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48 hours in Brisbane: The Essential Weekend Guide

Looking to fill 48 hours in Brisbane?

We’ve pieced together the ultimate River City weekend guide. From top-notch lodgings to decadent gourmet dinners and artisanal alcohol sips, we’re covering all the essentials for an epic weekend in Brisbane.

Friday

You’ve knocked off work and touched down in Brisvegas. Time to make the most of your precious time off.

But before you can hit the tiles, you’ll need somewhere swanky to stay.

Our top recommendation is Crystalbrook Vincent, a chic sustainable luxury hotel set in the hip Howard Street Wharves District. Cool contemporary design, vibrant modern art, and an Instagrammable infinity pool make it among the best digs in town.

Brisbane cocktail party venue
Perch up at Crystalbrook Vincent’s Fiume Bar and watch the sunset.

If Fortitude Valley is more your jam, try The Calile instead. Brisbane’s first urban resort, this Palm Springs-inspired oasis oozes glam Hollywood vibes.

Now you’re checked in and dolled up, venture out for exotic oriental eats at Happy Boy, a Fortitude Valley institution brimming with rustic-chic décor. Chow down on Guangdong-style BBQ delicacies like pork belly as you people-watch on the fairylight-festooned patio.

With a satiated belly, mosey over to Felon’s Brewing Co for a cheeky craft pint as you watch the sunset behind the Story Bridge.

best James St restaurants. 48 hours in brisbane

Saturday

Kick-start your morning with a wellness fix at Soak Bathhouse in South Brisbane. Unlike other traditional inner-city spas, Soak forgoes the standard silence-only etiquette for more sociable scenes.

Can’t stand the sound of chatting while soaking in a magnesium-rich spa?

Try Kailo on James Street instead.

Now you’ve achieved a state of Zen-like relaxation, it’s time to stuff a light brekkie in your belly. Agnes Bakery does the most heavenly sweet treats in town (try the kouign amann croissants), plus fresh-out-of-the-oven smoked potato sourdough. If you’ve just stumbled out of Soak Bathhouse, Lune Croissanterie is a South Brisbane stalwart serving next-level crescent-shaped rolls.

Best bakeries in Brisbane
For some of the yummiest bakery treats in town make sure you pop into Agnes Bakery.

Take a stroll around the City Botanic Gardens and South Bank Parklands to work off those sugary carbs and soak up the splendid Brisbane River views.

Lunch is at Southside Restaurant, a trendy Fish Lane haunt plating up spicy East Asian delights. Grab a seat on the verdant fern-filled patio and devour delicacies like wild mushroom dumplings and steamed coral trout.

work Christmas party planning in Brisbane
Southside Restaurant serves delightful asian cuisine and delicious cocktails.

Thirsty?

Brisbane is brimming with cool artisanal booze-makers.

Beer lovers should make a beeline for Stone & Wood Brewery, an iconic Byron-born brand whose refreshing ales sell Australia-wide. Oenophiles should swing by City Winery instead, where viniculture gurus ferment top-notch drops from Granite Belt grapes. If you’ve got a penchant for the hard stuff, Granddad Jack’s is a legendary father-and-son-run distillery famous for its industry-leading gin.

Teetotallers can opt for a more wholesome afternoon activity. For example, book a daybed at The Calile Hotel pool to soak up those warm Brisbane rays, or face your fear of heights with a Story Bridge climb.

Albion Brisbane gin distillery. 48 hours in brisbane
Granddad Jack’s is the best distillery experience Brisbane has to offer.

Saturday Night

You’ll need a decent dinner to re-energise after a long day.

Over on James Street, Gemelli does tantalising wood-fired pizzas and handmade pasta—wash ‘em down with a refined Italian wine. If you’re craving Asian flavours, grab an Uber to Zero Fox in Teneriffe. This vibrant Korean-Japanese joint packs out with punters for its tasty teriyaki salmon and zesty bao buns.

Wherever you eat, leave room in the belly for dessert. Messina is an acclaimed Fortitude Valley ice cream parlour serving 40 flavours of delicious Italian-style gelato. No weekend in Brisbane would be complete without tasting the utter deliciousness of Messina gelato. 

Hankering for a cheeky cocktail to cap off an indulgent day?

Can’t blame you. Try The End in South Brisbane for a cosy, sociable vibe, or Fortitude Valley’s Finney Isles for moodier, more sophisticated scenes.

wood-fired pizzas in Brisbane
Gemelli serve some of the best wood-fired pizzas you’re ever likely to taste.

Sunday

Check out of your lux home-away-from-home and venture outside for a hearty breakfast.

Teneriffe’s Woolshed is a local landmark serving lip-smacking bacon rolls and flavoursome egg soufflés. Just off James Street, King Arthur Café is a hip, whitewashed space serving sizeable portions of the usual breakfast staples—try the poached egg with avo.

Rested and well-nourished, head towards Tamborine Mountain for a blissful day bouncing between rainforest-shrouded falls. Swing by Witches Falls Winery to sample award-winning drops as you admire the sweeping Scenic Rim view.

If you’d rather kick it in Brisbane, hike up Mt. Coot-tha to admire the skyline and meander among luscious botanic gardens. Come lunchtime, indulge in a decedent Greek feast at Hellenika—the banquet will put a bulge in your belly. Alternatively, treat yourself to fine dining at Detour (the coal-roasted broccoli is a hit).

Witches Falls Winery in the Scenic Rim. 48 hours in brisbane
If you end up making a trip to Tamborine Mountain, do not forget to visit Witches Falls Winery – the best winemaker in the Scenic Rim.

Experience 48 Hours in Brisbane with Kiff & Culture

Rather leave the logistical rigmarole to the pros?

Then join us on one of our ultra-indulgent foodie tours.

Tamborine Mountain Wine & Dine sees you swing between the Scenic Rim’s top vineyards, sampling gourmet nibbles and top-notch plonk as you soak up the view. Urbanite types might prefer the Brisbane Artisanal Food & Drink tour, which hits a curated selection of our favourite restaurants and artisanal distilleries.  

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