Perth is a vibrant city full of fantastic restaurants, bars, cafes, parks and much more. With such variety on offer, sometimes it helps to have an insider’s advice on which places to visit.

From the best coffee spots around town, to where to find the perfect view of the city skyline, we spoke to four international students from across Perth and asked them to pick out the city’s highlights.

William – Indonesia

Perth

After being awarded the LPDP scholarship (Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education), William moved to Perth in 2018 to study at the University of Western Australia (UWA).

“Before I started my Masters, I had been working for five years. My work had a very close relationship with the Australian government, so in 2016 I got a chance to attend a business meeting in Perth,” he says. “I visited many places, including UWA. I fell in love with the university and the city. Without any hesitation [and] no doubts, I chose UWA as my university.”

Between studying and his duties as a UWA Student Ambassador, William is a big foodie who has plenty of favourite eateries around Perth.

Where do you live in Perth and what do you love about living there?

I live in the CBD area, next to Langley Park. Langley Park is next to the Swan River, so it’s a very good view in the middle of the city. I love living there because it’s not too pricey and it’s in a premium location. There’s free transport and also the CAT – Central Area Transit bus – that can take me everywhere inside the city for free.

Favourite place to go on Friday and Saturday nights?

I like to go out to drinks in Fremantle – the Little Creatures brewery is there. Sometimes I also go to the Irish pub, Fenians. We also go to the sports bar at Crown Casino to watch soccer matches.

Typical Saturday?

Saturday is time for my partner, so usually, we go and have brunch in the city. Both of us also like watching movies, and the new Palace cinema just opened in Raine Square, so it’s very close to home.

Favourite dinner?

When I go to dinner with my friends, we try and find delicious food that’s not so pricey, so I like Arirang Korean BBQ. If you want to have dinner with your professors or with someone from university and you want to present yourself in a formal manner, I recommend a place called Heritage. It’s very classy and the wine is good. For a special occasion [like] your anniversary or birthday party, I suggest C Restaurant. The unique thing about it is that it’s located on the 33rd floor and is the only revolving restaurant in Western Australia.

Favourite hidden gem?

Secret Garden. It’s located in Gwelup – only a 20-minute drive from the city. It looks like somewhere in the Alice in Wonderland movie. If you’d like to take pictures, Secret Garden is very good.

One thing someone visiting the city shouldn’t miss?

Kings Park – it’s one of the best lookouts; you can see the Perth skyscrapers from the Kings Park lookout. Don’t forget to go to the DNA Tower.


Johan – Papua

Perth

Johan – who comes from Indonesia, where the streets are bustling 24/7 – felt quite a change of pace in Perth. But he was able to adapt, now appreciating the natural wonders the city has to offer.

“I regularly go Elizabeth Quay or Kings Park, because there are coffee shops there that close a bit later,” he says. “I really enjoy having a cup of coffee there while enjoying the sunset. Perth’s sunset is beautiful every day.”

Back in his home of Papua, Johan was working for a local NGO, SAGU Foundation, focusing on community service. Since moving to Perth in 2018 to begin his Master of Community Development at Murdoch University, Johan has also added ‘Instagram influencer’ to his CV. He promotes international study to other students and showcases his travels across Australia.

Here are some of Johan’s favourite and most Instagrammable spots in Perth.

Where do you live in Perth and what do you love about living there?

I live in Bateman. I really enjoy it because it’s not crowded and I love the community because we can interact in the nearby park.

Favourite place to go on Friday and Saturday nights?

Fremantle – I enjoy seeing the old buildings. I also go to Yagan Square. What I love about it is that it’s really easy to enjoy with people.

Favourite coffee?

The Shoe Bar and Café in Yagan Square.

Favourite breakfast?

For breakfast, I love Asian food. There is a small restaurant in Kardinya called the Kitchen Inn.

Favourite dinner?

I love to eat in Elizabeth Quay, especially at The Island Brewhouse. In Elizabeth Quay I love the seafood – it’s quite expensive, but I enjoy it because from there, I can see a different view of the city.

Favourite hidden gem?

This is quite weird, but I love to go to Government House because not a lot of people go there – it’s only really the elderly, and they sit in peace.

One thing someone visiting the city shouldn’t miss?

Busselton – while you enjoy the beautiful beach there is also an underwater [observatory].


Jeremy – Singapore

perth

The international student experience doesn’t have to begin at university – for many, it starts much earlier. Jeremy, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Human Resource Management at UWA, commenced his international student journey in high school.

“I was born in Malaysia,” he says. “I’m half-Filipino and half-Malaysian, and I’ve grown up most of my life in Singapore in an international school background, surrounded by a lot of international students. I came to Australia because of the diversity.”

Coming from a multicultural background, Jeremy quickly made international friends once he started living at The Student Housing Company, a managed student accommodation provider in Perth.

Jeremy shared what he and his friends enjoy doing on their weekends off.

Where do you live in Perth and what do you love about living there?

I’m living in student accommodation in Northbridge, surrounded by a lot of great eateries, pubs and clubs.

Typical Saturday?

Usually I wake up early, around 8am, to go to the farmers market near Curtin University. They have very good produce. I get my vegetables and meat and meet the local farmers, talk to them, and get inside knowledge on where to go to get good food. After that, I might prepare some meals for my friends and have a nice dinner with them – we all cook together.

Typical Sunday?

I usually go to church in the morning, and after I hang out with family – I have some relatives here. Then I’ll go back home, meet up with some of my friends, have a glass of wine and relax. Sometimes I’ll go to the Swan Valley to buy wine.

Favourite dinner?

It’s called Garum. It’s really nice – a modern Australian take on Italian food.

Favourite hidden gem?

It’s a local place where my friend gets food for me, called Nasi Society. It serves really authentic Asian food; it’s very spicy, homestyle cooking. The feel of eating the food makes me remember home.

One thing someone visiting the city shouldn’t miss?

Driving down to Margaret River – you go through forests, which I found amazing.


Kirsten – South Africa

perth

For some international students, moving overseas doesn’t need to be a solo pursuit. Kirsten arrived from South Africa only four months ago with her family in tow and relatives already in Perth.

“I have been to Australia previously – I have family here, that’s what brought me back here,” she says. “But also, I know that [Perth has] got some of the best universities in the world. They had the exact courses I was interested in and a lot more opportunity in terms of getting a part-time job.”

Between studying her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies and English and Cultural Studies at UWA, Kirsten likes exploring Perth’s diverse nightlife.

She shares some of Perth’s hotspots with us.

Where do you live in Perth and what do you love about living there?

I live in Northbridge. I love the fact that it’s so central. It’s so easy for me to get to university, to get to a medical centre if I need to, shops, cafes… it’s right in the hub of everything, which saves me a lot of travel time and money.

Favourite thing to do on Friday and Saturday nights?

It depends on the mood. Friday nights are late-night shopping in the city and therefore I can go down to Hay Street or Murray Street. On Friday nights, as well, they have the night markets – the Twilight Hawkers Market, the Night Noodle Markets – and that’s quite fun. After all that, I usually head down to the Brass Monkey, which is a local bar.

Typical Saturday?

I have a tradition every Saturday, [where I] go and find somewhere that I haven’t been to before, or just search for something new. I usually go north of Perth to the coastal areas where there are lots of little beaches – I’ve been to a different one every time I go up there.

Favourite coffee?

Sayers in Leederville is definitely one of my favourites. There’s [another place] I’ve just discovered called Lot One Kitchen – it has the best brunches.

Favourite breakfast?

There are two options. There’s Yelo café – if you’re into a healthy option, like acai bowl or a smoothie, Yelo café is the best. And then, if you’re like me and you like to treat yourself, there’s Geláre for waffles.

Favourite dinner?

This all depends on your budget. If I’m with my family, we might go to Mia Cucina in Hillarys Boat Harbour. It has the most amazing Italian food and huge portion sizes. If your budget is a little bit tighter, Guzman y Gomez is a Mexican-style restaurant. It’s affordable, super tasty and has the best burritos.

One thing someone visiting the city shouldn’t miss?

William Street on a Saturday. There are lots of amazing buskers, magicians and street artists. It’s just full of life.