It can be hard to decide where to stay in a city when you’re visiting for the first time. To make things easier, I have compiled a list of the top six areas to stay in Brisbane, along with some of my personal favourite accommodations. This list is based on my extensive experience of both living and visiting the city, ensuring that you will have a safe, enjoyable, and memorable stay.
Towards the end of the article, you can find a map that displays the suggested areas, accommodations, places of interest, and transportation options mentioned in the article.
While it may not be considered a large city, it still covers a significant area, and new buildings continue to emerge each year. For those visiting Brisbane for the first time or who haven’t been in the city recently, the vast selection of options can be overwhelming.
How did I select these accommodations in Brisbane
I’ve selected six areas that are central or not far from the heart of Brisbane.
In my opinion, the CBD, Fortitude Valley, South Bank, Kangaroo Point, Spring Hill, and New Farm are the best areas to stay in Brisbane. However, each of these areas offers a unique experience, and I have provided a brief description of each to help you decide which one would best suit your preferences. If you are unfamiliar with Brisbane, there is a map at the end of the article that will help you to visualise the locations of these areas, as well as the nearby transportation options and attractions.
I have provided recommendations for various locations, each with a few options. While I have personally visited only a handful of the accommodations on this list, I am familiar with the surrounding areas and have also gathered suggestions from family and friends who have travelled to Brisbane.
When searching for accommodations, the location is a crucial factor to consider. However, I also took into account the unique characteristics that set the place apart from other lodging options in Brisbane.
Some have exceptional views, while others feature captivating interior designs, or may catch your attention due to their affordable prices.
If you plan on travelling by car, finding a suitable carpark will be important. While there are paid options available in the heart of Brisbane, they often come at an additional cost, ranging from $35 to $50 per day. However, as you venture further away from the city, parking options become more affordable. West End, Kangaroo Point, and New Farm are all great areas to consider.
1. Brisbane City
Why stay in Brisbane City
Opting to stay in the city will place you in a prime central location, providing easy access to most places in South Bank and Fortitude Valley with just a brisk 15-minute walk. Moreover, you will also be at a convenient walking distance from the Botanical Gardens, the river walk, and a plethora of delicious restaurants to choose from.
Recommendations for where to stay in Brisbane City
If you’re looking for a great apartment to stay in while visiting Brisbane City, I highly recommend Skytower. Its location is unbeatable, with the Botanic Gardens and the river just a stone’s throw away. You’ll have easy access to scenic walks and delicious food options. Plus, if you book a room on one of the higher floors, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views. Check out more information on booking a Skytower apartment here*.
In Brisbane, there are two Meriton towers that offer serviced suites/apartments. Although both are located in the CBD, one is conveniently situated near Fortitude Valley, while the other is on the opposite side of the city, at Roma Street.
My personal preference would be the Meriton located near Fortitude Valley*. If your apartment is on the tower’s correct side, it provides stunning views of both the river and the Story Bridge. Moreover, it is merely a few meters away from the riverwalk and Kingsmith Wharves precinct. It’ll take you less than 10 minutes to walk to the city’s heart from there.
Out of all the places I have listed in Brisbane CBD, I personally would not pick the Meriton near Roma Street*. While the views are breathtaking, I believe the location isn’t as ideal as the other options available.
Queen St Residence Apartments*
For those seeking a rooftop pool with a breathtaking view in the heart of the CBD, Queen St Residence* can certainly capture your attention. To top it off, the majority of the apartments also offer beautiful views.
W Brisbane hotel*
If you have room in your budget, W Brisbane* is an exceptional choice. Its location in the CBD and proximity to South Bank make it an ideal place to stay. However, if you’re just looking for a place to crash, this might not be the best option for you. But if you’re willing to indulge in a unique experience, W Brisbane won’t disappoint. You could easily spend most of your day exploring the hotel, admiring the stunning interior design, and enjoying the top-notch service.
Four Points by Sheraton hotel*
If you’re looking to stay in the heart of the city, Four Points by Sheraton hotel* is an excellent choice. However, keep in mind that only a select few rooms offer interesting views, so it may be worth considering an upgrade if that’s important to you.
Ibis Styles hotel*
Compared to other CBD accommodations on this list, the Ibis Styles* offers a more affordable price point. Despite its lower cost, guests can still conveniently access all of the CBD’s attractions and South Bank by foot. However, it may take a bit more time to reach Riverside from this location.
If you’re looking for a cozy and relaxing stay, Sofitel* is definitely worth considering. In Brisbane, it’s a great choice if you’re planning to catch a train but don’t want to walk too far. The hotel is conveniently located right at Central Station, making it incredibly easy to catch a train to the airport or the Gold Coast.
Royal On The Park hotel*
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape amidst the city bustle, Royal On The Park*’s park view rooms are just what you need. Adjacent to the Botanical Gardens, they offer a stunning green scenery to soothe your mind.
Treasury Brisbane hotel*
If you are interested in experiencing the charm of a historical and iconic building, you may want to consider staying at Treasury Brisbane*. This luxurious hotel features elegant rooms adorned with antique-style furniture, all housed within one of Australia’s grandest heritage buildings.
2. Fortitude Valley
Why stay in Fortitude Valley
I have lived in Fortitude Valley for seven years, and I can confidently say that it is the ideal place to stay in Brisbane for those who love nightlife. The area offers many options for food and drinks, with Brunswick Street, King Street, Chinatown, Emporium or Howard Smith Wharves nearby.
Not only is it simple to walk to the CBD from Fortitude Valley, but there are also trains, buses, and boats that operate across the entire Brisbane region, including direct lines to South Bank.
Recommendations for where to stay in Fortitude Valley
If you’re looking for a prime location to spend your evenings in Brisbane, you can’t beat the Howard Smith Wharves area where the Crystalbrook Vincent* (formerly the Fantauzzo) is situated. It’s right by the Brisbane River, the Story Bridge, and the Riverwalk, offering breathtaking views and a lively atmosphere. Additionally, the CBD is just a short walk away.
If you’re looking for a place with amazing views of the river, Story Bridge, and CBD, Oakwood* is the perfect location for you. It’s situated just above Fantauzzo.
FV by Peppers*
FV by Peppers* is just a little over a five-minute walk from the river and Howard Smith Wharves, and provide stunning views of Fortitude Valley and the CBD. You won’t need to leave the premises for entertainment as the leisure facilities are top-notch. There are swimming pools with a bar and a view, private spa or cinema rooms available for a small additional fee, and access to one of the most beautiful rooftops in the city. If you’re coming from the airport, the train will take you almost straight to FV Peppers. It’s also convenient if you plan to visit the Gold Coast by train.
3. South Bank
Why stay in South Bank
The South Bank lagoons are one of the most famous attractions in Brisbane. While in South Bank, you’ll also get to enjoy some of the most stunning city views that Brisbane has to offer. South Bank is home to some of the best art venues and museums in the city, perfect for art enthusiasts. When it comes to dining, you’ll have a variety of excellent restaurants to choose from. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the area tends to get quieter early in the evening.
Recommendations for where to stay in South Bank
If you’re looking for a place to stay in South Bank, I highly recommend checking out the Emporium*. Even if it’s not in your budget to stay overnight, I suggest stopping by their rooftop restaurant for a drink. While the food may not be anything special, the views of the city are truly unbeatable. From there, you’ll have easy access to the lagoons, as well as the train (which goes directly to the airport) and the ferries (which can take you to the city and Fortitude Valley). Plus, the bridge leading to the Botanical Gardens is just a short distance away. If you’re able to afford an upgrade, I suggest booking a suite that comes with a bathtub that offers a view.
Arise Ivy & Eve Apartments*
For those seeking to be in closer proximity to Brisbane’s cultural district or desiring an apartment-style stay, Arise Ivy & Eve Apartments* apartments offer a prime location.
4. Kangaroo Point
Why stay in Kangaroo Point
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, Kangaroo Point might be worth considering. It’s a bit more isolated in terms of transportation and activities, but it’s a great option if you have a car to park. Luckily, the ferry can easily take you to South Bank and the City, and crossing the Story Bridge will get you to Fortitude Valley entertainment.
One of the most renowned attractions in Brisbane is Kangaroo Point Cliffs which provide an opportunity for outdoor rock climbing right in the heart of the city. Personally, it’s one of my favourite places to watch the sunsets in Brisbane.
An added benefit is that Kangaroo Point happens to be the location of my favourite French bakery in Brisbane, Christan Jacques. This means that your breakfast is taken care of!
Recommendations for where to stay in Kangaroo Point
Il Mondo Boutique Hotel*
For those who prefer smaller hotels or would rather not pay extra for parking, this option is worth considering. While it may not be a luxurious stay, it does offer comfortable accommodations. Additionally, the ferry ride to reach the CBD, Fortitude Valley, or South Bank is quite pleasant.
The Docks On Goodwin*
If you’re looking for an apartment, you might want to consider the Docks On Goodwin*. It’s located in the same area as the Il Mondo Boutique Hotel and also provides free parking.
This Kangaroo Point hotel is renowned for its luxurious amenities, but it comes with a steep price tag. However, it offers a unique vantage point from its rooftop, providing breathtaking views of the Story Bridge, the river, and the city. It’s an ideal option for those who seek tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of Brisbane’s city centre, without sacrificing high-end features.
5. Spring Hill
Why stay in Spring Hill
If you’re looking to save some money while staying in a convenient location, Spring Hill could be a solid choice. While it may not offer many tourist attractions, it’s situated close to both the CBD and Fortitude Valley.
Recommendations for where to stay in Spring Hill
Holiday Inn Express*
If you can get their most standard rate, I find the Holiday Inn Express* is a
Spring Hill Mews apartments*
For those who own a car, this could be the ideal accommodation option as it provides complimentary parking with a one-bedroom apartment. A 5 to 10 minute walk will take you to the city, and it’s conveniently located near the stunning Roma Parklands.
Ridge Apartment Hotel*
Ridge* is a bit closer to Fortitude Valley than Spring Hill Mews. The carpark fee ($15/day) comes on top of the apartment price, so it could be of better value if you don’t have a car.
Why stay in New Farm
New Farm is an excellent choice to experience a local feel in Brisbane. You’ll find a lot more locals than tourists there. Even though it’s primarily a residential area, you’ll still find great restaurants and cafes. Plus, despite its proximity to the bustling nightlife of Fortitude Valley, New Farm is a peaceful escape.
If you’re looking to get around, there are a few transportation options available. Buses can take you up Brunswick St towards Fortitude Valley and the City, while a ferry is available at the park’s end. However, if you’re comfortable with walking or enjoy cycling, you’ll fit right in with the locals. The Riverwalk is particularly lovely and worth exploring.
Recommendations for where to stay in New Farm
Edward Lodge* is a small boutique hotel near the beautiful New Farm Park and riverwalk, as well as the ferry to reach the city. I like that they provide guests with bicycles and helmets; it’s much cheaper than using those from the shared schemes provided by Beam and Neuron.
New to Beam? You can download their app here and use the referral code ydXTF (it’s case-sensitive). We’ll both get free credits!
New to Neuron? Register here or use the coupon code 12D5HSYE, and we’ll both get a free 10-minute ride.
Spicers Balfour* is reputed for providing luxurious experiences. Guests can enjoy the rooftop with beautiful views of the Story Bridge and the city. It’s not the best rooftop view in Brisbane, but it’s a rare feature in New Farm. Spicers Balfour is a great option if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Fortitude Valley or prefer a quieter setting. However, you’ll still be within walking distance of the city. Additionally, one of the best bakeries in Brisbane, Chouquette, is located just a few blocks away.
Map of the best areas to stay in Brisbane
The map below will help you see where the main attractions and transports are and the suggested places where to stay in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland (Australia).
What’s the best area to stay in Brisbane? Share your experience in the comments below!
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