A day out in Brisbane

While back in Brisbane for work, I was able to catch up with an old friend of mine who has lived here for 4 years now. While telling her about my trip she suggested that we have a casual night out, just the two of us. We decided on Friday night as it didn’t cut into our usual Saturday routine of sleeping until noon and wandering aimlessly around the city centre before climbing into bed at 9pm.

Saturday morning rolled around and I realised that this would be my first girl’s day alone since being back in Australia so I wanted to take full advantage by doing something very un-Brisbane like… brunch! By 10am I was already having a glass of champagne outside the Regatta hotel watching people eat toasties while I sipped on a peach bellini and checked out the cute boys walking along the Brisbane River.

After enjoying my breakfast for what seemed like months, I headed to the mall just around the corner from where I was staying in Southbank. Street style fashion and outdoor cafes had replaced every shop and by 11:30am I decided that this must be how all mall-walkers felt when they were on holiday abroad; it’s like another world! Just two cities over and you’ll find many of your favourite chain stores but with no screaming kids or husbands dragging their wives into David Jones (where is that anyway??).

I had some running around to do before meeting up with my friend so instead of taking an Uber back into the city I found a Starbucks and then felt like I was back in New York with the bustling streets and constant stream of people. Nostalgia is my favourite thing!

It didn’t take long to realise that Brisbane has a pretty rad street art scene going on, not surprising since they have one of the world’s largest street art festivals each year – Street Art Book . If you’re looking for picturesque graffiti it’s everywhere from upmarket residential buildings to underpasses. In some areas the walls are so covered you’d swear Banksy had been there as well, but as far as I could find he hadn’t tagged anywhere yet. How deflating…

By this time I was starting to feel less jet lagged and enjoying my freedom so instead of checking into my hotel I chose to stay right in the heart of everything and booked a room at the Mantra South Bank . It’s not until you’re backpacking that you realise how limited your budget is so sometimes it comes down to what gives you more value for money. Speaking from experience, I can tell you now that paying $219 for an inner city hotel after all expenses has been added is a steal!

This bank holiday weekend was beautiful and sunny so many people chose to be outside rather than watching TV or going shopping as usual. As I walked through Queen Street mall taking photos of cute boys, cyclists and street art there were also people sleeping on every bench as if they had nowhere else to go.  I guess it just goes to show that Brisbane is a pretty laid-back city and the only way you’ll find out what ‘real’ people are like is by getting lost in the crowd.

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