Best way to spend a day in Perth

In Perth for a flying visit? Here’s how to make the most of your short stay...

  • Kerry Faulkner
  • March 2018
  • Updated March 2021


Make like a local and take advantage of Perth’s outdoor lifestyle with a scenic early-morning walk, jog or cycle along the Swan River. Start at Barrack Street jetty and wind your way through Elizabeth Quay, catching your breath (and admiring the views) on its fabulous suspension bridge. From here, the pathway circles much of the river; you could keep going for hours! Or you could head back and catch a ferry from Elizabeth Quay to South Perth for breakfast.


Take your pick from several mouth-watering options around the South Perth foreshore. For gourmet brekkie with a view, try the Boatshed Café or Mister Walker; for simpler (but tasty) fare and coffee that’ll put a spring in your step head to Atomic Espresso in nearby Mends Street Arcade. Grab some sweet Italian treats at Dolce y Salato for later: it's going to be a big day!

View of Perth city skyline across the Swan River, seen from the boardwalk on the South Perth foreshore. Photo: Victoria Barker.
Enjoy the Perth city views from the boardwalk on the South Perth foreshore.

Late morning

Are you game to ride the driverless RAC Intellibus? Starting at the eastern end of the South Perth Esplanade, this free automated bus ride takes you west along the foreshore to the historic Old Mill, a Perth landmark dating back to 1835. From here, it’s an easy walk to the lush, green Perth Zoo, home to a multitude of marvellous critters from around the world.


Hungry yet? Hop on a ferry back to Elizabeth Quay and wander up William Street to Yagan Square. No matter what you’re craving – Vietnamese banh, Japanese street eats, Korean classics or artisan burgers -you’ll find it at this lively precinct between the city and Northbridge. While you’re here, be sure to check out the ever-changing art of the 45-metre Digital Tower, the powerful Indigenous sculpture Wirin, and the beautiful native Wildflower Garden.

Couple admire sculpture of Wirin by Tjyllyungoo (Lance Chadd) at Yagan Square, Perth. Image: Tourism Western Australia.
The nine-metre Wirin sculpture by Tjyllyungoo (Lance Chadd) is just one of Yagan Square’s attractions. Image: Tourism Western Australia.


The quirky shops of Northbridge await! Trawl for vintage clothing at fi & co; browse independent fashion and homewares at Ruck Rover and find menswear with a rock’n’roll twist at New York Menswear and Tailor. Indulge your inner Banksy at the Butcher Shop or score some vinyl at Safaris Record Shack. Meanwhile, the old-school video games at The Nostalgia Box aren’t for sale, but we guarantee you’ll have a blast at this the unique, interactive museum (the only one of its kind in Australia).

Classic video and console games on display at The Nostalgia Box museum.
Relive childhood memories as you marvel at The Nostalgia Box’s collection of old-school video and console games. Image: The Nostalgia Box.


A half-hour's walk (or short cab ride) from Northbridge brings you to the cafes and restaurants of North Perth. Angove Street is your go-to for gourmet goodness, from Italian soul food at Trattoria Ilaria to Malaysian hawker fare at KCH, and irresistible pub meals at the Rosemount Hotel. The Rosemount is also a stalwart of the Perth live music scene, if you feel like making a night of it. Or, for something completely different, head over the road to the super-retro Rosemount Bowl and work off your dinner with some ten-pin bowling.