The freshman’s guide to Brisbane City – 10 things you have to do

If you’re new to the city, or it’s your first time living in the CBD, there’s a few things you need to do to get acquainted with your new suburb. Food, coffee, bars, places to chill – it’s all important and integral to making sure you feel at home in your digs. Tick off these 10 things so you can call yourself a local, stat.

1. Familiarise yourself with the city’s best cheap eats

Redhook Brisket Burger
Living in the city has endless benefits, but the thing we like the most is the proximity to really great multicultural food at an even better price. Korean, Japanese, Malaysian, American – they’re all within walking distance and all within budget. We’ve compiled some of the best bargains here, but get out and explore to find your new favourites.

2. Get the low down on a Brisbane Greeters Tour

Brisbane Public Art
To get to know the streets of the CBD you need to learn from the people in the know. The Brisbane Greeters Tours are a casual way to learn the city’s background, from the war and Aboriginal history to the public art and graffiti in laneways. You’ll be surprised at what you learn and it’ll help you get your bearings. They run free tours daily, so really you have no excuse.

3. Take the riverwalk to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

If you head down to the river and along the riverwalk on Eagle Street Pier you’ll shortly find yourself at the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens – a heritage-listed botanic garden with ancient trees, rainforest glades and exotic species. Spend some time exploring to find your new favourite picnic spot.

4. Introduce yourself to the city’s best doughnut

Krispy Kreme
To familiarise yourself with your city you’re going to need to know where the best doughnuts are – this is your initiation, after all. We’ve done the legwork for you and found the top doughnuts here, including the best the city has to offer. You will nut be disappointed.

5. Find your new coffee haunt

It won’t be long until you’re following your nose around Brisbane City looking for a caffeine hit. Of course, the city’s coffee offering is extensive, but the good ones are harder to sniff out. Check out this list for the best coffee nearby and trial a few before you find your new local.

6. Have a boogie at Brooklyn Standard

Don’t sleep yet – there’s partying to do. We suggest you head to Brooklyn Standard as it’s one of Brisbane CBD’s most unique bars. Its underground, Brooklyn-esque atmosphere and energetic live rock bands draw crowds most nights. Head straight to the dancefloor and enjoy your introduction to Brisbane’s nightlife.

7. Cheers to the view at Eagle Street Pier or Howard Smith Wharves

There’s no better place to end the week in Brisbane than Eagle Street Pier and its neighbour – Howard Smith Wharves. Every Friday, Brisbane’s inner-city work and student crowd flock to the riverside bars to cheers to the weekend. Get acquainted with the best riverside bars: Fridays, Blackbird, Bar Pacino, Riverland, River Bar, Felons and Mr Percival’s.

8. Eat pancakes at midnight

This is an important part of your initiation into Brisbane City’s student scene. Every student (and person for that matter) has ended up at Pancake Manor at some ridiculous hour of the morning to take advantage of the 24-hour pancakes being served. Did we say it’s important? We meant mandatory.

9. See a live band in Queen Street Mall

Another benefit of living in the heart of the city is the access to free events and live music. The City Sounds Program is Australia’s largest and longest-running free live music program. It brings out local and national bands for regular gigs in Queen Street Mall. Check the gig guide in advance to see who’s playing and make a night of it.

10. Eat your way through the local markets

To live like a local you need to shop like a local. There are a huge range of local markets right on the doorstep of Brisbane City. While they aren’t daily, when they are on it is the perfect place for a quick lunch and we won’t even get started on all the food options. Yes, that does mean you have an excuse to keep going back until you’ve tried them all. Even if you are after more than just food (no judgement here) you’ll find a market for you. We’ve rounded up the best of them here.