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19 Reasons Why Brisbane is one of the Coolest Cities in the World

From the ocean to the live music scene, discover the many reasons why we think Brisbane is the place to be.

While Sydney and Melbourne have been busy arguing about which city is better, Brisbane has been slowly but surely coming into its own. The sunsoaked city is making a serious splash in art, culture, tech and transport, but the prices have stayed luxuriously low. Like the weather, the people are warm and welcoming. These are some of the best reasons to live in or visit Brisbane. Tempted much? 

#1 It’s sunny for 250+ days a year

Brissy’s the capital of the Sunshine State, and the weather really is beautiful one day, perfect the next. The winters are incredibly mild – temps rarely dip below 20 degrees, so there’s no need for tons of layers. Afternoon naps in the sun, year-round? Yes, please!

#2 Locals have a sunny disposition

Weather aside, Brisbanites are generally happy, relaxed people. It must be something to do with the endless summer! It’s common for locals to stop and chat on the street, and help out-of-towners with their questions.

#3 It has a beach smack-bang in the middle of the city

There aren’t too many urban cities that boast a beach – but Brissy does! If you want to cool off with a dip, head to Streets Beach in South Bank (five minutes from the CBD). The man-made stretch of sand has a lagoon, plenty of subtropical plants and sweeping views of the city skyline. It’s also buzzing with cafés, restaurants and a movie theatre. 

#4 There are sparkling water views at every turn

The best way to see the city is from the river that runs through it. The Brisbane River is the star of the city. You can walk or bike along the riverfront, or hop on the CityCat to get from A to B. Come nighttime, we also love taking in the city lights by kayak.

#5 You can live in any type of home you like

Thanks to Brisbane’s diverse landscape, there’s a dream home for everyone. Along with traditional Queenslanders, the city has large family homes, townhouses, apartments, and luxury buildings with all the trimmings, like rooftops and pools. You can look over mountains, the ocean or the city. 

#6 Each neighbourhood has a distinct vibe

What’s your vibe? If you’re looking to live in a hotspot, Fortitude Valley, Tenerife and Paddington are the hippest postcodes. If you’re hoping to settle in a family-friendly suburb, you’ll love St Lucia and Bardon, with their tree-lined streets and village feel. And if you’re keen to splash some cash, check out Brissy’s most prestigious pockets: Ascot, Kangaroo Point and Bulimba. 

#7 It’s Australia’s most sustainable city

Brissy is as eco-chic as it gets. With more than 2,000 parks and 2,500 species of plant life, the city is famous for its biodiversity – and that’s just the beginning. It was the only Aussie city to rank on the Sustainability Cities Mobility Index, which is pretty damn impressive.

Our top park picks? Picnic at the City Botanic Gardens, catch the sunset from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park, and roam around New Farm Park and Rocks Riverside Park with the kids in tow.

#8 Brisbane is a cultural melting pot

As one of the fastest-growing cities in Oz, Brisbane attracts people from all over the world. Here, everyone is welcome. This is reflected in its colourful calendar of cultural events, such as the Paniyiri Greek Festival, BrisAsia Festival, Spanish Film Festival, Queensland Italian Week, and the largest Oktoberfest in the country.

#9 It’s a safe place to live

Safety first! On BestCities.Org, Queensland’s capital was named the 7th safest city in the world for its low crime rates – which is no small feat. 

#10 The nightlife earned the city its nickname

They don’t call it BrisVegas for nothing! The nightlife is vibrant and energetic, and the best spots are coupled close together, so you won’t waste time or money schlepping it from bar to bar. Fortitude Valley is a favourite among the trendy set, and Southbank is the go-to for low-key nights.

#11 The live music scene is thriving

Over the past couple of years, Brisbane’s underground music scene has exploded, and launched the career of many amazing artists. To listen to the most exciting emerging artists, head to Fortitude Valley (bonus points if you’re there for the annual BIGSOUND Festival). Otherwise, go to New Farm’s Powerhouse, a power-station-turned-arts-centre that showcases a lot of artists.

#12 It’s an up-and-coming foodie destination

Once upon a time, Brisbane’s foodie scene was (admittedly) pretty basic. Fast forward to now, and you can satisfy every craving in serious style. West End and Fortitude Valley are lined with hip, fusion restaurants, while the CBD and Southbank are flush with fine dining spots with views of the river. And PS. Since you aren’t forking over every cent to pay your rent (unlike in other cities!), you can afford to indulge in a Morton Bay Bug the size of your plate.

#13 October is jacaranda tree season

Ask any Brisbanite about their favourite month of the year, and we bet they’ll say October. The beautiful jacaranda trees start blooming, making the city a purple paradise. October also signals the start of spring, which means the long, balmy days of summer are coming. 

 #14 Your money goes further

Let’s be real. Brisbane is budget-friendly, and we can’t say the same for other cities across the country. The cost of living is much lower, and you’ll see it with transport, accommodation and food. But it’s most glaring when it comes to property. While property prices are skyrocketing all over, Brisbane’s have stayed pretty favourable – even for larger lots. 

#15 It’s home to the Eat Street Markets

Every Friday and Saturday night, these markets take over Northshore Hamilton, and they’re incredible. You’ll want everything, from the world-famous funnel cakes and Golden Gaytime doughnuts to Japanese pizzas (yes, really!) and haloumi wraps. Wash it all down with a Hawaiian ice tea, and that’s your weekend, sorted.

 #16 Public transport is efficient and RELIABLE

We’re capitalising ‘reliable’ because it’s so rare these days! The trains, ferries and buses run in every direction and fall under the TranksLink ticketing system, which makes life easier. Plus, students score a 50% discount on local public transport. If you’re driving, you’re also in luck. The grid layout and lack of congestion mean you can get around quickly – and without paying too many tolls!

#17 It sits pretty between the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast

Itchy feet? Choose your own adventure! The Gold Coast, with its glittery shores and fun-filled theme parks, is a short journey north, and the Sunshine Coast is south. Locals also love escaping out east to the sandy beaches of Stradbroke Island. 

#18 The schools are excellent

According to the University Rankings List, the University of Queensland (UQ) is the third-best uni in Australia. The city’s big on nurturing tech talent. UQ and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) are known for their technology courses.

#19 It’s a cultural hotspot

The arts and culture scene is awesome. Brissy is home to the Gallery of Modern Art (the largest of its kind Down Under), Queensland Art Gallery, Museum of Brisbane, and Sciencentre. The Queensland Performing Arts Centre hosts theatre and music performances every day, while ‘The Judy’ is a go-to for cabaret and live music.

*Bonus point*
#20 You can actually hold a koala!

At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – the world’s first koala sanctuary – you can cuddle a koala from 9.30am daily.