Is Perth better than Sydney
The most beautiful sights in Perth and our best tips
For a long time Perth was known as the dullest city in Australia, but that was over in a few years. The capital of Western Australia has undergone tremendous change and is now much more than just a stopover on the way to the well-known sights of the west coast.
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Perth is a special city in several ways. With a population of around 1.7 million, it is the only large city in Western Australia. For comparison: the second largest city does not even have 70,000 inhabitants.
At the same time, Perth is considered the most remote city in the world. After all, it is more than 2,000 kilometers to the next larger city. By the way, this is Adelaide in southern Australia.
Sydney and Melbourne are even further away - about 3,500 kilometers each.
For a few years now, Perth has been changing from a boring working-class city to a hip metropolis.
We'll show you which sights await you in Perth and, as always, give you our best tips on hotels, restaurants and getting around.
Also read our other articles on Western Australia
The most beautiful sights in Perth
Perth does not have any sights of world fame to offer. Nevertheless, there is a lot to discover in the city and in the surrounding area. In this section we will show you which Perth sights are worth seeing.
Street art in Perth
Our absolute highlight in Perth was the street art. The whole city is full of huge paintings and works of art, some of which cover entire walls of houses. We have never seen this in any other city of this size and, above all, to this extent. For us this is definitely the top attraction in Perth!
The street art scene in Perth is still very young. Until a few years ago, artists from Perth still migrated in droves to the “cooler” cities on the east coast or even to the USA and Europe. Now even artists from Europe are settling in Perth because they can really let off steam here.
You can find street art in different neighborhoods of Perth. In the city center, for example, the Central Business District and Northbridge are good addresses to go in search of the most beautiful works of art. But suburbs like Leederville and Fremantle also have a lot of street art to offer.
If you don't want to leave your search for the most beautiful street art to chance, we have two tips for you:
On the Art & Cultural Tour with Adie you can find out more about the individual works of art and get a great introduction to the city and the changes in recent years. Of course, street art is also much cooler if you know the background to it! In addition, the founder Adie is super personable - we definitely had a lot of fun on the tour.
To the Art & Cultural Tour
If you want to see specific works of art in Perth, then the Urban Art Map is perfect for you. Hundreds of street art works are listed on this map.
To the Urban Art Map for Perth
Elizabeth Quay is one of the most beautiful corners of Perth. The entire area has been completely redeveloped in recent years.
Elizabeth Quay has one of the best views of the Perth skyline. Also worth seeing are the curved Elizabeth Quay Bridge, as well as two works of art:
Spanda is a 29-meter-high elliptical frame that is an exciting photo opportunity in front of the high-rise buildings in the Central Business District.
First contact refers to the five meter high, shiny sculpture of a bird in a boat.
Northbridge - Perth's trendy district
We particularly liked the trendy Northbridge district. There are countless small bars, trendy restaurants and individual shops here.
What is exciting is the fact that until a few years ago there were no bars in Perth at all. For a long time, licensing was so expensive that only hotels and a few large restaurants sold alcohol.
To make the city more attractive, the prices for small bars have been drastically reduced, so that in recent years small pubs and bars have shot up like mushrooms.
Especially on Friday and Saturday evenings there is a lot going on in the streets of Northbridge, but you can also come to Northbridge for a nice cold drink on the other evenings.
Kings Park is Perth's green lung and one of the largest inner-city parks in the world.
Perth is not an incredibly hectic city, but if you still need a bit of peace and quiet, Kings Park is the place for you.
Kings Park is located on a small hill from which you have a great view of the city. The State War Memorial and the Botanical Garden are also worth seeing. It definitely won't get boring in Kings Park. You can easily spend half a day or even a full day here.
The London Court is probably the most bizarre shopping arcade in Perth. It was built in 1937 by a wealthy English businessman to make his compatriots feel more at home in distant Perth.
The result is a kitschy passage in the finest British style. Today there are mainly souvenir shops in the passage. They are not that exciting, but the London Court is still worth seeing.
More attractions in Perth
Those were the main attractions in the center of Perth. One day is easily enough for the visit.
If you want even more, there are a few other lovely spots in Perth that are well worth a visit:
Bell Tower - The Bell Tower or Swan Bells Tower is a futuristic tower near Elizabeth Quay. Inside are historic bells from London that you can ring yourself.
Yagan Square is a completely new area with futuristic architecture. The Wirin statue, which is dedicated to the indigenous people of Australia, is particularly impressive.
State Buildings - The State Buildings are three former administration buildings that have been recently renovated and shine in new splendor. The buildings are now home to restaurants, bars and shops.
Attractions in the Perth area
Once you've explored the sights in the city center, you can head out to explore the Perth area.
There is a lot more to discover there and we present our personal highlights in this section.
Fremantle - The hip port city
Fremantle, affectionately known as Freo by the locals, is a small port town south of Perth. Officially, Fremantle is a separate community, but it is actually part of Perth.
Fremantle has always been considered the hip and alternative part of Perth, even when Perth itself was still a boring big city. Even today Freo still has a very special charm with its many cafes and restaurants, the great Fremantle Markets and the pretty buildings in the center.
We loved Fremantle and we would even recommend that you stay in Freo rather than Perth.
Also read our article on Fremantle
Driving from Perth to Fremantle
Trains run regularly and at short intervals between Perth and Fremantle, which can best be compared to our S-Bahn.
The journey takes 30 minutes and you need a 2-zone ticket that you can easily buy for 4.70 AUD (approx. 3 euros) from one of the machines at the train station (or on the bus, if you take the bus to want to go to a train station).
Rottnest Island and the Quokkas
Rottnest Island is a small island off the coast of Perth that is best known for its cute inhabitants: the quokkas.
Quokkas are little relatives of the kangaroos and are probably the cutest living beings in Australia. Quokkas always have a smile on their faces and are very trusting towards people on Rottnest Island.
In recent years it has therefore become popular to take a selfie with the quokkas on Rottnest Island and of course we did too.
Danger: Quokkas are wild animals despite their cuteness and should not be fed or petted under any circumstances. Looking is ok, taking selfies too, but only without unfair aids in the form of food!
Also read our article on Rottnest Island
Driving from Perth to Rottnest Island
There were various ferries to Rottnest Island. Most ferries depart from Fremantle and Hillarys, northwest of Perth. You can find all information about the ferries in our article about Rottnest Island, which we have linked above.
Rockingham - penguins and dolphins
If you go any further south from Fremantle, you will come to Rockingham. The place itself doesn't have much to offer, the actual sights can be found here on and in the water.
Penguin Island is a small island just a few minutes by boat from the mainland. The island is a breeding ground for little penguins and a resting place for sea lions.
On a 1-hour boat trip to the island, you can see the sea lions dozing on the beach and you have a good chance of spotting dolphins. You can then explore the island on foot.
Tickets for the boat trip to see the sea lions and penguins
The second highlight in Rockingham are the dolphins. If it is not enough for you to only see dolphins from the boat, then you have the opportunity to swim with dolphins here.
Of course, the dolphins are not fed or otherwise made docile. They are wild dolphins that live off the coast.
What exactly you can experience in Rockingham on and in the water, whether it's worth it, which tickets you need and everything else you need to know, we have written down for you in our detailed experience report.
Also read our article on Penguin Island and swimming with dolphins in Rockingham
Driving from Perth to Rockingham
It takes just under an hour to drive from Perth to Rockingham. Free parking spaces are available directly at the ferry station to the Penguin Island.
It takes about 35 minutes by train from Perth to Rockingham and you need a 5-zone ticket for 8.40 AUD (approx. 5.50 euros). However, the train station in Rockingham is still relatively far from the coast. So you have to take the bus (551, 552 or 553 to the Penguin & Watts Road stop) for a good 20-25 minutes after you get to Rockingham.
Koalas in Yanchep National Park
Koalas are somehow part of a trip to Australia. Unfortunately, koalas aren't even native to Western Australia. The good news is that you still don't have to go without them entirely.
There are some koalas in Yanchep National Park north of Perth. They live there in a large outdoor enclosure and you can watch them sleeping and eating. They don't do much more that lovely, long day.
Important NOTE: Please do not support any parks where you can pick up koalas for a selfie for a fee. This is not necessarily a pleasure for the koalas and we ask that you refrain from taking a selfie with the koalas.
Driving from Perth to Yanchep National Park
The best way to get to Yanchep National Park from Perth is by rental car. The journey takes about an hour.
Lancelin Sand Dunes
Also north of Perth are the Lancelin sand dunes. A trip there is worthwhile not only because the dunes are very photogenic, but also because you can have a lot of fun there.
You can rent boards at the sand dunes and plunge down the slopes. Those who are brave do it standing up. But it's also fun just toboggan down the dunes while sitting.
If you need even more action, you can also rent a quad bike and zoom over the dunes.
You can rent the sandboards and quads directly on site!
Driving from Perth to Lancelin
The drive from Perth to Lancelin takes approximately two hours.
The Pinnacles are a natural spectacle north of Perth. Created millions of years ago, hundreds of pillars of different sizes still stand in the middle of the landscape today.
The Pinnacles look very impressive and are a great photo opportunity, especially in the late afternoon light.
A paved sand road leads around the Pinnacles, so that you can drive past it directly by car. Alternatively, you can of course explore the area on foot, which we would generally recommend. It took us about 30 minutes for the circular route.
Getting to the Pinnacles from Perth
The Pinnacles are located 190 kilometers north of Perth. With a rental car you need about 2.5 hours for this route.
We did Yanchep National Park, Lancelin Sand Dunes, and the Pinnacles all together on one day trip. All three sights are located along the route, so that no major detours are necessary.
If you are planning this day trip, you should start in Perth as early as possible. We left around 8:00 a.m. and were back around 6:00 p.m. in the evening.
Beaches around Perth
The great thing about Australian cities is that the beach is never far away. So, of course, in Perth!
There are some really beautiful beaches around Perth that are worth a visit - whether for surfing, swimming or just having a beer by the sea.
One of the most beautiful beaches in Perth is Cottesloe Beach. The beach in Scarborough is also very beautiful.
Our hotel tips for Perth
Many new, modern hotels have opened in Perth in recent years. We tested two different hotels in Perth, both of which we can recommend.
The Alex Hotel
The Alex Hotel is located in the middle of the Northbridge nightlife district. Bars, restaurants, the train station and most of the sights are just a stone's throw away from the hotel.
The rooms are spartan, but modern. Breakfast is good, although some rooms are quite noisy.
To the Alex Hotel
The Tribe Hotel
We liked the Tribe Hotel even better, but the location is not so ideal here. The hotel is right on Kings Park, so it's a little way to the city center. It takes about 30 minutes on foot to get to the Central Business District.
The hotel itself is really excellent. Very stylish rooms, comfortable beds, very good breakfast. Perfect!
To the Tribe Hotel
Both the Alex Hotel and the Tribe Hotel are in the medium price range. Of course, Perth has accommodations of every category.
If you are looking for something cheap, we recommend Pensione Hotel Perth.
If you want to stay in a very special hotel, then you should check out COMO The Treasury in the historic State Buildings. It is considered the best hotel in Australia and one of the best in the world.
Another top-class hotel is the Westin Perth in the Central Business District.
Our restaurant tips for Perth
Of course, Perth also has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine. Of course, we took the opportunity and tried out various restaurants for you. Completely altruistic, of course.
You should always reserve a table, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. On the other days the restaurants are not quite as full. But if you want to make sure that you don't have to wait for a seat, we would recommend making reservations on these days as well.
Market Grounds(10 Telethon Avenue, Kings Square) -The Market Grounds Restaurant is located on the border between the trendy Northbridge and the Central Business District of Perth. Regional products are served: fish, meat and vegetarian dishes. There is something for everyone here and everything is delicious. Market Grounds was definitely our favorite among restaurants in Perth.
The front area is more of a bar. You can also eat here, but it is very, very loud and bustling. The rear area is the restaurant. It is not that loud here and it is served at the table.
Long Chim(State Buildings, St Georges Terrace & Barrack Street) -The Long Chim is a Thai restaurant that is located in the basement of the State Buildings. David Thompson, who is considered one of the best Thai chefs in the world, cooks here.
The food is really very authentic - typical Thai street food with a modern twist.The Larb Gai was actually the spiciest of its kind we have ever eaten and we have eaten it very often in Thailand. But there are also mild dishes, so don't worry.
Shadow Wine Bar(50 James Street, Northbridge) -The Shadow Wine Bar is part of the Alex Hotel. The food is delicious and the selection of wines in all price categories is huge.
The standard(28 Roe Street, Northbridge) -The Standard is a bar and restaurant. The drinks are excellent, we would describe the food as regionally experimental. A little too experimental for our taste, but still tasty.
Lot twenty(198-206 William Street, Northbridge) -Lot Twenty is located directly across from the Alex Hotel and also offers good Australian cuisine. The garden is particularly beautiful, where you can enjoy your meal on mild summer evenings.
Grill’d(Perth Tech Building, 125 St Georges Terrace and10-11 Shafto Lane) -You can get really good burgers at Grill’d. This is a chain that you can find all over Australia, but not comparable to Burger King or McDonalds.
There are really excellent burgers in all variations and at very fair prices. There are two Grill’d branches in central Perth. Grill’d burgers are also available in the various suburbs such as Fremantle, Cottesloe and Scarborough.
To Jenny's surprise, at Grill’d she even had the choice between a vegan burger or a normal burger with lactose-free burger buns! So she could order a burger here despite being lactose intolerant!
Our tip: You should definitely try the zucchini fries!
Transportation in Perth
The sights in downtown Perth are all within walking distance. You don't need a taxi, bus or train here. Kings Park is furthest away, but it is only about 20 minutes' walk from the city center.
Buses and trains in Perth
In downtown Perth, buses take you from A to B, for destinations a little further away there is a train.
There are several bus routes within Perth that you can use for free. These buses are called CAT buses and actually connect all tourist points of interest in the city.
Taxi driving in Perth
Taking a taxi in Perth is comfortable and priced roughly comparable to Germany. There are taxi ranks all over the city. If you have a taxi called to the hotel, it will be there within a few minutes and you will pay a surcharge of 1.50 AUD for the journey.
A ride in downtown Perth shouldn't cost much more than AUD 10-12. From Northbridge to Kings Park we have z. B. Paid 11 AUD.
Transportation from Perth Airport to the city
The easiest and fastest way to get to the city from Perth Airport is by taxi. The journey takes about 30 minutes and costs between AUD 30 and AUD 40 (approx. EUR 20-30) depending on the destination.
It is cheaper by bus. Line 380 runs regularly between Elizabeth Quay and Terminal 1 and 2 of the airport and takes around 40 minutes to complete. Line 40 goes to Terminal 3 and 4.
To get to and from the airport you need a 2-zone ticket for 4.80 AUD.
Rent a car at the airport
Since sooner or later you will need a rental car in Western Australia anyway, you can of course pick it up directly at the airport.
All larger providers have a station here and you can return the rental car here at the end of your trip.
Our tip: We prefer to use Check24's rental car comparison tool to find the best deal.
These were our tips and the best sights for Perth. If you have any questions, tips or suggestions, we look forward to your comment.
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