The people in Perth are treated to more sunny days than in any other capital city. The sea, the city, and nature all meet in the melting pot that is Perth, making it one of the best tourist destinations in Australia. To help you make the most of Perth, we’ve got the ultimate guide.
Like most coastal cities, the most popular time to visit is in the warmer months. Long summer days and hot summer nights are celebrated in Perth, with plenty of ocean-facing venues to take in the view of the sun setting over the sea.
For anyone not used to the high temperatures of Perth, you might prefer visiting in late springtime to the middle of summer. The colours of nature decorate Perth in October and November. Spring is also when you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning array of blooms in Perth’s annual spring festival.
While in a sun-soaked city like Perth, ocean-front cafés are a popular spot to grab a bite to eat, they’re only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to amazing restaurants in Perth. Just check out our guide on Perth’s most buzzworthy restaurants and bars if you don’t believe us. But there are also some hidden gems and classic, local favourites that are worth your time too.
The local favourite
Back in 1998 a bar with no name was being built, and just as the builders were adding the finishing touches, they looked out over the water to see a single Shag (the nickname for a cormorant) dive-bombing for fish. It caught fish after fish after fish, once even catching two and effortlessly swallowing them in succession. And so, the Lucky Shag was born.
Ever since, the Lucky Shag has been serving up fresh seafood, burgers, hot chips, and other pub favourites to anyone who comes by. With a long list of beers on tap, cocktails, and pitchers, locals flock like birds to the Lucky Shag for a quality meal and quality time with friends.
The fresh-faced café with fresh food
Bright natural light, fresh food, and a good cup of coffee at brunch or starlit spaces, a warm meal, and a glass of wine in the evenings. There’s nothing that compares to a relaxed atmosphere and good food. Cucina on Hay evokes the trendy style of European cafés without sacrificing an inch of Australian hospitality. Try the eggs benedict for breakfast and a freshly-made pizza for dinner.
The foodie favourite
Old-world style, the nostalgia of Paris meets New York, the kind of place you’ve been searching for. That’s what La Rebelle promises and, if you ask the local foodies, delivers with abundance. La Rebelle serves up elegant French meals as well as house made fromage (cheese) for an experience you won’t be able to find anywhere else. The restaurant and wine bar is a must-visit for anyone who loves an indulgent dinner with a perfectly-paired glass of wine.
There are a lot of great things to do in Perth, but the most popular has to be a trip to Rottnest Island. The island, locally known as the Rotty is a little slice of paradise. Travel there via ferry and then get around on foot on this car-free island. Visit the secluded beaches that surround the island to go swimming or snorkelling. And of course, get to know the locals—Rottnest Island is home to Quokkas. Quokkas are one of Australia’s cutest native animals, and they roam Rottnest Island on their own whims. Plan out a detailed Rottnest Island day trip with our itinerary of the must-see attractions.
While Rottnest Island is one of the best things to do in Perth, just beyond the city is Bickley Valley, where you can try some of the country’s best wineries. Swan Valley is a lot better known, but anyone from Perth will be able to recommend Bickley Valley, just 40 minutes from the city centre and just as (if not more) beautiful. There are a lot of wineries you can visit to try their wine and buy a bottle or two, and to help narrow it down, we have a few recommendations.
Brookside Vineyard is a picturesque escape where you can walk under sprawling vines and trees and look out over the blooming Cabernet and Chardonnay grapes. Aldersyde Estate is a small, family winery that specialises in red wines. Pop by and chat to Larissa Bray (the family’s 3rd generation vigneron) and her family to learn all about their wines. Myattsfield Vineyards breathes countryside sophistication from every corner. Sit down for a tasting session of some of their wines and enjoy a selection of artisanal cheeses as you look out over the rolling hills of the valley.
The Bell Tower
Back in the city, match the views of nature with views of the city from the very top of the Perth Bell Tower. The tower is still home to the many bells that ring out over Perth, filling the city with music. The bells are part of Perth’s long history, though the façade of the tower has been upgraded over the years, and now you can travel to the top of the tower and look out the glass walls and onto the sprawling city beneath.
Just like Melbourne, Perth is a city that sits on an iconic river. Where the city meets the Swan River, Elizabeth Quay is a waterfront precinct full of excitement and family attractions. Float along the water on one of the scenic river cruises that depart from the quay. Grab yourself a scoop from Gusto Gelato. Take the kids to the playground where they can build sandcastles and climb along the pirate ship-inspired play equipment. Complete the afternoon with a public art walk, taking in the wide range of public art on display by the quay.
Sporting events in Perth
Perth is home to some of the best sporting events in the country. Check your calendar to see what’s on when you’re in town or plan your trip around the match you can’t miss seeing. Make your life easier and plan your accommodation near the stadium of your choice so that your must-see event is only a short walk away.
Best Perth accommodation
With all there is to see and do in Perth, you’ll want to have your Perth accommodation organised to suit your travel style. For an upscale hotel in the city, Peppers Kings Square Perth is the perfect option. Just a short walk from the CBD, Peppers gives you style and elegance as well as convenience.
For trendy accommodation that will make each moment in Perth memorable, head to Tribe Perth Kings Park. “We appeal to tech savvy, smart, luxury lovers with an appreciation for affordability,” says Hotel Manager, Emma Bedford, and it’s not hard to see why. Stepping out into the CBD, with a charming café at the entrance (so you never have to go far for your morning coffee), Tribe is easily one of the best contemporary escapes in the city.
When you’re looking for timeless style that’s family friendly, the Novotel Perth Murray Street Hotel is ready to become your home away from home. Located in the heart of Perth, the Novotel is a hot, new favourite of anyone visiting the city. With guestrooms, family rooms, and suites, the Novotel is an ideal choice for anyone in Perth. The outdoor swimming pool makes cooling off on warm days easy and the free Wi-Fi means even the phone-obsessed can relax.
And when you want to visit Perth on a budget, head to the ibis Styles East Perth Hotel. A budget hotel makes perfect sense for any visitor that plans to spend most of their time outdoors and who needs their hotel to be stylish and comfortable. The ibis stands tall and proud, looking towards the city from one direction and over the Swan river from the other. Inside you can access the indoor gym as well as Eastside Social Restaurant and Bar for some great food. Just moments away from sporting destinations like the WACA, Optus Stadium, and Perth Arena as well as the Perth Mint and Art Gallery of WA, the ibis Styles East Perth Hotel is your home base for your Perth adventure.
With all the things to do in Perth during the day, you might be ready to head to bed and sleep for hours. But for anyone visiting the city who is ready to discover what Perth looks like once the sun sets, we have some recommendations for the best nightlife spots in the city.
Party in an underground bar
Perth’s nightlife is spread throughout the city, but a lot of it is centred in Northbridge. Here, you’ll find one of the best nightlife spots in Perth, Sneaky Tony’s. Sneaky Tony’s is a prohibition-style bar that reveals the door password each night on their Facebook page. Once you’re inside, you’ll be tempted to stay all night by their extensive selection of cocktails and warm atmosphere.
Look out over Perth in a rooftop bar
Bob’s Bar doesn’t sound like the name of a lively rooftop bar, but you’ll soon change your mind when you step inside and take in the amazing views of the city. Named for Australia’s third-longest serving Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, Bob’s Bar deserves a spot on your list of must-visit Perth bars. Any beer lover will be delighted by their craft beer selection, which features a few drops from some of Perth’s most innovative brewers. Cocktails, cider, and wine are all available too, along with burgers and pies for anyone looking for a bite to eat.
Get comfortable in a retro-chic bar
Hidden in the office towers of Perth is Helvetica, an intimate cocktail bar with retro-chic styling. The space is arranged to allow conversation to flow, so head in and sit down with friends for quality time with some quality drinks.
Listen to live music
Perth is a city sustained by music and many of the bars also function as live music venues. One of these venues is Bird. Bird maintains a live music calendar, but even when no one is playing they’re worth a visit. Try their apple crumble cocktail or one of their spiked milkshakes if you have a sweet tooth or stick to the classics if you don’t.
After days and nights of excitement, you might find yourself in need of a moment of relaxation.
Relax at a spa
In Swan Valley, greenery surrounds you. Tall trees, snaking vines, and a horizon of hills make up the sights. The scenery alone is enough to help you start relaxing, but that’s not all there is to see and do in the Swan Valley. The Keishi Day Spa, situated within the Novotel Vines Resort, will help you relax and indulge in some self-care and pampering.
Aromatherapy creates a relaxing aura as you enter the spa and the soothing scents follow you as you choose and receive your treatment. Try a massage to release muscle tension, a hydrating rose facial, and a nourishing scrub and wrap treatment to rejuvenate your body. Choose the right treatment for you and let any tension disappear.
Soak up the sun on the best Perth beaches
Holidays are made for relaxing under a shady umbrella, sipping a cool drink, and enjoying a few chapters of a beach read. With its coastal location, Perth has plenty of beaches to choose from when it comes to relaxing in the sand and the surf.
Scarborough Beach is one of Perth’s most popular beaches, thanks to the soft sands and reliable waves of the beach itself as well as the many cafés nearby. The local government has put time and effort into updating Scarborough Beach, and it now functions as a hub of activity. Kids’ play equipment, pedestrian promenades, and even a pool for swimmers that prefer still water to the waves of the ocean all decorate Scarborough Beach. There’s parking nearby, but the beach is also accessible via public transport if you’re in Perth without a car.
South of Scarborough is Port Beach in Fremantle. Port Beach looks out onto Rottnest Island and enjoys relaxed waters that are popular with families and swimmers who aren’t too confident in the water. You’ll have access to another café and playground at Port Beach, as well as some great snorkelling spots in the calm waters.
When you want to visit a hidden gem of a beach, head to Bailey Beach. Just around the corner from Mettams Pool, one of the most popular Perth beaches, Bailey Beach might not be as good for swimming, but it’s great for wading in the cool water and basking in the warm sun. Bring your snorkel and discover the wonders of the reef that’s just beyond the shoreline.
If you can’t wait one more minute before you start planning your Perth holiday, you don’t need to. Organise your Perth accommodation now to get the ball rolling on what is sure to be the ultimate west coast escape.