In 2014 Lonely Planet proclaimed Brisbane as ‘Australia’s Coolest City’. Three years on and Brisbane is going from strength to strength with its impressive coffee scene, hip bars and thriving laneways.

Cool is not a word you’d usually associate with Brisbane.

Especially when it comes to the climate.

But it seems Queensland’s capital is continuing to move on up in the cool stakes thanks to a relaxing, friendly atmosphere that is becoming increasingly popular amongst Aussies and international tourists.

Food, drinks, shopping or adventure… Brisbane’s got the lot it seems.


1. Cheap eats

Mighty Mighty's 'Carry Out' Pulled Pork Beef Brisket Roll with Fries won’t disappoint

Mighty Mighty’s ‘Carry Out’ Pulled Pork Beef Brisket Roll with Fries won’t disappoint

If you’ve blown most of your holiday budget on a swanky hotel don’t despair. Brisbane is flooded with cheap eats allowing you to experience delicious food for under 20 bucks.

The Flying Cock offers a Saturday special including a half-pack of ribs with a schooner or cider for $15. Try Cha Cha Yiros’s falafels for $9 or Pour Boy Espresso’s ‘Breakfast Jamon Burger’ for $16.

Mighty Mighty’s ‘Carry Out’ pulled pork beef brisket roll with fries won’t disappoint and coming in at $16 it’s a no brainer.


2. Hip bars

Above the iconic Fox Hotel you will find Dandy's rooftop bar

Above the iconic Fox Hotel you will find Dandy’s rooftop bar

Take advantage of the city’s sunny weather and head to Soleil’s pool bar and enjoy their very cool sun-drenched Sunday session with a frosty G&T.

Above the iconic Fox Hotel you will find Dandy’s rooftop bar, which has a splendid array of drinks and nibbles to get you through the summer. Make sure you try the Pimm’s Cup Punch and the Coconut Love cocktail.

Continue the evening by exploring the Valley nightlife and head to these cool new spots;  Black Bear Lodge, Alfred & Constance and Bowler Bar.


3. City Adventure Activities

Kayaking along the Brisbane river

Kayaking along the Brisbane river

In how many cities can you actually kayak around the city river or even get on a paddle board? Why not book the ‘Paddle & Dine’ experience which lets you explore Brisbane’s glittering nightlife aboard an illuminated kayak followed by a meal alongside the river.

If you have an adventurous streak make sure you head down to Riverlife Adventure Centre, which also provides abseil, rock climbing and bike hire gear as well as rollerblades.


4. Shopping

It's Vintage Darling - Café and Vintage shop

It’s Vintage Darling – Café and Vintage shop

The Queen Street Mall is worth a visit however if you are itching to explore Brisbane’s independent shopping scene there’s an array of cool shops and boutiques spread out across the inner city with Fortitude Valley and Paddington being the meccas for fashion and vintage.

For vintage shopping check out Sunday Social and It’s Vintage Darling.

For local and international fashion labels such as Acne and Alexander Wang head to Samantha Ogilvie, Calexico and Blonde Venus.


5. Coffee houses

The coffee scene in Brisbane is progressing in leaps and bounds with well-trained baristas cheering for awesome bean quality resulting in new caffeine meccas flooding the city.  For a serious java hit make sure you stop at Death Before Decaf, Ltd Espresso, Reverend’s Fine Coffee, Bunker Coffee and Gramercy Espresso.


6. Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

Located right on the river in South Brisbane GOMA offers impressive exhibitions and has featured works from Andy Warhol and Picasso.  Until 15th February, 2015 the exhibition ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’ explores the innovation of Japanese fashion designers from the early 1980s to the present.


What’s the coolest spot in Brisbane? Share your tips with us in the comment section below…