The basics
Australia: Destination Guides

The city of Brisbane...uncovered

Thinking of studying in Brisbane but want to find out more about the city? Our friends at Insider Guides have got you covered!

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Are you considering studying in Brisbane? As an international student it can be hard to find out the best kept secrets of a city without actually visiting it. Even when you're studying there you might not be aware of all the place has to offer.

 

The Australia experts Insider Guides have asked local Aussie students to give you all their top tips on what to do in your spare time when you're kicking around Brisbane. Be prepared to have a huge list of things to do, places to see and food to eat. No matter what your tastes are, there's something in here for everyone. Enjoy!

 

CBD & Paddington

The city of Brisbane itself is an interesting collection of shopping strips, bars and historical landmarks for those that like to site-see. While a lot of the CBD is glass and concrete, it is split up by some lovely sandstone buildings and churches dating back to its early colonisation. Jimmy’s on the Mall is a local institution, and has been open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since 1982!

 

Over the last decade, Paddington has seen a shift to a more modern crowd, who can be found lounging in any number of its funky cafés and bars, or flicking through racks at one of the area’s numerous vintage stores and op-shops. Divided into three main street precincts; Latrobe Tce, Given Tce and Caxton St, Paddington offers several different activities. There are plenty of cafés, offering healthy, sizable and delicious meals at reasonable prices, catering easily to a vegetarian crowd. Lure is a great brunch spot, tucked away among the shrubbery. Caxton St is where the nightlife happens. A bright strip of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, weekends will find Caxton St busy with all types of partygoers. Best picks here are Statler & Waldorf a fantastic ‘gastro-pub’ and Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall; packed with great live music and nostalgia. 

 

 

West End & Southbank

West End is commonly thought to be divided into two main strips - Vulture St and Boundary St. West End is a hive of activity and its recent gentrification has created an exciting balance between the alternative and upmarket. A favourite local pastime is to sit at any number of its bars and cafés, such as the Gunshop Café or The End, and people watch.

 

To find a perfect coffee and taste the West End vibe, head to the West End Coffee House, before strolling up Vulture St to Box Vintage and Happy Cabin for beautiful, hand-picked vintage garments, men’s and women’s apparel and footwear. Wander through the Boundary St Markets and flick through a second-hand book at Bent Books before reclining with a local craft beer or unique gin cocktail at BOSC: The Bar of Social Conscience, and you’ve just had yourself a local West End experience. 

 

South Bank is a beautiful area to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, but any day of the week is packed with activities and areas to explore. A beautiful stretch of parkland, boulevards, fake beach and dining options, its relaxed atmosphere makes South Bank a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and ease in to Brisbane life. Little Stanley St is a newly developed strip overflowing with restaurants of every cuisine imaginable.

 

 

Fortitude Valley

The Valley was Australia’s first dedicated entertainment district and continues to be the centre of Brisbane nightlife; a bustling and sometimes overwhelming group of clubs, bars and restaurants. Live music was part of the areas very foundations and continues to be the essence of the Valley scene. Brunswick St has an amazing selection of cuisine and venues, the elegantly European inspired Emporium complex has an old fashioned charm, and the James St shopping precinct offers plenty of Aussie fashion and eateries.

 

‘The real’ Brisbane experience is not complete without a night out in The Valley. While the intensity of the weekend crowds may be a little overwhelming for some, starting with a quiet beer or rum cocktail at Alfred and Constance is a good start. Split into three separately themed spaces, this is an incredibly popular and unique venue, so get in early to secure a table. From here, head down the street to Kerbside, a funky converted warehouse with a street-style edge, before bar-hopping your way to The Press Club to grab some live music in their steampunk inspired surrounds.


Who are Insider Guides?
Insider Guides offer international students detailed information on six major Australian cities. The content is written by students themselves providing an authentic view on life Down Under and all it has to offer. 

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About Author

Katie Duncan is Editor of Hotcourses Abroad and is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and University of Exeter graduate. Having worked at an English language school in the UK, as an educational consultant in Spain and as a reporter in the international education sector, she is well placed to guide you through your study abroad journey. Katie grew up in Australia, which perhaps explains her unusual reptile collection, comprising of a bearded dragon (Bill) and tortoise (Matilda).

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