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Accommodation Guide in Brisbane

Accommodation Guide in Brisbane

Brisbane , the vibrant capital of Queensland, is a popular destination for tourists, students, and backpackers. Known for its warm climate, friendly locals, and beautiful river views, Brisbane offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit various needs and budgets. We recommend you book a room for 2-3 days before arriving in Australia. Depending on the time of year, much of the accommodation can be fully booked. Whether you’re planning a short visit or a long-term stay, this guide will help you find the perfect place to stay in Brisbane.

Brisbane CBD: Staying in the Central Business District (CBD) puts you at the heart of the city, with easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s an ideal location for those who enjoy being in the center of the action.

Known for its nightlife, Fortitude Valley offers a lively atmosphere with a plethora of bars, clubs, and restaurants. It’s a great choice for those looking to experience Brisbane’s vibrant nightlife.

South Bank is a cultural hub, home to the Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. It’s also a beautiful area to stay, with parks, gardens, and riverside dining.

West End is known for its eclectic vibe, with numerous cafes, markets, and boutique shops. It’s a popular area for students and creatives, with a laid-back and bohemian atmosphere.

If you want to stay near the city centre, choose those areas as they are easily accessible by foot (if you don’t have a car, or don’t want to use public transportation).

10-15 minutes by bus from the city centre, the districts of Woolloongabba, Milton, Auchenflower, Toowong, Bowen Hills, Teneriffe and Newstead are very good options. There are apartments in abundance, and they have great transport links to the city centre. 

Paddington and New Farm are 15-20 minutes by bus from the city centre. New Farm is a leafy, residential neighborhood with a strong community feel. It’s home to New Farm Park and the Brisbane Powerhouse, a cultural and arts precinct. This area is ideal for those seeking a quieter stay. Here you will find more houses than apartments, with many favouring “bohemian-chic”, so rent is more expensive.

Remember to use Google Maps when searching for apartments online to check the accessibility of public transport and estimate your commute etc. 

Youth hostels or backpacker hostels 

For backpackers and budget travelers, hostels are an excellent choice. Brisbane offers numerous hostels with clean facilities and social atmospheres. Generally, hostels are very well located in the city centre and nearby public transport and supermarkets. Most are equipped with shared kitchens so you can easily prepare your meals to save money. If staying in a hostel, remember to bring a padlock for the locker that is assigned to you to avoid any food or belongings going missing.

Staying in a hostel is also a great way to meet future traveling companions or exchange travel tips and recommendations. Almost all of them have common lounges and bars for socialising. The atmosphere is usually fun and it’s easy to get to know people, which is especially good if you’re travelling alone.

Where can I find a hostel?

You can use an accommodation comparison website like Booking.com, but if you want a safe bet, we recommend the following two hostels: Brisbane City YHA and City Backpackers HQ. They are both very centrally located, clean and have great reviews from travellers. The City Backpackers HQ also has an amazing rooftop!

The best hostels in Brisbane – Our Top 10

Check out our selection of the best hostels in the city.

How much does a hostel in Brisbane cost?

This option is definitely the most economical when it comes to accommodation in Australia. Rates start at $30 per person per night (depending on the season). You can choose between a dormitory or a private room (private rooms are more expensive). Be aware that high season in Australia is between December and February, and advance booking is essential during that time.

Hotels in Brisbane

Brisbane boasts a wide array of hotels, from luxury five-star establishments to budget-friendly options. But they are generally an expensive choice when it comes to accommodation, and Brisbane is no different. It is rare to find a room for less than $120 a night – even in the outback!

Mid-range Hotels in Brisbane

Many hotels in the centre of Brisbane allow you to enjoy the city without spending a fortune. The Ibis Styles Brisbane Elizabeth Str, for example, is in an great location (500m from the centre) and offers double rooms at around $150 a night. You also have the Kingsford Smith Motel, which is a little further from the centre (6km). One of our favourites is the Opera Apartments South Brisbane, which are a bit more expensive at $250 a night, but you get a full apartment.

Upscale hotels in Brisbane

If you’re on a bigger budget, central hotels like the Royal Albert Hotel or the Amora Hotel Brisbane are very good options. The service is top class and the rooms are pleasant and spacious, with beautiful views of the city. Brisbane’s more upscale hotels generally have a swimming pool and/or a spa – perfect for relaxing after a long day in the city.

💡 If you are travelling as a group, consider booking a hotel apartment. Like an ordinary multi-bedroom apartment except in a hotel complex, they give preferential rates for long stays and may be the most practical and economical solution for you.

Sharing a house or apartment in Brisbane

For a more communal living experience, consider renting a room in a share house. This option is popular among students and young professionals looking to save on rent.

How can I find a house or apartment-share?

Ads abound on the Internet. Gumtree.com.au is full of offers, and there are many different Facebook groups where people post rooms they have available to rent. Facebook Marketplace is also a good place to find a roommate – just make sure you check all the details of the ad carefully and check the Facebook profile of the person posting it.

There are also dedicated websites and mobile apps such as Flatmates or Ozflatmates. Create an account and view the many offers available and the profiles of your future roommates.

Rules and conditions of house-shares

There are lots of advantages to a house-share. It’s more intimate and cheaper than a hostel and less complicated than a rental. But a word of warning – not all house-shares are created equal. Always visit the apartment before agreeing to anything and don’t hesitate to ask questions. An honest person will have no trouble giving you the information you’re looking for. Do not pay a deposit in cash without getting a receipt (ideally by email).

Rent is usually paid weekly or fortnightly, which corresponds to how wages are paid in Australia. Your first payment will be a minimum of two weeks’ rent (deposit plus one week’s rent). You should have this amount of money ready before you start looking for housemates.

You will find furnished or unfurnished rooms, the choice is yours. For a private single room, rents start at around $300 a week. For a couple, you can expect to pay $400 minimum for a double room.

Renting an apartment or a house in Brisbane

Everyone will tell you – Brisbane is significantly more affordable than Sydney and Melbourne. Less populated than its big sisters, the city has recently experienced a construction boom. Prices have, however, increased following the Covid pandemic.

It’s possible to rent in Brisbane if you are staying at least 6 months in the city and have a stable income (or the ability to pay for your entire stay in one go). You must have your references, proof of income and other documents in order to be accepted as a tenant.

Where can I find a place to rent?

Realestate.com.au and domain.com.au are two major sites that aggregate thousands of listings. You will find some furnished accommodation, but unfurnished accommodation is more common. Electricity and internet bills are usually the responsibility of the tenants, though sometimes you will find apartments with all charges included.

Apartment /house viewings

To view an apartment or a house you’re interested in renting, check the days and times offered on the advertisement. Viewings on demand are rare. Remember that most landlords and real estate agencies will require the payment of a deposit/bond (the equivalent of one month’s rent) and at least two weeks’ rent in advance. Signing a lease is strongly recommended. The inventory is generally done separately: the agency and the tenant each note the details they wish to identify within three days.

Predicted budget

The budget for a typical apartment (1 bedroom, 1 bathroom) at $450

  • Security deposit: $1800 (one month’s rent)
  • Two weeks’ advance rent: $900
  • Professional end-of-lease cleaning (bond cleaning): between $300 and $500

To find out about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and roommate, see the Residential Tenancies Authority of Queensland.

WARNING : For rentals and houseshares, scams are reported every day. Do not transfer any money until you have got the keys, on the day you move in. (This does not apply if you go through a real estate agency.)

Alternative accommodation in Brisbane

Couchsurfing: Couchsurfing is a platform where you can find locals who will allow you to stay with them for free for a night or two. Always read reviews beforehand and be careful who you choose to stay with. 

Airbnb, Wimdu and 9flats: These are all online platforms where you can book a house or a room with private individuals. They are ideal for short-term accommodation as you don’t have to buy furniture etc and all bills are included.

Host family: Some organisations will arrange for you to lodge with a host family, on a cultural exchange basis. This is ideal for developing your English if you’re not a native speaker.

Au pair (girl or boy): This is where you live with an Australian family in exchange for childcare and housework (part-time). It usually included all meals and occasionally use of the family car, day trips, etc.

HelpX: You receive food and accommodation in exchange for a few hours of work a day. The work is on a volunteering basis, to be agreed before your stay.  

Student Accommodation: Brisbane is home to several universities, including the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and Griffith University. Student accommodation options include university-managed residences and private student housing providers like Scape, Student One, and UniLodge.

Tips for finding accommodation in Brisbane

Book early

Brisbane is a popular destination, especially during major events and festivals. Booking your accommodation early ensures you get the best options at competitive prices. The high season is between November and February, during this time it can be difficult to find an accommodation so make sure to book something in advance.

Consider public transport

Brisbane has an extensive public transport network, including buses, trains, and ferries. Staying near a transport hub can make getting around the city more convenient and affordable. Read on to see your options.

Read reviews

Before booking, read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of the quality and service of the accommodation. Websites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Airbnb provide detailed reviews and ratings.

Check amenities

Ensure your accommodation has the amenities you need, such as Wi-Fi, parking, or a kitchen. Also make sure it is furnished if you don not intend to stay for an extended period of time. This is especially important for longer stays or if you have specific requirements.

Explore different neighborhoods

Each neighborhood in Brisbane offers a unique experience. Consider what kind of atmosphere and amenities are important to you and choose a location that fits your preferences.

Getting around the city

Getting to the city centre from the airport

Brisbane Airport has two terminals, located 2km apart: one terminal for domestic flights and one for international flights. Brisbane International Airport is located 13km northeast of the city centre. To get there, several options are available to you, within varying budgets.

Getting to Brisbane by city bus

Buses run between Brisbane Airport and Brisbane city centre. For $14 the Skybus company takes you to Brisbane Airport in 30 minutes.

Getting to Brisbane by train

The Airtrain will bring you from Brisbane Airport to Central Station in 20 minutes. Tickets cost $17 and you can buy your ticket on board or book it online on the Airtrain website.

Getting to Brisbane by taxi

Getting a taxi is the fastest and most expensive option, but may work out cheaper if you’re travelling with a group. You will find taxis directly outside the airport – look out for the signs. The journey is approximately 15 minutes, and costs around $40.

Getting around Brisbane city centre

If you want to explore Brisbane, several transport options are available to you: bike, bus, ferry…There is something for everyone!

For cyclists, there are over 150 city bike stations in central Brisbane. It’s the most cheapest way to discover the city, and the first 30 minutes are free.

The ferry is the slowest but also the most enjoyable option for getting around Brisbane. Ferries run daily, departing approximately every 15 minutes.

💡 Good to know: The City Hopper is free, so why not give it a go!

The bus network also offers free shuttles that run in the city centre on weekdays. The City Loop and Spring Hill Loop circuits allow you to discover the main points of interest and attractions of the city for free.

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