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May 15, 2024

Secret’s Out! Top Cheap Things to Do in Brisbane for the Savvy Traveller

Brisbane bursts with vibrancy without bursting your wallet! This guide uncovers a treasure of free, affordable experiences for savvy travellers. Explore cultural gems, unwind in lush parks, and discover Brisbane's hidden beauty - all on a budget!

Cheap Things to do in Brisbane

It feels so refreshing to walk along the Brisbane River, enjoy the dynamic city’s vibrant culture, and relax in a subtropical atmosphere. But what if these experiences could be achieved on a shoestring? Isn’t it amazing!

So, if you’re willing to take a break from your busy routine, check out the best options for cheap things to do in Brisbane and head straight to enjoy Brisbane sunshine!

Why Brisbane Should Be Your Next Escape?

Brisbane, the sunshine capital of Queensland, captures the captivating blend of urban energy and natural beauty. Straddling the Brisbane River, this dynamic city, with its thriving cultural scene and relaxed and friendly atmosphere, surprises everyone with many free and affordable experiences. 

So, whether you want to explore the iconic South Bank Parklands or taste its cultural cuisine, Brisbane offers budget-friendly delights for savvy tourists. Enrich your mental canvas with a dose of nature and tantalise your tastebuds with the world-class street food Brisbane offers. Get your shoes on and be ready to hit the Brisbane pavements (with a few bucks) and take away tons of Australian adventure. 

Top 10 Cheap Things to Do In Brisbane 

How to fill your day to make it exciting and memorable. Maybe a stroll into the historic streets of Fortitude Valley, a vibrant precinct brimming with trendy bars, innovative eateries, and world-class street art, or get a dose of nature by hiking or biking along the scenic Brisbane Riverwalk or escaping the city bustle at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

Brisbane offers something for everyone, and with its budget-friendly options, your adventure Down Under can be as enriching as it is affordable. Take our guide as a challenge and make your Brisbane vacation budget-friendly fun. 

1. Beautiful Scenic Walk at South Bank Parklands

South Bank parklands

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Enjoy the warm Brisbane sunshine and stunning scenery with a free walkthrough of South Bank Parklands. This 17-hectare oasis on the southern bank of the Brisbane River offers a leisurely escape for any budget.

Wander along the scenic paths and catch a glimpse of the city skyline reflecting on the water. Relax and rejuvenate on the grassy slopes and watch the kids play peacefully. South Bank Parklands is a haven for budget-conscious travellers seeking a taste of Brisbane’s vibrant lifestyle and natural beauty.

Price: Free Entry

2. Discover Peace at Roma Street Parkland

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Find tranquillity in the heart of Brisbane with cheap things to do in Brisbane at Roma Street Parkland. This vibrant green space boasts a kaleidoscope of colourful subtropical gardens, offering visitors a free and delightful escape. 

Wander through themed sections bursting with vibrant flora, or unwind on the sprawling Celebration Lawn. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy a leisurely lunch under the Brisbane sun, or simply relax on the lush green expanse and soak up the peaceful atmosphere. Roma Street Parkland offers a refreshing and free escape for anyone seeking a dose of nature amidst the city’s vibrant energy.

Price: Free Entry

3. Spot Brisbane’s Beloved Koalas for Free at Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Cheap things to do in Brisbane

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Get close to Brisbane’s cuddly residents at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre! Daisy Hill Koala Centre offers the perfect choice for the cheap things to do in Brisbane

This unique 570-hectare haven, located amidst an open eucalypt forest, offers animal lovers a free and educational experience. Explore the large outdoor koala enclosure, shaded by the trees these marsupials call home. 

Educate yourself with an interactive conversation about koala and their fascinating science. While cuddling isn’t an option (koala wellbeing comes first!), You’ll have fantastic viewing interactions with these little cuties. 

Witness these charismatic creatures in their natural habitat and gain a deeper appreciation for their importance in the Australian ecosystem.

Price: Free Entry

4. Explore Brisbane by City Hopper Ferry Ride

City Hopper

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Explore Brisbane from a whole new perspective with a free ride on the CityHopper ferry! This convenient service whisks you along the scenic Brisbane River, offering breathtaking sights and a relaxing escape – all without breaking the bank.

Running every 30 minutes, seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to midnight, the CityHopper allows you to hop on and hop off at various stops throughout the city centre. Take in the stunning city skyline from the water, or disembark at iconic landmarks like the South Bank Parklands or the Maritime Museum. The CityHopper is a fantastic way to navigate Brisbane, discover hidden gems, and capture unforgettable memories—all for the price of free!

Price: Free Ride

5. Feast At Eat Street Hamilton

Cheap things to do in Brisbane

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Experience the vibrant adventure and culinary delights (plus free entertainment) at Eat Street Northshore. While the meals themselves may not be free, the vibrant atmosphere and entertainment at Eat Street Northshore certainly are. This open-air marketplace, transformed from colourful shipping containers, is a feast for the senses. The air sizzles with international flavours every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night – from wood-fired pizzas and fresh-shucked oysters to Japanese okonomiyaki and decadent desserts. Even if you’re watching your wallet, the experience is priceless. 

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere with free live music and unwind with a movie under the stars at the outdoor cinema. Eat Street Northshore offers a delicious and budget-friendly way to experience Brisbane’s vibrant nightlife scene.

Price: $6 entry, kids under 12 are free + free parking

6. Astronomical Adventure at Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

Sir Thomas Planetarium

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Take a quick round tour at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and fulfil your inner astronaut cravings. Located within the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, this haven for astronomy enthusiasts offers a captivating mix of free and affordable experiences. Explore the free exhibits, including the fascinating observatory, sundial courtyard, and mini-theatre. Get up close with asteroid fragments, marvel at star clusters, and even see a replica of Neil Armstrong’s iconic Apollo spacesuit. 

For a truly immersive experience, upgrade your adventure with a $15 ticket to the Cosmic Skydome. Witness breathtaking space shows and lose yourself in realistic recreations of Brisbane’s night sky. 

Price: Free entry

7. Unearth Country’s Riches at Brisbane Opal Museum

cheap things to do in Brisbane

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Enter the dazzling world of opals at a hefty price at the Brisbane Opal Museum! This world-class cultural institution, located just a short drive from Brisbane’s city centre, offers a fascinating journey into Australia’s national gemstone’s history, science, and beauty.

Explore the museum’s captivating exhibits and delve into the world of opals. Learn about their formation, mining processes, and cultural significance. Witness a dazzling display of opals in all their fiery glory, showcasing the unique colours and patterns that have captivated people for centuries.

The Brisbane Opal Museum offers a free and enriching experience for anyone curious about these precious stones. So, add a touch of sparkle to your Brisbane adventure with a visit to this hidden gem!


Self-Guided Tour: $10 per person (children under 5 – free)

Guided Tour: $20 per person

Children under 15 $10

Children under 5 — free

8. Explore Architectural Gem With City Hall Tour

City Hall tour

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Imagine Brisbane’s rich history and architectural beauty with a free tour of City Hall, the city’s most iconic landmark. This majestic building boasts several captivating features that are waiting to be explored. Marvel at the grandeur of the circular Concert Hall, renowned for its world-famous grand piano organ. Ascend the clock tower (during operating hours) and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline and surrounding landscape.

City Hall tours delve into the fascinating stories behind Brisbane’s development. It offers a glimpse into the city’s past, present, and future. This free activity is a perfect option for budget-conscious travellers seeking a deeper appreciation of Brisbane’s heritage and architectural significance.

Price: Free Entry

9. Aspiring Trip to Queensland Museum

cheap things to do in Brisbane

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Uncover Queensland’s captivating story at the Queensland Museum, where history, science, and culture collide! This treasure of knowledge offers a free and enriching experience for curious minds of all ages.

Explore permanent and ever-changing exhibitions that vividly depict Queensland’s past, present, and future. Immerse yourself in the state’s natural wonders, delve into its people’s rich cultural heritage, and marvel at the scientific advancements that have shaped the region.

The Queensland Museum also frequently hosts exciting touring exhibitions, bringing global stories to your doorstep. With free entry and a constant stream of fascinating displays, the Queensland Museum is a must-visit for anyone seeking a budget-friendly adventure through time and discovery.

Price: Free Entry for Visit

(Fees on Exhibitions & Shows)

10. Artistic Delights at Queensland Art Gallery

Queensland art gallery

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Queensland Art Gallery captures the artistic journey in a captivating manner (almost for free!).  This iconic institution in Brisbane’s vibrant South Bank precinct offers free entry to a vast historical, modern, and contemporary art collection. Queensland Art Gallery is the perfect choice for the cheap things to do in Brisbane. 

Explore diverse artistic movements across centuries, from captivating historical pieces to thought-provoking contemporary installations. QAGOMA’s dynamic program features both Australian and international exhibitions, ensuring a fresh perspective on every visit. Unleash your inner child at the Children’s Art Centre, where interactive exhibits ignite creativity and spark the imagination.

QAGOMA offers an enriching and free cultural experience for art enthusiasts and curious minds alike. Immerse yourself in the beauty and power of artistic expression and discover something new on your creative adventure.

Price: Free entry

Best Activities For Your Kids To Do In Brisbane For Free!

There’s more to it. These things might not attract kids, so we have a few adventures for kids that can make their time in Brisbane fun and memorable. 

Cheap things to do in Brisbane

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Explore these most exciting but free things to do in Brisbane with family. Mean it — your kids will love it!

Visit Brisbane Awesome Playgrounds:

Kids love their time in parks and playgrounds. So, make their time in Brisbane fun by visiting local playgrounds. Playing and goofing in the open spaces are the best cheap things to do in Brisbane with your kids and family. Some of the best playgrounds in Brisbane include Frew Park at Milton, Rocks Riverside Park at Seventeen Mile Rocks, Pine Rivers Park at Strathpine, and many more. So pack a picnic, grab some sunscreen, and prepare for a fun-filled day of laughter and memories at Brisbane’s fantastic playgrounds!

Enjoy Sand & Sun at the Beach:

It’s beach time! Brisbane’s sparkling coastline beckons families with a budget-friendly adventure! Trade amusement park fees for the endless fun of the beach in Brisbane. Build sandcastles that rival medieval fortresses, splash in the refreshing waves, or boogie board across gentle swells. Kids of all ages will delight in the simple pleasures of beach life.

Spark Their Curiosity at Brisbane’s Museums:

Brisbane’s museums aren’t just for grown-ups! The interactive and captivating museums in Brisbane spark the imagination of little curious minds. Journey back to the Queensland Dino Museum, where dinosaur skeletons and interactive exhibits bring prehistoric creatures to life. Little artists will be inspired by the Children’s Art Centre at QAGOMA, where they can create their own masterpieces alongside works by renowned artists. Explore the hands-on exhibits at the SparkLab at Sciencentre for a touch of science fun. Keep your Kids entertained without spending a dime!

Learning And Adventure at Brisbane Local Libraries:

Step into a world of imagination with captivating story times, where talented storytellers bring beloved characters to life. Let your little ones explore the vast array of children’s books, nurturing a love for reading and sparking their curiosity about the world around them. Many libraries also host interactive workshops and creative play sessions, providing fun and educational experiences for all ages. 

Hike the Brisbane Trails:

Lace up your walking shoes and begin your free family adventure along Brisbane’s scenic hiking trails! These paths offer stunning natural beauty, fresh air, and a chance to bond with your little ones while exploring the city’s diverse landscapes. Brisbane’s hiking trails cater to all ages and fitness levels, providing an accessible and memorable way to connect with nature and create lasting family memories. This is the perfect cheap things to do in Brisbane. 

Let the kids have fun in Brisbane while exploring and learning something new! 

So, escape the price tag anxiety and enter the world of affordability. Our customized list of cheap things to do in Brisbane can save your day (as well as your wallet). Be ready to create lasting memories, ignite your curiosity, and discover why Brisbane is a city that thrills on a budget.

Also, make your Brisbane trip more budget-friendly with Penny Pincher deals. Save on your stays and hotels, and much more fun. Create countless memories of this trip to Brisbane that lasts forever!

Sarah McKenzie

A wordsmith passionate about knitting elegance into every sentence. Follow me on my literary journey as I bring a touch of cultural richness to the storytelling. Get ready to be captivated by my words and transform your ordinary into the extraordinary, all with the grace and charm that only a true wordsmith possesses.

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