBD
– Climb to the top of the Brisbane City Hall clock tower and enjoy the view.
– Delve deep into the history of the city at the Museum of Brisbane.
– Eat fresh and delicious fare at the Brisbane Riverbar & Kitchen.
– Enjoy delicious cocktails at Super Whatnot.
– Feast on incredible Australian fare at Urbane.
– Pack a picnic and enjoy a peaceful afternoon in the Roma Street Parkland.
– Shop until you drop on Edward Street.
– Sip high tea at the Shingle Inn.
– Stop and smell the roses at the Brisbane Botanical Garden.
– Support up-and-coming local designers by browsing the BrisStyle Indie Markets.
Best Hostel in The CBD: Brisbane City YHA
This cool and contemporary hostel is one of the best places to stay in Brisbane. It has a great central location and boasts a pool table, swimming pool and game room. They also host weekly activities like BBQs, pub-crawls, yoga and more. Each room is outfitted with comfortable beds and modern amenities.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in The CBD: Royal On The Park
Royal On The Park is a stylish and modern 4.5-star hotel in central Brisbane. It offers amazing views of the city and boasts great features, like free wifi and a stunning pool. Rooms are well-outfitted with A/C and comfy beds. This is one of our favourite options for Brisbane accommodation.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in The CBD: Royal Albert Hotel
This hotel has a great location in the CBD, the best area in Brisbane to stay in for sightseeing. It is close to popular tourist attractions and historic landmarks, including the Parklands, Botanic Gardens, shopping and dining. This hotel has large rooms with A/C, luxury toiletries and modern amenities.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Located just east of the city centre, Petrie Terrace is a compact neighbourhood that packs a big punch. One of the oldest party and entertainment districts in the city, Petrie Terrace is home to great bars, lively clubs and delicious restaurants as well as the Suncorp Stadium, which hosts incredible live music, sporting and entertainment events.
Petrie Terrace is also where you’ll find a high concentration of good value accommodation options, which is why it’s our pick for the best are in Brisbane to stay in if you’re ballin’ on a budget. All throughout the neighbourhood there are comfortable, spacious and secure options, all at an excellent price!
Things to See and Do in Petrie Terrace
– Catch a flick at the Palace Barracks Cinemas.
– Enjoy wholesome and hearty homemade snacks from Pamela’s Pantry.
– Feast on amazing dishes and delicacies at The Caxton Hotel.
– Grab a quick and tasty snack at Fritzenberger.
– Indulge in great burgers, fries and American fare at Fat Belly Jacks.
– Listen to great live music at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall.
– Root for the home team at Suncorp Stadium.
– Satisfy your appetite at delicious Brewski.
– Sip wine and cocktails at the StreetSide Bar.
– Start your day with an amazing break from the Scout Café.
Best Hostel in Petrie Terrace: Aussie Way Lodge
Aussie Way Lodge is our favourite hostel in Brisbane. Built in a heritage house, this hostel is bursting with charm. It has single, double and dorm rooms that are equipped with air-conditioning and free wifi. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, shops and nightclubs nearby.View on HostelWorld
Best Hostel in Petrie Terrace: Banana Bender Backpackers
Banana Bender Backpackers is another great option for budget Brisbane accommodation. It is ideally located in Petrie Terrace and is close to great tourist attractions, restaurants, bars and shops. This property has 20 comfortable and spacious rooms and boasts an outdoor terrace, on-site bar and free wifi.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Petrie Terrace: Gambaro Hotel Brisbane
The Gambaro Hotel is one of the best places in Brisbane to stay because of its excellent location. Set in Petrie Terrace, this five-star hotel is close to eateries, bistros, bars and shops. It has a coffee bar, laundry services and modern rooms. There’s also a delicious on-site restaurant.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Fortitude Valley is a vivacious and boisterous neighbourhood. It is located northeast of the city centre and is famous for its combination of eclectic bars with alternative shopping.
This neighbourhood is the best area in Brisbane to stay in for nightlife because it offers such a great mix of places to go and fun things to do. It is home to everything from dive bars and cosy pubs to innovative DJs and world-class super clubs.
So, no matter your taste, style, budget or age, Fortitude Valley is a neighbourhood that will have you feeling like there’s not enough to time see and experience it all!
Things to See and Do in Fortitude Valley
– Dance the night away at The Beat Megaclub.
– Don’t miss the chance to spend a night at raucous Cloudland.
– Drink bespoke cocktails at Laruche.
– Eat innovative and exciting food at Harvey’s Bar & Bistro.
– Enjoy tasty dishes and refreshing beers at Alfred & Constance.
– Feast on flavourful Italian dishes at Bucci.
– Grab drinks at the quirky and cool Bloodhound Corner Bar and Kitchen.
– Party late into the night at The Met, an insane club with five thriving dance floors.
– See incredible works of art at the Jan Murphy Gallery.
– Sip sophisticated wines at the CRU Bar & Cellar.
Best Hostel in Fortitude Valley: Bunk Brisbane
Bunk Brisbane is a friendly and fun hostel in lively Fortitude Valley. This is our top pick for where to stay in Brisbane for one night because it’s close to great bars, shops and restaurants. This property has modern and spacious dorm rooms, a swimming pool and an outdoor terrace. They also regularly host excellent events.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Fortitude Valley: Sage Hotel James Street
This hotel is ideally located in Fortitude Valley, the best neighbourhood in Brisbane to stay in for nightlife and partying. It is close to the best bars and clubs in Brisbane as well as shops and restaurants. Rooms are modern, luxurious and well-equipped with a variety of great amenities.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Fortitude Valley: Ovolo The Valley Brisbane
Thanks to its swimming pool, spacious rooms and wonderful staff, this is one of the best places to stay in Brisbane. Set in vibrant Fortitude Valley, this great hotel is close to the city’s best bars, clubs and restaurants. Rooms come complete with A/C, minibars, coffee machines and iPod docking stations.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Nestled next to Fortitude Valley is the New Farm neighbourhood. This central district is one of Brisbane’s best neighbourhoods thanks to its upmarket shopping, hip dining and trendy bars. It is the place to see and be seen in, which is why New Farm is our top pick for the coolest neighbourhood in Brisbane.
Delicious restaurants, cosy cafes, sweet bakeries, eclectic event spaces, kicking coffee, and interesting independent boutiques are just a few of the amazing things that New Farm offers to its visitors.
Things to See and Do in New Farm
– Eat fresh and delicious dishes at Botanica Real food.
– Excite your sense with delicious food at Pablo.
– Go for a stroll through New Farm Park.
– Grab pints at Newstead Brewing Co.
– Kickstart your day with an incredible breakfast from Double Shot Espresso.
– Pop into the lively Bitter Suite for a tasty and refreshing beer.
– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Nodo.
– Shop and eat your way along vibrant James Street.
– Sip coffees and enjoy a great breakfast at The Primal Pantry.
– Visit the Brisbane Powerhouse for excellent events and one-of-a-kind gatherings.
Best Guest House in New Farm: Ellie’s Guest House
Ellie’s Guest House is one of the coolest places to stay in Brisbane if you’re on a budget. It is located at the heart of New Farm, the trendiest neighbourhood in Brisbane and offers easy access to restaurants, shops and bars. Rooms are private, well-equipped, comfortable and secure.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in New Farm: Spicers Balfour Hotel
This five-star property is conveniently located in New Farm, the best neighbourhood to stay in Brisbane for trendsetters and hipsters. It boasts a variety of amenities, including a library, rooftop terrace and free wifi. Rooms are luxurious and the on-site restaurant serves delicious food and snacks.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best BnB in New Farm: Edward Lodge
Edward Lodge is one of our favourite places to stay in New Farm because it is close to popular tourist attractions as well as eateries, bars and shops. This stylish BnB has comfortable rooms with air-con and wireless internet. There’s also a BBQ/picnic area, laundry facilities and on-site luggage storage.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
South Bank is a vivid and vivacious neighbourhood located south of Brisbane’s CBD. It is a district characterized by its lengthy riverside boardwalk, waterside cafes and its inner city beach. South Bank is an excellent place to while away an afternoon, which is why it’s one of the best areas to stay in Brisbane for families.
In addition to its relaxing atmosphere, South Bank is also home to a vast array of family-friendly activities. Here you’ll find world-class museums and incredible art galleries as well as unique attractions, colourful markets and delicious restaurants.
South Bank is, without a doubt, a feast for the eyes, ears, stomach and soul.
Things to See and Do in South Bank
– Browse a brilliant collection of works of art at the Queensland Art Gallery.
– Delve deep into natural, cultural and scientific history at the Queensland Museum.
– Enjoy a peaceful afternoon in the South Bank Parklands.
– Excite your taste buds at the Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar.
– Explore the incredible Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
– Ride the Wheel of Brisbane and enjoy amazing views.
– See a great collection of relics and artefacts at the State Library of Queensland.
– Shop and snack your way through the Collective Markets.
– Visit the spectacular Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA).
Best Apartments in South Bank: Parkview Apartments
Parkview Apartments are conveniently located in South Bank, our top pick for where to stay in Brisbane with kids. This property is close to popular tourist attractions, museums, parks, restaurants and shops. Each apartment is well-equipped and many are designed for families.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Apartments in South Bank: West End Central Apartments
This property is a great pick for your time in Brisbane because it has an excellent location in South Bank, one of the best areas to stay in Brisbane for families. This modern property offers spacious accommodation with A/C and contemporary features. There’s also laundry facilities, a sauna and a swimming pool.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Apartments in South Bank: Fleet Lane Apartments
Stylish and spacious – these apartments are one of our top picks for where to stay in Brisbane for families. Set in South Bank, these apartments are ideally located for sightseeing, exploring, dining and shopping. The property has a garden, a BBQ area, a rooftop terrace and free wifi.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Brisbane
Brisbane is a lively and vibrant city. From its rich history and diverse culture to its excellent culinary scene, great nightlife and the vast array of family-friendly activities, Brisbane is a city that will enchant and entertain travellers of all ages, styles, budgets and tastes.
In this guide, we’ve looked at the best places to stay in Brisbane. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here is a quick recap of our favourites.
Aussie Way Lodge is our favourite hostel because it has comfortable rooms, a great location and is bursting with charm,
Another excellent option is the Sage Hotel James Street because it is modern and luxurious and is close to the best bars, clubs, shops and restaurants in Brisbane.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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