A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Canberra vs. Brisbane

Should you visit Canberra or Brisbane?

Should I visit Canberra or Brisbane? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Canberra

There is something special about the capital city of Australia. Canberra's not just a wonderful spot for outdoor adventures. It's a city completely designed and built up around the coast of an artificial lake. When architects Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin proposed their plans for Canberra it was met with a lot of criticism. Many people thought it would be a "waste of a good sheep pasture."

Brisbane

Although Brisbane is often overlooked as a travel destination in Australia, it is the capital of the state of Queensland, and is the third largest city in Australia. It's a very young and vibrant city with an active nightlife and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. It's a modern and economically thriving city and, if you do have time to visit, it actually has a lot to offer travelers. It has some beautiful scenery, a wonderful warm climate all year long, and is actually one of the fastest growing cities in Australia.

Which city is cheaper, Brisbane or Canberra?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Canberra is $122, while the average daily cost in Brisbane is $120. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Canberra and Brisbane in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $152 in Canberra For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $148 in Brisbane For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Canberra $76
    Brisbane $74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Canberra $152
    Brisbane $148

Food

Food in Canberra costs travelers about $32 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

On average, meal and food prices in Brisbane cost around $29 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $12.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Canberra $32
    Brisbane $29
Typical Food prices in Canberra

For Canberra, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch
    $19

Typical Food prices in Brisbane

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Brisbane:


  • Hamburger Lunch
    $5.98
  • Cup of Coffee
    $2.24
  • Chinese Food Lunch
    $9.35
  • Ice cream
    $4.11
  • Japanese Meal
    $16
  • Smoothie
    $4.86
  • Japanese Soup
    $8.60
  • Coffee & Muffin
    $5.23
  • Morning Mint Tea
    $2.62
  • Veggie Burger & Chips
    $10
  • Bread
    $1.94

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brisbane

For Brisbane, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Brisbane Food Tour: A Taste of Queensland: $202
  • 3-Course Progressive Dinner Experience in Brisbane: $237
  • Queensland Food Tour: Farm-to-Table Indulgence: $375

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Canberra than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $22 on transportation in Canberra on average per day.

Brisbane's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $16 per person, per day on transportation in Brisbane.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Canberra $22
    Brisbane $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Canberra

Also for Canberra, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Canberra -> Sydney -> Jindabyne -> Perisher Ski Resort : Private Transfer: $474
  • Canberra - Sydney Private Transfers: $474
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Canberra to Canberra Airport (CBR): $33

Typical Local Transportation prices in Brisbane

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Brisbane:


  • Airtrain to the City
    $11
  • Go Card
    $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brisbane

Also for Brisbane, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Sunshine Coast Airport Arrival transfer to Hotels: $14
  • Sirromet Winery All inclusive Lunch @ Lurleens, Tour, Tastings and Transfers: $158
  • Private Transfer: Brisbane to Brisbane Airport (BNE): $98
  • Private Transfer from Brisbane Airport to Noosa for 1 to 7 people: $352
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Brisbane Airport: $40
  • Private Brisbane City Transfer to Gold Coast 7am-6pm: $89
  • Private Brisbane Airport Arrival Transfer to Gold Coast: $177
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Brisbane Airport to Hotel: $40
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brisbane Airport (BNE) to Brisbane: $98
  • Private Airport Transfer from Brisbane Airport (BNE) to South Gold Coast 1-6 pax: $132
  • Private Airport Transfer from Brisbane Airport (BNE) to North Gold Coast 1-6 pax: $107
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus CBD to Brisbane Airport Transfer: $205

Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Canberra, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $16 per day, per person.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Brisbane can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Canberra $16
    Brisbane $22

Tours and Activities in Canberra

For Canberra, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Batemans Bay Overnight Kayak Camping Tour from Canberra - All Inclusive: $513
  • Building and Architecture Tour | 10am Daily: $12
  • Canberra - Murrumbateman Private Group Winery Tours: $522
  • Canberra - Southern Highlands Winery Tour: $422
  • Capture Canberra Photography Tours: $371
  • Day Tour from Canberra to Batemans Bay - with Oyster Tasting Kayak Tour: $178
  • Day Tour from Canberra to Batemans Bay With Indigenous Experience: $180
  • Private Canberra Secrets Highlights Tour: $789
  • Skip the Line: Telstra Tower Observation Deck Ticket: $5.93
  • Ultimate Museum Experience | Tour + Dine + Shop (10am daily): $51

Typical Entertainment prices in Brisbane

For Brisbane, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Concert Tickets
    $15

Tours and Activities in Brisbane

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Brisbane.

  • 4-Day Jewels of the Outback Gemstone Hunting Tour from Brisbane: $1,577
  • 5-Day Cunnamulla Outback Wildlife Backpacking Tour from Brisbane: $948
  • 5-Day Outback Farm and Wildlife Experience from Brisbane: $1,936
  • Australia Zoo Full-Day Day Tour from Brisbane & Gold Coast: $113
  • Bay Island Tour - Scenic Flight: $271
  • Best Of Brisbane Day Tour incl. Lone Pine - Half Day Private Customised tour: $197
  • Boutique Brisbane to Cairns Australian east coast tour - 8 Day small group: $2,689
  • Brisbane Day in the Country Full-Day Small-Group Tour with Lunch: $249
  • Brisbane Self-Guided Audio Tour: $20
  • Brisbane to Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass: $72
  • Afternoon River Sightseeing Cruise: $21
  • River Cruise with Lunch: $44

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Canberra spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Brisbane, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $46.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Canberra $14
    Brisbane $46
Typical Alcohol prices in Canberra

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Canberra from other travelers:


  • Drinks at a Bar
    $10

Typical Alcohol prices in Brisbane

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Brisbane:


  • Evening at the Bar
    $11
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $10
  • Guiness Beer
    $6.36
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $9.71

Sample the Local Flavors in Brisbane

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Brisbane:

  • Deluxe Wine Tasting Tour Mt Tamborine Includes 2 course Lunch: $94
  • From Tamborine Afternoon Wine Tour: $97
  • Morning or Afternoon Brisbane Half-Day Brewery Tour: $111
  • Mt Tamborine Wine Tour: $119
  • Brisbane Half-Day Private Brewery Tour: $119
  • Hinterland Heritage Wine Tour: $119
  • Northern Rivers food & Wine Tour from Brisbane: $119
  • Two Day xxxx Brewery and Tamborine Winery Tour: $198
  • Private Full Day Wine Tour from Brisbane to Tamborine Mountain: $474


When comparing the travel costs between Canberra and Brisbane, we can see that Canberra is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Pacific, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Canberra vs. Brisbane Travel Comparison

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