Travelling along Australia's East Coast from Sydney to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland was my very last stop before I left my beloved Australia once again.

Brisbane, Australia

It had been over 3 years since I last paid this beautiful River City a visit – too long!

Many things have changed since so I was eager to explore and make the most out of my time in the city, so if you are short on time, here are my ultimate recommendations for spending 48 hours in Brisbane.

Day 1: Arrive in the city & check in at Capri by Fraser Hotel

I arrived in Brisbane just before lunchtime on a rather cloudy Wednesday. My hotel, the stylish Capri by Fraser Brisbane in the heart of the city, where I would be staying for the next two days is only about 10-minutes walk from Central Station so I just wheeled my luggage down.

If you are lazy to walk I can highly recommend you use Uber as there are usually many cars available, it’s reliable and cheaper than a taxi. I Ubered all across the city while I was there and loved it.

On the corner of Albert and Mary Street, I already spotted the green rainforest touches outside of the Capri by Fraser Hotel which continued as I entered the lobby inside.

There are plenty of other great places to stay in Brisbane, but I highly recommend you book yourself a hotel in the CBD if this is your first time. South Bank is a great area for families with kids while the Fortitude Valley is awesome for couples and a great nightlife. I recommend the Ovolo The Valley here.

Capri by Fraser Brisbane
Capri by Fraser Brisbane

Checking in ahead of the normal check-in time the staff was very friendly and so I was up on Level 18 and in my room with real urban views in no time.

Couldn't take my eyes off the skyscrapers and the views down to the river for a good while.

Urban views Capri by Fraser
Capri by Fraser Level 18

Grab some lunch at Jan Powers Farmers Market

I was hungry ahead of lunchtime as I had risen early coming all the way from Byron Bay. Every Wednesday in front of the Brisbane Casino at the end of Queens Street you can discover the Jan Powers Farmers Market where you can find anything from fresh produce, some local handicrafts and a lot of international food ranging from Turkish pizzas to German sausages, Spanish Paella and Thai noodles.

I recommend you go to grab some lunch, fresh fruit juice and maybe even a cupcake desert here.

Jan Powers Farmers Market Queen Street Brisbane

Have a browse through Queens Street Mall

Since I was already so close, I had a little browse around Queens Street Mall, the main shopping mall in the Brisbane CBD. You can walk down to the heritage-listed City Hall and the adjacent King George Square which is lovely to look at.

If you are into some deeper exploration of the city consider booking a Brisbane Greeters tour, a free service by locals who are enthusiastic about sharing the city sights with you and will happily show you the city through their eyes. I've heard a lot of good things about it and it's one of the things on my list for the next visit.

Workout in the City Botanic Gardens

I got changed and walked out of my hotel into the Botanic Gardens which are literally on your doorstep. A pretty perfect park for an afternoon jog along the river, a stretch or a yoga session in one of the many grassy areas.

Brisbane Botanical Gardens

Relax your muscles at the Capri by Fraser indoor pool

Afterward, I relaxed in the indoor heated pool on the second floor of the Capri by Fraser Hotel, a nice addition to an inner-city hotel!

There is even a sauna and steam room and a 24/7 fully equipped gym which I made use of the next day as the weather was a bit rainy and I didn't dare to hit the Botanic Gardens again.

Capri by Fraser Brisbane indoor pool

Nibble on some delicious canapés

Feeling refreshed, I contemplated my evening plans while sipping on a cold cider and nibbling on some canapés, which are complementary at the Capri by Fraser from 6 to 7 pm and served in their lounge. Pre-drinks all set!

Canapes Capri by Fraser

Go out in the Valley

Wednesday is not a big night out in town but Fortitude Valley will always have something on. From the trendy Up on Constance or Eleven Rooftop Bar to one of the local favorites called Alfred & Constance bar, live music at The Zoo or dancing at the GPO, there are tons of choices for every night of the week.

Once you're all partied out, be assured that a good night's sleep with wait for you at the Capri by Fraser. Makes it hard to roll out of bed in the morning!

Good morning view Capri by Fraser Brisbane

Day 2: Sip on a fresh coffee & explore South Bank

Heading down to the ground floor my eye already caught the continental buffet-style breakfast which is served at the Asana by Pete Evans restaurant. You definitely won’t go exploring the city hungry with the variety of breads, fresh fruit as well as freshly cooked eggs and Paloe-inspired options. The choice is yours!

And don’t forget to order a coffee from the Sensory Lab, a coffee bar ­adjacent to Asana brewing great specialty coffee just like you are in Melbourne.

Asana by Pete Evans Brisbane
breakkie Capri by Fraser Brisbane
breakfast Capri by Fraser

Explore the South Bank Parklands

After breakfast, take the City Cat Ferry over the Brisbane River down to South Bank, one of Brisbane's main lifestyle and tourist attractions and go for some exploring. Alternatively, you can walk over the Goodwill Bridge which starts just on the other side of the Botanic Gardens.

This pedestrian-only bridge connects the southernmost point of the CBD with South Bank and offers some lovely views of the skyline on the one hand side and the Wheel of Brisbane sitting among the green parklands on the other side. Perfect for some photo shooting, so take your camera!

Brisbane Skyline

There’s a lot to do in South Bank, like visiting the Gallery of Modern Art, Australia’s leading museum of contemporary art which has some very cool exhibitions and many of them are free to view. There are many other museums and galleries to check out. And then there are still many restaurants, cafés, bars, boutiques and entertainment activities to discover.

On a hot day, Brisbane's man-made inner-city beach with its sparkling lagoons and tropical surroundings is always a good idea to have a dip or just sit down for a picnic and do some people-watching.

If there is time, I always like to wander into West End, a very quirky part of Brisbane boasting a mix of alternative and vintage which makes for a good spot to browse through local designer clothes, and cozy bars and if you're here on a Saturday make sure you don't miss the laidback West End Markets.

South Bank Parklands Brisbane

Enjoy a Paleo High Tea at the Asana by Pete Evans

As my feet were pretty tired from all the walking, ­I was headed back to my hotel to enjoy a delicious high tea menu with sweet and savory canapés designed by Pete Evans. If you haven't heard about Pete Evans before, he is an Australian paleo chef aiming to educate guests on a healthier lifestyle with the most natural, unprocessed dietary approach on earth. I haven't been touched with paleo foods too much before but I always liked the of a good balance and with paleo it's really all about that, taking the best from our ancestors and mixing it with the best of the 21st Century.

Munching away on little savory buns, chocolate brownies, mango passionfruit cheesecake, panna cotta and lemon meringue I was pretty happy and not hungry until way after dinner time.

Paleo High Tea Asana by Pete Evans
Paleo High Tea Asana by Pete Evans
Paleo High Tea Capri by Fraser

Farewell Brisbane!

It’s been amazing rediscovering the River City after such a long time. I loved seeing all the new cafés, shops and restaurants popping up and simply enjoyed the balmy warm climate walking around. I know I shall be back very soon.

Southbank Brisbane Queensland

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