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Top 10 Things to Do in Fremantle

Top 10 Things to Do in Fremantle

The charming port city of Fremantle is rich in history, culture, and good food that will give travelers both regulars and hipsters a great time. 

From museums to trails to beaches, there’s so much to see and experience that we recommend booking your trip for two days. 

We’ve listed the best things you can do in Freo to help you out with your itinerary. Also, we’ve got tips for getting around and quick facts that you’ll find handy as you explore this enthralling town! 

Is Fremantle worth a visit?

Fremantle is worth the visit thanks to its long list of historical structures and its vibrant food, art, music, and shopping scenes. The town provides plenty to explore, enough to keep you busy for a day or two.

It’s also worth the visit for its subtle yet undeniable charm that’s irresistible to cultural and historical buffs as well as travelers who love getting a deeper sense of a place. 

Moreover, many sites in Fremantle are great for exploration even on rainy days.

Things to Do in Fremantle

  1. Soak up Fremantle’s rich maritime history
  2. Search for some ghosts at Freo’s oldest buildings
  3. Indulge in live music and fascinating street art
  4. Learn about Nyoongar culture at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  5. Conquer Fremantle’s walking and bike trails
  6. Spend time at the seaside at Bathers Beach
  7. Sail away from the port to watch whales
  8. Fill your shopping bags with finds from the Fremantle Markets
  9. Grab some coffee at the iconic Cappuccino Strip
  10. Delight in fish and chips and craft beer at Fishing Boat Harbour

To help you complete your Fremantle itinerary, we’ve also listed great accommodations and essential travel info:

1. Soak up Fremantle’s rich maritime history

Soak up Fremantle’s rich maritime history

Being an old port city that has been busy since 1897, Fremantle is sure to carry a layered history. You can learn about the town’s stories by visiting its premier museums.

WA Maritime Museum

AddressVictoria Quay Rd, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(1300) 134 081 | [email protected]
Opening HoursDaily: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
RatesStandard: $15
Concession: $10
Junior (15 years old and below): Free
Carer: Free

The WA Maritime Museum gives an orderly glimpse not only of Fremantle’s past and present but also of the surrounding bodies of water and vessels that make up Western Australia’s maritime heritage.

The Fremantle gallery is enriched by exhibitions featuring the Swan River, the Indian Ocean, the submarine HMAS Ovens, and the American Cup winner yacht Australia II, among many others. 

If you like interactive exhibitions, the museum offers tactile tours and the phenomenal Under the Dome cinema experience.

WA Shipwrecks Museum

AddressCliff St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(1300) 134 081 | [email protected]
Opening HoursDaily: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
RatesFree entry

Focusing on the vessels that made it to Western Australian shores is what the Shipwrecks Museum is all about. 

For historical buffs, it means seeing high-quality photos and artifacts of Batavia, the SS Xantho steam engine, and other Dutch wrecks. 

For kids and the curious, it means learning about how treacherous WA’s coast is and how maritime trade proliferated in the region since antiquity.

The museum is a former Commissariat building constructed by convicts, adding to the site’s historical significance.

How many shipwrecks are there in Western Australia?

Western Australia’s coast is dotted with over 1,600 shipwrecks to date, with many of the Dutch ones exhibited or recreated at the WA Shipwrecks Museum.

The region’s coast is also the site of the Trial, the oldest shipwreck in Australia. The 500-ton vessel was under the command of John Brook and met its end at the Tyral Rocks (WA’s northwest coast) in 1622. 

2. Search for some ghosts at Freo’s oldest buildings

Search for some ghosts at Freo’s oldest buildings

The oldest structures in Fremantle also hold a reputation for being the most haunted. But whether you spot a ghost or not, these sites are worth visiting for the learnings and experience!

Round House

AddressCaptains Ln, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9336-6897 | [email protected]
Opening HoursDaily: 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM
RatesFree entry

Fremantle’s Round House is close to 200 years old, making it one of the oldest public buildings in the port city and all of Western Australia.

The structure was originally built as a jail and served as a symbol to assert dominance over the colony. It later served different purposes including being a police lockup, living quarter, and storage facility.

It is said that the ghost of John Gavin, a prisoner executed publicly on the site, continues to haunt the building. Unexplained noises and cold indoor air might be signs that he’s protesting his innocence.

The site has friendly volunteer guides to tour you around daily.

What is the Fremantle Round House made of?

The Round House was constructed using limestone sourced locally in Freo.

The structure was designed by Henry Willey Reveley, and the construction commenced in August 1830 and finished in January 1831.

Fremantle Prison

Address1 The Terrace, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9336-9200 | [email protected]
Opening HoursDaily: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
RatesAdult: $22 – $65
Concession: $19 – $55
Child: $12 – $45

The Fremantle Prison leverages its grim past by providing tours exploring its cold walls and dark hallways. 

The Torchlight Tour is made especially for ghost hunters and thrill seekers, as you walk among the cells while the guide tells ghastly stories and cues heartstopping surprises. 

It’s also worth experiencing the Behind Bars Tour, where you’re allowed to step inside the prison and “do time.” Not only will you learn about the jail’s history, but you will also get a glimpse of what it was like for prisoners before.

Fremantle Arts Centre

Fremantle Arts Centre
Address1 Finnerty St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9432-9555 | [email protected]
Opening HoursDaily: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
RatesFree entry

Before becoming a notable venue for WA’s creatives, the Fremantle Arts Centre served as a lunatic asylum in 1861. 

Questionable deaths riddled the building’s reputation, so it later turned into a home for old women and then a base for American forces during World War II.

Rumors of apparitions, cold spots, and eerie noises make the site a popular haunted destination. 

But unlike the Fremantle Prison, this building’s administration does not anchor its pull on the occult. Rather, it focuses on providing sublime masterpieces and cultural experiences for visitors, most of them free of charge!

Is the Fremantle Arts Centre dog-friendly?

The Fremantle Arts Centre does not allow dogs on the grounds. The exception to the rule are guide or assistance dogs, but you need to inform the administration before bringing one. 

3. Indulge in live music and fascinating street art

Indulge in live music and fascinating street art

Fremantle is home to captivating live music and gorgeous public art. Here are some places to check out the performances and works of the town’s most creative minds!

Mojo’s Bar

Address237 Queen Victoria St, North Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9430-4010 | [email protected]
Opening HoursMonday, Wednesday to Thursday: 8:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Friday to Saturday: 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM, Sunday: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

The Mojo’s Bar has been catering to live music fans since the 1970s, enough to be considered an institution in town. You can expect all types of genres both from local and international acts filling the air in the front room and courtyard outback.

Also, the pub feel is authentic and unparalleled.   


AddressParry St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9335-9335 | [email protected]
Opening HoursThursday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Friday: 4:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Saturday to Sunday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM

Freo.Social has been hosting gigs since its launch in 2019 and so far has made good use of its 550-people-capacity Entertainment Hall. The venue’s state-of-the-art sound system in particular has helped keep the gigs engaging and memorable.

Meanwhile, the club’s Beer Garden and Side Bar are perfect places to socialize and hang out with friends. DJs and live music might be on when you visit if you’re lucky!

Fremantle International Street Arts Festival

Fremantle International Street Arts Festival

Fremantle’s annual International Street Arts Festival during the long Easter weekend showcases the port city’s art and culture in its finest robes. 

Themed exhibits, street performances, workshops, and interactive shows await visitors as they travel the art festival trail.

Most events are free, and those requiring tickets are budget-friendly.    

Contact Details(08) 9432-9999 | [email protected]

Beyond the festival, street art and sculptures abound in the port city. Works you should check out include CY O’Connor’s statue at Victoria Quay and Bon Scott’s memorial statue (he’s the lead singer of the band AC/DC) at the Fishing Boat Harbour.

South Fremantle is also teeming with Instagrammable murals. Of particular note is the East-West Design area, where public art can trick your mind’s eye (in a good, mind-blowing way).

4. Learn about Nyoongar culture at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Address12 Captains Ln, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9430-7906 | [email protected]
Opening HoursWednesday to Friday: 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

One way to understand Western Australia’s aboriginal heritage is to experience their craft, art, and language yourself. The Walyayup Aboriginal Cultural Centre offers workshops all year round, allowing you to do just that.

The center’s programs coincide with Nyoongar’s six seasons, so expect to see thematic activities every two months. 

Both adults and kids can learn from the exhibits, workshops, screenings, and tours, ensuring that the legacy of the Nyoongar people will live on through generations. 

5. Conquer Fremantle’s walking and bike trails

Fremantle’s cultural heritage is easy to soak up because the city is highly walkable and the iconic sites are close to each other. That said, it’s easier to explore on foot or pedal your way on the cobbled streets if you know where you’re going. 

If you can’t be bothered to create an original itinerary, these suggested trails might just be a lifesaver. The maps for these trails are available on Perth’s official tourist website, Destination Perth.

Fremantle Cycle Trails

Fremantle Cycle Trails

Freo’s cycle trails include the Fremantle Highlights and the Indian Ocean Explorer.

The Fremantle Highlights trail starts at the Fremantle Visitor Centre with stops including the Fremantle Markets, Monument Hill, Victoria Quay, and Cappuccino Strip. You can conquer the 7.5-kilometer distance in about an hour.

Meanwhile, the Indian Ocean Explorer trail lets you take the dual-use path near the coastline, where you can bask in the sea breeze and stunning views. Stops include the Round House, Containbow, and Vlamingh Memorial.

The trail has a distance of 10 kilometers that you can cover for about 1.5 hours.

Discovery Walking Trail

The 5.78-kilometer Discovery Walking Trail takes over an hour to complete and features precincts and parks worth checking out. 

Apart from famous sites mentioned in this guide, your stops also include the Esplanade Reserve, Kidogo Arthouse, the STS Leeuwin II, and High Street West End.

Manjaree Trail

You will have the chance to take a closer look at the Nyoongar culture by following the Manjaree trail that starts at the Kidogo Arthouse and stretches across the Bathers Beach precinct. 

Signs put up along the trail provide fascinating information about the Nyoongar seasons, native food, and customs.

The Whadjuk indigenous people were the ones who called the area “Manjaree,” which translates to “fair exchange.”

6. Spend time on the seaside at Bathers Beach

Spend time on the seaside at Bathers Beach

Its calm waters and consistent Indian Ocean breeze are qualities that magnetize locals and tourists alike to Bathers Beach, especially families.

The bay’s 300-meter-long stretch of sand is perfect for seaside picnics, made more attractive, as the sunsets here are gorgeous.

Going to the beach is also a lovely experience in itself with the beautiful, meandering path walks that connect the coast to Fremantle’s iconic sites.

Seaside dining is also a popular activity here, with the Bathers Beach House being front and center for its lounges and cocktails.

Where is Bathers Beach located?

Bathers Beach is located between the WA Maritime Museum Precinct and the Challenger Harbour. 

At the center of the beach is the Kidogo Arthouse, and close to it are iconic tourist destinations including the Round House, Fishing Boat Harbour, and Esplanade Park.

Can you swim at Bathers Beach?

Bathers Beach’s serene waters and two large groins for protection make it a safe place for swimming. It’s not rare for families with kids to flock to this bay for worry-free dips.

It’s worth knowing that the beach is not patrolled, though. While it’s generally safe, we recommend keeping an eye on your children at all times.

Are there showers at Bathers Beach?

There are no public showers or changing facilities at Bathers Beach. That said, public toilet facilities are available.

Public barbecue facilities are also available at the nearby Esplanade Park.

7. Sail away from the port to watch whales

Sail away from the port to watch whales

Fremantle being a port city means many touring ferries depart here during the whale watching season

Notable companies like Whale Watching Perth and Whale Watch Australia have scheduled departures from the Sardine Jetty in select months, bringing visitors close to humpback and blue whales.

Fremantle is also the favored departure spot for tourists going to Rottnest Island.

What time of the year can you see whales in Perth?

You can see humpback whales off the coast of Perth from September to December, while the elusive blue whales show up from March to May

Fremantle’s jetty caters to both tours, so expect the port city to be busy during spring and autumn.

8. Fill your shopping bags with finds from the Fremantle Markets

Fill your shopping bags with finds from the Fremantle Markets
AddressCorner South Terrace & Henderson St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9335-2515 | [email protected]
Opening HoursFriday to Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Your Freo trip will not be complete if you don’t swing by the Fremantle Markets. Stalls for souvenirs and local products abound, and you don’t have to worry about the rain drenching your finds, as the place is covered. 

This premium shopping site existed since 1897 and has continuously served its purpose until today. Buskers are also a constant in the area, adding to the cultural appeal of the site.

Oh, and don’t forget to sample the food stalls. We suggest you prepare a deep pocket, as the goodies are irresistible, from creme brulee coffee to doughnuts to waffles to Asian fritters!

How many stalls are there in Fremantle Markets?

The Fremantle Markets are home to over 150 stalls dotting the two main zones: The Yard and The Hall. 

The Yard’s stalls sell bread and pastry, flowers, cheese, fruits and vegetables, seafood, herbs, spices, and sauces. Meanwhile, The Hall offers an eclectic selection of products from homeware to jewelry to art to antiques plus souvenirs and rare finds. 

The Hall is also home to food stalls serving scrumptious meals from kebabs to crepes to sushi and everything in between. Wash down your fill with the market’s coffee and beer on tap at the bar.

How long do you need to explore Fremantle Markets?

With so much to see, taste, and buy, we recommend that you spend one to two hours exploring the Fremantle Markets. 

9. Grab some coffee at the iconic Cappuccino Strip

Grab some coffee at the iconic Cappuccino Strip

Fremantle’s South Terrace is better known as the Cappuccino Strip for its many cafes and resident baristas. You can find the tastiest coffees in the state at this nook if you’re diligent! 

The area stretches from Bannister Street to Parry Street, lined on both sides with restaurants, pubs, bars, and even fashion shops. The strip comes doubly alive at night when live music is on.

Fremantle Gusto Italiano Trail

Fans of Italian cuisine can also delight in conquering the Fremantle Gusto Italiano trail, which is focused on cafes and restaurants serving authentic Italian goodness. Most of the establishments are located at South Terrace.

The trail’s recommended cafes and restaurants include Parlapa, La Sosta, Portorosa Fremantle, Gino’s, Pizza Bella Roma, and Sandrina Cafe & Pizzeria.

You can cover the trail for about two hours, but we recommend you allot more time since it’s better to savor the coffee and dishes.

10. Delight in fish and chips and craft beer at Fishing Boat Harbour

Delight in fish and chips and craft beer at Fishing Boat Harbour

Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour offers the ever-familiar and homey fish and chips and beer. Here are the places where you can get the best servings.

Top Restaurants and Pubs in Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour

  1. Twin Fin
  2. Harbourside Freo
  3. Little Creatures Brewery

Twin Fin

Address8/47 Mews Rd, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 6424-9503
Opening HoursMonday to Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM,
Friday: 10:30 AM – 8:30 PM,
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM,
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
MenuFish and chips: $22.40 – $25.95
Grilled dishes, platters, and lobster: $24.35 – $43.50
Tacos: $16.50 – $17.90
Burgers: $16.95 – $19.95
Tap beer (pint): $10.95 – $13
Cocktails: $14 – $17.95
Wine (glass): $9.50 -$12

Twin Fin’s casual dining vibe, punctuated by great beer, refreshing ice cream, and of course, good ol’ fish ‘n’ chips, is the best option for diners on a budget. 

There’s plenty of al fresco sitting and views of the Indian Ocean, completing the quintessential port dining experience.

Char Char Restaurant + Bar

Address44B Mews Rd, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9335-7666
Opening HoursDaily: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
MenuOysters: $5.50 – $6.50
Steak tartare: $28
Mains: $35 – $45
Tomahawk steak (1.2 kg): $145
Desserts: $12 – $16
Cheese: $14.50

Seaside restaurant Char Char Restaurant + Bar overlooking the harbor’s boats champions Australian cuisine, with prime beef being the star of its culinary shows. Of course, seafood mains and sharable oysters aren’t leaving the menu.

You also get to listen to jazz and blues music on weekends. Top that with viewing the sunset at Bathers Beach to end your evening meal with a bang.

Little Creatures Brewery

Little Creatures Brewery
Address40 Mews Rd, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 6215-1000
Opening HoursDaily: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
MenuPizza: $12 – $24
Frites, aioli: $11
Oysters: $3.50 – $4
Chicken wings: $14
Beef brisket: $28
Pale ale: $6.50 – $12.50
Wine (glass): $10 – $11

Sample tasty wood-fired pizza, chicken wings, and oysters while you sip Little Creature Brewery’s ales and fresh beer in the airy and welcoming Great Hall. 

If you love beer, check out the Brewhouse for some taste-test and chats with the brewery’s hop heads. 

The brewery’s garden allows walk-in visitors, including your dogs. Just ensure your pet is friendly and will not cause trouble for other guests.

Where to Stay: Best Accommodations in Fremantle

As you might have realized by now, a day is not enough to explore everything Freo has to offer. 

Book your stay with one of these top accommodations and spend two days or more experiencing the port city!

Hougoumont Hotel

Address15 Bannister St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 6160-6800 | [email protected]
RatesStarts at $200

Nothing screams “Freo!” quite like the Hougoumont Hotel for its innovative sea container construction. 

The hotel’s facade matches the town alright. But more importantly, the use of the repurposed material does away with traditional building techniques, making a towering eco-friendly structure.

The boutique hotel’s rooms feature lovely muted colors, reflecting the understated charm of the port city. Conveniences like coffee machines and minibars are also available in each room.

Warders Hotel

Address19-29 Henderson St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9239-3300
RatesStarts at $300

Travelers who squeal at the sight of well-preserved architecture will love staying at Warders Hotel. 

Within its thick limestone walls are swoon-worthy cottage rooms featuring traces of WA’s colonial heritage, finished with furniture and fixtures that can accommodate the 21st-century wanderer. 

The hotel is near Fremantle’s coastline and countryside, allowing for off-the-beaten-path explorations.

Quest Fremantle

Quest Fremantle
Address8 Pakenham St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9433-9400
RatesStarts at $270

Longer stays are more enjoyable in a home away from home, which the apartment rooms in Quest Fremantle offer. Over 100 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments are available in the hotel, all equipped with kitchenettes.

The apartment hotel is strategically located close to restaurants, museums, art galleries, and shopping outlets for further convenience.

Pirates Backpackers

Address11 Essex St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9335-6635
RatesStarts at $25

Travelers on a budget will love the Pirates Backpackers not only for its low rates but also for the sense of community and possible friendships you’d form during your stay. The hostel is akin to a shared house, offering dorms for the frugal tourist.

The hostel has a courtyard, pool table, barbecue facilities, board games, and smart TV that you can share with other guests. 

Plus you’ll have an insider’s guide to Fremantle’s outdoor activities like surfing, beach volleyball, snorkeling, and bush walks, among others, perfect for thrill seekers!

How do I get to Fremantle from Perth?

How do I get to Fremantle from Perth

You can get to Fremantle from Perth by car or by train. The travel usually takes about 30 minutes from CBD.

The fastest route for cars is via the Mitchelle Freeway. You’ll drive an extra four minutes if you want to take the scenic route overlooking the Indian Ocean 

If you’re getting on the train, take the cab from Perth Station Platform 7 and alight at Fremantle Station Platform 2. The trains run every 10 to 15 minutes, and the trip costs about $5. 

How much is it to park in Fremantle?

Parking in Fremantle usually costs $1.70 to $2.50 per hour depending on the bay (excluding holiday and weekend rates). The best parking spot is in Kings Square Park at Henderson Street, as it’s the closest to Freo’s iconic sites.

There are also parking slots at Henry Street and Pakenham Street. All-day parking is available at many points around the city including Parry Street, Ellen Street, Fremantle Oval, Round House, Norfolk Street, and Queen Victoria Street.

All-day parking fees around Fremantle start at $8.50.

We recommend that you plan where you’re parking before driving to Fremantle, as on-the-spot searching for a slot will be difficult due to the city’s predominantly one-way streets.

Is there any free parking in Fremantle?

Free parking in Fremantle is available at High Street (West End) and Adelaide Street for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, an hour of free parking is available at Walyalup Koort on William Street, Queen Street, Paddy Troy Mall, and High Street (East End).

How do I get around Fremantle?

How do I get around Fremantle

You can get around Fremantle by walking, cycling, driving, or taking the CAT buses.

Walking is best done when you have a map of walking trails, which you can acquire at the Fremantle Visitor Centre. 

If you prefer cycling, the visitor center and a few boutique hotels offer free bike hires! The bike lanes are strategically located so you can enjoy the port city’s scenery.

For self-driving tourists, ensure that you have a dedicated budget for parking. 

Travelers who want to experience Freo’s public transport can take advantage of the city’s CAT buses. Wait for the blue buses at any CAT stop scattered in town.

The blue CAT buses cover the route from Fremantle Station to South Beach.

Check our comprehensive guide on Perth’s Transperth system to learn more about how tickets are paid when using the metro’s public transport.

Fremantle Visitor Centre

AddressWalyalup Koort, 155 High St, Fremantle, WA 6160
Contact Details(08) 9431-7878

Quick Facts about Fremantle

Here are some bits of information you’ll love knowing as you travel the port city of Fremantle.

Total area19.901 sq km
TimeWestern Australian Time (GMT +8)
Average temperatureSummer: 18.3 – 27.7 °C
Winter: 10.2 – 17.6 °C
Average rainfall775 mm
Institutions13 primary schools, 4 secondary schools, 1 hospital, 6 nursing homes, 2 tertiary education institutions, 1 football club
Key industriesPort and shipping, hospital and community services, education, government services, tourism, retail, arts
Sister cities– Seberang Perai, Malaysia
– Yokosuka, Japan
– Capo d’Orlando, Italy
– Molfetta, Italy
– Funchal, Portugal
Inclusion and disability access– Beach wheelchairs for hire at Bathers Beach and South Beach
– Increased accessibility at Leighton Beach
– ACROD parking bays across the city, free for permit holders
Public Wi-Fi accessFree to access at the following areas:
– Cappuccino Strip
– Market Street Piazza
– Moore’s building
– Fremantle Arts Centre
– Esplanade Youth Plaza
– The Meeting Place

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