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8 Cool Suburbs to Live in Brisbane

This article is sponsored by University of Queensland

Every Australian city has its fair share of appealing suburbs. If you’re looking to live in the Queensland capital, the best suburb to live in Brisbane will vary depending on several factors.

When weighing up your options, it’s important to consider how close you can live to your educational institution. But you can also think about other things like lifestyle, amenities, and proximity to fun activities and friends. 

With nearly 200 Brisbane suburbs to choose from, the choices are almost endless. So, to make it easier to decide where to live in Brisbane, here are eight of the best Brisbane suburbs for students.

Jacaranda season in St Lucia

St Lucia

One of our favourite Brisbane suburbs with a large student population is St Lucia. St Lucia is also home to The University of Queensland (UQ), the state’s oldest university and one of Australia’s highest-ranking institutions

The streets in St Lucia are lined with student apartments, rental accommodation and homestays, so if you’re a UQ student, you’ll be living right down the street from campus. 

Bus and ferry connections will get you into the CBD without any hassle, and you’ll be surrounded by other students, making your study abroad experience all the more friendly and interactive. Plus, the University itself boasts five museums for your enjoyment.


Not far from St Lucia is the bustling suburb of Indooroopilly and its neighbour Toowong. 

One of the biggest draws of this area is Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, home to hundreds of stores and a great spot for a meet-up with friends in the evening or on the weekend. See a movie, grab something to eat and take advantage of the major outlets and specialty stores, all in one place. 

You can also enjoy panoramic city views from nearby Mt Coot-tha or, if you’re an animal lover, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is just a short drive away.

South Bank Parkland in South Brisbane

South Brisbane

Another popular destination for students is South Brisbane, just across the river from the CBD. 

Student accommodation options are plentiful here, along with easy access to public transport, good food and venues within the Cultural Centre, including the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).

As well as hosting markets and cultural events such as the Brisbane Festival, the South Bank/South Brisbane area comes alive at night with plenty of outdoor dining options. 

South Bank Parklands is the place to be on weekends, with highlights including Streets Beach, the Wheel of Brisbane and a number of grassy, picnic-perfect lawns on the water’s edge. 

Sunset in West End

West End

There’s always something happening in West End. A short walk from South Brisbane, West End boasts weekly markets, op shops and an abundance of cafes and restaurants dishing up all kinds of cuisines. 

Take a walk down Boundary Street and breathe in the suburb’s positive energy and cool vibes, and before long you, too, will be obsessed with West End’s enduring charm. 

Nearby Musgrave Park offers a beautiful location for study or a catch-up with friends.

Bakery Lane in Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley

If your thing is music and nightlife, the vibrant inner-city suburb of Fortitude Valley is the place to be. There are bars, clubs and restaurants aplenty both here and in the adjacent Bowen Hills, plus the nearby Brisbane Showgrounds hosts the annual agricultural show known as the Ekka. 

Fortitude Valley is also where you’ll find Brisbane’s Chinatown Mall, which has cheap and delicious late-night meal offerings you won’t want to miss.

New Farm

Although situated directly southeast of Fortitude Valley, New Farm has a decidedly laid-back feel. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a peaceful place to live that’s also right at the centre of things.

New Farm Park is one of the most popular open spaces in the city (and a licensed BYO area) with easy access to the CityCat ferry and amazing river views. It’s connected to the popular nightlife of Howard Smith Wharves via the Brisbane Riverwalk, too. 

The Brisbane Powerhouse is an iconic entertainment venue where you can enjoy live music and comedy, and the New Farm Neighbourhood Centre organises an array of social activities and community programs.


Paddington might be one of the most beautiful suburbs in all of Brisbane. You probably won’t find a leafier or more aesthetically pleasing suburb in the entire inner city!

Although the area has become gradually more expensive in recent years, the streets of Paddington are as tempting as ever, lined with charming old houses in the iconic Queenslander design. 

There are also dozens of coffee shops, bars, restaurants and specialty shops at your fingertips.

Kelvin Grove

Kelvin Grove is a hub for sustainable development projects and is attracting businesses and residents alike – including many students. Kelvin Grove Urban Village fuses residential housing, retail outlets, business and creative industries, offering everything you could need in one location.

When figuring out where to live in Brisbane, don’t be afraid to follow your gut – if there’s somewhere that looks good to you, try it out. With the city undergoing much expansion and development – including the Olympic Games in 2032 – there’s never been a better time to live in Brisbane.

How can I find out more about accommodation in Brisbane?

This article may have given you some ideas on where to live, but where to go from there? Study Queensland’s Queensland Student Accommodation hub covers everything you need to know about finding your new home. Or, if you’re a UQ student, check out UQ Accommodation for living options both on and off campus. Happy house hunting!

Photo credits: Krista Eppelstun, Tourism and Events Queensland, Brisbane Marketing