The New York Times lists Brisbane as the place to be in 2024

The Queensland Travel Guide acknowledges the Turrbal and Yuggera people, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Meanjin / Brisbane is situated. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continued spiritual and cultural connections to Country. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

Queenslanders (like me) were excited to recently see Brisbane listed by the New York Times as one of the best 52 places to go in 2024. 

I know our city is a fantastic and diverse place to visit, but it’s always good to see an organisation as prestigious as the New York Times saying so. Brisbane offers something for everyone, for all travel preferences, ages and budgets, plus it is a great base for exploring all the amazing attractions Queensland has to offer. 

While there are plenty of fabulous things to do in Brisbane, The New York Times article made special mention of where to eat, play and stay, as well as some of the brand new things to look out for.  

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Agnes Restaurant

It seems everyone who is anyone is talking about Agnes Restaurant these days. And really, I’m not surprised.

Firstly, in 2023, Agnes was voted Australian Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller. And then, recently, it got a special mention by the New York Times as the place to eat in Brisbane.

From the outside, you’d hardly know an award-winning restaurant is behind the facade of the old heritage-listed building. But inside, you’ll find 3 floors, with a cozy walk-in 20-seater wine bar on the ground floor and a tiny small walk-in rooftop bar and terrace offering fantastic city views.

The second floor, the floor you enter on, is where the action is. Here, you’ll find an open kitchen featuring multiple woodfire pits. You won’t find any gas or electricity at this restaurant, as all the food is cooked on an open fire.

All the food is locally sourced and the menus change according to seasonal availability. The cocktail and wine menu has also been carefully curated to match the wood smoked flavours of the food. 

Agnes is open for lunch from Friday to Sunday from 11.30 am, while the dinner service is Monday to Saturday from 5.30 pm until late. 

Read our full Agnes Restaurant review here.

Vertigo Restaurant

Located at New Farm’s Powerhouse, Vertigo Restaurant is Australia’s first ‘vertical’ restaurant, where, as well as enjoying a beautiful three-course meal, diners will also experience some of the best views in all of Brisbane!

At Vertigo Restaurant, harnessed diners sit in a long line of pairs suspended 17 metres above the ground on the edge of the Brisbane Powerhouse building. There are 8 tables of 2 (so 16 people can dine at once).

When you have finished your 3 course meal, you have the choice of abseiling down the side of the building. 

The 2 hour, vertigo inducing experience includes your abseil, a three course locally sourced meal from Bar Alto, plus a glass of wine with your meal and another once you arrive back on the ground. 

Vertigo is open Thursday to Saturday from 5.30 pm to 10 pm, with the last seating at 7.45 pm. 

Read our full Vertigo Restaurant review here.

Brisbane Powerhouse

This 1920s power station on Lamington Street in New Farm is a popular cultural hub for the city. 

The Brisbane Powerhouse offers live music, stand-up comedy, art exhibitions, plus theatre and dance performances. There are two main stages, three performance venues, galleries, plus 3 restaurants and bars. There is also a farmers’ market every Saturday morning.

The venue also hosts some of Brisbane’s largest festivals, including MELT, Night Feast and the Brisbane Comedy Festival. Some events are ticketed, but many free events are on offer, too.

And recently they’ve added an outdoor cinema and Vertigo Restaurant as mentioned above.

Brisbane Powerhouse is open 7 days a week from 9 am till late. 

The Calile Hotel

As well as being singled out by the recent New York Times article, the 5 star Calile Hotel won The Best Hotel in Oceania in the World’s 50 Best Hotels awards. It was also ranked number 12 best hotel in the world!

The Calile Hotel is a luxury hotel along the uber cool James Street in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. It is a modern, minimalist-style hotel, with the architects Richards and Spence wanting to create a hotel with a resort feel that embraced Brisbane’s tropical climate.

The hotel is in a convenient location on the lively James Street, one of Brisbanes’ premier lifestyle precincts. It’s also a handy spot for public transport, so you can get around Brisbane with ease.

The Calile features a gym, a day spa and 6 restaurants, some of which are among Brisbane’s most popular.  But the stand out feature is the hotel’s palm tree lined pool, one of Brisbane’s biggest and best hotel pools. 

There are 175 rooms of varying sizes at the hotel. All rooms have calming pastel tones with oak furnishing and brass finishes, offering that sought-after luxurious feel. 

Rooms are extremely spacious and sleep two people, with interconnecting rooms available.  Each room features a TV (with Chromecast and sound bar), a safe, a kettle, a coffee machine, a minibar, a day bed and a balcony.

The best rooms are the suites, which offer balconies with seating, an additional freestanding bathtub and a rooftop terrace. 

Read our full review of The Calile Hotel here.

Queens Wharf Precinct

Queens Wharf in the CBD is undergoing a $3.6 billion redevelopment in preparation for the Olympics in 2032. It is billed as Brisbane’s new entertainment and lifestyle precinct, with part of the site set to open in 2024. 

The upgrades include restoring the area’s historic buildings, building 4 new hotels and an 820 foot long SkyDeck packed with restaurants and bars offering amazing 360 degree views of the Brisbane River. 

Queens Wharf will also include Australia’s largest casino and a new bridge to connect with Southbank. There will be brand new shops, parks and gardens to enjoy. 

It’s an exciting and ambitious development which, when fully open, will quickly become one of Brisbane’s must visit locations. Watch this space! 

Enjoy Brisbane!

Hopefully, you found this guide on things to do in Brisbane, as recommended by The New York Times, helpful.

If you’re looking for things to do in Brisbane, why not check out some of our reviews of things to do around town, such as the Pink Flamingo, Cloudland Big Band Cabaret or Soak Bathhouse.

If you’re planning a trip to Brisbane, I highly recommend you check out our full guide to Brisbane, which provides links to everything you need to know to plan your trip.

I’d also recommend you join our free Queensland Travel Guide Facebook community, where you can ask all your questions and find even more great trip suggestions.

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