Brisbane Is One of the World's Greatest Places of 2023 According to 'TIME'

If you ever needed an excuse to enjoy the Sunshine State's capital — whether you're a local or a visitor — this is it.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 17, 2023

Sydney might be world-renowned for its harbour, bridge and Opera House, and Melbourne's food and live music scenes might've won it plenty of fame and acclaim, but neither Australian city is one of the world's greatest places of 2023. Each year, TIME magazine singles out 50 locations around the globe that it considers extraordinary — and that travellers should make it a priority to visit — with just two Aussie destinations making the latest cut.

Kangaroo Island keeps earning praise in 2023; already, The New York Times has named it one of the best places to head to this year in its version of the same type of list, and the South Australian spot's Stokes Bay topped Tourism Australia's best ten beaches for 2023, too. So, its place among TIME's picks is hardly surprising. But the publication also chose one Australian state capital: Brisbane.

Move over Sydney and Melbourne — the rivalry that the New South Wales and Victorian capitals have is pointless, with the Sunshine State just sweeping in and nabbing the glory. In three words, TIME shouted out Brissie's "sports and sun", but it had more to say. And, while the hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games obviously got a mention, that's also just the beginning.

"The capital of Queensland is already gearing up with ambitious infrastructural advancements, which visitors can enjoy before the crowds pour in," TIME notes. It then shouts out United Airlines' new direct flights between San Francisco and Brisbane; the soon-to-open Queen's Wharf with its bars, restaurants, four luxury hotels and sky-high observation deck; and co-hosting the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

"Beyond the central business district, the James Street Precinct is a welcome testament to how urban development can champion local businesses and artisans rather than supplanting them. The semi-industrial area leverages Brisbane's perennial sunshine to showcase an outdoor promenade anchored by artsy boutiques and cafes, all under the canopy of Moreton Bay fig trees," TIME also advises.

"The surrounding neighbourhood, Fortitude Valley, has recently evolved into a culinary epicentre with new places like sAme sAme showcasing inventive international fare within a laid-back, uniquely Australian atmosphere; a growing assortment of global flavours befitting a now-worldwide audience."

sAme sAme has been around for a few years now, but otherwise TIME's praise tells Brisbanites what they already know: that the River City is ace.

Fresh from noting that the city's Myer Centre shopping centre would lose Myer, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said "while this is a fantastic accolade for our city, it's also about time!".

"It's no accident that Brisbane is the fastest growing capital city in the country with people from southern states recognising that our city's incredible climate, lifestyle and liveability is second to none. We're investing in fantastic projects like Victoria Park, Brisbane Metro and our green bridges to help make Brisbane even better," the Lord Mayor continued.

"Precincts like South Bank and Howard Smith Wharves are world-class destinations while our suburbs are great places to live, work and relax."

Chosen by soliciting "nominations of places from our international network of correspondents and contributors, with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences," TIME explains, Brisbane sits on the world's greatest places of 2023 list alongside the likes of Barcelona, Kyota and Nagoya (home of the new Studio Ghibli Park) in Japan, St Moritz in Switzerland and Dijon in France.

Also getting some love: Mexico City, South Korea's Jeju Island, Vienna, the pyramids of Giza, and the prime northern lights spot of Churchill, Manitoba in Canada.

For TIME's full World's Greatest Places of 2023 list, head to the publication's website.

Published on March 17, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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