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Australia

Welcome to Brisbane

City description  

Ever since the Aboriginal “Dreamtime”, well before the arrival of the first settlers who came to live on the banks of its river, lush green Brisbane, spoilt by its subtropical climate, has been charming mankind. The Queensland Museum and the Brisbane Museum, each in its own unique way, introduce visitors to a more eventful history than you might expect, going some way to explaining the power of attraction exerted by this ancient land. It’s a natural Garden of Eden, from which a forest of blue-tinged skyscrapers has risen up, carefully organised around its wide avenues. Queensland’s capital may have been mocked by the rest of Australia for decades for its sleepy exterior, but that is no longer the case today. Vibrant Brisbane, the country’s third most populated city, is a worthy ambassador of the Australian way of life, and fits in perfectly with the spirit of the 21st century.

Brisbane’s city centre is modern, light and bathed in sunshine, so it certainly looks the part of the perfect city, despite the shiny glass and steel of the few buildings dating back to the last century. Especially in the pedestrianised Queen Street Mall, popular for its shops, restaurants, cafes and cinemas, the perfect excuse for some aimless wandering to soak up the atmosphere.

A short hop away on a “CityCat”, the charming little blue and white motorised catamarans that travel along the Brisbane River, the South Bank is bound to keep you in a summery mood. On the promenade studded with bougainvillea bushes lining the water’s edge with views of the river and artificial beaches, you can check out the outdoor cafes and ice cream sellers. In the capital of the “Sunshine State”, summer feels like it will never end. After soaking up this atmosphere, it’s well worth taking the time to explore another side of the South Bank, a bustling cultural hub at the heart of this beautiful city. As well as its museums, like the Queensland Art Gallery, this area also hosts the annual Brisbane Festival, where the focus is on the arts in all their different shapes and sizes. Carry on along the river until you get to New Farm, where the Brisbane Powerhouse, a huge arts centre, boasts a unique, creative atmosphere in a former power station.
As is true in the rest of Australia, nature is always there to reassert itself. The red cliffs of Kangaroo Point, the enchanting aquatic gardens of Mount Coot-tha and the kangaroos, wombats and koalas at the Lone Pine sanctuary live together in perfect harmony. This love story can also be seen in Brisbane’s sporting DNA. The elegance of cricket of course, is celebrated at the Gabba, the Brisbane Cricket Ground in Woolloongabba. Then there’s the tennis during the Brisbane International Tennis tournament, and last but not least, running, as participants in the Bridge to Brisbane race to the finishing line.
Brisbane is a fantastic city, nurtured by a welcoming natural environment, and one that has been able to make the most of its fertile landscape, celebrating fish, delicious seafood and fresh ingredients grown throughout Queensland. Brisbane is passionate about fine food, thanks in part to some of its unashamedly contemporary chefs, including Ryan Squires at Esquire and Matt Moran at Aria. The range of flavours Brisbane has to offer, showcasing local ingredients, fusion influences and the great European traditions, is enough to make your head spin. The city offers one thousand and one reasons to come and explore Sydney’s little sister.

Top things to do in Brisbane

Enjoy our selection of finest attractions

  • All
  • Highlight
  • Art & design
  • Shopping

Where to Eat

  • Sofitel restaurants
  • Café
  • Restaurants

Gerard’s Bistro

Gerard's Bistro advocates a mix of influences, where 1950s furniture combines with modern culinary tastes, seasoned with Moroccan and Lebanese influences. The result is a smash-hit dining experience, both delicious and chic.

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Aria

Chef Matt Moran is one of the leading culinary talents in Australia. His creativity celebrates seasonal local produce, and the dining experience at Aria is complimented by panoramic river views.

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The Euro

Not far from the river, The Euro is a chic brasserie with brick walls mixed with design elements. Its simple and heartwarming menu of dishes is enhanced by a fine selection of wines.

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1889 Enoteca

1889 Enoteca restaurant-bar-wine shop is the ideal spot to sip and purchase fantastic wines, and its vaulted restaurant serves Roman cuisine of the highest caliber.

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Cru Bar

Cru Bar, a new generation wine bar, serves premium wines and delicious food to tantalize the taste buds in a trendy, designer setting.

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Blackbird Bar

At the luxurious Black Bird Bar, savor signature cocktails prepared with premium ingredients, accompanied by fresh seafood, charcuterie and gourmet snacks. A very famous address in Brisbane.

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Stokehouse

Transported from the shores of Melbourne, Stokehouse restaurant boasts a beautiful setting overlooking the Brisbane River. Savor fresh local seafood, seasoned with Mediterranean influences.

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Toby’s Estate Espresso Bar

With its stylish open frontage and elegant interiors, Toby’s Estate Espresso Bar serves meticulously-crafted coffee in Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD). Sourcing beans directly from farmers across the world, the cafe adopts cutting-edge methods at its brew-bar, where connoisseurs might be tempted by the V60 Chemex, AeroPress or syphon brews.

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Gramercy Coffee

Surrounded by the sleek designer boutiques of Brisbane’s Wintergarden mall, Gramercy Coffee offers expertly-crafted coffee and a mouthwatering range of homemade treats displayed in elegant cake-stands. Light breakfasts, fresh juices and specialty coffee make this a popular all-day Brisbane hangout. Make sure to try one of their signature donuts with your single-origin espresso.

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Coffee Anthology

Situated in the heart of Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD), Coffee Anthology is renowned for its warm welcome and its expert baristas. Always on-hand to guide enthusiasts through their daily selection of beans sourced from around the world, Coffee Anthology offers a sleek setting designed in timber and warm brick, along with a wholesome menu of healthy light meals and snacks.

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Privé249

Privé249 is a stylishly indulgent dining experience offering a la carte menu in an exquisite location overlooking the Brisbane city lights. Executive Chef, Patrice Falantin showcases Sofitel’s French heritage whist capturing Brisbane’s unique flavour within a seasonal a la carte menu highlighting fresh and local produce. Decadent market fresh seafood buffet, lunch and dinner daily.

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Thomson’s Reserve

The culinary star of the New Inchcolm Hotel Brisbane MGallery by Sofitel, Thomson’s Reserve Restaurant blends a heritage-listed location with progressive Australian cuisine. With the air of an exclusive member’s club, Thomson’s Reserve is a haven of parquet floors, glowing pendant lights and dark wooden panelling. Offering both an à la carte and a five- or eight-course tasting menu, Chef Michael Crosbie celebrates the freshest organic Australian ingredients, creating unique seasonal dishes that will delight the eyes as well as the tastebuds. For the complete gastronomic experience, opt for expert wine pairings meticulously chosen to enhance every mouthful. 

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Practical information

  • where to stay
  • when to go
  • Travel transportation
  • event calendar

Brisbane • Australia

Sofitel Brisbane Central

Located within walking distance of the city centre, Eagle Street Pier, South Ban...

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Brisbane • Australia

The New Inchcolm Hotel Brisbane MGallery by Sofitel

The New Inchcolm Hotel Brisbane MGallery by Sofitel is a distinctly boutique hot...

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When to go

​Brisbane ​is a great city to visit all year around, ​​since it offers a warm climate and no typical winter season. It has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and warm winters.
Since it is located in the south hemisphere, the coldest months are June, July and August with an average temperature of 15°C, and the hottest months are December to March with temperatures superior to 25°C (but temperatures can climb up to 30°C).
The best time to visit Brisbane is during spring and autumn, when the temperatures are warm with a​n average​ minimum temperature of 20° Celsius.

Brisbane annual calendar

  • Jan

    Brisbane International Tennis Tournament, 3 - 10 January 2016

  • Fev

    Chinese New Year Celebrations, mid-February

  • Mar

    Brisbane St Patrick’s Day Parade, 17 March 2016

  • Apr

    ANZAC Day of remembrance, 25 April 2016

  • May

    Paniyiri Greek Festival weekend, showcasing Greek culture in Brisbane, late May

  • Jun

    Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, May and June

  • Jul

    Attend a rugby, cricket or basket ball game tournaments

  • Aug

    Brisbane Marathon and half marathon, 7 August 2016

  • Sep

    Brisbane Festival, performances and parties, 3 – 24 September

  • Oct

    Valley Fiesta, 3 days street festival, 23 – 25 October 2016

  • Nov

    Brisbane International Film Festival, mid to late November

  • Dec

    Celebrations of Christmas and New Year Eve

Travel transportation

Transportation

Transportation is easy to organise in Brisbane and includes ​a wide range of ​methods of transportation, such as: local cabs, private car services, rental car, bikes, but the main types of public transports are trains, buses and ferries, mainly operated by TransLink​.
The Citytrain network is composed of 10 lines, covers most of Brisbane and its suburbs, and also serves Brisbane airport.
Bus services also cover most of the city, including 2 free bus lines (yellow and red buses) transporting the public through the major landmarks and attractions around Brisbane such as the Brisbane Central Business District (CBD), the central hub of the city.  
With a fleet of 30 ferries, Brisbane’s CityCat ferry system serves a network of 25 terminals along the Brisbane River, from the University of Queensland to Northshore Hamilton. The ferry is very popular with locals and tourists.
We recommend the TransLink go card which allows you to travel seamlessly on all TransLink bus, train and ferry services. The fare starts at AUD$ 3.35 and varies according to the number of zones travelled.  
Keep in mind that when driving in Brisbane​, you must drive on the ​left ​side of the road.

Taxis

In Brisbane, taxis can ​be ​hail​ed on the street, f​ound​ at taxi ranks or boo​​k​ed in advance through one of the numerous Brisbane taxi companies such as Yellow Cab or Black and White Cabs.​
The initial charge is ​AUD$ 2,​90 and add AUD$ 2,​17 for each kilometer. Some additional charges may apply.​ Credit cards are usually accepted, with a​n additional charge fee.

getting to & from the airport

Brisbane Airport, which handles over 22 million passengers per year, is located 20 kilometers from the Central Business District. Expect ​a ​15-25 minutes​ journey​ and a fare of AUD$40 (depending upon traffic and the time of day). Metered taxis are available and private transfers can be arranged at the airport​s​.​
The airport is also served by the Brisbane Airtrain, which provides a rail service from Brisbane's city centre to and from the airport. Airtrain departs every 15 minutes during peak hours and runs between 5:45am and 10pm, taking around 20 minutes. The fare is AUD$16.

Getting around

Other destinations

* Prices start from. Offer subject to the hotel's conditions and availability. See the sales conditions for the rate. Depending on the country, these prices may not include taxes, may include VAT only or may include all taxes (VAT and city tax). When prices do not include all taxes, the relevant taxes (VAT and/or city tax) will be stated in the following stages of the reservation process. The price is only guaranteed at the time of reservation.

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