This article has been contributed by one of our guest bloggers.
Brisbane—the city of sunny weather, stunning beaches and friendly people. Situated on the east coast of Australia, Brisbane is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. It's also one of Australia's fastest-growing cities, with something exciting right outside your doorstep.
Whether you're visiting for a short stay or planning a road trip around Australia, Brisbane's diverse culture doesn't disappoint. From swimming at one of the many beaches to hiking through one of the many national parks, here are places you should see when you're in town.
1) Brisbane's Markets
No matter where you are in Brisbane, chances are that there's a vibrant marketplace not too far away from you. While a majority of them sell the usual produce, several markets focus on arts and crafts, vintage finds and city delicacies.
A lot of these markets pop up at certain times of the week only, so you'll have to plan ahead if you've got your eyes set on a particular one. The Brisbane City Markets situated at the corner of Wharf and Ann Street, for instance, is only open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM (or 6:00 PM on Thursdays).
Many weekend markets also showcase high-quality organic produce that Brisbane has in astronomical amounts! For instance, Northey Street Organic Markets is the only Queensland market that sells certified organic produce, whereas Nundah Farmers Markets sells gourmet meats and fresh seafood for those who want to delight themselves with more sophisticated gastronomy. Local restaurants and catering services like Gathar use these local ingredients in their cooking - so if you would prefer something prepared for you, have a look at some of the amazing lunch and dinner options around.
2) Australia Zoo
Situated in the Glass House Mountains, an hour's drive north of Brisbane, Australia Zoo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Queensland. Scratch that, it's perhaps one of the most popular zoos in the entire world.
Steve Irwin, the late Crocodile Hunter who perished in a stingray attack, was the manager of this zoo and it still remains a family-run business. His wife Terri, daughter Bindi and son Robert all play important roles in the zoo's management and animal conservation efforts.
While Steve Irwin is no longer with us, his legacy lives on through the Australia Zoo. If you're a fan of his work, or simply hold an appreciation toward animals, this place is a true Brisbane highlight.
3) Brisbane City Hall
If you find yourself in the central business district (CBD), then you absolutely cannot miss a visit to Brisbane's City Hall. This heritage-listed building is one of the most iconic in the city and has been used as a venue for numerous events and functions throughout its long history.
But even if you won't be attending any sort of fancy gala or ball, the building itself is still worth admiring from the outside. It's massive and impressive, standing 91 metres tall with a beautiful clock tower that tourists can visit to take in the 360 sights of the city.
If Sydney has its Opera House and Melbourne has its Flinders Street Station, then Brisbane claims the City Hall as its most iconic piece of architecture.
4) Museum of Brisbane
We're not over the City Hall gushing just yet! If you want to learn more about the history and culture of Brisbane, then head on over to the Museum of Brisbane. This museum is located inside the City Hall building and is free to enter for all visitors.
The Museum of Brisbane explores the stories of the city through interactive exhibitions and displays. It's a great place to visit if you want to get to know Brisbane a little better. It’s especially perfect for families with young children who want to develop a greater appreciation for local culture and history.
5) City Botanic Gardens
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, then we recommend spending an afternoon at the City Botanic Gardens. This 49-acre oasis is located on the banks of the Brisbane River, and is a popular spot for picnics, strolls, and relaxation.
Opened in the 19th century, this old park is home to numerous species of plants and trees, as well as several sculptures and monuments. There are also bike paths that wind through the gardens, making it a great place to go for a leisurely ride.
For those with an appreciation for the arts, a visit to QAGOMA is a must. This gallery is one of the largest in Australia and is home to a diverse collection of contemporary and indigenous art.
QAGOMA's riverside entrance is located near Melbourne Street and Victoria Bridge and is spread out across two buildings—the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art. We recommend setting aside a few hours to explore both galleries, as there are over 3,000 art pieces in this expansive gallery.
7) The Wheel of Brisbane
Cap off your day with a ride on The Wheel of Brisbane. As the name suggests, this is a giant Ferris wheel that offers spectacular views of the city.
The Wheel of Brisbane features air-conditioned gondolas and stands at a whopping 60 metres tall. A lap around the wheel takes 15 minutes at most, giving you more than enough time to enjoy the bird's eye view of all the major landmarks and attractions in Brisbane.