Hosting buddies from out of town can be stressful. If it’s not proving that Brisbane is actually cool and has decent coffee (to visitors from Sydney and Melbourne), it’s proving Brisbane really is the fabulous big smoke (to buddies from Toowoomba and Townsville). Either way, there’s a lot at stake.
Fret not though because we’ve put together this guide to impress your out of town mates, no matter where they’re from. From stunning rooftop bars to delicious breakfasts to weird and wonderful activities, this list of epic things to do in Brisbane makes sure our city (and, by extension, you) shine.
Let’s start with what Brisbane does best: awesome sunny weather. Obviously take the crew up to a rooftop bar to show off our clear blue sky while knocking back all the quality cocktails.
Sazerac | CBD
Rooftop newbie, Sazerac on Level 30 of Four Points by Sheraton, offers a panorama that takes in the city skyline, the Botanic Gardens all the way to the Story Bridge. Throw in mouthwatering cocktails and you have a winning combination.
Up On Constance | Fortitude Valley
Impress your guests with Brisbane’s beauty by timing your visit to Up On Constance to coincide with sunset. The beautiful views, share plates and awesome music at this Valley bar will ensure they’re still kicking on at sunrise.
Eleven | Fortitude Valley
The line up at the elevator at Eleven in the Valley signals that this rooftop bar is the place to see and be seen. Shout the squad Eleven’s signature cocktail with gin, ginger, passionfruit and bitters and they’ll love Brisvegas even more.
Soleil Pool Bar | South Bank
Head to the swanky, sun-drenched Soleil Pool Bar for the perfect Sunday session. If sipping cocktails on the day beds by the pool don’t impress, I don’t know what will.
Brisbane is a city of early risers and exercise-enthusiasts, so is it any wonder that we really shine in the breakfast foods department? Take your mates to one of Brisbane’s best breakfast spots and set them up for an epic day ahead.
Shouk | Paddington
Not only does Shouk in Paddington look absolutely gorgeous, the Middle Eastern inspired menu is also a real winner. We love their shakshouka eggs, latke stacks with salmon, and strong coffee.
Scout | Red Hill
Super cute Scout in Paddington never, ever disappoints. The kitsch interiors, sweet service, delicious bacon and egg bagels and stellar coffee will win over any food-obsessed visitor.
Gauge | South Brisbane
Light and airy Gauge, across the road from GOMA in South Brisbane, has a seriously sophisticated breakfast menu worth showing off. The black garlic bread with brown butter and burnt vanilla or the organic rolled bircher with lemon myrtle are showstoppers.
Merriweather | South Brisbane
With a display of the world’s best farm-to-plate cookbooks front and centre at Merriweather, it’s no surprise that this busy South Brisbane café serve up hyper local, seasonal fare. The delicious yoghurt and wattle seed pancakes are my pick.
Springtime in Brisbane is the perfect time to be outdoors. Take your buddies on a wander through our most picturesque walking tracks and they won’t even know they’re participating in your daily cardio.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs
The view from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs takes in the lion’s share of Brisbane’s beautiful skyline from South Bank and the Botanical Gardens towards the Story Bridge. Show your pals that Brisbanites’ know how to workout by leading them up the steep AF Kangaroo Point Stairs. They’ll potentially thank you…
New Farm Park
New Farm Park is famous for its masses of fragrant roses, majestic old trees and dog friendly areas. After a walk through the park settle in for an afternoon picnic or game of Frisbee on the grass.
University of Queensland Loop
The loop that runs around the stunning University of Queensland campus becomes an iconic haze of purple in springtime when hundreds of Jacaranda trees are in bloom and is one of the prettiest sights to see in Brisbane.
Who says there’s nothing to do in Brisbane? Wow your visitors with these unusual activities.
There are a few novel ways to get around Brisbane that don’t involve cars (and looking for pesky parking spots). Jump on a CityCycle and get to where you want to go by bike for as little as $2.20 an hour, or show your friends around the city via CityCat, travelling via the Brisbane River is one of the most serene ways to get from A to B.
If you really want to surprise your guests, book them into Escape Hunt in West End for a night of unrivalled game playing. You essentially get locked in a room with a set of clues that you need to solve to work your way out. This is super fun, as long as your friends aren’t claustrophobic (or not very clever. JK).
If you’ve got a culture vulture on your hands, wow them with the obscure film offerings at the Schonell Theatre at UQ. The Pizza Caffe next door also dishes out superb wood-fired pizzas and craft beers if you’re peckish.
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie