Home Brisbane The Best Free Things to do in Brisbane

The Best Free Things to do in Brisbane

The article is written by Nina Sudnitsin

If you’re running low on cash or you’re in need of a cultural intervention when in Brisbane, there are a multitude of activities to fulfil your sightseeing needs that keep your wallet decently full.

Brisbane is a culturally diverse city and home to beautiful nature which offers many free events and experiences that will suit people from any corner of the earth. So, if you’re craving an adventure, longing to take a break from your impending exam revision or you’re just feeling the mid-week blues, try out one of these free activities that fall under the categories of culture, music, fitness and nature.


city halll

Take a city hall tour

What better way to explore a new city than exploring its landmark building? The Brisbane City Hall exudes 1920s art deco vibes and is a heritage listed building which schedules daily tours from 10:30am to 2:30pm. If you want a guaranteed spot, be sure to book online (it’s free!)


Pick up a book at the State library

The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) is a unique library, thanks to its extraordinary architecture and its split five-level design. The SLQ is a custodian for Queensland’s history, so be sure to check out the wonderful small odes to our history as a state around the library. When you’re done exploring, pick a book, settle down in a comfy chair by the large glass windows and enjoy a quiet afternoon.


Stroll through QAGOMA

Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art located in South Bank (next door to SLQ) are more than worth a day of exploring. Each season brings about new exhibits, so strap on your walking shoes, put on your thinking hat and get ready for a day of art critiquing.

Have a laugh at Knockoff

Every Friday evening, the Powerhouse, located in New Farm, plays host to a free comedy show. Local as well as national artists take the stage to deliver hilarious rants and epic one-liners. The evening takes place in an iconic Brisbane venue and this event is a great way to meet new people and have a good laugh.



Sunday Sessions on the Green

There’s no better way to spend a Sunday evening than listening to great live music along the river. Every Sunday evening, a local music act plays enchanting tunes and funky grooves for the public. Enjoy the last bit of the weekend evening along River Quay in South Bank with a picnic blanket and some snacks to share with good company.

The Sound Society

The Sound Society is another live music program which is held in two locations –South Bank (from 2-7pm) and Roma Street parklands (9am-12pm) – on the first weekend of each month. With the backdrop of trees and palms, the chill atmosphere is a lovely way to spend your weekend catching up with friends or relaxing in the sun.


Take a free fitness class in South Bank

Every few months, South Bank parklands hosts free fitness classes. You heard right: no need to sign up for a gym membership! Whether you’re an early bird or night owl, there’s a class to suit any need. Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi are only a few of the multiple offerings. Bookings are not required and it’s an activity suitable for all ages and fitness levels.


Hike up Mt Coo-tha

Located 15 minutes west of the CBD, taking a hike to the summit of Mt Coo-tha is a rewarding experience. There are over 60 different tracks to choose from and a helpful guide by the Brisbane City Council offers a great overview! Mt Coo-tha forest track map

If the options are overwhelming, why not settle on the route taken most, the Summit Circuit. It combines the Summit Track with the Mahogany Trail, and provides a complete circuit from JC Slaughter Falls to the unforgettable Mt Coo-tha Lookout.


botanic gardens

Stroll through the Botanic Gardens

Speaking of Mt Coo-tha, the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coo-tha are stunning and it’s arguably the best parkland Brisbane has to offer. There are free guided walks from 11am to 1pm (excluding Sundays) or if you’d prefer to take a break from walking, there are free mini bus tours as well. Definite highlights at the Botanic Gardens include the beautiful tropical dome and the Japanese garden, so be sure to visit them.


Visit the koalas at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre

In an outdoor setting and open every day from 10am-4pm, admission to the Koala Centre is free! Visitors can’t cuddle or pat the koalas as they’re situated in their natural habitat, but definitely bring a camera with you to snap the cute mammals as they go about their daily routine of eating and sleeping. There’s also an abundance of area for bushwalking and picnics!

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