Brisbane: Big City Life

October 22, 2017

Hi from Brisbane! It was not on our original plan for this trip to be here at this time, but the bad weather in Cairns forced us to change that initial plan. So here we are, in the capital of Queensland, the Sunshine State.

Although it has about 2.3 million inhabitants, Brisbane has the same laid-back vibe that we’ve experienced everywhere in Australia so far. Nevertheless, it’s the first really big city in which we’ve been in a while, and I notice that I missed this “big city life”: the high-rises, the hip restaurants, good coffee around every corner, good art exhibits, and just a bit of hustle and bustle in the city center.

The river that meanders through the city splits it in several neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and attractions. The city’s skyline and botanic gardens in the CBD (Central Business District, a very commonly used acronym in Australia) are beautiful, and there are so many different sides to the various neighborhoods of the city: there are the high-rises in the center, but there are also beautiful old Queenslander houses, as well as state-of-the-art housing in other parts of the city. The new mixes with the old in surprising ways, without any kind of apparent conflict.

There is the good Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Brisbane in the City Hall building, and several other art centers that we didn’t get to visit.

The weather also contributes to the charm of the city: these days it’s mostly beautiful sunny spring weather, which allows you to spend the whole day outside and still cools down a bit in the evening. There is a big public swimming pool with an artificial sandy beach on the riverbank, which seems to get a lot of use from the locals.

Quite importantly to me too, there are lots of good cafes and restaurants. We’ve had 3 big meals every day here, and that’s something that we rarely do, even when we’re in Zurich. But it would have been such a shame to not try out as much as possible of the good food on offer.

Highs and Lows


  • Just strolling through the city center and along the riverbanks and parks, having nothing else to do than enjoy the views and take lots of photos
  • Our accommodation in Brisbane. We’re staying through Airbnb in the house of an interior designer, which clearly shows its owner’s skills. It’s airy, big, sunny, beautifully decorated, has a large terrace… What do you want more? I’m trying to figure out now if I could somehow take the whole house with me to Zurich, drop it off there, and live in it for the rest of my life… Staying here has been like staying in a luxury resort, just with a much lower price tag and with the added benefit of having contact with very friendly and welcoming locals.
  • The one evening we spent with our Airbnb hosts and their dog Little Bob. We ordered Indian food, had it delivered at the house, and spent the evening chatting and trying out all the 8 or so dishes we had ordered, together with Australian wine
  • The cafes here, especially in West End. Lots of cute little places, all serving great coffee and creative breakfast menus. I started the day on the right foot, every day :D


  • Realizing that even if you’re traveling for 6 months, you still don’t have enough time for everything you would like to do. We spent about half a day planning our remaining time in Australia, and it seems like there is still soooo much that we won’t get to see and do. I know it’s a luxury problem, but is there ever enough time for anything??? Feeling a bit frustrated…

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