Business and culture collide in the bustling riverside city of Perth, where a mix of small bars, galleries, theatres, designer stores, restaurants, inner-city parks and shoppings strips vie for your attention.
Lined with skyscrapers and heritage buildings, Perth’s main street, St Georges Terrace, is home to some of the city’s most iconic architectural attractions. The Barracks Arch, Cathedral Square, and the Government House and grounds are all landmarks that are well worth seeing.
The historic State Building precinct is a stylish place to grab a coffee in the city. Here you will also find the award-winning Thai restaurant, Long Chim, in addition to a collection of boutique stores and coffee shops.
A handful of quirky arcades and laneways connect the city’s major shopping strips. London Court is a four-level shopping arcade built in a distinctive Tudor style, with wrought-iron gates and a musical clock that chimes every 15 minutes. Howard Lane features vibrant street art and contains two small bars, Andaluz and Helvetica. Globe Lane is another appetising option, packed with affordable places to grab a bite to eat.
Murray Street Mall and Hay Street Mall are the best places to score a bargain and to pick up any basics you might need. This is where you will find stores such as ZARA, Target, Dymocks, UNIQLO, Myer and David Jones, as well as some smaller boutiques. The nearby Raine Square shopping complex contains a Coles supermarket, an international food hall and a Palace Cinemas movie theatre. Across the road in Yagan Square’s laidback Market Hall, you will find Japanese street food, Indian curry toasties and authentic Korean dishes.
Rooftop bars are fun places to spend your evenings in the CBD. The Reveley boasts superb views over Elizabeth Quay and giant 1.7-litre cocktails; while Bob’s Bar, housed in an historic print factory, is a great place to catch the sun setting over the city skyline. A few levels below the streets you’ll find Perth’s sleek and secretive underground bars. Sip on an award-winning cocktail at the cosy Foxtrot Unicorn; enjoy the old school rock ‘n’ roll vibes at Alfred’s Pizzeria; and listen to live jazz at Pooles Temple. If you’re looking for a dance floor, Magnet House is a nightclub with an LED ceiling and DJs that play until the early hours of the morning.
Perth is a leafy city with many inner-city parks. You’ll find Kings Park, Queens Gardens, Stirling Gardens and Harold Boas Gardens all close to the CBD. You can walk up to Kings Park via Jacob’s Ladder – it’s a steep climb, but the park and the panoramic views over the city are worth it. 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 centrally located Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian and Anglican churches. You’ll also find 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 on James Street every Wednesday evening.
If you’re in the city and need somewhere to study, check out City of Perth Library. With a huge selection of books, papers, magazines, DVDs and online materials, you’re sure to find the resources you need. The library has student zones, meeting rooms, an auditorium and a terrace, all laid out over seven stunning, artwork-filled levels.
Perth city is home to cool fitness classes that will change the way you work out. Heartbeat High is a boutique pilates studio on Barrack Street that offers an energetic ‘Bump n’ Grind’ aerobic pilates class set to 1990s-era dance music. If you prefer weight training, S30 Studio is a group weight training gym inspired by hip hop and RnB, with the vibe of an underground nightclub. Perth Run Collective is a social running group with free weekly runs held every Tuesday evening, starting outside Lululemon Athletica.
Aboriginal guided tours are the best way to learn about Perth’s history. Go Cultural offers guided tours and experiences of Elizabeth Quay (Goomap), Kings Park (Karrgatup) and Yagan Square (Goologoolup) from the unique perspective of the Noongar people, who have lived in the south-west of Western Australia for more than 45,000 years. Accompanied by a Noongar guide, you will learn about the sacred sites, ancient campgrounds and forgotten lakes that exist within central Perth. Each of the available tours offers a glimpse into the Dreamtime, the six seasons of the Noongar calendar, Noongar language, and various places of significance to the Noongar people.