We’re not at all surprised by Brisbane being dubbed Australia’s Coolest City – with a great climate, thriving arts scene and fun local spots there’s not more you could want…

While the hipsters in Sydney and Melbourne are hiding behind their ironic beards and Keffiyeh scarves in mortification, Brisbane cool cats can hold their heads high after the latest Lonely Planet guide has named Brisbane as the coolest city in Australia.

Here are our top five reasons Brisbane trumps the rest of the country in the cool-stakes…

1. Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)

Perched in prime location on the river in South Brisbane, QAGOMA attracts stellar exhibitions and provides Brisbane with a thriving arts hub. Opened in 2006, GOMA itself is architecturally striking and has featured works from Andy Warhol and Picasso. The last decade has seen Brisbane put on the arts map, in large part due to the popularity of GOMA.

2. Cultural Centre precinct

Right beside Brisbane’s premier art galleries sits a performing-arts hub like no other in Brisbane. Hosting all manner of shows and performances, the area also becomes home to festivals and celebrations throughout the year with its proximity to the city and river views. Stop in and see the latest big musical to hit Brisbane, a concert by Queensland Symphony Orchestra or a performance from an international comedian – Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) has it all.

3. Hip bars

Lonely Planet lauds the thriving bar scene in Brisbane, especially noting Super Whatnot (Brisbane City) and The End (West End), and with Valley nightlife including cool new spots like Black Bear Lodge, Alfred & Constance and Bowler Bar it’s no wonder Brisbane’s locked down the Coolest City title. Boutique beers and cider are also experiencing a boom with joints like Archive Beer Boutique (West End), Scratch Bar (Milton) and the Bavarian Beer Cafe (Brisbane City) leading the way. So put on your vintage Wayfarers and head out into the nightlife to experience the cool side of the River City.

4. Thriving laneways

The Brisbane City Council’s Vibrant Laneways program has seen neglected and underused urban spaces revitalised for community use to celebrate creative arts and offer opportunities for small businesses. Installation of art pieces, reimagining of spaces and opening of businesses like Brew and The Survey Co. have transformed the city’s alleys into thriving hotspots of coolness.

5. Coffee houses

The coffee scene in Brisbane is advancing in leaps and bounds, with a focus on bean quality and barista talent shaping local haunts into veritable caffeine meccas. More than that, the community that surrounds each indie spot is developing – these coffee shops are beginning to rival the cult-worship dynamic of Melbourne and Sydney, so check out these coffee shop picks from the Brisbane Coffee Lovers Club – you might just find your next regular caffeine haven.

What do you think makes Brisbane the coolest city in Australia? What’s your favourite cool things to see or do around the River City? Let us know!