Stretching out from Perth CBD to the north and east, the main retail strips of William Street, Oxford Street, and Beaufort Street are the places to find the best shopping, viewing, eating, and drinking—whatever your taste.

HIGHLIGHTS

An exciting mix of hipster bars, dark nightclubs, and hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, William Street in Northbridge balances perfectly the suburb’s daytime fashionable side with its after-dark party side. Drop by the charming café, Daphne, up the top end of William Street for some of the best coffee in town, with some of the nicest owners in Perth. Further down, check out some local art at indie gallery Paper Mountain. In the evening, head to one of the many small bars like hip hangout, Ezra Pound, or head down an alleyway to Sneaky Tony’s – but be sure to check their Facebook page to get the day’s code word to enter.

For four weeks over January and February Northbridge comes even more alive with Fringe World, the third largest Fringe Festival in the world. Ranging from circus and cabaret to comedy, and visual arts, held in venues hidden all around the city.

Mount Lawley’s Beaufort Street is home to great restaurants, pop-up bars, and special interest retail stores. Visit Bossman Coffee, down a little arcade on Beaufort Street, for your caffeine fix, or head further down the strip to Mary Street Bakery, for a great cinnamon doughnut. Browse for hours at Planet Books, and in the evening, head to the Flying Scotsman and its upstairs bar Defectors for live music and cheap pints. The warm Perth afternoons are made to be enjoyed lounging at the window of Five Bar with a craft brew or dozing on the green grass around Perth’s Hyde Park.

For food and shopping, head to Leederville’s Oxford Street—scattered in between boutiques and bookstores, you’ll find gourmet burgers, cheap Vietnamese, pizza and pasta, and arguably Perth’s best breakfast—it’s at Sayers, and it’s definitely worth the crowds. In the evening, head to an indie film at the Luna Cinema, and finish your night off with a slice of cake and a game of Connect 4 at Greens and Co, which is open until late.

COMMUNITY FACILITIES

Visit the State Library of WA in Northbridge, where you can read about WA’s history, and buy old library books for as little as $1. Browse the extensive collection or use their free WiFi, and read and relax in one of Perth’s best libraries. The City of Vincent Library on Loftus Street in Leederville offers both traditional and e-books, a local history centre, and free WiFi, so

The City of Vincent Library on Loftus Street in Leederville offers both traditional and e-books, a local history centre, and free WiFi, so grab a coffee in Leederville, then head to Loftus Street for a study session. Beatty Park Leisure Centre in Leederville was built in 1962 for the Commonwealth Games, and is still going strong today. With 10 outdoor heated lanes, indoor lap pools, diving facilities, swimming classes, and a gym, it’s got something for everyone. Casual entry prices start at $5.50 for students, so it’s a great place to burn some energy and

Beatty Park Leisure Centre in Leederville was built in 1962 for the Commonwealth Games, and is still going strong today. With 10 outdoor heated lanes, indoor lap pools, diving facilities, swimming classes, and a gym, it’s got something for everyone. Casual entry prices start at $5.50 for students, so it’s a great place to burn some energy and feel refreshed.

If you’d like to try something new, the Beaufort Street Community Centre offers free exercise classes, social group discussion, and equipment hire (like sewing machines) for its members. For support, the Freedom Centre in Northbridge is a safe space for young people to talk about sexuality, sex, and gender.

FREE & FRUGAL

Perth loves a bargain, and the restaurants on the competitive main strips of these areas often put on special deals—try the Sunday $10 pizza and pint combo at the Flying Scotsman.

Northbridge is a great option for cheap food, with cheap and cheerful dim sum houses and Vietnamese restaurants everywhere. Get the cheapest dinner from Govinda’s, a Hare Krishna restaurant serving a $10 all-you-can eat buffet at lunch. In the evening you can get a huge takeaway container of delicious curries and rice for just $4.50, which is sure to keep anyone happy.

The two giant outdoor screens in the Cultural Centre, and the Northbridge Piazza, show free films and music throughout the year, so bring your Govinda’s and settle in, before heading over to the always busy PICA Bar for a bargain $9 pint of Cooper’s Pale.

During the warmer months, the Roe Street tower car park closes its top level and is converted into the Rooftop Movies. Running Tuesday through Sunday, from the end of October through to March, you’ll be able to catch all the latest films, classics, and cult favourites, in the open air above the city, for just $13 if you buy online.