From galleries to flea markets, this city is abuzz with culture, says Megan Singleton

1. Go on a suitcase rummage

If you love a good flea market, then on the first and third Sundays of the month you need to get to Brisbane Square (top of Queen St) to rummage through other people's suitcases.

In fact, you can bring your own filled with vintage clothes, handcrafts, arty bits and pieces, or just come to buy, haggle or swap.

2. Arty

The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) are within a brush stroke of each other at South Bank. The GOMA is arguably the leading modern art gallery in Australia and plays host to major shows of weird, wacky and thought-provoking art, while the Queensland Art Gallery dates its first purchase back to 1896.

Together they are hosting The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art until April 10, 2016 featuring captivating large-scale sculptures, absorbing installations, intriguing performances and kinetic artworks.


3. Theatre

Brisbane is home to some great shows: Cameron Mackintosh's new version of Les Miserables is at the Lyric Theatre QPAC this November for a limited season with completely new sets and staging.

Or for something completely crazy, go to the Powerhouse for their limited season of Speed: The Movie, The Play. Fans of the 1994 film, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock will love this. You'll be seated on a bus (which won't actually move) with special effects and lots of bad jokes.

4. Get local

Get to know the personality of Brisbane's urban villages and their distinct vibes. Fortitude
Valley is the entertainment hub; New Farm has a cool cafe culture and Paddington is known for its boutique shopping in converted Queensland-style homes.

Head over to James St where pint-sized boutiques curate local and international fashion designers. Or just shop until you drop on Queen Street Mall.

5. Get outside

Bring your sensible shoes and walk the pedestrian bridges that connect the city to South Bank, the inner-city haven that is home to the Cultural Centre, Streets Beach Lagoon, South Bank parklands and a variety of dining options at River Quay, Little Stanley and Grey Streets. Stop for a drink, a photo or a taste in the sun and make the most of this bright and bubbly city.

For more information:

How to make the most of Australia's coolest city on a budget

Perhaps Australia's most up-and-coming capital, Brisbane provides one of the best balances of bustling city life and nature, making it a top destination to visit in 2016.

Once you land at Brisbane Airport, start your journey into the heart of the city with Airtrain. It's the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way to travel! Trains depart every 15 minutes during peak times and every 30 minutes in off-peak periods and it takes just 23 minutes to get to Central station.

You don't need a big wallet to enjoy all the fine things booming Brisbane has to offer. So go on, grab this list and discover the top things you can do for less or even for free:

1. Unwind at beautiful South Bank. Streets Beach is one of the city highlights as Brisbane's only man-made beach. Closest Airtrain Station: SouthBank
2. Explore the coolest spots in the city on a free guided tour with the Brisbane Greeters. The two - four hour walking tours are run by passionate volunteers and open to everyone whether you're travelling alone, with friends, kids or partners. Closest Airtrain Station: Central
3. Experience the pulse of one of Brisbane's oldest markets. The newly revitalised Fortitude Valley Markets is the ideal hunting ground for locally produced arts and crafts, fashion, sculptures, homewares and collectables. Closest Airtrain Station: Fortitude Valley
4. Check out Australia's largest free music program presenting some of Brisbane's best bands and artists each week from Queen Street Mall, Post Office Square and South Bank to name a few. Closest Airtrain Station: South Bank.
5.Stylish and affordable hotel options are also aplenty in Brisbane. Try the hip TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel, Brisbane's very first art hotel, which sits atop one of the city's most interesting historical sites. Room rates start from only $139 per night. Closest Airtrain Station: Fortitude Valley.

Purchase Airtrain tickets in advance and take advantage of savings of up to 15% off on some bookings by visiting