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Ultimate Guide to Brisbane for Backpackers

Brisbane, Australia

As you head north along the east coast from Sydney on your way to the reef, surfing, and fruit picking in Queensland, you’ll hit “Brissy”, this State’s thriving capital.

As Australia’s fastest-growing capital city, Brisbane is becoming more and more popular with backpackers and Aussies who enjoy the warmth of the year-round sun and the laid-back lifestyle typical of Queensland.

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Brisbane is about 20 km inland from the warm blue waters of Moreton Bay and the Coral Sea and is pretty much split in two by the Brisbane River (think bridges and ferries). The heart of the CBD is Queen Street mall. Head south from the CBD to the backpacker popular West End or north for the hip and happening Fortitude Valley.


Free maps in Queensland are not hard to find, but if your hostel has run dry pick up one from the Visitor Information booth located right in the middle of the Queens Street pedestrian mall (look for Wintergarden complex). Apart from maps you will find the people there really helpful with all kind of information – welcome to Queensland.


Sub-tropical Brisbane has a wonderful climate year round with not too hot summers and mild winters, making it a popular year round destination for backpackers (daily highs in winter rarely drop below 17C!).


To get into the city from the Brisbane airport just jump on the Airtrain which drops you in the heart of the CBD. The Airtrain also travels direct to the Gold Coast if that is going to be your first stop in Queensland.

Translink is Brisbane’s public transport system and includes buses, trains and river ferries and the travel card is called the GO card. The main train and bus station in the CBD is Roma Street station, which is also where you’d catch longer haul buses or trains (including south along the coast to the Gold Coast or north to popular stops such as K’Gari, Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands all the way to Cairns and beyond).

Internet access

Free wifi is everywhere but for those what want a good place to focus head to the beautiful State Library (on the south bank). McDonalds and most cafes also have free wifi. 

Where to stay

Only the best Brisbane hostels by location as voted by you. (We left all the 3 star and below places off our list and there are lots of them!)

Brisbane City YHA at City 📌

Brisbane City Backpackers at City📌

Bunk at Fortitude Valley📌

Brisbane Backpackers Resort at West End📌

Best eats and drinks

Any night of the week is a good night in Brisbane since everyone is living that laid-back Aussie lifestyle in this beautiful town. Check out these favourite haunts of backpackers:

  1. Down Under Bar & Grill (Dunder), the main backpacker bar in Brisbane is pumping literally with fab drink promotions, especially on Thursdays.
  2. The Embassy, the music here is unforgettable and the scene itself very lively!
  3. Exchange Hotel, this popular place does get a bit crowded on weekends but on Wednesdays you can stretch out a bit and savour a delicious meal.

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