Decorating the Australian coat of arms is a kangaroo and an emu—the only two animals that can’t walk backward. It feels appropriate that such forward-thinking animals would represent the country—particularly in Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city. From the broad boulevards to the ultra-open environment that seems to invite the outside in (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen an ibis wander into a restaurant or a kangaroo hop down a residential street) to the cooler than cool residents, the country feels like it’s striding forward into a bright future.
Regardless of whether you’re an adventurer, foodie, or animal lover, the combination of forces makes the city an ideal vacation spot. Australians are big fans of doing life any way they please, but if you’re at a loss, here are a few suggestions for your next trip Down Under.
WHERE TO STAY
TRYP: This hotel is located in Fortitude Valley, one of the city’s coolest suburbs. (Note: Brisbane residents have an odd habit of calling their neighborhoods "suburbs," but rest assured, you can walk or cab quickly between most of them.) Every inch of the hotel, from keycards featuring artist Rone’s eerie tribute to the founder’s beauty queen wife to multicolored graffiti in every hallway to the cozy, book-lined work nook, is a tribute to pop art. Hit the gym, grab a drink at the bar, scrub down with ZAMBELI bath products, or just stare into the swirling waters of the handmade glass sinks. Although, sorry: Despite what you might have learned on The Simpsons, the Coriolis Effect doesn’t actually make bathroom water swirl counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.