Every Australian city has its fair share of appealing suburbs. The best suburb to live in Brisbane for you will vary based on several factors.
Not only should you consider where your educational institution is located, but also proximity to friends, shops and attractions – not to mention suburb aesthetics!
With almost 200 suburbs in Brisbane to choose from, the options are almost endless. To make it easier, these are eight of the best Brisbane suburbs for students:
One of our favourite Brisbane suburbs with a large student population is St Lucia, which is where Queensland’s oldest university, the University of Queensland (UQ), is located. The streets 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 the university experience all the more friendly and interactive.
Not far from St Lucia is the bustling suburb of Indooroopilly and its neighbour Toowong. One of the biggest appeals of this area is Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, home to hundreds of stores and a definite hit 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. Plus, if you’re an animal lover, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is just a short drive away.
Another popular destination for students is South Brisbane, just across the river from the CBD. Student accommodation options are plentiful here, with easy access to public transport, good food, and venues within the Cultural Precinct, including the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).
As well as hosting weekly markets and cultural events such as Brisbane Festival, the Southbank/South Brisbane area comes alive at night with outdoor dining options. Southbank Parklands are the place to be on weekends, with particular highlights including Streets Beach, the Wheel of Brisbane and a number of grassy, picnic-perfect lawns.
There’s always something happening in West End. A short walk from South Brisbane, West End boasts weekly markets, lots of boutique shops, and an abundance of cafes and restaurants catering to 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 the West End’s enduring charm. The nearby Musgrave Park is a place of cultural significance for First Nations Australians and offers a beautiful alternative location for study or catch-up with friends.
If your thing is music and nightlife, the vibrant inner-city suburb of Fortitude Valley is the place to be. There are bars and restaurants aplenty both here and in the adjacent Bowen Hills, and 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, whose cheap and delicious late-night meal offerings you won’t want to miss.
Although situated directly to the southeast of Fortitude Valley, New Farm has a decidedly laidback feel that is 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, with easy access to the CityCat ferry and amazing river views (have you noticed how much Brisbane revolves around the river?). The Brisbane Powerhouse is an iconic entertainment venue, 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 antique houses in the iconic Queenslander design. The heritage-listed Government House, the residence of the Governor of Queensland, is open to the public at certain points during the year. There are also dozens of coffee shops, bars, restaurants and specialty shops at your fingertips.
Not only is Kelvin Grove home to one of the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) two Brisbane campuses, the suburb is increasingly the focus of sustainable development projects for 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 heart – if there’s somewhere that looks good to you, try it out. With the city undergoing much expansion and development – including an 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 from there? Study Queensland’s Queensland Student Accommodation hub covers everything you need to know about finding your new home, from student accommodation providers to the best websites to find a place to rent. Happy house hunting!