Things to do in Perth: Where to Eat, Drink, Stay and Play
A gem of a city that delights at every turn, Perth is changing in a big way. Here’s your essential guide of things to do in Perth.
A place where nature collides with a dash of urban cool, Perth has well and truly shaken its small-town vibe to become a buzzing metropolis that lives life on a global scale. Never short of sunny days, Perth has an enduring vibrancy that wafts through the city centre and its many villages as effortlessly as the sea breeze
The places to visit and things to do in Perth are endless – from the edgy bars and restaurants of Mount Lawley to the stylish streets of Subiaco, discover Perth’s pulsing food and nightlife scene, all before you even head over to the coast.
And although Perth is one of Australia’s most isolated cities, it’s progressive, outward-looking and takes a lot of pride in its indigenous culture. With an explosion of street art, small bars and a global foodie scene, Perth ticks every box on the bucket list – and we’re not the only ones who think so. More and more, Perth is becoming a destination driven by tech-savvy hotels, stylish eateries and a creative energy that’s hard to beat. So, whether you’re looking for a sea change or simply planning a weekend away, here’s why Perth should soar to the top of your travel list.
Perched gracefully on the shore of Swanbourne beach, The Shorehouse is the epitome of coastal glamour and foodie indulgence. With its relaxed vibes, sprawling balcony offering breathtaking views of the ocean, and some of the best cocktails you’ll find in Perth, you can easily while away an afternoon, sipping and basking in the glow of the sun. As the sun dips below the horizon, there's no better place to savour a cocktail and toast to the end of another day exploring Perth.
278 Marine Parade, Swanbourne
From their basement digs in Perth’s CBD, Long Chim have given Pad Thai the flick. Instead, they have a winning menu that is overflowing with flavours from Southeast Asia. Its street food done exceptionally well, and Long Chim’s signature drinks collection, Muay Thai Mai Tai or Thai Basil Smash, will keep you here well into the night. You can also get your mid-week fix of Long Chim from their Tuck Shop, which is only open from 11am to 2.30pm weekdays.
State Building, Basement Level, corner of St Georges Terrace and Barrack Street, Perth
Atop one of the finest hotels in town, Wildflower blends indigenous culture of seasonal changes with contemporary fine dining. Their menu revolves around the six seasons of the indigenous Noongar calendar – Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang - meaning, Wildflower’s farmer and forager-driven menu changes aligns with the ebbs and flow of nature’s bounty. Fittingly, a large mural depicting the bushland features in the light-filled interiors of the main dining room, while the outdoor terrace overlooks Swan River and the CBD.
COMO the Treasury, Level 4, 1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth
In a city that prides itself on its line-up of global eats, Bivouac pulls rank with its Eastern-inspired dishes. Their menu is designed to be shared, and each dish reflects their regional origins, but with Bivouac’s interpretation of the traditional recipes – think Spiced Freekeh, Babaannessi’s Harissa Cuttlefish and Whole Goat Shoulder. But that’s not all this small Northbridge restaurant does well. Their walls are a blank canvas for local and emerging artists to exhibit their work, which brings a creative energy that’s constantly evolving to their interiors.
198 William Street, Northbridge, Perth
If you’ve ever dined at or heard of Print Hall, Star Anise, Miss Kitty’s Saloon or Lalla Rookh, you have to check out Le Rebelle, a fabulous nouveau-French bistro from husband-and-wife duo Sarah and Liam Atkinson, who both have played a big part in what made all those previous destinations so good. If you miss New York and France, this gem will take you right back to a bistro in either city - with its black bentwood bistro chairs, timber finishes, and leather banquettes.
There’s a delicious, 50 bottles strong wine list, handwritten and filled with plenty of Burgundy and old world French drops, and peppered with a few standout local drops.
You’ll find French staples like steak tartare, fillet steak au poivre, moules et frites, and côte de boeuf, alongside roast duck breast and incredible house-made fromage, that varies depending on the day (think house made camembert and crottin-style goat's cheese ). Finish up with the vanilla bean creme caramel and Grand Marnier - trust us.
676 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley
Perth is not one to shy away from late-night revelry. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The small bar scene has exploded onto the streets of Perth, and long-standing institutions are still just as revered. Live music to themed bars to sports-crazed watering holes, Perth’s nightlife is well and truly kicking.
The Cottesloe Hotel
This historic gem captures the essence of Western Australia's laid-back beach culture, inviting you to relax and sip on your favourite cocktail as you enjoy the sea breeze and ocean views. With a diverse drink menu that caters to every palate, from local craft beers to creative cocktails, and some excellent bar food, The Cottesloe Hotel is big on coastal glamour and effortless style. The atmosphere is a quintessentially-Perth blend of relaxation and revelry, making it an unrivalled setting for a long lunch or a sundown tipple.
104 Marine Parade, Cottesloe
Birdbath Beer Garden
Tucked behind Perth's multi-level entertainment palace, Rechabite Hall, Birdbath makes very good use of an otherwise obsolete space. This cute beer garden oasis is an awesome spot to grab a drink and bite with friends, and soak up the laid back, open-air atmosphere.
Being in the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre, there’s usually some fun art installation, live music or one-off event happening too, so there's always a vibe, and it's a great way to get to know the people of the city. Entry is via a new staircase at the end of the James Street cul-de-sac or hang a left at the State Library entrance.
15 Francis Street, Perth
On-trend and pulsing with an energy that has people hitting the streets in droves, the laneway bars of Northbridge in Perth’s city centre rival that of Melbourne’s. Tucked away on Williams Lane is Ezra Pound, one of the original small bars to hit the streets, and has steadfastly remained a local go-to. Inspired by prohibition America, the folks behind Ezra Pound mix up a mean cocktail, and their bar menu is a nod to pub faves. It’s also well-priced, leaving you with plenty of spare change to kick back a few in the chilled-out space.
Williams Lane, 189 William Street, Northbridge, Perth
Charcuterie, cheese boards and fresh seafood are the perfect tidbits to accompany shaken and stirred creations and curated wines at South Fremantle’s Madalenas Bar. Modelled on the rustic bars frequented by stylish locals in European hotspots, the downstairs café serves full meals, while the upstairs bar keeps the menu simple over vistas of South Beach. Whether perched at the bar or on the sidewalk, this neighbourhood enclave is the perfect spot to watch the passing parade embarking on their Italian passeggiata (meaning to stroll by) tradition.
406 South Terrace, South Fremantle
An old-world cocktail bar with a healthy dose of refinement, Bar Lafeyette’s moody interiors are decked out in vintage decor and leather chesterfield seats, fitting of a late-night bar with high-end service. The bartenders, who have ranked in the Top 100 Bartenders of Australia, serve drinks from a menu that is overflowing with luscious cocktails and spirits. Plus, the food from the bar menu comes directly from neighbouring W. Churchill – Perth’s very own Churchill-inspired restaurant and bar.
Brookfield Place, 125 St George’s Terrace, Perth
Tech-savvy hotels to design-driven gems to heritage marvels, Perth is at the top of its game when it comes to hotel accommodation. And although there is a profusion of Airbnb’s to choose from, here we focus on some of the hotels that have been making a big splash on Perth’s accommodation scene.
As you step into this luxurious hotel, you're transported into a world where opulence meets contemporary elegance. With its striking architecture, sweeping views of the Swan River, and impeccable service, The Ritz-Carlton is a stunning accommodation choice on your Perth travels. Every room exudes an air of sophistication, from the lavish suites with panoramic city vistas to the tranquil spa that offers a refuge from the bustling city below.
1 Barrack Street, Perth
With both feet firmly in the future, at Tribe, you won’t find gyms, concierges and bellhops. Instead, the tech-savvy hotel is all about giving guests exactly what they want (and nothing they don’t). Think sleek design, speedy check-ins and free breakfast, WiFi and movies on demand. It’s also a co-working dream – the beautiful lobby buzzes with people tapping away at laptops. And sitting opposite King Park and its natural bushland, you can easily disconnect, and all without leaving the city.
4 Walker Avenue, West Perth
After the wild success of its hotels on the east coast, QT went cross-country. Inspired by the way desert meets the sea in WA, Perth’s rendition of QT features plenty of plants and eye-popping brights. The restaurant dishes up local produce, while the roof is the highest in the city. Each of the 184 rooms is equipped with QT Gel Beds, entertainment systems and dark stone bathrooms, with the QT Executive Corner being the room to get. It’s also the king of convenience, located in the middle of Perth’s CBD; you will be surrounded by some of the city’s best eats and drinking spots.
133 Murray Street, Perth
Como The Treasury
Housed in Perth’s historic 19th-century State Buildings, COMO The Treasury is a beautiful balance of Victorian and contemporary luxury. The rooms themselves, are spacious, light-filled and lush with natural, modern furnishings, with the suites and there impressive 80sqm footprint being the most prized. Two restaurants, a bar, lounge and library form part of The Treasury’s offerings, but with views extending across Swan River, The Treasury’s signature restaurant Wildflower garners the most attention, especially on the foodie trail.
1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth
The work of design powerhouse, Arent&Pyke, Alex Hotel is a curated collection of 74 guestrooms which has been designed around the way people travel - from compact rooms of 15sqm to extra-large rooms of up to 27sqm. Plus, there are bunk rooms and family rooms and ones that come with private balconies. But, it’s the shared communal spaces that make the Alex Hotel a standout. Spread throughout the hotel, you are encouraged to leave the sanctuary of your room and spend time in the lounge areas, roof garden and outdoor terraces, all of which are popping with colour.
50 James Street, Perth
A metropolis in the remote corners of Australia, Perth is packed full of things to do; from sprawling parklands and sparkling beaches to thought-provoking museums and on-trend neighbourhoods. And although the city itself has a lot to boast about, venture out a little to some of Perth’s outer neighbourhoods and you will discover many hidden gems.
King Parks and Botanic Gardens
Smack bang in the middle of Perth’s CBD is one of the biggest city parks in the world, Kings Park and Botanic Gardens. The park itself has a sprawling network of well-trodden bushland trails, manicured gardens and cafes that take in the Swan River and Perth city skyline, plus there are is a treetop bridge, playgrounds and picturesque memorials.
Head thirty minutes south of Perth to the port city of Fremantle. This sun-loving town is where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean. Beaches are in abundance, as is water play, and an on-trend foodie scene that champions fresh from the trawler seafood. Wander the streets of Fremantle, and you will quickly see that this seaside hub takes a lot of pride in its heritage. After grabbing a bite to eat at Bread in Common, check out the bustling indoor Fremantle Market before heading over to the Fremantle Prison or the Maritime Museum and Shipwreck Galleries.
Pristine beaches of turquoise water and soft sandy shores, Perth’s beaches are postcard-perfect. A standout among the many is Cottesloe Beach, namely because it is an ideal spot for swimming, surfing and snorkelling, but it also boasts some great waterfront cafes and eateries that sit in the shade of Norfolk Pines. It’s a short 20-minute drive from the city centre, making it a popular day-trip.
Subiaco (or as the locals call it, Subi) is one stylish suburb, just west of Perth’s CBD. Boutiques and big-name brands grace the many storefronts, as do providores and delicatessens. The weekend Farmers Market draws a crowd, as does the Subi Night Market which takes over Market Square Park every Saturday night in summer. Plus, with some of Perth’s best cafes and eateries, this is easily one of the hottest postcodes in Perth.
With its pristine white-sand beaches, clear waters, and a laid-back vibe that captures the essence of Australian beach culture, Scarborough has got to be on your Perth bucket list. Whether you're after a day of relaxation on the beach, keen to give surfing a go, or just want to soak up the beachside vibes, the Scarborough esplanade has it all. As the sun sets over the Indian Ocean, the beachfront transforms into a vibrant hub of activity, with fun bars, plenty of alfresco dining, and a buzzing energy.
On our next trip to WA we will be taking in the sights, visiting Perth's attractions, dining at the best restaurants in Perth, taking a dip at Cottesloe Beach and discovering the most fun things to do in Perth. For more travel inspiration, check out our Destination Guides here.