South Bank and West End make up the heart of Brisbane’s arts and culture scene. Trendy, modern and a little quirky, they overflow with museums, theatres, cafes, bars and stylish boutiques.
South Bank is Brisbane’s main cultural precinct. The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) offers spectacular exhibitions showcasing local and international art year-round. Take in some history at the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre next door, or cross the road and catch a live show at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).
The South Bank Parklands run alongside the Brisbane River and cover an impressive 17 hectares. They’re the go-to destination for picnics in the sun, strolls, award-winning eateries and major festivals and entertainment events. Take a ride on the iconic Wheel of Brisbane for breathtaking city views or swim at Streets Beach – Australia’s only inner-city man-made beach right in the heart of the Parklands.
Little Stanley Street and Grey Street are lined with diverse restaurants, cafes and bars. Baba Ganouj serves tasty Lebanese favourites, while Zeus Street Greek brings share plates and pita wraps at affordable prices, with vegan and gluten-free options. Grab a burger from Brooklyn Depot for as little as $6 during happy hour, or enjoy a poke bowl at Suki. Head to Kiss The Berry for a sweet treat or Gong Cha for late-night bubble tea.
For a fun night out, West End offers a fantastic bar scene. Walk around the streets to sample some of Brisbane’s most popular bars including The End for craft cocktails, Cobbler for world-class whiskeys, and The Boundary Hotel, an iconic pub with a rooftop bar, beer garden and live music.
Grab a bite to eat at one of West End’s diverse eateries. Dine at Mu’ooz, an outrageously tasty Eritrean restaurant serving up authentic North-East African meals. Head to Lokal + Co for breakfast and lunch with a Nordic twist, or Arabella’s Charcoal and Middle Eastern Cuisine for Halal feasts. Or, you can cook up a meal yourself with cheap ingredients from Hong Lan Asian Foods and Seafoods. For Greek and Mediterranean groceries, head to Mega Continental Deli behind Boundary Street for an impressive selection of European ingredients.
West End embraces individuality, and its eccentric boutiques offer something for everyone. Stop in at SWOP Clothing Exchange on Boundary Street, a haven for second-hand clothes and accessories. St Veronica’s Thrift Shop also sells unique second-hand clothes and pre-loved treasures at bargain prices. The Happy Cabin on Vulture Street has a colourful selection of clothes and quirky gifts, while Bent Books is a brightly painted bookstore selling second-hand books.
Snap Fitness 24/7 in West End offers 24-hour access and is equipped with cardio and weights equipment and private showers. Personal trainers and nutritionists are also available. The South Bank Fitness Centre is also a great option and offers Griffith University students weekly discounts. You can also take advantage of free fitness classes held in South Bank Parklands with yoga, Pilates, Zumba, boot camp, ballroom dancing, salsa dancing, aqua classes and more being held throughout the week.
There are many churches located across West End and South Bank, including the LGBTIQ-friendly West End Uniting Church, End Church on Vulture Street, the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, and iSEE Church on Glenelg Street. The Islamic Society of West End/West End Mosque on Princhester Street offers several services and a prayer room.
The State Library of Queensland in South Bank has a huge selection of resources, as well as regular educational events, exhibitions and writers festivals. The West End Library is also a fantastic place to study, with print and digital media, free wi-fi and an extensive multicultural section. If you need medical attention, the West End Medical Practice is open six days a week. The centre also offers after-hours home visits through the National Home Doctor Service.
Browse the South Bank Collective Markets open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Located in the South Bank Parklands, the markets have become an iconic event in the neighbourhood and buzz with visitors searching for clothes, jewellery, art, handmade gifts and locally made food.
Stroll along the Arbour Walk in South Bank Parklands for a truly scenic experience. Stretching through the grassy parklands for one kilometre, the Arbour is a pedestrian walkway that runs beneath an award-winning metal structure. The poles curl above your head and hang with bright pink flowers, making it the ultimate Instagram hotspot.