Having undergone a massive transformation over the last few years, Perth is a city that’s constantly growing, with cool new places to eat, drink, and explore popping up every week.
With dozens of new bars, cafes, and restaurants open for business in Brookfield Place, at the recently-redeveloped Elizabeth Quay, and even at the new Perth Busport (head there just for Top Dup Donuts – you won’t regret it), the CBD is now a vibrant hub, with something for everyone.
Some of Perth’s best shopping is right in its centre. Perth CBD has two pedestrian-only retail malls – the parts of Hay Street and Murray Street bordered by William and Barrack Streets – that are home to the usual shopping suspects, to keep you looking sharp.
For something different, check out King Street, formerly the city’s high-end retail strip. Places like coffee shop La Veen and café/barber Uncle Joe’s are responsible for injecting some welcome indie vibes into the street. Wander into Wolf Lane and check out the impressive street art adorning the walls, and stop into one of the many excellent cafes and bars hidden down this exciting alleyway.
Down the eastern end of the CBD, you’ll find Grand Lane. This small, street-art filled laneway is home to Toastface Grillah, which does the best toasted sandwiches in town. Grab a toastie and chill out away from the hustle and bustle of the main shopping precinct. Head next door to vegan-friendly café Henry Saw for another coffee, and have a look around the tiny not-for-profit gallery space, the Museum of Perth, which chronicles the cultural, political and architectural history of Perth.
Up Barrack Street towards the foreshore, you’ll find the new State Buildings. This revitalised precinct connects three restored heritage buildings, and now houses the new City of Perth Library, Perth Town Hall, and 5-star hotel COMO The Treasury. You’ll find an array of cafes, and some of the best dining in the city.
The impressive new City of Perth Library is the perfect space to study and relax. This new state-of-the-art building features a large collection, including daily newspapers, e-books, and even graphic novels, as well as a History Centre, free Wi-Fi, and Saint Larry cafe, serving up study fuel. It’s a must-visit if you want a place to escape.
There’s a large number of doctor surgeries located in the CBD, with the most convenient being Central City Medical Centre, just inside the Perth Train Station. Offering all the usual specialist services, as well as mental health services, travel medicine, and sexual health, this clinic is open seven days a week, and even has emergency after-hours services, should you need them.
Break and sweat at one of the many gyms and health facilities scattered around the city, with a number of 24-hour gyms all within the city centre. For something different, try The Cuban Boxing Club, offering boxing fitness classes in a safe environment.
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Get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature, in one of Perth’s many CBD parks. From iconic and huge Kings Park up on the hill overlooking the city, to the quiet corner of Harold Boas Park, and out to the beautiful Queen’s Gardens down the east end of town, you’ll be able to find a space to stretch out and relax. Pack a picnic, bring a book, and soak up the sun—it won’t cost you a thing.
For a cheap meal, you can’t go past the always-busy Taka’s Kitchen, with two CBD locations offering tasty, filling Japanese food for around $8 a meal. Another bustling city spot is Le Vietnam. This Vietnamese café serves arguably the best banh mi rolls in town, starting at just $6, with options for both meat-lovers and vegetarians. Get in early and beat the line.
For fare to fill your belly and soul, drop by Annalakshmi. Nestled on the banks of the Swan River and staffed entirely by volunteers, it’s a pay-what-you-feel set-up that welcomes everyone in for a meal, no matter how much money you have.