Where to Stay in Brisbane: 7 Best Areas

Where to stay in Brisbane? for first-timers, for family, couple? In this guide, I will help you to decide the best areas to stay in Brisbane (include map and video), best hotels in Brisbane for all budget travelers.

Brisbane is the capital of the sunshine state of Queensland. Situated around world-class beaches and national parks, it’s a magnificent city to visit. Brisbane offers easy access to the famous Gold Coast, Noosa, Fraser Island, Byron Bay, as well as many top-rated tourist cities on the east coast. 

As a sub-tropical climate, the city is perfect for visiting on a year-round basis. With Brisbane’s beautiful hot summers and mild sunny winters, there is no ideal time to visit.

Brisbane is an underrated city in Australia, But it has some great attractions and is extremely close to stunning spots like the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. 

Where to stay in Brisbane first time?

The best areas to stay in Brisbane for tourists and first-timers are Brisbane CBD, South Bank, Fortitude Valley, Kangaroo Point, Petrie Terrace, New Farm. These are popular and safe locations, offering a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

Central Business District (CBD) is the overall best area to stay in Brisbane for first-timers due to its central location, well-connected public transportations, and wide range of tourists facilites. Staying here provides easy access to many major sights, restaurants, bars, and shops.

In addition to CBD, South Bank is another great base in Brisbane, especially for those traveling as a family with kids. It is one of the city’s safest neighborhoods with plenty of kid-friendly activities, lovely riverfront dining venue, and some of the most incredible views of the city’s skyline.

For traveler after the party and nightlife, Fortitude Valley is the best base because it is where the best nightlife is. For those looking quieter places, New Farm or the West End are great location. These spots have relaxed vibes but still not too far from the best attractions.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Brisbane CBD
💎 Best luxury hotel:Stamford Plaza Brisbane
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Royal On The Park
💰 Best budget hotel:Brisbane City YHA

Map of areas and neighborhoods in Brisbane:

Map of Best Areas & Neighborhoods to Stay in Brisbane
Map of Best Areas & Neighborhoods to Stay in Brisbane

How to Getting Around Brisbane for tourists?

Getting to Brisbane is easy, by plane, train, bus, and car. The city is served by Brisbane Airport,which is located approximately 13 kms northeast of the city center.

It is also connected to other major cities in Queensland and some parts of New South Wales by Queensland Rail trains. The main train station is Roma Street Station.

You can also reach Brisbane by bus. Greyhound Australia and other bus companies operate long-distance bus services to Brisbane from various cities and towns in Australia.

If you prefer driving, major highways and roads connect Brisbane to other cities in Queensland and beyond. Just be mindful of traffic and road rules.

Getting around Brisbane is also easy with its extensive public transport system of buses, trains and ferries.You can purchase a TransLink Go Card or buy a ticket at the station before boarding.

Brisbane’s CityCats and CityFerries are a unique way to travel along the Brisbane River, offering scenic views of the city. Additionally, the city has a bike-sharing scheme called CityCycle, which allows you to rent bikes from various stations across the city.

Brisbane’s city center is pedestrian-friendly, and many attractions are within walking distance of each other. Walking is an excellent way to explore the city’s streets, parks, and riverfront.

Services like Uber and traditional taxis is another convenient option for getting around the city. If you want more flexibility, you can rent a car from various rental agencies in the city.

7 Best Areas to Stay in Brisbane for tourists are:

1. Brisbane CBD

best area to Stay in Brisbane Australia: CBD
Brisbane CBD

Brisbane CBD is the best area to stay in Brisbane for first time tourist because it is the heart and the transport pub of the city. You can easily travel around with its well-connected public transport system. The central business district will aslo locate you next to most of Brisbane’s best attractions.

There are plenty of things to do and see in the city center from museums, shopping center, gardens, theatres. Brisbane River offers incredible views of the Brisbane skyline.

You can start explore the CBD from Queen Street Mall which is home to the main bus terminal and close to the central train station. Very convient for transportation! With over than 600 shops, many cafes and restaurants, cinema complexes, the Treasury Casino, Queen Street Mall is haven for shoppers.

A short walk from Queen Street Mall, you will find Brisbane’s City Hall and King George Square. The square hosts numeros of events and festivals throughout the year. You can climb up to the top of its clock tower and enjoy stunning views of the city.

Head to the riverside, you will see the Eagle Street Pier with beautiful riverfront views. This is location of Sunday weekend markets, and the ferry terminal of City Hoppers and City Cats.

The riverwalk promenade is great place to have pleasure stroll and cycling! You can easily across from one side of the river to the other with many pedestrian bridges and bridges with pedestrian paths.

Located between Ann and Adelaide streets stands the Anzac Square. It is named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who served the Second Boer War, World War I and II, the Vietnam War. There is also gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance which is the location of a Dawn Service on the 25 of April.

Brisbane CBD is home to many green spaces and parks, including:

  • The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, located at Gardens Point. Its Riverstage is a popular location for concerts and events.
  • The Roma Street Parkland, the world’s largest subtropical garden in a city centre. Great places for families and kids spend a fun day out!

The city has plenty of cultural and historical attractions, such as:

  • The Museum of Brisbane (formerly Brisbane City Gallery), located on Ann Street.
  • The Old Government House, one of Brisbanes heritage buildings.
  • The Old Windmill, located in Brisbane’s Observatory Park.
  • The State Parliament House, located at the instersection of George and Alice Streets.
  • The Albert Street Literary Walk, a free volunteer guided walking tour.
  • The City Centre Heritage Trail starting off at the Regent Theatre, with the 26 stops along the way include the Brisbane Arcade and St Stephen’s Chapel.

The Customs House is one of Brisbane’s heritage listen icons, operated by the University of Queensland. Behind the Corinthian columns, you will find exquisite boardrooms, a ballroom, and a licensed restaurant with views of Story Bridge.

The Brisbane central business district has every type of accommodation that you could want, with everything from luxury 5 star, to backpacker hostels and mid-range hotels. It’s an all-around perfect spot. You can consider staying in Spring Hill if you looking for somewhere to stay with easy access to Greater Brisbane and close to Brisbane’s CBD.

Stay in Brisbane CBD if you are first-timers; you want to be in the centre, you like to be around the attractions, you enjoy shopping at Edward street, Queen Street Mall, you want the best public transport, you don’t mind busy areas.

Best Places to Stay in Brisbane CBD for first-time visitors:

luxury ($$$): Stamford Plaza Brisbane, 5-star riverfront hotel, offering views of the iconic Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point cliffs. It is one of the best places in Brisbane for families and couples, located in central Brisbane, on the banks of the Brisbane River, a few steps from Botanical Gardens, and Brisbane’s prestigious dining and shopping precinct.

mid-range ($$): Royal On The Park, great family-friendly hotel, located opposite the Botanic Gardens, easy stroll from Queen Street Mall, South Bank Parklands, Queensland Performing Arts Complex, Queensland Treasury, and Queensland University of Technology.

budget ($): Brisbane City YHA, great base for backpackers, within walking distance from Roma Street Transit Centre, South Brisbane Station, and Suncorp Stadium. They can help arrange tours to Moreton or Stradbroke Island, tickets to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Australia Zoo and the XXXX Ale House as well as tours up the East Coast.


See Also:

2. South Bank

Southbank brisbane
Southbank Brisbane

South Bank along with Brisbane CBD is best place to stay in Brisbane for family. They are both safe neighborhood with wide range of tourist attractions and amenities, as well as well-connected public transport.

South Bank is better base than Brisbane CBD for those traveling as a family with young kids. South Bank has wonderful play areas, kid-friendly activities, and many lovely restaurants along Brisbane river.

Located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River, The South Bank is a 17 hectares of South Bank Parklands, eateries, and hundreds of events all year round. It is home to some of Brisbane’s most notorious travel attractions.

A popular tourist attraction in the South Bank is the Brisbane Wheel; it offers impressive views of the city from the comfort of an air-conditioned gondola.

One of my favorite places in Brisbane is the Streets Beach Swimming Pool, and there is nothing better than swimming here in the summer. It is a man-made beach with a sparkling lagoon, white, sandy beaches and sub-tropical plants.

Other places for swimming and water activities in South Bank are the Boat Pool and Aquativity. They both have lifeguards, so you will be safe!

Foodie will want to visit the Little Stanley Street with more than 30 cafes, bars and restaurants providing a wide range of cuisines. Its sister street, Grey Street, home to home to the South Bank Cineplex, also has plenty of places to eat.

The South Bank Cultural Precinct is full of cultural landmarks including the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art; Queensland Performance Arts Centre; State Library of Queensland; Queensland Museum and Sciencentre.

There are also many charming picnic spots with BBQ facilities and children playground to enjoy, the most popular spots are River Quay Green, Riverside Green and Picnic Island Green.

If you like walking and cycling, there are many scenic routes to explore. You will see the Arbour, Rainforest walk, Clem Jones Promenade from QPAC to the Maritime Museum, The Goodwill Bridge connects South Bank to the city’s Botanic Gardens, and The Victoria Bridge.

If you want to do some shopping, you can visit the South Bank Collective Markets to find a unique gift, and the Young Designers Market for fashion and jewellery.

You can easily explore South Bank by foot, Green Cabs, cruises and the CityHopper, Brisbane’s free ferry service. South Bank has two train stations: South Bank and South Brisbane Stations on Grey Street, South Bank.

South Bank is home to a vast array of mid to high-end hotels, and there are some decent budget hotel deals too. It’s an all-rounder for a visitor, well located, excellent accommodation options and great views.

Stay in South Bank / South Brisbane if you want a central location; you are traveling with family; you are couples; you want to be near the attractions, you like outdoor activities, you don’t mind not being central to nightlife.

Best places to stay in Brisbane in South Bank for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Emporium Hotel South Bank, 5-star hotel, one of the best hotels in Brisbane for families and couples of all ages, located easy walk from South Bank Parkland, close to major attractions such as Brisbane Exhibition Centre, Botanical Gardens, Riverstage, Wheel of Brisbane, and Boggo Road Gaol.

mid-range ($$): Courtyard by Marriott Brisbane South Bank, 4-star hotel, ideal base for first-time visitors, located within walking distance from Brisbane River and South Bank Parklands. Also easy access to the South Bank train station, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and Gabba Cricket Ground.

mid-range ($$): Rydges South Bank Brisbane, great 4-star hotel, set in a prime location on Brisbane’s South Bank, offering views of the Brisbane River, Mount Cootha or the cosmopolitan West End. It has car parking, 24-hour front desk, laundry services, car rentals, currency exchange.

3. Fortitude Valley

Situated North-East of Brisbane CBD, Fortitude Valley, known as They Valley by locals, is a fantastic spot to stay in if you want an alternative scene with excellent bars and trendy shopping districts. 

A popular tourist destination in Fortitude Valley is Brisbane’s bustling Chinatown. Brisbane has a large Chinese population, and Fortitude Valley is home to a fantastic Chinatown.

Fortitude Valley is home to Brisbane’s nightlife scene, and it isn’t short of excellent bars such as the Elixir Rooftop on Ann Street. 

If you are looking for your brunch and dinners, make your way to the Valley’s main street of Brunswick Street, James Street, Wickham Street, Alfred Street, and Constance Street.

Valley is mecca for shopaholics with the James Street full of boutiques. James Street Market is a must-visit. There are also shops along laneways such as Bakery Lane, California Lane, or Winn Lane.

Famous for its live music scene, The Zoo, Rics Bar, Stepinn, and Fortitude Music Hall are some of the most popular music venues in the Valley.

Fortitude Valley has all different types of accommodation, from luxury hotels to backpacker hostels. There are some excellent budget hotel deals available in this area.

Stay in Fortitude Valley if you want to stay in central of Brisbane nightlife; you like live music.

Best places to stay in Brisbane in Fortitude Valley for first time:

luxury ($$$): Art Series – The Fantauzzo, 5-star hotel, featuring a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar. Close to Brisbane Showgrounds, New Farm Riverwalk, Story Bridge, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, St John’s Anglican Cathedral, and Eagle Street Pier.

luxury ($$$): Ovolo The Valley Brisbane, 5-star hotel in the heart of Fortitude Valley, and is surrounded by shopping, restaurants and bars; It is just minutes from Brisbane’s city centre and chic Valley nightlife. Fortitude Valley Station and Bowen Hills Station are less than 1km away.

luxury ($$$): The Calile Hotel, 5-star hotel, located in the city of Brisbane, with direct access to restaurants, shopping and bars, featuring an outdoor pool, fitness centre and spa facilities.


4. Kangaroo Point

Kangaroo Point, stunning river views
Kangaroo Point Brisbane

Kangaroo Point is home to Brisbane’s sporting scene. The Gabba is here and is an iconic symbol of Aussie sport, and a focal point of the city’s love for cricket and AFL. 

Kangaroo Point is home to some of Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks such as Kangaroo Point Cliffs on the east bank of the river, Brisbane’s Story Bridge, and Yungaba House.

Another great attraction is the Eagles Nest bar, which offers fantastic views of the city and is a perfect place to have a cold beer or white wine during summer.

I recommend you try rock climbing in Kangaroo point as well. You can also climb to the Story Bridge, which was built in 1940 and towering 80 metres above the river.

There are plenty of outdoor activites such as walking, cycling, picnic, kayaking or paddle-boarding on Brisbane River at Riverlife Adventure Centre. The Caption Burke Park under Story Bridge, is a popular spot for barbecues.

Kangaroo point has some superb mid to luxury accommodation options that offer utterly fantastic room views over the city.

Stay in Kangaroo Point if you love to watch sport, you want some great river walks, you like great bars, you don’t mind not being in the CBD., you don’t mind being away from some attractions.

Best Hotels in Brisbane Kangaroo Point for first-time visitors:

luxury ($$$): The Point Brisbane Hotel, 5-star family-friendly hotel, located at Kangaroo Point, offering views of Brisbane River, short distance from Brisbane Cricket Ground-The Gabba, the City Hopper terminal, Dockside Marina, Riverlife Adventure Centre, Gardens Point Boat Harbour.

mid-range ($$): Central Dockside Apartment Hotel, great accommodation, featuring spacious, self-catering apartments for families and couples in Kangaroo Point, with views of the Brisbane River and the city skyline. Brisbane CBD is minutes away by ferry or taxi.

mid-range ($$): The Docks On Goodwin, 4.5-star property offers affordable accommodation in central Kangaroo Point, near Brisbane River, Story Bridge and the ferry terminals. It has free parking, which is one of the best places to stay in Brisbane with a car.


🎬 Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Brisbane or continue reading:

5. Petrie Terrace

Petrie Terrace is west of Spring Hill, is a superb spot if you’re looking to get away from the CBD. This area of Brisbane is known for Caxton street which is Brisbane’s oldest nightlife destination. 

Petrie Terrace is home to the Suncorp Stadium which hosts international rugby and football matches. Suncorp Stadium is a great spot to watch some high-quality sport. You can visit some of the local parks such as Roma Street Park.

You can also check out the Palace Barracks Cinemas, Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brewski, the StreetSide Bar, Pamela’s Pantry, The Caxton Hotel, Fritzenberger, and Scout Café.

Petrie Terrace has various superb options for a budget traveller with many great hostels, but it has many mid to high-end luxury hotels.

Stay in Petrie Terrace if you love to watch sport, you enjoy outdoor space, you want great bars and restaurants, you don’t mind not being central, you don’t mind being away from the main attractions.

Best places to stay near Petrie Terrace for first-timers:

  • luxury ($$$): Gambaro Hotel Brisbane, 5-star boutique hotel, featuring family rooms, located in the heart of Brisbane’s vibrant Caxton Street, a 4-minute walk from Suncorp Stadium.
  • budget ($): Brisbane City YHA, great hostels for backpackers and budget travelers, located within walking distance from Roma Street Transit Centre and Suncorp Stadium.

6. New Farm

If you’re looking for a quieter, more relaxed spot to visit in Brisbane, then you should head to New Farm. A leafy and peaceful suburb, New Farm is the perfect place to relax.

Situated on the river, New Farm Park is the ideal spot to sit and have a picnic. A relaxing place by the river, this is the perfect spot to escape the city. Visitors will also enjoy the numerous quality cafes and restaurants in the area.

You also have a New Farm riverfront walkway, New Farm Powerhouse, New Farm Confectionery, and Little Italy.

It’s possible to find fantastic budget deals in New Farm. Due to the location, you can find much smaller hotels that are cheaper than other parts of the city. 

Stay in New Farm if you want a relaxed spot, you like quiet places, you want to enjoy great parks, you don’t mind not being central, you don’t mind not being next to the attractions.

Best Places to Stay in Brisbane New Farm for first-time travelers:

  • luxury ($$$): Spicers Balfour Hotel, 5-star boutique hotel, set in the fashionable suburb of New Farm, 7 minutes’ from the Brisbane city centre.
  • mid-range ($$): Edward Lodge, an elegant and stylish historic accommodation, located in the heart of New Farm near the beautiful Brisbane River. The boutique hotel is 5-minute walk from the City Cat at Sydney Street or the bus at Brunswick Street.
  • budget ($): Heal House, located in a quiet leafy suburb within walking distance to Brisbane Powerhouse, Howard Smith Wharves and James Street. It has a free parking and only a short drive by car from Brisbane CBD.

7. West End

The West End of Brisbane is perfect for a relaxing spot to stay. It’s a quiet but charming place that’s west of the CBD. One of the best parts is the Davies Park Market, you can visit an open-air market selling heaps of local produce and delicious foods.

There are some great parks in the West End that offer tremendous views. A great spot is the Orleigh and Musgrave parks with open green space to relax. 

Other places to check out in this area including Davies Park Market, Boundary Street, Lychee Loung, Archive Beer Boutique and Bistro, and The End.

The West End does have a wide range of budget hotel options. It’s a trendy place with young travellers and has budget accommodation to match. 

Stay in West End if you like quieter places., you want relaxing parks, you like budget options, you don’t mind being outside the CBD, you don’t mind being away from the best attractions, you like live music.

Best places to stay near Brisbane’s West End:

What is the best area to stay in Brisbane for first time?

Brisbane CBD is the best area to stay in Brisbane for first-timers due to its prime location and wide accommodation options for all budget travelers. Staying here puts you located within walking distance to tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, and shops.

Where are the best neighborhoods to stay in Brisbane for tourists?

Brisbane CBD, South Bank, Fortitude Valley, Kangaroo Point, Petrie Terrace, New Farm, and West End are the best neighborhoods to stay in Brisbane for tourists due to their central location, safety, easy access to public transportation, tourist attractions and amenities.

Where to stay in Brisbane with a family?

Brisbane is the perfect family-friendly destination to explore. Brisbane CBD and South Bank are best places to stay in Brisbane for family because it offers an incredible selection of family activities for all ages.

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Summary – Where to stay in Brisbane?

In conclusion, Brisbane CBD, South Bank, Fortitude Valley, Kangaroo Point, Petrie Terrace, New Farm, and West End are the best places to stay in Brisbane for tourists. Overall, Brisbane CBD is the best area for first-timers due to its central location, and proximity to attractions.

Personally, I chose Brisbane CBD for my first visit. Staying here gives me easy access to public transport, major tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops. It also has a huge range of accommodation options to choose from.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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