Are you travelling to Brisbane and spending a few days in town but not sure which area to stay in?
I have lived in many parts of Brisbane over the years, on the North and Southside, right in the CBD and further outside on the edges of the city and there are great places to find everywhere.
Here are my suggestions where to stay if you’re coming into town for a few days and don’t want to be too far from the action.
I recommend a few different areas, so the choice is yours according to what you’re looking for!
Stay Right in the City Center – Brisbane CBD
Staying right in the city center has obviously some advantages. Not only are you close to all the action but you will have a very easy time to walk to attractions on the south-side and other locations nearby. Transportation is also very easy and frequent to take from the center.
The main street is called Queens Street which is Brisbane’s vibrant pedestrian-only shopping and lifestyle precinct where you can find all the big flagship stores, small boutiques tucked away in heritage-listed arcades, the popular Myer-Center and so much more.
Falling out of Central Station, you are pretty much right there already! Set in a heritage-listed building, this hostel offers budget accommodation from shared dorms to private single and double rooms.
Soak up the sun rays on the rooftop terrace boasting city views, hop down to Queens Street in less than 2 minutes or meet travellers over a drink in the adjacent Down Under Bar!
Accommodation starting from A$18/night in a 10-bed dorm.
Base Brisbane Embassy is located in a red-brick building right next to the popular Queen Street Mall. It cannot get any more central than this! And you can walk to the man-made beach in Southbank in less than 15 minutes, how good is that?!
Relax on the sunny terrace enjoying the city views, browse around on the free wifi or watch the latest flicks in the in-house cinema.
Choose from dorm rooms to girl only or private ensuite rooms, it’s up to you!
Accommodation starting from A$24/night in an 8-bed dorm room.
Roma Street Hostels
While Roma Street is not right in the city center, it’s only a couple of minutes walk away. It makes for a perfect location as it’s very close to the main transportation hub of the city, the Transit Center.
Additionally, it’s not far to the beautiful South Bank Parklands, the trendy cafés of Padding and the nightlife in Fortitude Valley.It’s a good pick if you are looking for the best of both worlds: exploring all the city has to offer, nightlife and proximity to transportation.
Roma Street is a good pick if you are looking for the best of both worlds: exploring all the city has to offer, nightlife and proximity to transportation.
There are quite a few hostels around here, but these are my favourite picks.
Base Uptown is right opposite the Roma Street Transit Center, where the Greyhound and all other long-distance buses arrive and depart. The airport train also stops here, so it really is a super location for quick and easy transportation around.
Choose from dorm rooms to woman only and private rooms with deluxe king beds and TV. Yes, they have a 24-hour reception and of course wifi!
Get a bite to eat or a few drinks at The Guilty Rogue, the pub adjacent to Base. Come darkness and it turns into one of Brisbane’s best backpacker party bars.
Accommodation starting from A$18/night in a 14-bed dorm room.
The YHA is located only a few steps away from Base Uptown, on Upper Roma Street and just a stone’s throw away from the Transit Center and a short walk over the bridge to South Bank.You can choose from dorm rooms, double and ensuite rooms. The best of the hostel is the rooftop swimming pool with views spanning across the city’s skyline and Brisbane River. Of course, they have free wifi as well as an onsite bar & cafe, secure parking is available and there is always something on the calendar every night.
You can choose from dorm rooms, double and ensuite rooms. The best of the hostel is the rooftop swimming pool with views spanning across the city’s skyline and Brisbane River. Of course, they have free wifi as well as an onsite bar & cafe, secure parking is available and there is always something on the calendar every night.
Of course, they have free wifi as well as an onsite bar & cafe, secure parking is available and there is always something on the calendar every night from movie nights to BBQs to party nights.
Accommodation starting from A$27/night in a 6-bed female or mixed dorm room.
Walking up Upper Roma Street, you surely won’t miss this huge orange building where the Brisbane City Backpackers is located. I stayed here a few times and especially love the panoramic river and city views from the rooftop garden terrace which also has a pool.
Yay for free wifi and only a few hundred meters to the Roma Street Transit Center. There’s a large movie theater and if you come with your own car, there is off-street parking available too.
Head to the on-site pub for nightly live music, karaoke and quiz nights. Of course, there is a food menu too as well as drinks and breakfast.
Accommodation starting from A$21/night in a 6-bed mixed dorm room.
Photo by bertknot.
Stay where the party’s at – Fortitude Valley
Staying at a backpackers in Fortitude Valley is a good pick if you are interested in nightlife, exploring laneway graffiti and some of the alternative arts and café scene.
Stay at Bunk if you come to Brisbane for the party because that’s exactly where it’s at! Fortitude Valley Train Station is also a short walk away and the Airtrain stops there so it’ll be easy to get here. Let them know when you arrive and they organize free transfers to the Transit Center if you come by bus.
No matter if you want to stay in a big dorm and meet some other travellers and have a bit more privacy in one of the double ensuite rooms. They even have 2-bedroom apartments if you are travelling in a group of up to 6 friends.
There is even have a hot tub and pool. Wifi is available however free is limited.
If you stay at Bunk, you won’t go past Birdees, the bar right next door for students, backpackers and everyone on the lookout for a crazy party really. Claimed to be Brisbane’s best party 7 days a week.
Accommodation starting from A$24/night in a 20-bed mixed dorm. Or A$27/night for an 8-bed mixed dorm.
For a bit more privacy but if you are still on a budget, choose Snooze Inn. Sleep in basic air-conditioned double, queen or twin rooms with flat-screen cable TV, private bathroom, free internet access and a communal kitchen. Chinatown is only a 5-minute walk away.
Close to the Fortitude Valley Station and RNA Showgrounds, it’s good for a short-term budget stay.
Accommodation starting from A$72/night in a double room with private bathroom.
Stay in the Hip Part of Town – West End
West End is a perfect pick if you are looking to stay somewhere different, if you love to visit great cafés, enjoy visiting museums and have an interest in arts and entertainment. It’s also great to be close to the only city beach in Brisbane.
If you don’t feel like staying right in the city but you’re on a budget, I recommend staying in cosmopolitan West End, a very hip part of town with many cafés, restaurants, markets, pubs and awesome boutiques. Somewhere to Stay is a cheap backpackers hostel offering shared dorms or private double, twin or single rooms.
The views from the balcony are amazing! South Bank Parklands, the man-made beach and river are a short walk away. You’ll even have some furry housemates as they have some super cute cats running around. The saltwater pool is perfect for a dip after a long day of exploring the city.
Accommodation starting from A$16/night in an 8-bed dorm.
Stay at Brisbane Backpackers Resort to enjoy dorm rooms with ensuite and balcony, a mere 10-minute stroll to South Bank. Yes, there is a swimming pool, a hot tub, a restaurant and a bar & beer garden too!
Choose a private double, twin or triple room with ensuite equipped with TV, private balcony and coffee and tea making facilities. Free parking if you come with your own car as well as shuttle services to South Bank and the Transit Center if you are not so mobile.
Accommodation starting from A$19/night in an 8-bed dorm.
Stay in the up and Coming Hotspot – Paddington
Paddington is your pick if you want to stay in a leafy, very picturesque part of town with historical buildings scatter across housing cafés, bars, boutiques to galleries and churches.
Stay in one of the most beautiful backpackers in town set in a colonial home dating back to 1872. Just around the corner from the famous Suncorp Stadium, you’ll find this quiet hostel full of charm in a residential area, perfect to relax and unwind. And if you want to go out, Caxton Street is not far, that’s where the nightlife is buzzing after sunset.
And if you want to go out? Caxton Street is not far. That’s where the nightlife is buzzing after sunset.
There are 4 bed dorms, double, twin and single rooms. All rooms have shared bathrooms. Additionally, there is an outdoor pool, barbeque area and free wifi.
Accommodation starting from A$28/night in a 4-bed mixed or female dorm.
Photo by bertknot.
Stay in the Beautiful, Tree-Lined Inner City Suburb – New Farm
Definitely one of my favourite suburbs in Brisbane is New Farm. It’s right next to Fortitude Valley but less busy and more relaxed with many great cafés, tree-lined streets and a very residential, suburby feeling even though it’s super close to the city center.
Here you’ll also find the Brisbane Powerhouse, an arts and cultural hub set in a former power station hosting many amazing events every week. Don’t miss the Jan Powers Farmers Market happening every Saturday from 6am till noon.
New Farm is a beautiful suburb to stay in, especially if you are around for a few days longer. Not only for the great coffee from The Little Larder, breakfast at Little Loco or a browse at the charming Merthyr Village, New Farm is so close to the city center, the river and the nightlife of Fortitude Valley, while at the same time it’s super relaxed and doesn’t feel like being in the city at all.
Bowen Terrace offers 4-bed mixed dorms, single, double, queen and even family rooms if you are a bigger group travelling together. Set in a traditional Queenslander house, there is even a swimming pool, free parking, wifi and all rooms have a TV.
Accommodation starting from A$36/night in an 4-bed dorm.
Only two short minutes from Brisbane’s famous Powerhouse and beautiful New Farm Park, Ellie’s Guest House is set in a two-story Queenslander home offering single, double, twin or small dorm rooms with ensuite or shared bathroom, kitchenette and patio.
Perfect for travellers on a budget, this is a super cool place to stay if you like it clean and tranquil, away from the party people.
Accommodation starting from around A$50/night in an 2-bed dorm.
Planning to Stay in Brisbane for Longer?
With any accommodation option listed above, always check for long-term discounts if you already know you want to stay for a week or longer. Many places will have a discount of pay 6 stay 7 nights or something similar.
A good alternative if you are around longer is finding and Airbnb and living with a local. If you want to get started with Airbnb, sign up through my link and get $25 travel credit for your first trip. In many cities this is already a free night’s stay!