PerthTravel Guide

Australia’s west coast capital has a character all its own, thanks to its generous helping of sunshine, beaches, excellent local produce and the nearby vineyards of Margaret River. Then there’s the festival scene, live music, beautiful Swan River and more. No matter what you get up to in Perth, you’ll never go hungry, with top-notch fare to be found from the earliest laid back breakfast to the latest 5-star eats. Planning a visit? Explore our Perth travel guide and discover how to make the most of your time in Australia’s most remote capital. We have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay in Perth and getting around. We also have a guide to Perth Airport (guessing you probably won’t drive across the Nullarbor Plain, but hey – if you do, let us know how it goes).

Perth quick facts

Language

National language

English

Beverages

Bottle of Coke/Pepsi (330ml)

CAD $3.44

Local time

Monday

4:55pm

Currency

Australian dollar

CAD $1.00 = AUD $1.10

Eating out

Restaurant meal (casual dining)

CAD $18.13

Electricity

Plug type: I

3 pins • 230V

Explore Perth

Where to stay in Perth?

There’s no shortage of options if you're trying to decide where to stay in Perth. The city is filled with amazing places and areas to call your temporary home. Ranging from beautiful Fremantle to Northbridge and even Scarborough Beach, the best neighbourhoods stand out because they possess an atmosphere of their own. Need a little help? Speak to one of our Travel Experts about where to stay in Perth. Whether you’re visiting for a single night or booking an amazing package, your Perth accommodation can be one of the highlights of your visit.

Perth City is the densest area of the city and offers incredible accommodation options – some of the best places to stay in Perth are found here. Staying in this area will put you right in the heart of the CBD, close to hundreds of amenities, landmarks, galleries, shops, and transport. If you're planning to immerse yourself in Perth's booming cultural spaces, Perth City is the perfect place to base yourself.


One of Perth's oldest suburbs and home to one of Western Australia's AFL teams, Fremantle is a beautiful port city set at the mouth of the Swan River. While it functions as Perth's major sea port, it maintains an identity all of its own. If you're interested in Perth's rich maritime history, staying in Fremantle is a must.


If you're excited to spend time in Perth's great outdoors, Cottesloe Beach is the smart place to start. Filled with beautiful accommodation both new and old, staying in Cottesloe Beach puts you close to the water and all of the activities that go along with it. This is the perfect place to stay in summer as you'll catch the cool breeze sweeping in from the west.


Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • Woman overlooking boats in the water floating during the day
    • Quokka in front of an old knock down tree
    • Cityscape of Perth WA from Elizabeth Quay Just after sunset
  • Woman overlooking boats in the water floating during the day
    Woman overlooking boats in the water floating during the day
    Woman overlooking boats in the water floating during the day
  • Quokka in front of an old knock down tree
    Quokka in front of an old knock down tree
    Quokka in front of an old knock down tree
  • Cityscape of Perth WA from Elizabeth Quay Just after sunset
    Cityscape of Perth WA from Elizabeth Quay Just after sunset
    Cityscape of Perth WA from Elizabeth Quay Just after sunset

Things to do in Perth

There’s no shortage of things to do in Perth. From a sightseeing trip through the Perth Mint to setting out on a Margaret River wine tour, you have an impressive list to choose from. Our most westerly city is filled with exciting activities and sights to satisfy even the most seasoned of travellers.

Located halfway between Fremantle and the city, Cottesloe Beach is one of the most enduring Perth tourist attractions. Founded over 100 years ago and largely unchanged since, Cottesloe Beach is known for its 1km stretch of pure white sand, crystal clear water, and often perfect conditions for swimming and surfing. This is a true Perth institution – not to be missed.


Another long-standing West Australian icon, the Perth Zoo has been a fixture in the city since 1898. Home to hundreds of animals from all over the world and wholly dedicated to its ongoing efforts to conserve and protect endangered species, a tour of Perth Zoo should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Perth.


The Bell Tower of Perth is a must for any history buff's sightseeing tour of the city. Twelve of the tower's bells come from St-Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square and are recorded as having existed since the 14th Century. They are the bells that declared Britain's victory over Spain, welcomed James Cook home, and celebrated the end of World War II.


Placing a strong emphasis on Australian artists and particularly those from the Indian Ocean Rim, the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) is one of the oldest and most respected galleries in the city. Its collection is sprawling and new exhibits arrive every few months. The gallery is closed Tuesdays, so plan your visit accordingly.


A long-time proponent of scientific endeavour in Western Australia, Scitech is Perth's home of curiosity and wonder. An exciting day out for kids of any age, the centre also runs plenty of adult oriented programs every year. Located in the City West centre off Railway Street, Scitech is a must-visit for anyone who can't resist a good experiment.


Elizabeth Quay ranks among the busiest Perth sightseeing destinations. Spend a lazy afternoon by the water at one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants, or head onto the water with a tour of Carnac Island. Make sure you see the full-scale replica of the Duyfken, the Dutch barge that became the first ship ever to make landfall on Australian soil.


The last of three colonial arms of the United Kingdom Royal Mint, Perth Mint was originally constructed during the gold rush era and was for many years used as a refinery for creating gold sovereigns and half sovereigns for the Empire. It's still in use to this day as a refinery for Australian legal tender created with precious metals.


Home to the gorgeous and curious quokka, perhaps Australia's happiest-looking critter, Rottnest Island is yet another of Perth's many idyllic natural wonders. Named Rottnest (or Rat Nest in 17th Century Dutch) after explorers mistook the quokkas for giant rats, the island also boasts a long military history that's fascinating to learn about.


The home of modern, multidisciplinary art in Western Australia, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) is found in the James Street Mall within the iconic Perth Central School building. PICA maintains a rotating roster of new exhibits and additions to its collection year-round. The institute is closed on Mondays so bear this in mind when planning a visit.


Some of the best museums in Perth focus on much more specific subjects or time periods. The WA Shipwrecks Museum is an incredible guided tour of the region's maritime history. The Nostalgia Box is a living time capsule of video game history both local and worldwide. Harvey House and the Western Medical Museum paint a clear picture of life in the days of the city's founding. Truly, Perth's cultural scene has something for everyone.


Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Flights to Perth

Perth food and drink

Perth’s cultural renaissance has led to sweeping changes in the city’s already exemplary dining scene. You’ll be spoiled for choice when dining out, as the question of where to eat in Perth is really about choosing which high-quality restaurant you want to try next. Of course, it’s not all about the food. Perth has also been busy setting itself apart with great cafes, diverse and affordable food markets, and exciting nightlife for quite some time. No matter what you’re looking to eat or drink, chances are you’ll find it – and love it – in Perth.

Ask a local where their favourite Perth restaurant precincts are and they'll likely take you to the Riverside district. This inner-city spot by the water is filled with the city's best restaurants and cafes. Try any one of these incredible restaurants for yourself, and you'll understand immediately why they're the kind of fine-dining Perth has been patiently waiting for.


Perth's nightlife is as cosmopolitan as its restaurant selection. The CBD and surrounds are filled with bars that cater to every taste, from simple outdoor beer gardens to cocktail bars. The focus of most of Perth's bars and nightlife is on atmosphere. Many of the city's nightspots boast a laidback vibe that makes it easy to enjoy some live music and good conversation.


Perth food markets are some of the best in the country, filled with fresh food directly from local growers. If you're staying in or near the CBD, there are numerous options like the Mt Claremont Farmers' Market and the Kyilla Community Farmers' Market in the city's north and north-western suburbs. If you're looking further south, try the Angelo Street Markets.


No visit to the west coast would be complete without asking where to find good coffee in Perth. Reports on who makes the best coffee in Perth vary, but the Riverside district is home to many great cafes. Perth cafes, like its many bars, are built for atmosphere and are perfect for spending time in with your brew.


Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Perth through your eyes

Where to shop in Perth?

There’s shopping, and then there’s Perth shopping. With the city’s emergence as a fledgling cultural hub, its shopping districts have flourished as local designers, boutiques and outlets creating uniquely Perth fashion have begun to open their doors all over the city. The array of shopping precincts, large shopping centres and characterful markets peppered throughout the city is so wide that even the most seasoned bargain hunters might need a little help knowing where to start. Not to worry! This overview of where and what to buy in Perth will guide the way.

If you love maintaining a healthy diet, finding a bargain, supporting local businesses or all of the above, the many Perth markets will make life easy. From farmers' markets selling fresh, locally grown produce to street markets offering handmade bric-a-brac by area artists, there's something for everyone. Best of all, no matter where you're staying, there'll be one near you.


Some of the best Perth shopping precincts are part of larger shopping centres like Garden City in Booragoon. However, for those staying in the city, London Court, Watertown and the Belmont Forum are still going to be your best bets. Make sure you check your hotel for a Perth shopping guide that will show you exactly where they are.


Perth shopping centres range from simple malls to full-scale outlet shopping like Watertown and Westfield Innaloo, which means that anything you need during your stay – from groceries to extra clothes – is always close at hand. Visiting in summer? Partake in the grand tradition of visiting shopping centres purely for the free air-conditioning.


Looking for a safe and simple way to bring your money when you travel? Our Travel Money Card has you covered!

When is the best time to travel to Perth?

Perth is home to weather patterns that are all its own. Neither as tropical as Brisbane nor as chilly as Hobart, the weather in Perth stays reasonably warm year-round. This is great news for you because it means there’s no wrong answer when you’re wondering when the best time to visit Perth is. Outside of the cooler months, Perth isn’t especially prone to rain, which also means you can safely plan any outdoor activities well in advance. With the exception of certain public holidays, all of Perth’s major attractions are open year-round too.

Summer in Perth is regularly quite hot and very dry. Rainfall is very rare during the summer months but the normally reasonable Perth temperature can spike upward quite dramatically. What this means is that summer is perfect for the many water-based activities in Perth. Spend a day on the river – there's nowhere better than Perth for hot days on the water. Appropriate clothing: Keep it simple with t-shirts, shorts, skirts and sandals. Don't forget: Sunscreen and water for those dry, sunny days.


Winter is the only time of year when Perth tends to retreat indoors. It's also the only season when Perth rainfall may significantly hamper your outdoor plans, but this is a great excuse to immerse yourself in Perth's booming cultural scene. Art galleries and museums are open all year and many of them are free to visit. Appropriate clothing: A few jumpers, warm pants and perhaps a scarf. Don't forget: Plan ahead for potential wet weather.


During autumn, the soaring summer temperatures begin to subside and return to something more manageable – between 18°C and 25°C. The humidity also begins to rise in autumn, one of the few times of year where it will rear its head. Rain appears in short bursts throughout this period, usually only for a day or so before the sun makes a return. Appropriate clothing: Summer clothes plus a jacket and some jeans for the evenings. Don't forget: Sunscreen – the UV index is still quite high.


Spring Spring in Perth is almost a direct mirror of autumn – comfortable temperatures, sunny weather, and very little rain to speak of. While pockets of humidity will show up here and there, they're not as intense as those found after summer. Of all four Perth seasons, spring is the one travellers and locals alike recommend the most. Appropriate clothing: Breathable clothes during the day, jackets and jeans for the cooler evenings. Don't forget: Sunscreen and water.


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How to get around Perth

From trains to ferries, Perth transport makes it easy to get around the city no matter where you’re staying. If you’re in Perth for a while, make sure you pick up a SmartRider card from your nearest convenience store and enjoy access to every Transperth bus, train and ferry in the city and surrounding suburbs. Top it up as you need to, and use it as often or as little as you like. Below is a bit of background on the many different transport options in Perth to help you make the most of your stay in the west and always arrive on time.

There are many taxi companies operating in Perth, from the familiar white Swan Taxis to the venerable Black and White Cabs. Perth taxis are still among the best way to take in the city's streets, suburbs and architecture while spotting activities to check out later. More often than not, hailing a taxi is also the most direct way to travel to your destination.


With all its fabulous parks and public squares, walking Perth is one of the most rewarding ways to travel the city. Walking allows you to slow your pace, take in the city and its atmosphere, and stumble upon its many wonderful secrets. Perth has hundreds of walking trails just waiting for you to find and explore them.


Perth's bus network is wide-ranging indeed and is one of the most reliable ways to get around town. Stops are clearly marked and will tell you exactly which routes are passing through. What's more, buses will frequently warn passengers when approaching certain stops in case they need to change buses at any point. These reliable vehicles are the backbone of Perth's public transport system.


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What are the best parks in Perth?

Perth is a city that loves the outdoors. Its maritime history means that getting out and about is in the city’s DNA. As such, Perth parks and squares are among the most beautiful in the entire country and well worth a visit for nature lovers. Spend an afternoon by the waterfront with your companions, hike the Scarborough-Trigg Heritage Trail, or take a stroll around Herdmans Lake in Churchlands. Below you’ll find a few parks and squares that we feel are unmissable. If your perfect holiday includes relaxing in the great outdoors, make sure you don’t miss these picturesque parks.

Ranked among the largest inner-city parks in the world, Kings Park is filled with both Aboriginal and European history. It's also home to the gorgeous Western Australian Botanic Gardens. There are bushwalking trails and gorgeous views of both the Swan and Canning rivers. Kings Park runs free public events year-round during the day and in the evening.


If you're the sort of person who likes to maintain their fitness regimen while on holiday, Lake Monger is somewhere to keep in mind. Home to plenty of local flora, Lake Monger is filled with trails for walking, running, and other exercises. This is the perfect place for an early morning jog or a mid-afternoon stroll on your way to your next destination.


Another simple inner-city oasis, named for West Australian Prime Minister Lord John Russell, Russell Square Perth is a long-standing pillar of the local Italian community. Located in the Little Italy district, it remains a popular meeting spot for locals and saw a major upgrade in 1994 to add more modern lighting, seating, and equipment for visitors of every stripe.


Every city in the world seems to have a Hyde Park! What sets Hyde Park in Perth apart is that it's an inner-city oasis – a place of calm among the bustle of the city. The perfect spot for a break on your walking tour of the city, Hyde Park offers a moment of respite in a busy day. It's simple, beautiful, and perfect.


Bursting with activities from yacht clubs to camping, Perth's Matilda Bay Reserve is the perfect destination if you're looking to take advantage of the great outdoors without going too far from the city. There's no shortage of things to do on site, and it lays only a stone's throw from a number of shops and restaurants should you require any supplies.


Getting from park to park is so much better with your own wheels. Hitch your ride now!

Perth Frequently asked questions

Perth is known for its Mediterranean climate so what to pack depends on the time of year you plan to travel. If you’re visiting in summer (December to February), be prepared for the heat with lightweight, breathable clothing. If you’re planning a winter getaway, plan for some rainy days with warm clothing, a waterproof jacket and boots. If you’re hoping to get out and about in search of adventure, sturdy walking shoes are a must!


Sun-seekers will gravitate to the stunning Cottesloe Beach for blissful beach days and a glimpse of Perth’s famous sunsets over the water. Surfers will froth Scarborough’s sets and those who are keen for a spot of snorkelling will love Trigg. Snapping a selfie with a quokka at Rottnest Island is a must for all visitors, and Fremantle/Walyalup, or ‘Freo’ as the locals call it, is a charming waterside hamlet lined with historic buildings, thirst-quenching breweries, the famous Freo markets and boutiques.


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Perth is officially the sunniest city in Australia, and you better believe the lifestyle is firmly oriented around the dreamy sun-soaked weather. If you’re keen to bask in beautiful blue skies, cracking surf and balmy nights, summer (December to February) is your time to shine. If you’re not fond of sunburn and scorching temps, aim for September and November. The shoulder season (March to May) is ideal as the winter chill hasn’t set in yet, but it’s not quite as steamy as mid-summer. If you don’t mind a little drizzle on your holiday, winter in Perth is a great time to wander.


Hit the beach, explore Kings Park, just be sure to pack a picnic to soak in the stunning views, watch the sunset over the ocean, wander around Fremantle, embark on a self-guided brewery tour, make friends with quokkas on Rottnest Island, get a dose of culture and check out the many museums and galleries, bar hop, head out to the Swan Valley for a spot of wine tasting or venture even further afield and witness the incredible beauty of Margaret River. One thing is for certain, you won’t run out of things to see and do in Perth!


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