Perth’s CBD is full of activity, offering shops, bars, restaurants, galleries, museums, theatres and much more.
Perth’s open-air malls are full of big brands and spots where you can grab a bargain. Hay Street Mall and Murray Street Mall are among the most popular places to shop, but if you prefer something a little more high-end, Kings Street has you covered. Here, you’ll find designer boutiques including Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and more. Sculpture, interesting architecture and green spaces also dot the city centre between the skyscrapers and shops.
One of the city’s newest developments is Elizabeth Quay. The marina brings the river into the heart of the city and is a great space for events, pop-up festivals and summer markets. At night, the Elizabeth Quay Pedestrian Bridge lights up along with the rest of the city, creating a beautiful display. It also marks the spot to catch the Transperth ferry. You can travel across to South Perth, adventure to the charming Swan Valley, or head to Fremantle from here.
Nearby, the Bell Tower is a popular tourist attraction and one of the world’s largest musical instruments. It’s definitely worth visiting for the views alone! Here, you’ll also find Annalakshmi on the Swan, a traditional Indian restaurant where you can go for an amazing feast and pay what you feel the meal was worth. Run by volunteers, Annalakshmi serves some of the most authentic food outside of India and is well worth a visit.
Underneath the BHP building at Brookfield Place, you’ll find boutique coffee spots and eateries, like Print Hall and The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House, as well as hidden rooftop bars. Small bars have cropped up all over the CBD and make for a night full of fun exploration. Wolf Lane offers a unique cocktail experience in a storybook-themed interior. Goody Two’s has a huge selection of Japanese whisky and interesting decorations in the bathrooms. Go to Caballitos for delicious Mexican fare or try Bobeche for live music and plenty of character.
The CBD also offers a huge variety of fantastic eateries. Ippudo in Kings Square serves authentic ramen, umamidama and signature secret dashi to warm you from the inside out. Brika is great for Greek food, while Tiisch does delicious breakfasts. There are plenty of fine-dining venues, too, including Wildflower, Post, Nobu and C Restaurant in the Sky (which happens to be located 33 floors up – perfect for Instagrammable views!).
Perth is a leafy city, and you’ll find Kings Park, Queens Gardens and Harold Boas Gardens all close to the CBD. You can walk up to Kings Park via Jacob’s Ladder, but be prepared for the climb! The smaller gardens are slightly more accessible from the city centre and are great for getting back to nature.
If you want to connect with your faith, there are several centres and churches around the city. Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian and Anglican churches can all be found centrally, as well as Perth City Musallah on Murray Street and Perth Mosque on William Street. A weekly English conversation meet-up, Language Connects People, is held at Perth Baptist Church every Wednesday evening.
If you’re in the city and need somewhere to study, check out the City of Perth Library. With a huge selection of books, papers, magazines, DVDs and online resources, you’re sure to find what you need for your studies. The library has student zones, meeting rooms, an auditorium and a terrace, all laid out under beautiful artwork over seven stunning levels.
The Swan River is a beautiful waterway, best explored by boat. Ferries and cruises, including the Transperth ferry, run every day out of Elizabeth Quay, and take you up and down the river. If you want something a little more special, you can even hire a gondola to take you down the river. You can book 15-minute, 30-minute and one-hour cruises throughout the day, but the sunset cruise is particularly magical.
Often, the best way to learn about a city is to hear about it from locals. Take part in a walking tour around Perth’s CBD to learn more about the city and its history. Oh Hey WA has a walking tour that explores Perth’s heritage, as well as a ‘Small Bar & Street Art’ tour that takes you to some of the city’s best nightlife spots. Otherwise, join a craft beer or gin masterclass tour, which both include food.