Brisbane is a city with a strong cultural core which can rival any city in Australia. It is a city with plenty to offer if you enjoy the arts, exploring history or sampling unique food and nightlife. Southbank, located across the river from Brisbane’s CBD, has been developed over the years into a vibrant cultural precinct, and it is here where you will find Brisbane’s best museums and art galleries, along with performing arts venues and an abundance of excellent restaurants and bars. There are also plenty of good accommodation options here, but it is also within walking distance if you are staying in the CBD.
If you enjoy learning about history, there are some good museums to check out in Southbank. The Queensland Museum and Sciencentre is the most important museum in the state with thousands of interesting objects, specimens and artefacts on display. The museum has an interesting mix of heritage pieces, exploring Queensland’s history, as well as a strong focus on science and natural history. There are also some very interesting special exhibits that come through the museum and there is always something new to look at and explore.
Another interesting museum to check out in Southbank is the Queensland Maritime Museum. This museum focuses on Queensland’s maritime history and has lots of interesting historical pieces on display, including some decommissioned vessels: The World War II frigate Diamantina, and an old steam tug boat.
Art lovers will be in heaven in Southbank as it is here that you will find Queensland’s premier art galleries. The Queensland Art Gallery, located in the same building as the museum, focuses on more classical art from Australia, Asia and the Pacific, as well as a selection of more international pieces. If you enjoy modern art, head to GOMA – the Gallery of Modern Art for some of the best work from recent and current artists. There are always some interesting special exhibits happening as well.
Southbank is the place to go for theatre events in Brisbane. QPAC – the Queensland Performing Arts Centre – hosts most of the main musicals, ballets, plays and classical concerts in Brisbane in its wonderful 2000 seat Lyric Theatre. There is always something on here and it is well worth checking out while you are in the city.
Another popular place for concerts and other performing arts events is Southbank Piazza – an open-air amphitheatre in the Southbank Parklands, located next to the Queensland Conservatorium.
Dining and Nightlife
Southbank is one of the best places to go in Brisbane for some amazing restaurants and relaxed nightlife. Stanley Street Plaza is a pedestrian strip with lots of nice places to eat, including the historic Plough Inn which is an excellent pub and hosts regular live music. Head to Little Stanley Street for an abundance of excellent restaurants and bars with a huge variety of options, from Turkish Food at Ahmets to French food and cocktails at French Martini. Enjoy craft beer and relaxed live music at the Charming Squire or catch a movie at the Southbank Cineplex on Grey Street.
Southbank is an excellent place to go to get a real taste of Brisbane’s culture, from history and art to fantastic live shows and nightlife. There is something for everyone.
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Images credit (under CCL) by order: feature, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Maritime Museum