Fortitude Valley - Brisbane Tourist Guide

Fortitude Valley (or just The Valley as it’s known to the locals) is the cool kid of Brisbane suburbs. It’s located just outside the city and is the epicentre of live music in Queensland and a great nurturing suburb for up and coming designers, artists and musicians. It’s history is diverse, from the early 1900s to the 60s when the suburb was a thriving shopping precinct.

However after suburban shopping centres opened up, people stopped coming to the area and it became known as an area for illegal gambling houses and brothels with a strong police presence.

Now, after a considerable urban renewal plan the area is once again one of Brisbane’s favourite shopping and entertainment precinct. Search for accommodation in Fortitude Valley and base yourself in the heart of all that's happening in Brisbane.

The Valley Shopping Precinct

Coaldrakes Bookshop Fortitude ValleyThe Valley is one of our favourite shopping strips in Brisbane. You’ll find designer boutiques, street wear stores, charity shops and stores selling modern home wares all sitting next to each other. This area celebrates many local designers and Australian national designers.

It’s also a great place to pick up a bargain and find a whole outfit for less than $10. Many of the stores are located on Ann Street, Brunswick Mall and down little arcades dotted all over the place. 

Every Saturday and Sunday The Valley hosts markets in the Brunswick Mall. Here you’ll find local and emerging fashion designers selling their wares, jewellery, handmade arts and crafts and brilliant one off art pieces.

While you're shopping you can enjoy street theatre and live bands and kick back with all your goodies and watch the passing parade from one of the bars or restaurants.

Emporium is a luxury hotel in Fortitude Valley and is home to over 35 speciality retailers. There’s a variety of high fashion, footwear and lifestyle stores as well as a number of funky bars and restaurants so you can shop and eat in style. 

Below is a list of some favourite shopping precincts:

1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

33 Duncan St, Fortitude Valley

Blonde Venus
707 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Restaurants & Bars

The Valley has a range of restaurants including Chinese dumpling houses in Chinatown, cheap pizza and parma’s on Brunswick Street and a whole host restaurants that morph into wine and tapas bars so you can eat and drink the night away. We’ve listed some of our favourite Valley haunts:

Cloudland Bar - Bar & Fine Dining
641 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 07 3872 6600

Meccah Bah - Restaurant & Bar
19-21/1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 07 3252 5299

The Bowery - Bar
676 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 07 3252 0202

Live Music Venues

Brisbane is the home of one of Australia's favourite music acts, Powderfinger and to newer bands like Yves Klein Blue, The Grates and the John Steele Singers. The Valley is a great environment for upcoming artists with a variety of music venues so you can enjoy your favourite local, national and international acts. Brisbanites love to dance so make sure you've got your dancing shoes on!

The Zoo
711 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 07 3854 1381

Rics Bar
321 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 3666 0777

186 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 07 3252 2421

Fortitude Valley Festivals

As you’ve probably noticed The Valley loves a party so it often lends its streets to a variety of festivals. Live music, food, fun and so much more. Follow the links to see all the festival details.

Valley Fiesta

Valley Fiesta has been running since 1997 and is Brisbane's largest and most loved annual street festival. Each year around 100 000 people turn up to enjoy Brisbane's culinary treats, fashion, arts and live music.


Laneway Festival

St Jerome's Laneway Festival began in a small laneway in Melbourne and has spread out to encompass other areas in Australia's capital cities where live music is key to living. It's a great day for alternative music lovers and it's local Brisbane home is The Zoo.


International Jazz Festival

The International Jazz Festival is held during the first week of June. The festival lasts 5 days and hosts a huge program of events with acts coming from all over the world. This festival replaced the biennial Valley Jazz Festival in 2013.


Big Gay Day

Big Gay Day is one of Brisbane's summer street parties and attracts a crowd of around 6000 people each year. There's a whole host of live music performances and acts as a fundraising event for several charities.