It seems Brisvegas has shed its reputation for being a boring city with nothing going on and emerged from the chrysalis as one of the hippest destinations around.
Greater development has brought with it many new cafes, bars, art, design and live music – items that have not gone unnoticed by GQ magazine and the Lonely Planet guide, which have both titled this city as the hippest Down Under.
In fact, GQ even included seven reasons why it is worthwhile getting a Brisbane car rentals and travelling around the beautiful capital of sunny Queensland.
Here are some of our top reasons to visit Brissie – the cosmopolitan city that still maintains a small country-town vibe.
As well as having a thriving restaurant scene, Brisbane has many delicious eateries on offer, including the invention of famous chef Matt Moran as well as restaurants featuring the dishes of other local talent.
You could choose to undertake a gourmet tour on your own if you want to experience local culinary delights. Sample a few of the goodies on offer at New Farm, a suburb that is home to the Brisbane Farmers’ market, James Street Market and New Farm Deli and Cafe, which has been serving up continental gourmet delights for around 30 years.
Another must-see for foodies is the Chinatown Mall in Fortitude Valley. Stock up on some of your favourite Asian groceries and curry pastes here.
Another option is to join up with one of the food tours on offer, which will lead you around some of the top restaurants, orchards, vineyards and eateries.
Culinary Discovery features specialised tours that spotlight items such as wine, chocolate and sweets, if you’d rather focus on one specific area than do a general tour – although these too are available.
The Gallery of Modern Art is probably going to be the first stop on any art enthusiast’s agenda and features ever-changing exhibitions showcasing a variety of mediums, such as video, photography, painting and sculpture.
However, don’t let your artistic journey end there. There are many new and local artists beginning to make their mark on the city, aided no doubt by the council’s generous emerging artist grants and programs, which have been set up to foster creative talent and new ideas.
The Queensland Art Gallery is a great place to check out local works. See if you can spot any pieces by award-winning artist and Queensland local Michael Zavros.
While Brisbane previously did not have a great reputation where style was concerned, this has all changed. GQ magazine highlights the city’s movement towards designer boutiques and fashionable menswear.
Head along the Queen Street Mall to check out some of the local fashion hotspots, or along some of the more quirky urban precincts to visit some of the city’s 250 boutiques. Edward Street features many luxury brands such as Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, while South Bank is home to the Young Designers Markets and features a large dining strip covering several blocks.
Brisbane is also home to an impressive live music scene with the City Sounds Program a highlight. It is the largest and longest-running free live music program in the entire country and offers residents as well as visitors a chance to see a live band.
Every week this program features music in nine different locations around the city and hosts everything from jazz and reggae to electronic genres.
There are some great venues available. Try to catch a show at the Powerhouse or at Hi-Fi. Or, for some old-school rock ‘n’ roll head to Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall and get ready to party all night long.
Brisbane’s cheaper rent has no doubt led to an explosion of creative architecture as artistic types flock to the city.