Fun things to do in Brisbane after dark

Fun things to do in Brisbane after dark

A far cry from its old ‘big country town’ nickname, Brisbane has shrugged off the early-to-bed, early-to-rise mentality in favour of a thriving nightlife. From the CBD to Fortitude Valley, its bars, restaurants and nightclubs draw night owls from all corners of the city – and beyond. 

A night out in Brissy is bursting with promise. Even with solid plans in place, you never really know what’s going to happen or what time you’ll get to bed – and therein lies the magic. You could discover your next favourite band at a tiny venue in The Valley. Maybe you’ll make a friend while hunting down a late-night bite to eat. Or perhaps you were just looking for some catharsis at the end of an exhaustive work week, only to chance upon a free comedy show at a local theatre.  

When it comes to finding fun things to do in Brisbane after dark, the opportunities are endless. All that’s left to do is put on your dancing shoes and head out into the night. 

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Things to do in Brisbane after dark: go bar hopping


For fun things to do in Brisbane, visit Stranded bar for a sip of rare tequila

Best for: tequila to the tune of rock-and-roll classics 

Stranded is a homage to Brisbane’s old punk and rock scene, and it goes without saying that the music at this Fortitude Valley bar is on point. This is the place to go if you like tequila and rock music. Looming behind the antique counter is a multilevel bar stocked with more than 50 bottles of rare tequilas and mezcals. The setting adds to the rough-around-the-edges charm of the bar – a heritage-listed building with vaulted ceilings and leather stools.  

📍 3 Winn Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 

Death & Taxes 

Best for: connoisseur-worthy cocktails in a cosy setting 

Brisbane’s oldest laneway (Burnett Lane) is home to many interesting joints, one of which is Death & Taxes. A name like that immediately evokes images of antique wooden bars and upholstered leather booths, and this ambient-lit spot doesn’t disappoint. At four metres tall and eight metres wide – requiring a ladder to reach top-shelf bottles – the bar takes centre stage at this sanctuary for the discerning drinker. Everything here is high quality, from the fine wines to the extensive whisky selection. Cocktail connoisseurs will have a field day, with more than 30 original concoctions to choose from. 

📍36 Burnett Lane, Brisbane City, QLD 4000 

Canvas Club 

Canvas Club interior with murals on the wall, wooden slatted ceilings and ambient lighting.

Best for: pop culture-inspired cocktails 

Nothing says ‘millennial-era trendy’ like a mural-adorned venue paired with fairy lights and foliage, and Canvas Club has this down. This is the place to go for drinks after work – and, with Spanish-meets-SoCal tapas on the menu, innocent after-work drinks can easily become dinner, another cocktail… and suddenly it’s past midnight. The cocktail menu is a work of pop-culture art, with classic movie references and out-the-box ingredients that must be sampled to be believed, such as mushroom stock, and peppercorn and cinnamon syrup. 

📍16B Logan Road, Woolloongabba, QLD 4102 


Best for: drinks with a view 

Everyone knows that a margarita tastes better when enjoyed alongside elevated city vistas. One of Brisbane’s more sophisticated watering holes, MAYA serves up tequila-infused concoctions with a view – just don’t rock up in thongs and a T-shirt. The cactus-adorned venue sets the tone for a sophisticated evening out, where you’ll sip on zesty cocktails made from artisanal tequilas and mezcals, and dine on traditional Mexican street fare-inspired dishes. 

📍 757 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 

Things to do in Brisbane after dark: dance the night away

The MET 

Best for: beats and big-name DJs 

When listing fun things to do in Brisbane after dark, it would be sacrilegious to omit the most well-known club on the city’s nightlife circuit, The MET. Touted as Brissy’s biggest nightclub, this three-storey venue (just around the corner from Fortitude Valley Station) has five bars, four dance floors, and capacity for way more revellers than you’d ever thought possible. With a packed schedule of events that cater across the spectrum of electronic music tastes – from commercial EDM to warehouse techno – this club is always buzzing. 

📍 256 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 


Neon strip lights hang from the ceiling on the dancefloor at Prohibition nightclub - one of the fun things to do in Brisbane.

Best for: a neon-lit dance floor to frolic the night away 

Playing on the classic prohibition theme, this 1920s-inspired venue will have you feeling like you’re breaking the law every time you throw back a shot of tequila. With three dedicated bars to choose from, drinks queues are manageable. As far as nightclubs go, the drinks menu is extensive, with everything from classic ’20s cocktails to modern mixers. Dance the night away to house and electronic hits while bathing in the neon light of the venue’s illuminated ceiling. 

📍 206 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 

The Beat Megaclub 

Best for: an LGBTQIA+-friendly space to listen to pop bangers 

The cool uncle of Brissy’s club scene, The Beat has been around since 1983. Giving new meaning to ‘dance haven’, this LGBTQIA+-friendly space is open seven days a week, 365 days a year. Did we mention that it’s huge? Not everyone likes the same thing on a night out, and The Beat has taken this to heart. It has six clubs, seven bars and three beer gardens within its walls, each one offering a slightly different vibe. You’ll find the space to suit your tastes here, but we can’t promise you’ll be able to find your friends after a few drinks. 

📍 677 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 

Things to do in Brisbane after dark: grab a bite at a late-night restaurant

The Kitchen at Treasury 

The Kitchen at Treasurey's eggs benedict with bacon, spinach and hollandaise sauce.

Best for: all-night dining with an upscale edge 

Casinos have a way of making you lose track of time, so it’s only fitting that they have a 24-hour restaurant to cater to their time-addled patrons. Kitchen at Treasury is just that – a slightly more upmarket all-day- and night diner that serves up home-style comfort food (including the perennially popular all-day breakfast) to casino-goers and nightclubbers alike. You can order anything from burgers to pizzas, salads, and pastas, which seems like the perfect way to start (or end) a night on the town. 

📍130 William Street, Brisbane City, QLD 4000 


Best for: burgers before 11pm 

The humble hamburger is the holy grail of night-out food and Aussie chain Grill’d is making it their mission to add a health-conscious twist to the well-loved bun and patty combo. With outposts across Brisbane (including a popular spot in The Valley), the popular chain is on a mission to satisfy burger cravings the city over. The menu here is extensive, with low-carb, gluten-free, and vegan versions available. They also make a point of using carefully sourced produce from local suppliers. 

📍 T3 Emporium, Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 

Charmy Food & Bottle Shop 

Best for: bottle store-meets-Korean takeaway  

A bottle store that doubles as a fast-food joint? And it’s open until midnight. Charmy is the stop-off for a singing-and-dancing Saturday night out, where you can buy booze – and drink it in-house – while simultaneously indulging in Korean comfort food staples, from Korean fried chicken to loaded fries. This casual spot is the place to refuel before heading off to a nearby club to dance until the sun comes up. 

📍 G/138 Albert Street, Brisbane City, QLD 4000 

Jimmy’s on the Mall 

Shrimp and parma ham pizza at Jimmy's on the Mall

Best for: a late-night menu with lots of options  

Jimmy’s is here to remind us that not every late-night food-hunting excursion needs to culminate in oily fast food. Open 24 hours a day, this multilevel local institution has been the solution to late-night hunger pangs since opening its doors in 1982, serving modern Australian cuisine alongside classics such as burgers, steaks, and even salads for the health-conscious midnight snacker. The menu is extensive, and the best part is the great service, because there’s nothing better than a friendly face to lift the spirits when the after-hours blues kick in. 

📍 Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City, QLD 4000 

Things to do in Brisbane after dark: get your culture fix 

Visit the theatre 

If you’re in the mood for a night out at the theatre, then you’re in luck: culture-crazy Brisbane is home to several theatres that are guaranteed to put on a good show. Experience world-renowned productions at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre which, like the Powerhouse Theatre, offers a diverse line-up ranging from violin recitals and ballets to ensemble-cast musicals and stand-up comedies. For smaller-scale independent and art-house productions, check out the iconic Brisbane Arts Theatre or The Princess Theatre

Watch a live music performance 

The Kooks playing at Fortitude Music Hall. Picture by Lauren Clarke.
The Kooks playing at Fortitude Music Hall. Picture by Lauren Clarke.

On the hunt for fun things to do in Brisbane? If you haven’t yet dipped your toes into the city’s prosperous music scene, then consider your next evening plans sorted. More than a few big-name artists boast a Brissy origin – from the Bee Gees and Savage Garden to The Veronicas and Powderfinger – and there’s a rich music history to unlock, alongside a slew of up-and-coming musicians well worth listening to. 

Take a trip to The Valley to discover homegrown talent on stage at its iconic live music venues, including Fortitude Music Hall, The Prince Consort, The Brightside, and The Zoo. The city also incubates its talent with The City Sounds – the country’s biggest (and longest-running) live music programme. The best part? It’s free and you’ll have the opportunity to discover touring and new local bands across the city, thanks to this initiative bent on introducing fresh bands and artists. 

Things to do in Brisbane after dark: visit a night market

Given Brissy’s predisposition toward balmy climes all year round (we love a sub-tropical city) it’ll come as no surprise that its people are night market fans. If trawling for vintage clothes, antiques, and fresh produce, and snacking on street-food-style eats to the sound of live music is up your alley, you’re spoilt for choice here. There’s a multitude of markets to visit – from The Collective Markets in Southbank, to the BrisStyle Inc Twilight Markets in King George Square. 

Eat Street 

Band performing on stage at Eat Street.

Best for: everything, everywhere, all at once – the food edition 

The crowning glory of Brisbane’s market scene, however, is Eat Street. Not necessarily a market (but we’ll bunch it in for ease of reading), Eat Street is exactly as its name suggests – a street where you can go to eat. And eat you will, with more than 180 converted shipping containers each home to a different food store or bar. The cuisines on offer here span the globe, catering to every and any culinary whim, while live music and entertainment help work up an appetite.  

📍 221D MacArthur Avenue, Hamilton, QLD 4007 

Jessica Littlewood

After obtaining a degree in criminology and discovering that she was not, in fact, cut out for a life of investigating crime, Jess turned her hand to writing. Fast-forward a few years of navigating the tumultuous waters of freelance writing, and today she’s a content marketing specialist with a specific focus on travel, dining, and lifestyle. When not composing pieces about food and far-flung places, she writes about the music industry, another of her passions.

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