Choosing where to live in Perth is a huge decision, especially when the city is made up of 355 different suburbs! As an international student, it might take some time to understand the pros and cons of each suburb and to figure out which one suits you best. You might be looking for somewhere close to your educational institution or the beach, or perhaps you’re after the hustle and bustle of inner-city Perth.
To make your decision a little easier, we’ve put together a list of some of the best suburbs in Perth.
The charming suburb of West Leederville is located only three kilometres from Perth’s city centre and offers a mixture of cool cafes, shady parks and a bustling inner-city atmosphere. The suburb is within walking distance to Oxford Street – one of Perth’s best spots for bars, restaurants and amenities – and West Leederville train station keeps commuters well connected to Fremantle and the Perth CBD. Compared to neighboring suburbs, West Leederville also offers affordable rental options for students looking to set up a sharehouse with a group of friends.
Situated between the beach and the river, North Fremantle’s unique fusion of converted warehouses, beachy cafes and heritage cottages gives the area a distinctly industrial vibe. You will find a myriad of Mediterranean-inspired restaurants here, like Propeller and Habitué, along with tasty burger joints and live music venues. The suburb offers good public transport routes, with multiple buses and a train station. North Fremantle is only a short train ride away from the centre of Fremantle and the University of Notre Dame, making it a popular choice for students.
The inner-city suburb of Northbridge is a buzzing cultural hub filled with modern nightclubs, eclectic bars and restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. For a long time, Perth locals considered Northbridge to be the party centre of Perth and the suburb had a troubled reputation. These days, Northbridge is an artistic and diverse place to live. It’s home to the State Library, WA Museum Boola Bardip and several theatres and art galleries, and embraces people from all different backgrounds, cultures and sexualities. Northbridge is within walking distance to Perth Railway Station and also offers the opportunity to find casual work in the many nearby cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. There are also two purpose-built student accommodation options – The Boulevard and Campus Perth. This makes organising your accommodation in Northbridge as an international student really convenient.
Scarborough is a sunny beachside suburb favoured by backpackers for its affordable accommodation, energetic nightlife and laid-back atmosphere. On The Esplanade, you will find a lively dining strip filled with bars, restaurants, supermarkets and recreational facilities. During the summer months, the area hosts the Scarborough Sunset Markets with world food trucks, live music and dance lessons in the beachside amphitheatre. Compared to Perth’s other beachside suburbs, Scarborough offers cheaper rentals and younger locals. The suburb is connected by bus routes, and a train station is located in the nearby suburb of Glendalough (around a 20-minute bus ride away from Scarborough).
Mount Lawley is a trendy suburb offering a mix of unique boutiques, cool bookshops and popular eateries. Along the bustling Beaufort Street, you will find South American-inspired restaurants, stylish bars and the historical Astor Theatre. The suburb is home to Edith Cowan University and its prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) campus, making it a popular place to live for students from both institutions. Mount Lawley is only a 30-minute walk from the Perth CBD and is conveniently equipped with its own train station and multiple bus routes.
A short ferry ride from Elizabeth Quay will take you to the leafy suburb of South Perth. The area boasts a friendly community and a beautiful stretch of riverside parkland that’s popular for evening picnics. South Perth is also home to gourmet delis, waterside restaurants, shady beer gardens and the iconic Perth Zoo. There are also many affordable apartment and house rentals for students here. South Perth’s central location sees students from both Curtin University and The University of Western Australia choosing to live in the area.
Nedlands is a student-friendly suburb located right next to The University of Western Australia. As one of the oldest suburbs in Perth, Nedlands has an established environment with shady parks, large trees and character homes. Due to its proximity to the University, the neighborhood has a large rental market for students with many affordable properties on offer. The nearby Broadway Fair Shopping Centre contains a well-stocked IGA supermarket, Asian restaurants and the very popular Varsity Bar. The suburb is also serviced by multiple bus routes, connecting locals with Perth’s city centre and the coastline.
Victoria Park offers a vibrant inner-city lifestyle without the price tag. The suburb has a lively cafe strip and an eclectic mix of modern bars and eateries. There is American-style smokehouse food at Frank’s Bar-BQ, Japanese ramen at Hakata Gensuke and some of the best gelato in Perth at Pietro Gelataria. Situated on the southern side of the river, Victoria Park is connected to the Perth CBD by a traffic bridge, which offers easy access to the city, and TAFE and Curtin University campuses are located in nearby Bentley. Students considering renting in Victoria Park can also expand their search to the neighbouring suburb of East Victoria Park, which offers similarly affordable rentals.
Still not sure which area to live in Perth? Make sure to check out our guide to the city and its suburbs.