Brisbane is the capital and the most populated city in the Australian state of Queensland, and it is also the third most populous city in Australia with a deep and rich nightlife scene.
Queensland’s buzzing riverside capital city is wedged between the ocean and rugged national parks. Brisbane is a cosmopolitan hub for arts, culture, and dining but still retains a close connection with nature and a classic laid-back Queensland attitude.
Sophisticated galleries, subtropical beaches, cool-climate vineyards: the greater Brisbane region delivers gasp-inducing contrasts. The region’s star is Brisbane itself. The traditional home of the Jagera people, Queensland’s capital has a flourishing restaurant, bar, and cultural scene. Lapping at its eastern fringe is Moreton Bay, where low-lying sandy isles beckon with turquoise waves and the passing parade of whales, turtles, and dolphins.
Here in this article, we will provide all the necessary information related to nightlife features of Brisbane, including a comprehensive list of the best destinations. You will find all the tools and necessary information here to organize your holidays in Brisbane the most complete way to make your journey a beautiful experience.
The Nightlife in Brisbane
The offices shut at 5 but that doesn’t mean everywhere else does. Brisbane’s nightlife is extensive, spread across both sides of the river, and packed with heaps of options. From classic watering holes on every second corner to sophisticated bars with where you can lie back and listen to music that never stops – Pubs, Bars, Live-music venues and Night Clubs are the perfect places where you can enjoy quality time with your friends or loved one. So here we have compiled this list of what we believe are the top activities to do in Brisbane, check out our recommended options here for the best venues available in Brisbane and all are ready to make you happy while you are enjoying your nightlife experience over there:
Seasonal nights and City lights
See the city by night with Brisbane Lights Tours that take you past all of Brisbane’s big attractions including Government House, Mt Coot-tha, the Story Bridge and the surrounding suburbs that boast some of Brisbane’s rich history. Travel by bus and City-Cat with full commentary and many opportunities to stop along the way and take that perfect night shot.
Paddle and prawns
Discover Brisbane from a different perspective as you glide along the river in a kayak beneath the stars. Finish the work week with a bang and hop on over to River-life at Kangaroo Point on a Friday night to enjoy 90 minutes of paddling under the Story Bridge before stopping to take in sensational city views over a classic Aussie barbecue in a riverside marquee.
Drown yourself in food at Eat Street
With more than 70 vendors ready to serve you culinary delights from around the world, Eat Street North-shore is the perfect spot for some weekend treats. Think Hungarian langos, Shanghai dumplings, and Peruvian paella all washed down with Greek honey puffs and decadent doughnuts. Bring that friend who never finishes their meal – reap the rewards and don’t let that delicious food go to waste!
Laugh yourself silly at a comedy show
The Brisbane Powerhouse hosts a comedy knockoff every Friday night. Sit back and enjoy some of the best one-liners and hilarious stories gathered from around town. Missed your Friday comedy? The Sit Down Comedy Club hosts open mic nights throughout the week at various locations around Brisbane where you can get your dose of daily funny.
Best Bars in Brisbane
Eleven Rooftop Bar
Ride the elevator to the 11th floor and step out into a marble foyer, now you are at Eleven – a sophisticated bar and restaurant in the sky with uninterrupted views of Fortitude Valley and Brisbane City. This is a place to dress up for, so take note – collared shirts and leather shoes are a must.
Mr & Mrs. G
This glass bubble of a bar is perched on the edge of Eagle Street Pier with sweeping views of the river and Story Bridge. Settle into the comfortable lounges and watch the sun go down as you wet your whistle with classic and inventive cocktails.
These cocktail kings put twists on the classics and offer up new surprises. Each cocktail gets a name, a quote, and a hashtag. Canvas also realizes the power of an espresso martini – and serves them for breakfast on weekends.
If you like whiskey, You will like Cobbler. This small, West End bar boasts an astounding 400+ whiskeys from all over the world including Scottish, American, Canadian, Irish, Japanese and Australian varietals.
The best bars are often unassuming and The Bowery makes that list. This New York-style staple in Fortitude Valley specializes in the art of cocktail making and caters to a slightly older market.
Step back in time to a prominent era of Brisbane’s history. It was once a hotspot for antiques, the Gabba welcomes this tribute to the area’s history. Drop into the bistro for a bite, kick on in the bar with 75 wines before heading upstairs for jazzy tunes in the secret bar… you have to find it for yourself.
The Boom Boom Room
Beneath the Sichuan flavors of Donna Chang, The Boom Boom Room is serving opulent cocktails within the heritage-listed building’s old bank vaults. No need to lift a finger (except to tap along to the jazz, soul and blues tunes filling the air) as the venue offers bottle service and feeds the hungry with many of the dim sum and snack options from upstairs.
The Walrus Club
Often the best bars are hidden away, and you will find this to be the case with this speakeasy underground. Beneath the iconic Regatta Hotel lies The Walrus Club – a raw brick, chesterfield couch-laden rum den. The large rabbit warren of space is great for groups and you can catch the CityCat straight to its door – which would be fitting as it draws its name from the SS Walrus, a Brisbane ship that was briefly a floating rum distillery.
Best Bar Restaurants Brisbane
Inside the Longtime dining room, Brisbane diners are whisked away to the streets of South East Asia, fawning over platefuls of soft shell crab bao, betel leaves toppling with peanuts and sweet soy pork, and rich red curries drowning slow-cooked beef cheek. Pair it with their specially curated wine list or an Asian inspired cocktail, and you’ve got a banquet as dreamy as the night is long.
From the talk around town, you might be forgiven for thinking Gerard was just a really popular guy in Brisbane’s inner circle. Really, you’re not wrong. Any city-sider worth their salt has heard whispers of Gerard’s Bistro, and with new Executive Chef, Adam Wolfers at the helm, the Middle Eastern bistro is leading foodies into their densest fever dreams. Take a foray through their smoked cabbage skewers with miso drizzle, crispy malawach pastry with smoked labneh and dukkah and grilled broccolini with goats curd.
Ever stepped down Fish Lane of an evening and come face-to-face with a hefty queue? It happens to many a while – but you are always happy to wait for these Italian feeds. Tables at Julius Pizzeria are piled high with towers of fresh, wood-fired pizzas (think truffles, pancetta, and gorgonzola), bowlfuls of pappardelle pasta in a duck and tomato ragu and the more-often-than-is-acceptable Aperol Spritz over lunch.
Pack your chopstick A-game for a skip down George Street, where the old heritage-listed bank has been completely transformed. In its place, you’ll find Donna Chang, a sprawling pink dining room lit with chandeliers, marble tables and perfectly symmetrical round booths for big groups – or just loosening your belt. They caught our attention with Seinfield-inspired fortune cookies, but they reeled us in with fresh rock lobsters, crispy duck, and passion fruit custard buns.
Multi-award-winning, hatted restaurant Urbane is one of Brisbane’s fine-dining institutions. With a sophisticated menu that combines classic techniques with modern flourishes, Urbane serves up a heady mix of modern Australian cuisine, effortless beauty, and pared-back intimacy, making it the perfect venue for when you are in need for some seriously fine dining.
If you are craving impeccable Italian dishes, then OTTO is the only place to head. Award-winning, beautiful, and full of European charm, the decor is just as elegant as the food. With incredible views of the CBD skyline, a hand-picked wine list, and an ever-changing seasonal menu, there is nothing quite like this Italian icon.
Best Nightclubs in Brisbane
Full of old school hits and new modern-day night club, Retros is the place to be for that music you still want to party with back in the day. Featuring ‘80s, ‘90s, and noughties in at Retros with rooms big and small with a beautiful centerpiece at Rubik’s lounge where the heart of the party is. This cocktail lounge bar is open Fridays and Saturdays 8 pm – 3 am where casual attire is entirely appropriate.
Open Friday and Saturdays from 9 pm to 5 are this vibrant night club with three levels and five bars is host to major events and performances including Blackbear, Timmy Trumpet, Ransom and more. This Dance and Nightclub has their standard basic entry fee to attend these ongoing events every week or more depending on the event but is well worth the money to attend.
Sky and Lotus
Fly Fridays and you will Love RnB Saturdays which are the events on every week at Sky and Lotus. This Dance and Nightclub features RnB, Hip hop and Soul across two levels of entertainment as well as occasional special guests such as Gina Darling.
Free entry all week means clubbing to pop music all week at Our Place, Thursday-Saturday. Constant top 40 hits mean the music we all know and love with that good 1970’s party in the backyard feels where you’ll feel like a teenager again just chilling with mates out clubbing in the Valley.
Live Music, young people full of energy, some irresistible cocktails, and a huge dance floor: this is the Flying Cock. Open until 3 am and characterized by a casual atmosphere, This Brisbane club hosts live rock bands on weekends until late at night and DJs playing from midnight onwards. The increasingly crowded and sweaty dance floor offers hip-hop and pop songs every Friday night and Saturday night the music House.
The Birdees Brisbane is an unpretentious night and dance club that long ago that attracts a rowdy crowd of backpackers and students. Birdees contain three bars, a rooftop bar in Tiki-style accommodation for those who want to soak in the atmosphere of Brisbane summer. There’s always a party every night of the week until late at night.
Distributed on three levels, X Cargo is a huge playground for nightlife in Brisbane. At night it looks like a giant beer garden with several floors with illuminated trees, massive walls decorated with street art, all sorts of nooks and crannies with garden furniture and bar areas on the roof connected by bridges. The various areas are inspired by the American style glamour of the ’60s, with three bars where you can order a drink.
Let us sum up things, here in this article we went through a brief introduction of Brisbane along with a brief introduction of city attractions. We also went through different activities and place to enjoy the nightlife. We then went through a comprehensive list of bars available in the city. These exotic and swanky bars are just awesome and worth visiting. No doubt, Brisbane has some of the classic and cozy bars to cater to your boozing needs. To fulfill your food craving we also looked at a list of bar-restaurants which provide delicious and exotic culinary experience along with a touch of booze. This delightful and amazing combination of food and booze pushes the limits of Nightlife entertainment and adds a great value to your journey.
And finally, we explored a detailed list of nightclubs of the city that provide premium night-time entertainment for your optimum satisfaction. Make sure to try the above recommendation which will add value to your tour, so that you won’t regret yourself choosing bad options.