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Where to Stay in Brisbane When You Visit (Updated 2024)

A sunny day with blue skies over the downtown CBD of Brisbane, Australia

Posted: 2/13/2024 | February 13th, 2024

Brisbane is third-largest city in Australia. Most travelers visit the city on their way to the Gold Coast or as they head up toward Cairns. They tend not to stay too long as the city doesn’t really have the allure that other parts of Australia does.

But Brisbane actually has plenty to see and do – and I think people short change it.

Home to just over two million people, it’s a very outdoorsy place, with lots of parks and even an urban beach. There’s a high quality of life and a hip restaurant scene, and the largest koala sanctuary in the world is just outside of town.

And, since it’s not too spread out, you never really too far from anything.

To help you plan your trip and figure out where to stay during your visit, here’s my list of the best neighborhoods in Brisbane:


Where to Stay for Sightseeing: Inner City/CBD

A towering and bustling downtown CBD of sunny Brisbane, AustraliaA towering and bustling downtown CBD of sunny Brisbane, Australia
If you want to be in the center of it all, stay in the Inner City, known colloquially as the CBD (Central Business District). You’ll find many great attractions here (the Museum of Brisbane, City Botanic Gardens, and Queensland Holocaust Museum), as well as lots of restaurants and cocktail bars. Don’t miss the Brooklyn Standard, a NYC-themed bar with a speakeasy vibe and fantastic live music. If you want to shop, the expansive Queen Street Mall is here as well.

The CBD is a convenient location if you’re traveling elsewhere in Australia, as it’s home to the main transit center, where all long-distance buses and trains leave from. Plus, it’s located in between South Bank and Fortitude Valley, two other popular neighborhoods, so it’s easy to get to both from here.

Best places to stay in Inner City/CBD:

  • BUDGET: Selina Brisbane – This upscale hostel across from the main train station features private rooms and dorms painted in warm, welcoming tones and decorated with local artwork. Bunks are pod-style, with individual reading lights, curtains, outlets, and lockers. There’s also a co-working area, an outdoor cinema terrace, a library, and a fully equipped kitchen. It’s a good option for travelers on a budget looking for a quiet stay.
  • MIDRANGE: Royal on the Park – Located directly across from the City Botanic Gardens, this hotel has a stately feel to it with its large rooms, carpet, and dark wood decor. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, a lounge, and a restaurant that serves an expansive breakfast buffet. The generously sized rooms are simply designed,…

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