An unmissable stop on your Australian adventure, Brisbane is one of the most chilled out cities in the country. Whether you’re just on a flying visit or you’ve set up a home here for the next few months, a night out in Brisbane will not disappoint. Here is a quick overview of the best clubs, bars and general areas in Brisbane for a great night out – from dining to the dance floor.
The best areas in Brisbane for going out
Whether you’re after a wild night out or a more relaxed evening with friends, the boroughs of Brisbane have something for everyone. Here are the main ones:
- The CBD (Central Business District) is the beating heart of the city and a mix between noise, business and tourism. This is the best area for after-work drinks.
- Southbank, located on the south shore, is pretty chill and cultural. This area offers a great choice of restaurants.
- Fortitude Valley is ‘the place to be’ if you want to enjoy the festivities that “Brissy” has to offer. This area is mostly frequented by students and partygoers. A large number of bars and clubs await you there.
- West End is the trendy and calm district. With small organic markets and stylish bars, you will find a more mature and cosmopolitan population here.
To be honest, Australia doesn’t really have a signature dish – instead, you will find flavours from all over the world here.
Regardless of where you’re dining out in Australia, all the districts are alike, you’ll find pavilions and the main street with all the necessary shops and restaurants. Here is a quick overview of the best places to go out in Brisbane to eat.
The Central Business District is where you’ll find the main shopping centres and offices. Due to the influx of city workers, there are many food courts in the city. The food courts are essentially a full floor in a shopping centre where there is a multitude of restaurants such as fast food places, sandwich shops, salads, Asian and Mexican options. In particular, if in the CBD try the Myer Center or 400 Food.
South Bank is a relaxed district of Brisbane with the famous lagoon, which has a great view of the city. Just behind this little corner of paradise is a large shopping street with various restaurants – most with an open terrace. It is an excellent area for an outing with friends, colleagues or family. If you want to get into the Australian spirit, there are also barbecues available for free along the river.
West End – New Farm
A little further from CBD, the West End and New Farm areas are other trendy areas of the city with many restaurants at reasonable prices.
Here are the most popular restaurant chains that you will likely find in each neighbourhood:
- Grill’d: Home of the burger in Australia.
- Guzman y Gomez :Looking for a Mexican meal? This is the address you need!
- Zeus Street Greek: A must-try, especially the famous pita.
- Nando’s: A little more refined than fast food, Nando’s serves great chicken.
- Vapiano: The home of Italian specialties.
If you are looking for somewhere unique in Brisbane, there are 2 typically French restaurants – Le Lutèce and C’est Bon . You will find all the flavors you need for a memorable meal – terrine, snails, quality meat and bouillabaisse (for the more adventurous). Above all, you will find good cheeses if you fancy a treat.
Whether you’re in the CBD or around town, you won’t struggle to find bars in Brisbane. You will soon learn Australians are very fond of a beer or two. Here are some chill spots to soak up some Brisbane nightlife.
Sixteen Antlers Rooftop bar
Level 16 Pullman & Mercure Hotel Cnr Ann &, Roma St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Located in the heart of the CBD, this bar is perfect for a cozy moment on a beautiful rooftop. Named after its unique roof which looks like antlers, this bar serves cocktails, beer and delicious food.
Southbank Beer Garden
30ba Stanley St Plaza, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia
The perfect place to escape the chaos of city life. Open seven days a week until late, this bar offers grand decor and great drinks to match. It is located just above the lagoon beach with a breathtaking view of the Brisbane River and the buildings of the CBD.
Jimmy’s On the Mall
Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
This upstairs bar is located on a pedestrian street in the heart of the CBD, so you’re very likely to pass by it at some stage during your stay in Brisbane. There’s a musical atmosphere here, with musicians in the early evening, and the mood is pretty cool. Prices here are not the lowest in Brisbane but they are still affordable on a backpacker’s budget.
When it comes to nightclubs, Brisbane has something for everyone, but the number one neighbourhood you need to know about is Fortitude Valley. It is THE hip neighbourhood for nightlife, where you’ll find all the coolest bars and clubs. Here are some great spots you should know about.
206 Wicham Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 4006
Prohibition is one of the biggest clubs in the city where Hip Hop / RnB reigns on the dance floor. It’s very popular with young travellers but also Australian locals, so arrive early to avoid the queues at weekends. Once inside, a huge room awaits you with the bar in the middle and the dancefloor just behind it. There’s also a large outdoor terrace for smokers. Entry is free during the week and costs $10 on weekends (although it’s definitely worth it!)
740 Ann St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia
The GPO is just as much fun as Prohibition, and although the club is a little smaller it has the advantage of “two rooms, two atmospheres.” The largest room, with the bar, plays mostly pop hits guaranteed to get you moving. The second room, on the other side of the stairs, is where you’ll find them pumping electro music. You can also take a break on the terrace/balcony, located between the two rooms. The prices are the same as at Prohibition.
McWhirter’s Farmers Market, T28 Wickham St &, Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia
For lovers of electro music, there is only one place you need to know about – the MET. The MET is a large dance hall with two balconies on each side of the first floor to enjoy the music. The atmosphere is often amazing here, but on Friday and Saturdays it tends to be very crowded, so make sure you arrive early!
The Down Under Bar
308 Edward St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
If you are a backpacker, this bar/nightclub is a must during your visit to Brisbane. You will not find many Australians here – instead mostly international travellers like you from all over the world, ready to party. Just below the bar is the Nomads hostel, so it’s very handy if you happen to be staying there! Entry is free all week long. You can go there from Tuesday to Saturday and be guaranteed to find fun people ready to party! Expect a mix of genres from Pop to RnB, electro to 80s – there will be something for everyone, which promises an epic atmosphere! Also, note that Wednesday is their wet t-shirt competition night (for men and women) if you want a night to remember (or one you’d rather forget!).
A cool night out idea
The final location in Brisbane we want to recommend is the Eat Street Market (Eat Street Northshore), open every weekend from Friday to Sunday evening. To get there, you can take the bus or a special ferry that will allow you to get there in 1 hour. Entrance to the market costs $3.
It is a huge open-air market with stalls from all over the world offering budget food that’s truly delicious. In the evening, there are several open-air stages accessible to everyone so you can enjoy the music and dance in a relaxed atmosphere.
Practical information for your night out in Brisbane
In Australia, nightlife starts early and ends early. Many people start their night out right after work, around 5 or 6pm. You can easily go dancing from 11pm if you want – the dancefloor will already be full.
You might need to plan ahead and anticipate queues, because most nightclubs won’t let you in after 1am.
Take your passport or your driver’s license with you. Australia is very strict on ID and you will usually have to show yours entering nightclubs, bars etc.
Last but not least – drink in moderation!
All that’s left is for us to wish you a great night out in Brisbane!