A guide to one of the world’s most livable cities

Interested in a lunch-hour swim, free from the office, in a big open-air pool with warm sand between your toes, palm trees swaying in the breeze and a cool drink close at hand? Or hitting a big city that doesn’t feel like a big city, filled with bars, great coffee spots and decent dining options?

If the answer’s yes to either or both, consider Brisbane, Australia, one of the world’s most livable cities, according to a 2014 Monocle Magazine index.

Unique among Australia’s major cities, sunny Brisbane has a beach right on the doorstep of its central business district.

Its setting is South Bank, the lively entertainment and cultural precinct that — as the name implies — sits on the south bank of the Brisbane River.

This is where the city comes for recreation and entertainment, to eat and drink at casual riverside restaurants and bars, listen to impromptu music shows, ride a giant Ferris wheel, check out street artists and nighttime light shows, take in a formal concert at the performing arts center and visit art galleries and the state museum and library.

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