The best places to live in Brisbane

The greater Brisbane area consists of several municipalities and hundreds of different neighbourhoods, and picking an area to live in is one of the most important decisions expats will have to make.

Budget, distance from their workplace, safety, and access to public transport all shape an expat’s choice of neighbourhood. For expats with children, proximity to good schools and entertainment facilities will also be a deciding factor.

City living in Brisbane

Fortitude Valley

For those who want to live close to Brisbane's best nightlife and entertainment, and skip a long commute to work, the city centre is where they’ll want to start their search.

Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley is a vibrant area right next to the city centre, and it’s one of Brisbane’s main entertainment hubs. The streets here are lined with nightclubs, trendy bars and restaurants, and it is also home to one of the largest shopping precincts in Australia. Expats living in Fortitude Valley will never be far from the action, as lots of the metropolis’ annual events are held here, including the International Jazz Festival, the Big Gay Day and the Valley Fiesta. The central location of the area also means residents have easy access to all modes of public transport.

New Farm

New Farm is an inner suburb close to the city centre and located on the Brisbane River. The area is connected to Brisbane’s central business district and other parts of the city by regular ferries and buses. In Merthyr Village, a nearby commercial area, residents can shop to their hearts' content and grab a bite to eat at one of the many great restaurants and cafes. New Farm also has a vibrant arts scene, with regular shows taking place at the Brisbane Powerhouse – a tramway power station that has been converted into a theatre. One downside is that property in New Farm is fairly expensive.

Family-friendly suburbs in Brisbane

Victoria Point

For expats moving to Brisbane with children, being close to the right school will be essential. Both Victoria Point and Holland Park have excellent schooling options.

Victoria Point

Victoria Point is a leafy, family-friendly suburb located about 20 miles (30km) southeast of Brisbane’s centre. The area is particularly popular with UK and New Zealand expats. Families often find Victoria Point to be an ideal choice thanks to the selection of private and public schools in the area.

Holland Park

Holland Park is a great neighbourhood for those with children, thanks to the number of parks, good schools, a well-equipped library, convenient shopping centres, and its proximity to the city centre. Although properties tend to be a little older here, this does mean that there are more affordable options for those on a tight budget.

Affordable areas of Brisbane


The cost of living in Brisbane is generally quite high and rent usually makes the biggest dent. The best option for those on a budget is to look into sharing a house or renting a portion of one of the city's many subdivided homes. This is also a great way to meet other people.


Darra is an older suburb with slightly more dated though spacious properties. The abundance of affordable rental options available in Darra makes it popular among students and young expats on a working holiday. There are regular bus and train services that connect the suburb to other parts of Brisbane.

On the downside, Darra is located close to a number of industrial areas and it may not feel like the safest part of Brisbane. The amenities are also not quite on par with those in more affluent neighbourhoods, but Darra is perfect for those hoping to save a few dollars.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance -

Cigna Global Health Insurance - 10% off any plans bought in November and December 2023

With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.

Get a quote from Cigna Global

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!