How to Spend 48 Hours in Brisbane When You're Treating Yourself to a City Break
Get the most out of your next weekend trip to Brissie.
November 16, 2022
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Brisbane comes alive in summer. Riverside bars and restaurants fill up with people taking advantage of longer days, barbecue smells waft throughout the city's parks and arts and culture venues host all manner of summer events.
Yes, you can certainly run away to beaches along the coast for spectacular nature-filled getaways. But when you want a city break, this is the ultimate way to do it. From sunup till sundown, here's how to spend a weekend in the River City when you're treating yourself to a weekend break, whether it's your first time visiting or you're a Brisbanite looking to make the most of what the city has to offer.
Kick off your weekend Brisbane break by finding a premium sunset spot. We have two easy options for you. First off, there's Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Head up here to watch the sun go down over Brisbane's skyline, so BYO picnic hamper.
Another one of our favourite ways to experience Brisbane's vibrant sunsets is by heading down to the water. You can walk alongside the river or hang at one of the many bars that dot its banks, but we think you can go one step better by going on a leisurely sunset kayaking tour. Operators like Adrenaline and River Life have guides who'll take you to the best sunset viewing spots.
An unbeatable sunset view is an ideal prelude for an evening experiencing Brisbane's thriving arts and culture scene. Head to Fortitude Valley comedy bar Blute's Bar to see big Aussie names working on new material as well as newbies who may just surprise you with true silliness, Brisbane Powerhouse for a diverse array of both international acts and the best of Brisbane's local alternative arts scene, or QPAC for a big-ticket stage show.
If you didn't go too hard the night before (or if you stayed up all night long), we say you should sneak in a sunrise viewing from Mt Coot-tha. Seeing Brisbane and its surrounds slowly wake up to the sun's golden glow is a magical experience — and one that's only a 15-minute drive from the CBD.
From here, make your way to the Powerhouse Farmers Markets, and browse over 120 stalls showcasing all kinds of foodie delights. Expect fresh farm produce, flowers and artisan products, as well as food trucks and coffee kiosks — more than enough, in other words, to set you up for a big day of exploring.
Next, take your bounty to the adjacent New Farm Park (pictured below). This is one of Brisbane's oldest and largest parks, so you won't struggle to find a secluded spot where you can graze well into the afternoon — while doing some sly people watching as well, of course.
Suitably fuelled, hop on the ferry from New Farm Park and head to South Bank and the impressive Gallery of Modern Art. Here you'll find a whole host of exhibitions and film screenings showcasing the work of local and international artists as you see firsthand just how far Brissie's arts and culture scene has come in recent years.
If you're wanting to take a glimpse at Brisbane's burgeoning local arts scene, head up to Fortitude Valley to spot some eye-catching street art. We recommend you take it at your own pace, exploring the local area with a self-guided tour.
Once you've got your art fix, the sun will be starting to dip and you'd have likely spent a lot of time on your feet. Our tip: unwind in style with cocktails and bar snacks at The Charles', set within the luxurious surrounds of The Westin Brisbane. Settle in for a sundowner at this sleek lobby bar an antipasto platter that'll whet your appetite for dinner.
Once you've warmed up the cogs of your stomach, it's time for dinner — and why not treat yourself to an evening of local produce? You can do just that at the stylish Motion Dining, where executive chef Peter Iwanczyk oversees a diverse menu that puts locally sourced ingredients front and centre. Whether you take a seat at the chef's table overlooking the theatre of the grill or you nab an al fresco riverside table, you'll be treated to some of Queensland's freshest seafood, premium steaks and more.
Sundays are made for taking it easy. That's why our go-to Sunday morning activity in Brisbane is a leisurely stroll through the City Botanic Gardens. This centrally located park is an oasis of calm located right on the river. Take your time wandering the grounds, taking in the views with a necessary coffee in hand.
For brunch, it's all about Three Blue Ducks. This restaurant's ethos centres around paddock-to-plate dining — that means everything you get is locally sourced, seasonal and respectfully prepared. It's also pretty damn tasty, so you'll quickly understand why this is one of Brisbane's favourite breakfast destinations.
Walk off your brunch by visiting Brisbane's much-loved Riverside Markets. Every Sunday, this patch of the riverbank transforms into a mini festival with live music, food trucks and stall after stall selling local wares. Pick up a few last-minute souvenirs here, bringing some memories of this Brisbane city break back home with you.
Looking to make the most of your next city break? Find your home away from home with Marriott Bonvoy. Book your stay now at the website.
Top image: Brisbane Local Marketing (Unsplash)
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