Brisbane’s 10 Best Museums and Galleries

There are plenty of reasons to explore Brisbane’s museums and galleries. Here’s a list to work your way through to discover another side to the river city.

There's much more to Brisbane than meets the eye. You'll find scattered across the city world-class art galleries and interactive museums that delve into both the past and present. From naval vessels to contemporary art, Brisbane's vibrant arts and culture scene is on show for the world to see.

Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

If you only have time for a short art gallery immersion, there are two Brisbane galleries that should be on your list. Queensland Art Gallery and The Gallery of Modern Art are right beside each other, and entry is free unless you are visiting a special exhibition. It’s worth checking to see what’s on as apart from the fine collection of Australian and international paintings and sculptures. There are also regular blockbuster exhibitions. Stanley Place, South Bank. 07.3840.7303.

Museum of Brisbane (©PMG)

Museum of Brisbane

Located in the city's centre, The Museum of Brisbane is all about seeing things through a Brisbane context. Check out the exhibitions but also allow time for a tour of the City Hall clock tower. Brisbane City Hall, 64 Adelaide St., Brisbane. 07.3339.0800.

Queensland Museum & Sciencentre (©Roshan Sukhla)

Queensland Museum & Sciencentre

As the state museum, Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, has a large number of exhibits over several floors on science, culture and natural history with a Queensland theme. The dinosaur displays are especially popular with children. Cnr of Grey and Melbourne Sts., South Bank. 07.3840.7555.

Queensland Maritime Museum

Located on the banks of the Brisbane River and home to the S.S. Forceful and H.M.A.S. Diamantina, the Queensland Maritime Museum has an abundant collection of historical maritime artefacts. Visitors can walk through parts of the ships. 412 Stanley St., South Brisbane. 07.8444.5361. 

Mountain Series 2, "Green Mountains" (©William Robinson)

William Robinson Gallery

Honouring the life and work of this contemporary Australian painter and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) alumnus William Robinson, the gallery has temporary exhibitions and an archive focusing on Robinson's art. Old Government House, Main Drive, Garden Points Campus, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George St., Brisbane. 07.3138.8005.

Transport Stations Women Displays at the Queensland Police Museum (©QLD Police Museum)

Queensland Police Museum

At the Queensland Police Museum you can learn about police heritage and Queensland’s famous unsolved murders plus try to solve a crime at a simulated murder scene. Ground Floor, Queensland Police Headquarters, 200 Roma St., Brisbane. 07.3364.6432.

MacArthur Museum Brisbane

When General Douglas MacArthur arrived in 1942 it was a top-secret affair and the MacArthur family kept a low profile during their two-year stay. His office is a now a museum which explores Brisbane in the years around the Second World War. Level 8, MacArthur Chambers, 201 Edward St., Brisbane. 07.3211.7052.

Commissariat Store Museum

Queensland’s oldest habitable and most significant heritage building contains rotating exhibitions covering Queensland history. The lower two floors of Commissariat Store were convict built during 1828 and 1829. 115 William St., Brisbane. 07.3221.4198.

John Olsen, "Frogs Jumping", 2014-15 (©Philip Bacon Galleries)

Philip Bacon Galleries

One of Australia’s leading art galleries, Philip Bacon Galleries is renowned for the depth of its stockroom and for exhibiting many of the country’s most celebrated established and contemporary artists. 2 Arthur St., Fortitude Valley. 07.3358.3555.

David Hinchliffe, "Paris Side Walk", 76x76cm (©Red Hill Gallery)

Red Hill Gallery

With 120 artists on their books, Red Hill Gallery is always worth a look. There's an ever-changing roster of exhibiting artists, and always something new to discover. 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, Brisbane. 07.3368.1442.