Brisbane’s got some pretty awesome activities on offer, and the best part is, some of them are totally free. Here are the best activities in Brisbane that won’t cost you a cent.
Sightsee around the city centre
Glide across the Brisbane River on the CityHopper, a free ferry service that transports you between some of the city’s main terminals. You can hop on and off as much as you like, so it’s a great way to see the city and get around. The ferry runs seven days a week, with departures every 30 minutes between 6am and midnight.
OK, so this one’s not entirely free, but it’s as good as. If cycling is more your thing, take a relaxing afternoon ride on a CityCycle. The bicycles can be hired and returned all around the city, making them a super convenient option. A recurring Student Membership is AU$3 per month, which gives you access to the service. You can then ride for up to 30 minutes for free, but longer trips will cost a few dollars.
Immerse yourself in Queensland’s museums
The Queensland Museum is a treasure trove of fossils, artefacts and other very cool things, while the Museum of Brisbane showcases the city’s more modern history. Workshops and exhibitions run pretty regularly at both museums, and if you head to the Museum of Brisbane, you can take a free tour inside the famous City Hall Clock Tower (bookings are essential).
General admission to each museum is free, but special exhibits are ticketed.
Discover the mysterious Anywhere Theatre Festival
Up for a bit of theatre and fresh air, but can’t afford expensive tickets? Anywhere Theatre Festival unleashes actors outside the traditional theatre space to perform ‘anywhere else’ in the streets of Brisbane. If you’re curious enough to look, you might stumble across pop-up poetry, storytelling nights, theatre workshops or comedy cabaret — all taking place right at your doorstep!
Tickets generally range from AU$10 to $20, but many performances are completely free. The festival runs annually in May, and shows can take place anywhere in Brisbane.
Explore Brisbane’s market scene
Thankfully, markets are entirely free to browse — what you spend is up to you. When it comes to buying farm-fresh fruit, vegetables, oils, spices and other delicious dishes, Brisbane’s markets are a must-do. You’ll find Jan Powers Farmers Markets at four locations across Brisbane on different days each week. Closest to the CBD are the Brisbane City and Powerhouse, New Farm locations.
For vintage and pre-loved fashion, vegan eats and live music, check out the Brisbane Vegan Markets, held on the second and fourth Sundays of each month at Boundary Street, or the Boundary Street and Vindie Markets at West End.
Get arty in the city
After some fun that’s a little more arts, crafts and fashion-focused? The Young Designers Market, held on the first Sunday of each month from 10am to 4pm, showcases plenty of clothing, jewellery and handmade goods from emerging Brisbane designers.
If it’s finer art you’re after, entry to Queensland Art Gallery and one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary galleries, the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), is completely free. The smaller QUT Art Museum, right by QUT, is also worth checking out, and it offers free entry.
Check out Brisbane’s Night Noodle Markets
Running from July to August each year is Good Food Month, Brisbane’s favourite foodie festival. During Good Food Month, food stalls, workshops and events pop up across Brisbane. Some activities are ticketed, but other major events — like the Night Noodle Markets — are free to explore. You can sit back with pals and enjoy a lantern-lit night beneath the stars.
Escape the city to beautiful South Bank
South Bank is well-known for its beautiful stretches of parkland, boulevards, man-made beaches, and dining options — and there are plenty of free activities to check out. Make sure you stroll through the Grand Arbour, a charming walkway clad with bougainvillea blooms. Liana Lounge, a rainforest-inspired outdoor study spot, is the perfect place to study. The beautiful Nepalese Pagoda is a sight to behold and an incredible place to wander through. In the mood for a swim? Man-made Streets Beach is a very cool and popular spot with great views of the CBD.
Thinking of studying in Brisbane and looking for a place to call home? If you’re after somewhere close to all of Brisbane’s best activities, Atira Student Living offers modern and secure apartments across the city. With amenities such as rooftop pools, 24/7 gyms, games rooms, private cinemas and plenty of quiet spaces to study, Atira Student Living’s all-inclusive accommodation options are the perfect home away from home.