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How much does it cost to travel to Brisbane? Is Brisbane an expensive city?

It is true that Brisbane is not exactly a cheap city to go on a holiday. But the cost should not stop you from exploring this fabulous city with an idyllic subtropical weather practically all year-round. You can have fun and adventure in Brisbane without breaking the bank.

Here is a guide for travelling to Brisbane while on a budget.

Where to stay?

According to figures provided by real travellers, the cost of hotel or hotel per person per night is $99 and 197 for typical double-occupancy room.

Brisbane offers many alternative types of accommodation. For example, a boutique guest house in Spring Hill will cost around $200 for three nights. Though the rooms are on the small side, they have a fan and a refrigerator. The modern bathrooms are shared as well as the kitchen, if you prefer to cook some of your meals throughout your stay. They usually have wi-fi and areas outside where you can have your morning coffee or simply relax.

Airbnb properties are also all over Brisbane. If you are staying for one week or longer in Brisbane, it is more economical to check in at an Airbnb rental. 

Air-rive manages several properties in the Brisbane area and you get to choose, from a one-bedroom apartment for two to a three-bedroom house for a group of six guests.

Cheap things to do in Brisbane

There are plenty of things to do in Brisbane that are not too expensive, or even free. Frugal travelling is easy to do in this great city by the river, from exploring something historical, to dining on delicious food, and experiencing once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

  1. Brisbane Greeter

Patterned after the New York Greeter program, Brisbane Greeters are a group of volunteers who lead free walking tours through the city’s best-kept secret. Brisbane Greeters will walk you through various places, including interesting public art and astonishing architecture and a look through history of WWII.

  1. Adventure Sailing on Moreton Bay

If you fancy cruising around Moreton Bay, check the Wednesday Afternoon Go Sailing (WAGS) club at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Every Wednesday, people can sail for free, if there is still space on the boat and you’re willing to be a deckhand. This is offered for free, but you may want to budget a few dollars for drinks while you wait at the club’s bar from 12 in the afternoon.

  1. Ride a Cat

The CityCat is the most amazing way to go from one place to another around Brisbane. These blue catamarans ply the Brisbane River, so you can hop in and hop off at designated terminals starting at the University of Queensland, then at Toowong, Brisbane City, South Bank, New Farm, Hawthorne, Bulimba, and ending at Portside Wharf.

But, wait! A little red ferry called City Hopper offers free rides seven days a week. It runs every 30 minutes, from Sydney Street to North Quay.

  1. Explore the QAGOMA

For a dose of culture, check out the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), which features 16,000 art works. The architecture of the QAGOMA buildings are an art form by itself. Entrance is free, but you may have to buy tickets for certain special exhibitions.

  1. Play at the South Bank Parkland

This 2-km stretch of green space offers everything from yoga and dance classes to water activities. Located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a tiring day of exploring the city. Dine in one of its world-class eateries, attend one of the hundreds of fun events that are held there every year, or you can just sit back and enjoy the stunning river views.

South Bank is free, but allot a few dollars for food and drinks in one of numerous bars and restaurants there.

  1. Guided Tour of City Hall

Located in King George Square, Brisbane City Hall is open seven days a week, offering visitors many things to do and see. One of the must-sees is the Museum of Brisbane. The newly restored City Hall building is a itself a magnificent work of art, adorned by marble stairs, a pressed ceiling and baroque balustrades. You will spend nothing exploring this place.

  1. Cheap, but sumptuous food

Eat Street Northshore at Portside Wharf on the Brisbane River is a foodie’s delight with a wide variety of street foods and drinks, from fresh seafood to doughnut fries. Enjoy your food as you listen to live music or gaze at the beautiful river views. When you see brightly-coloured shipping containers and take a whiff of the wonderful smells of cooking foods, then you know you’re in the right place. There is an entrance fee of $2.50 per person, so you still have plenty left to sample all the goodies on offer at Eat Street Northshore.

  1. Rainforest in the City

Located at the heart of Brisbane City, Roma Street Parkland is 16-hectare of spectacular parklands featuring several designer gardens. It is free to join the educational guided walks leaving The Hub two times a day or you can ride the Parkland Explorer, the trackless train that will take you through the parkland’s misty fern gully, lush green meadows and rocky peninsulas.

  1. Discover Brisbane’s Famous Laneways

Three of Brisbane favourite laneways is found in Fortitude Valley. Spend a few hours exploring Winn Lane, California Lane and Bakery Lane, where you will find an array of interesting things, from award-winning coffee shops to hole-in-the-wall shops selling tasty desserts and retail stores selling vintage clothes and designer threads.

  1. Hire a Bike

 If you want to experience Brisbane on two wheels hire a bike at Brisbane-activity hub, Riverlife Adventure Center.  Brisbane’s well-known beautiful weather is ideal for exploring the city either on foot or on a bike. One and a half hours of biking will set you back $20, but that should be enough time to cover the grand CBD loop, which covers Kangaroo Point Cliffs, the Botanical Gardens and South Bank.

Tick off Brisbane on your travel bucket list. Money should not be an issue so much because the city offers so many things that you can enjoy for free. 


See you in Brisbane soon!