The Best of Brisbane Nightlife

July 05, 2023
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Brisbane’s nightlife has an all-inclusive concept, featuring everything from upscale rooftop bars to high-energy clubs. 

Starting with The Terrace by Emporium Hotel’s sweeping views and ending with El Nacho Burger at Grease Bar, this is how you can experience an amazing night out.

Here’s your essential guide to Brisbane nightlife.

Catch the sunset at The Terrace by Emporium Hotel

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© @emporiumhotels / Instagram

Prepare to get a little lightheaded because the vertigo-inducing The Terrace promises an unbeatable duo – sweeping views and lip-smacking cocktails. 

Any Tom or Sheila can prop a bar on a roof, sling some half-hearted canapés, and call it a rooftop bar. But The Terrace, perched imperiously atop the Emporium Hotel like a king surveying his realm, is far from a mere rooftop joint. 

It’s a ritzy retreat that doesn’t just aim high – it resides there, 21 floors above the humdrum, beckoning all to partake in its lofty luxury.

Upon entering, you’re greeted by the show’s star: a grand 13-meter backlit onyx bar. This luminous marvel, all aglow with a glorious radiance, is like the lovechild of a gemstone and a spacecraft, beaming an irresistible come-hither look. Perched upon fur-seated bar stools, you’ll think, “Heaven must be missing an interior designer.”

The decor fuses a New York penthouse with LA’s laid-back cool, all wrapped up in Brisbane’s subtropical flavor. Expect walls adorned with verdant greenery, the perfect complement to the floor-to-ceiling glass walls that let the city’s vista take center stage.

Snap an Insta-worthy picture at City Botanic Gardens

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© @sam_ashton83 / Instagram

Hidden in plain sight, the City Botanic Gardens of Brisbane unfolds a myriad of photogenic opportunities, underpinning why this urban Eden is a top destination for Instagram enthusiasts. 

For those seeking to infuse their social media feed with a palette of breathtaking landscapes, unexpected wildlife cameos, and striking floral aesthetics, this 49-acre botanical sanctuary ticks all the boxes.

Get adventurous with the Story Bridge Adventure Climb

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© @storybridgeadventureclimb / Instagram

“Sweet are the uses of adversity,” quoth the Bard. However, it’s debatable whether Shakespeare was referring to a balmy Brisbane evening, an 80-meter-high cantilever bridge, and a collective of nocturnal adventurers adorned in harnesses and helmets.

We’ve all gazed in awe at the sparkling night sky. It’s a universal human experience, like forgetting where you parked or pretending you enjoy kale. 

But in Brisbane’s nightlife, those who seek to elevate their nocturnal experiences (quite literally) have an exclusive star to hitch their wagon to: the Story Bridge Adventure Climb.

As a part of a group, you’ll ascend the superstructure, each step taking you further from the hum of the city traffic and closer to the shimmering stars. Reaching the 80-meter summit, the city unfurls below in a spectacle of glowing lights. 

The panoramic view from this vantage point is unparalleled. From the CBD’s heart to the distant suburbs’ serenity, it’s a sight that stirs the soul and tickles the spirit. 

Your two-hour nocturnal navigation is guided by an expert with more than a safety line tethering them to the bridge. Moreover, they come armed with tales, truths, and tidbits about this towering structure that’s as much a part of Brisbane’s identity as sunscreen and surf.

Explore Fortitude Valley’s after-dark gems

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© MarilynDaviesAustralia / Flickr

Emerging from a somewhat colorful past, this former shopping mecca has metamorphosed into Australia’s first dedicated entertainment precinct. A flirtatious dance between past and present, the Valley embraces its historical roots while tangoing with a sleek and contemporary rhythm.

Fortitude Valley’s streetscape is a testament to this captivating interplay of time. Heritage-listed properties rise majestically among modern architectural marvels, creating an urban tapestry where 19th-century charm flirts audaciously with 21st-century chic.

Before you embark on a night of rhythmic revelry, Chinatown Mall serves up an array of gastronomic delights. A hub of supermarkets and eateries, it offers everything from dim sum to Peking duck, perfect for a pre-gig feast.

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to nightlife in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Pick anything from its slew of cozy clubs and rooftop cocktail lounges to find a venue that suits your taste, mood, and, crucially, your dance moves.

Pump up the volume at the Press Club, a classic haunt renowned for its burlesque nights and forward-thinking cocktails. If you prefer a touch of 1920s glam, check out Prohibition, an enchanting portal back in time that serves cocktails as flamboyant as the era it celebrates. 

Kickons is the place to be for the rhythmically inclined, enticing patrons with infectious, foot-stomping energy.

Experience Brisbane’s mixology with The Jungle King cocktail at The Canvas

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© @canvasbrisbane / Instagram

Forget safari adventures and wildlife documentaries. Your journey to the jungle can start and end in a cocktail glass courtesy of the Jungle King. Tropical and ready-to-serve sweet flavors, the boozy libation features a mix of rum, mango, grapefruit, lime, and pineapple. 

At the Canvas Club in Brisbane, your cocktail hour morphs into a unique journey through time. Tucked within Woolloongabba’s antiquated heart, the Canvas Club is a relaxed sanctuary away from the city’s frenetic pulse. It’s a place where the stories of vintage-inspired interiors meld with the tales of patrons, creating a living, breathing masterpiece.

A glance reveals an ensemble of time-worn Chesterfields, vintage lamps, and artful designer armchairs – each piece tributes to bygone eras.

Delight in the quirks of the seasonal cocktail menu, featuring inventive elixirs such as the Liam Neeson, a harmonious blend of whisky, salted caramel, and Poire Williams Eau de Vie Sweet Vermouth.

The Brisbane nightlife venue has a magnetic pull that draws in a delightful blend of individuals – from locals looking for a boozy escape to globetrotters trying to discover the city’s mixology.

Burn up the dance floor at Su Casa

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© @SuCasaBrisbane / Facebook

VIP treatment? Check. Rooftop? Check. High-energy playlists? Check – we have a full house. Balancing the mainstream with the upscale, Su Casa is one of the few party spots that places its bets on the atmosphere. 

Dope music, low-key parties, and lively crowds can best characterize the Brisbane nightlife venue. In other words, the type of trinity that won’t let you spend one second sitting.

Finish your night with El Nacho burger at Grease Bar

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© @greaserbar / Instagram

If the culinary world were a cabaret, then the El Nacho Burger from Brisbane’s Grease Bar would be its all-singing, all-dancing showstopper. A late-night anthem for the tipsy and the hungry, this audacious concoction leaves behind the realm of the ordinary burger. It takes a saucy detour to the land of fiery jalapenos, melty cheese, and crisp nachos.

But our journey does not end with the El Nacho Burger. Its creator, Grease Bar, is as much a part of this tale. Tucked away in a vibrant corner of Brisbane, this establishment is an ode to culinary creativity and urban chic.

Step into the late-night eatery and you’ll be greeted by an ambiance as juicy as its burger offerings. Industrial-chic decor, offset by a series of funky neon lights, gives the space a magnetic, almost addictive, personality.

Whether it’s their signature burgers or loaded fries, Grease Bar prides itself on its carefully curated selection. Each item a testament to its commitment to high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients and the love for boundary-pushing culinary experimentation.

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