Visiting Brisbane on a budget
Brisbane is brimming with summery adventures – and you don’t need a huge wallet to experience them. Here are 10 things to do for less (or free!) in this thriving and affordable city.
1. Take the Airtrain
On arrival at Brisbane Airport, hop on Brisbane’s Airtrain, the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way to reach the city from the airport. There are great discounted group fares online, a 10% discount for all online bookings, and a Kids Travel Free policy for kids of 14 years of age and under (when accompanied by a paying adult). It also takes you right to the city centre, close to the Convention Centre, hotels and shops so you can get straight into the action, and there is a new iPhone app allowing you to plan your journey.
2. Soak up the art at GOMA
GOMA is one of the country's best art galleries and innovative artistic spaces in Australia – and you can visit for free. The galleries are architectural wonders, housing Australian and international art, plus there’s a stylish bar for staying up fashionably late.
3. Cruise the iconic Brisbane River
The CityCat Ferry is one of the cheapest and most pleasant ways to experience this amazing city. To enjoy the full experience, board at the University of Queensland and wind your way along past the City and South Bank to Brett's Wharf. You can hop on and off along the way, all for around $5.
4. Take a free guided tour
Explore the best spots in the city on a free guided tour with the Brisbane Greeters. The 2-4 hour walking tours are run by passionate local volunteers and open to everyone, whether you’re travelling alone or with friends, kids or partners.
5. Head to the markets
Experience the pulse of Brisbane at one of its many markets. From indie music to organic foods, young home-grown designer labels, and everything you could imagine in between, you’ll find something that’s truly unique. Some of the top markets include West End Twilight market, South Bank Lifestyle Market, South Bank Young Designers Market and Jan Powers Farmers Markets.
6. Catch a free performance at the Powerhouse
This enormous arts and cultural icon used to supply electricity to Brisbane's entire tramway system. Now, not only is it an eclectic art space, there are also regular free music and comedy gigs.
7. Unwind at South Bank
Streets Beach is a must-visit, as Brisbane’s only inner city beach. At certain times of the year, you can lounge on the sand and watch a free movie. The Feel Good program is also back until 8 November, offering free exercise classes for men and women of all ages and fitness levels.
8. Feast at The Crosstown Eating House
You could order the entire bar menu and still have change from $20. Visit for the easygoing vibe in a beautiful, airy 1920s building and the delectable lamb cutlet and minted yoghurt for only $5.
9. Enjoy one of the world’s best rose gardens
On a par with London’s Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park, Brisbane’s New Farm Park offers beautiful expansive gardens overlooking Brisbane River.
10. Discover stylish and affordable hotels
Try the hip TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel, Brisbane’s very first art hotel, which sits atop one of the city’s most interesting historical sites.
Top tips thanks to Brisbane’s Airtrain. For more information visit airtrain.com.au
(Images courtesy of Brisbane Marketing and GOMA.)