Courtesy of Demosthenes Mateo Jr/Getty Images

Brisbane Area Map


Brisbane is nestled on the southeast corner of Queensland (on Australia's east coast), about 571 miles northeast of Sydney. Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia, and as such its neighborhoods are relatively spread out, though they can all be easily reached by public transportation. Each neighborhood reveals a different facet of Brisbane's personality, so make sure you carve out some time to explore as many districts as you can.

Accessible via Airtrain and all TransLink lines.

Use the central business district as your home base when navigating the city. You'll find several brand-backed hotels here, including the Brisbane Marriott Hotel and the Hilton Brisbane. From the CBD, you can easily explore the city's outer suburbs by bus, car or rail (via Central station). When you're in this part of the city, the streets named after female British royalty (Margaret Street, Alice Street) run southwest to northeast, while those named after male British royalty (William Street, George Street) run southeast to northwest. You'll also come across many of Brisbane's top restaurants and a popular pedestrian shopping area, the Queen Street Mall.

Accessible via Airtrain and all TransLink lines.

Fortitude Valley – or "The Valley" as it's called by locals – is where Brisbane's nightlife and music scenes thrive. Situated a little more than 4 miles northeast of the CBD along the north bank of the river, The Valley is easily reached via the light rail's Beenleigh Line or one of six buses. If live music is what you've come for, you'll hear plenty of it in the clubs along Brunswick Street. Experts and travelers alike recommend Black Bear Lodge for its tucked away location (on the second level of the Brunswick Street Mall) and relaxed, speakeasy-like atmosphere. If you're looking for something a little more raucous, head to The Zoo or The Tivoli for live music. Aside from its various entertainment venues, Fortitude Valley also hosts trendy hotels, including the Emporium Hotel and the Limes Hotel, a chic boutique outpost with a popular rooftop.

Accessible via Airtrain and TransLink's Ferny Grove-Beenleigh, Shorncliffe-Cleveland and Airport-Gold Coast lines.

If you're hoping to explore South Brisbane and South Bank, the city's definitive cultural hub, head just 2 miles south of Brisbane's central business district, across the Victoria Bridge. South Brisbane is home to some of Brisbane's top attractions, including the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art. If you want to be based in the center of the action, consider bedding down in either of the two neighborhoods.

Rent bikes or walk along the South Bank Boardwalk, which hugs the river's curves and offers a gorgeous view across the water. When you're ready for a bite to eat, follow the boardwalk to the River Quay Green area of South Bank, where delicious menus are paired with amazing river views. You'll find even more restaurants on Little Stanley Street, which sits just a couple blocks away from the boardwalk.  

Accessible via Airtrain and TransLink's Ferny Grove-Beenleigh, Shorncliffe-Cleveland and Airport-Gold Coast lines.

This area is located about 2 miles southwest of Brisbane's center just west of South Bank. (Travelers can get to the neighborhood by taking the train to South Brisbane station and then walking less than a mile southwest.) This part of town is known for its abundant collection of boutique shops, ethnic restaurants and street markets. You can find the Boundary Street Markets – a smattering of more than one hundred growers, producers and designers of various market goods – every Friday and Saturday on the corner of Boundary and Russell Streets in the heart of the West End. Though the area boasts abundant shopping opportunities, it does not offer quite as many lodging options; stick to the central business district for more accommodations.

Accessible via the No. 195, 196, 199, N199, 393 and 470 buses.

Situated about 2 miles east of the central business district on the north side of the river, New Farm is often described as being the bohemian soul of Brisbane. Think microbreweries, an industrial warehouse-turned-performing arts space and a sizable waterfront park. While here, you'll also come across numerous cafes, boutiques and restaurants that cater to the trendy group of Brisbanites that call this spot home. New Farm doesn't have too many accommodation options for visitors, but it does boast one of the city's more popular hotels, the Spicers Balfour Hotel.

Teneriffe is New Farm's neighbor (about 3 miles away from the CBD). This enclave, which was once an area for farming and later an industrial hub, has undergone a complete revitalization. Alongside stylish, loft-style apartments, you'll find plenty of cafes, boutiques and restaurants to sample. Venture to Teneriffe to tour some of the area's many independent shops and restaurants, but plan on hanging your hat elsewhere.

Accessible via Airtrain and TransLink's Ferny Grove-Beenleigh, Shorncliffe-Cleveland and Airport-Gold Coast lines.

Brisbane's central business district can be found about 3 miles north of Woolloongabba. This are is home to Brisbane's famous sporting venue, The Gabba, which hosts the Brisbane Lions Australian Football League team (that's soccer to us Americans) and the Queensland Bulls state cricket team. If you're not in Woolloongabba to catch a game, there are plenty of restaurants and shops to occupy your time.

If you're looking for a little more heart-pumping adventure, head less than 2 miles north of The Gabba to Kangaroo Point. This area earns its moniker from the kangaroos that used to call the neighborhood home in the 19th century. If you're in Kangaroo Point, you're likely here to hike the magnificent cliffs that share their name with the district. Follow the Art and the River Public Art Trail from the Maritime Museum up to the top of the cliffs; at the peak, you can see clear across the Brisbane River to the city skyline. Along the way, you can stop for a bite at the picnic tables and gas barbecue posts that the city has stationed along the trail. Travelers recommend making the trek at dusk to catch a spectacular sunset.

Accessible via the No. 375 bus.

Venture 3 miles northwest of downtown and you'll find the undulating hills of Paddington and Rosalie. Renovated Queenslanders (Victorian houses) have been turned into quirky boutiques hawking art and retro wares. These charming pre-war homes are the main reason many travelers visit the neighborhood, that and the mix of restaurants and cocktail lounges that rub elbows with the secondhand shops. The best way to get to Paddington from downtown Brisbane is via the No. 375 bus.

When you're in Rosalie, you'll want to explore the Rosalie Gourmet Market. Here you'll find plenty of fresh local produce. And just south of Paddington's eastern edge is Suncorp Stadium, where various rugby matches are regularly hosted. A handful of boutique hotels and smaller inns are situated around Paddington, plus a few apartment-style accommodations.

Accessible via the No. 445 bus and TransLink's Caboolture/Sunshine Coast-Ipswich/Rosewood and Redcliffe Peninsula-Springfield lines, with a connection at Indooroopilly station.

Nearly 9 miles southwest of Brisbane's city center, this suburb is home to the city's cuddliest residents, who occupy the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. However, if you're not visiting the koala reserve, you'll probably find little reason to venture to this wooded riverside neighborhood. Getting to the area is possible by taking the train and No. 445 bus, but if you're going to the sanctuary, you can also get to Fig Tree Pocket via the Mirimar river cruise.

Don't expect to encounter any major crime when visiting Brisbane. However, as with any large city, you should take precautions. Stay alert when walking around unfamiliar areas, especially at night.

While you won't have to worry about the threat of serious crime when visiting Queensland's capital, don't forget about another, often forgotten danger: the sun. Because of Brisbane's subtropical location, it's easy to get burned quickly – even on overcast days. Remember to wear sunscreen and a brimmed hat if you're out and about.

Explore More of Brisbane

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.