Categories > Guides and Tips

Perth for Tourists Places to Stay and See the Best of Perth

Perth for Tourists: Places to Stay and See the Best of Perth

Perth is a vast city full of places to visit and discover. It certainly can be a daunting experience looking for the best areas to stay in and exploring the very best things our city has to offer.

But don’t worry! A local like me already knows which areas are a must-see for all tourists in Perth.

In this short guide, I’ll discuss which are the best areas to stay in Perth, what their unique qualities are, and the factors you might need to consider before visiting this lovely city.

What are the best areas in Perth to stay in for tourists?

The Perth CBD: The Centre of Everything

Highlight(s): The Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Perth Concert Hall, and The Perth Mint

Possible accommodations:

  • Hyatt Regency Perth (5-star) 
  • The Westin Perth (5-star)
  • Doubletree by Hilton (4-star) 
  • European Hotel (3-star) 

Of course, a trip to Perth won’t be complete without visiting its most robust city, the Perth Central Business District. A lot of the city’s biggest companies are congregated here, which has led to this area having a very defined and noticeable skyline.

I like to consider the Perth CBD as Perth’s own Manhattan. It’s a place full of shops, restaurants, bars, and world-famous attractions. 

It even has its own Central Park-like green space: Kings Park and Botanic Garden.

There are definitely some must-visit attractions here. Aside from Kings Park and Botanic Garden, tourists can enjoy a cool glass of wine and see the majestic Swan River from Elizabeth Quay.

You should also visit the beautiful Swan Bell Tower, which is just a few metres away from Elizabeth Quay. It’s quite famous for holding the record for the second-largest set of change-ringing bells in the world.

Visiting world-famous attractions can certainly be a tiring experience. Make sure to finish your day with a relaxing dinner at Perth CBD’s famous restaurants, like Petition and Wildflower.

It won’t be hard to find some good accommodations here during your visit. There are tonnes of hotels here with varying star ratings, so you’ll definitely find one that fits your budget.

Because it’s the city centre, most of the city’s public transportation options converge in this area.

Tourists can easily travel to other towns by riding any of the four major train lines that run through the Perth CBD. You also won’t need to hail a cab to travel to the CBD’s attractions because there are many bus routes that ply its roads.

Perth CBD also has access to the third-most-used public transportation option in the city: ferries.

Elizabeth Quay is an important dock for the many ferries that travel along the Swan River. Some destinations you can reach by riding the ferry are South Perth, Fremantle, and Rottnest Island.

Now that we’ve covered the highlights and possible transportation options in the Perth CBD, there’s still one important thing we need to discuss: the crime rate.

Unfortunately, this is the one area where Perth CBD falters. This area of Perth has a high crime rate of 14.4 per 100 residents as of May 2023.

I strongly encourage you to stick to crowded places and never follow strangers, especially at night.

Pro tip: The Kings Park and Botanic Garden is a huge green space, which may confuse first-time tourists. Sign up for one of their free daily walking tours so an experienced guide can show you its best attractions.

Fremantle: The Historic Port City of Perth

Highlight(s): Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Markets, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australian Maritime Museum, and Round House

Possible accommodations:

  • The Local Hotel (4-star) 
  • Esplanade Hotel Fremantle (4-star) 
  • Be. Fremantle Serviced Apartments (4-star) 
  • YHA Fremantle Prison (3-star) 

If you’re a huge fan of history and culture, then stop by the historic port city of Fremantle. It’s a city full of historical sites and structures, as it was one of the first cities built back when Perth was still a small colony.

To prove my point, Fremantle is where you’ll find Fremantle Prison, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in Western Australia.

There are lots of other historic sites that you can visit in Fremantle, including the century-old Fremantle Markets and the WA Maritime Museum, where you can learn more about the city’s rich maritime history.

The Round House is the most significant attraction for me because it’s the oldest public building in Western Australia.

You can still catch a glimpse of history in Fremantle even if you don’t plan to visit any of its famous attractions. A lot of its major streets are well-preserved roads made during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

All in all, I can guarantee that you’ll have a fun time strolling around this city, whether or not you’re a history fan.

When it comes to accommodation, there aren’t many five-star hotels available in Fremantle. However, there are some unique hotels that you should try out here, like the YHA Fremantle Prison, which is located in a section of the famous prison!

So, how about public transportation? Thankfully, Fremantle is still located near the central regions of Perth, so it won’t be difficult to get a ride here.

Fremantle has its own train line, and it has many bus routes that travel along its roads. The city is also located beside the Indian Ocean and Swan River, so ferries are definitely an option.

Safety-wise, the historic port city isn’t too dangerous, unlike the Perth CBD. 

However, Fremantle isn’t a crime-free place. It has a crime rate of 9.5 per 100 residents as of May 2023.

I still recommend that you don’t stay out late in the evening while staying in Fremantle.

Pro tip: Interested in seeing Rottnest Island and its cute quokkas? Then catch a ferry in Fremantle because it’s the closest city to Rottnest Island. Ferry rides between Fremantle and Rottnest Island will only take you up to 15 minutes.

Subiaco: The Cultural Hub of Perth

Highlight(s): Subiaco Farmers Market, Western Australian Medical Museum, Regal Theatre, Subiaco Museum, and Subiaco Theatre Centre

Possible accommodations:

  • Vibe Hotel Subiaco (4-star) 
  • Kings Park Motel (3-star) 

Subiaco is the place to be if you’re eager to see the best local shows and performances in Perth. It’s a very friendly neighbourhood full of diverse cultures and ethnicities.

This suburb may not have the world-class attractions Perth CBD and Fremantle have, but it still has lots of cool and unique places a tourist will definitely fall in love with.

A place I visit here from time to time is the Regal Theatre. Here you can watch a variety of shows, including comedy, drama, musicals, and more.

There are also a couple of historic sites worth visiting here, like the Fallen Soldiers Memorial and the Subiaco Museum.

The museum is a good place to learn more about Perth’s local culture and history because it’s full of artefacts and memorabilia donated by residents of Subiaco.

Another aspect of Subiaco that has made it a big hit among both residents and tourists of Perth is its lovely cafes and restaurants. I love checking out the Italian restaurants here, like Delisio and Piccolo Trattoria.

Is it easy to move around Subiaco? Yep! The suburb has two train lines that you can use to travel around Perth, and it also has a healthy number of options when it comes to bus routes.

Sadly, the suburb is landlocked, so ferries are a no-go.

Also, there aren’t many accommodation options inside Subiaco. My suggestion is that you book a room in the nearby cities like West Perth and the Perth CBD, then just ride a bus to Subiaco.

Thankfully, Subiaco is a safe place to visit at most hours of the day. Its crime rate is 4.1 per 100 residents as of May 2023.

Pro tip: If you plan to stay in Perth for more than a few days, it might be a good idea to start cooking your own meals to save money. A great source of fresh ingredients in Perth is the Subiaco Farmers Market, which is held every Saturday of the week.

Northbridge: The City’s Nightlife Centre

Highlight(s): Perth Cultural Centre, Perth Chinatown, RAC Arena, Ice Cream Factory, The Rechabite, and Escape This Northbridge

Possible accommodations:

  • Doubletree by Hilton Perth Northbridge (4-star) 
  • Hotel Northbridge (4-star)
  • Alex Hotel (4-star)
  • Attika Hotel (4-star)

Of course, a trip to Perth wouldn’t be complete without nights of partying and fun! If you’re interested in seeing my city’s nightlife scene, then come down to Northbridge, where the best bars and nightclubs are.

There are lots of places you can definitely try out here, but I have some places here that I consider a must-visit for tourists. First is The Rechabite Rooftop Bar, which is located nearby the Perth Cultural Centre.

It’s a fun place to hang out during the night thanks to its many live performances and events. Another favourite of mine is the Vincent Wine due to its Parisian bar-style drinks and interior designs.

Northbridge also delivers when it comes to famous attractions. This city is where you’ll find the Perth Cultural Centre precinct, a place where the biggest museums and art galleries in Western Australia are located.

Some highlights you should definitely check out while visiting the Perth Cultural Centre are the WA Museum Boola Bardip, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, and the State Library of Western Australia.

If you’re looking to have a fun night out with your friends and family, there is also the RAC Arena, where you can watch the best basketball teams in Perth in action.

Accommodation-wise, there are plenty of options you can choose from while visiting Northbridge. The only real downside I can think of is that there aren’t any 5-star hotels available in the neighbourhood.

Northbridge also has great public transportation. Its close proximity to the Perth CBD means that it has access to most of the CBD’s train lines and bus routes.

If there’s one bad thing I can say about Northbridge, it’s the worrying crime rate. This suburb is a crime hotspot, with a crime rate of 53.8 per 100 residents as of May 2023.

Make sure to stick close to crowded places while walking the streets of Northbridge at night. If you don’t know how to get back to your hotel, don’t hesitate to hail a cab.

Pro tip: You can actually learn in advance what art exhibitions are currently on display in the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Check out their website to learn more.

South Perth: A City of Parks and Gardens

Highlight(s): Perth Zoo, Sir James Mitchell Park, South Perth Foreshore, Old Mill, Mindeerup, and Ferry Tram

Possible accommodations:

  • Quest South Perth Foreshore (4-star) 
  • The Peninsula Riverside (4-star)
  • Pagoda Resort and Spa (4-star)
  • Metro Hotel (3-star)

Another great location in Perth to stay in is South Perth, which is just across the river from the Perth CBD. It’s a place that is dear to me due to its many parks and gardens where I can just relax and forget my troubles for a moment.

A park I regularly visit here is Sir James Mitchell Park, a large green space located beside the Swan River. My friends and I sometimes have a picnic here during dusk because the park has an unobstructed view of the Perth CBD’s skyline.

There are also some amazing historic sites you can check out here, like the Old Mill and the Ferry Tram. These two places can provide you with an insight into what life was like back in the earlier days of Perth.

And of course, let’s not forget the Perth Zoo! This massive zoo hosts 1,258 animals of 164 different kinds of species.

I strongly urge you to check the zoo out if you still haven’t seen a koala or a kangaroo in the flesh.

I am happy to say that you won’t find it difficult to traverse around South Perth using public transportation. Visitors and residents can use the Joondalup Line and Mandurah Line to travel across the city.

Ferry transport is also a popular method of getting around the metropolitan area from South Perth. You can catch a ferry yourself by visiting the Mends Street Jetty west of Sir James Mitchell Park.

Bus routes aren’t as many compared to places like the Perth CBD, but they’re sufficient for getting around South Perth.

You also won’t be facing too many issues looking for accommodation while in South Perth. There are tonnes of 4-star and 3-star hotels here where you can crash after a long day of exploring Perth.

Another thing I love about South Perth and why I often visit this city is its low crime rate. It only has a crime rate of 2.8 per 100 residents as of May 2023.

Pro tip: Perth Zoo doesn’t only allow visitors to see their exotic animals; you can touch them too! Sign up for their Close Encounters experience to have the chance to take a selfie with their red pandas and penguins.

Scarborough: For Those Who Want a Taste of Perth’s Beach Scene

Highlight(s): Scarborough Beach, Whale Playground, The Snake Pit, Tjunta Trail, Scarborough Sunset Markets, Scarborough-Trigg Heritage Trail, and Artspace Collective

Possible accommodations:

  • Rendezvous Hotel (4-star) 
  • Quest Scarborough (4-star)
  • Seashells Scarborough (4-star)
  • Indian Ocean Hotel (3-star)

It’s no surprise to many that Perth has a very active beach scene thanks to its long and beautiful coastline. Scarborough is one of the best places in Perth to stay if you’re keen on participating in seaside action.

Of course, in this town, you’ll find the famous Scarborough Beach. Its white, sandy beaches and clear, blue water are a big hit among many beachgoers, especially surfers and swimmers.

Aside from Scarborough Beach, this suburb also hosts a lot of places where you can enjoy outdoor activities. Fans of skateboarding can check out The Snake Pit, where most of Perth’s skateboarders and BMX riders come to play.

I strongly encourage you to visit the Scarborough-Trigg Heritage Trail during your stay here. This 7.5-kilometre-long walking trail goes through many historic sites in Scarborough and Trigg.

Personally, my favourite place to visit here is the Scarborough Sunset Markets. It’s a night market filled with various food stalls, souvenir shops, and live performances that will definitely keep you entertained throughout the night!

You won’t find it difficult looking for a place to stay here due to Scarborough’s beachside location. There are many 4-star hotels here, which are just a few metres away from Scarborough Beach.

I am happy to report that Scarborough is a safe place for tourists to stay. The crime rate for this suburb as of May 2023 is 3 per 100 residents.

If there’s one downside I can say about this suburb, it’s public transportation. Scarborough is too far from any of Perth’s train lines, and there are only two bus routes that go through this suburb.

Pro tip: Visit the Observation Deck at the top of the Rendezvous Hotel, where you’ll have a stunning view of the Indian Ocean and the Perth CBD’s skyline.

Factors to Consider When Visiting an Area in Perth

Public Transportation

It’s very important to know in advance what public transportation options you have when visiting a city. While taxis and rental cars are an option, they aren’t always a cost-effective solution.

Thankfully, Perth has a robust public transportation system composed of trains, buses, and ferries.

All these systems are handled by Transperth. Their website is a handy tool you can use to know in advance the schedules of any public transportation you want to take to your destination.

I also made this simple table to summarise the possible public transportation options you can use while you’re in the areas I listed before. These data were gathered from Transperth and Moovit.

AreaPublic Transportation Available
Perth CBDTrain: Armadale Line, Joondalup Line, Fremantle Line, and Mandurah LineBus: Route 270, 28, 34, 55, 75, 950, 960, 970, and 990Ferry: Elizabeth Quay Jetty
FremantleTrain: Fremantle LineBus: Routes 531, 549, 910, 915, 998, and 999Ferry: Victoria Quay
SubiacoTrain: Fremantle Line and Airport LineBus: Route 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 97, 81, and 82
NorthbridgeTrain: Joondalup Line, Airport Line, Fremantle Line, and Mandurah LineBus: Route 38, 39, 402, 910, 950, 960, 970
South PerthTrain: Joondalup Line and Mandurah LineBus: Routes 31 and 34Ferry: Mends Street Jetty
ScarboroughBus: Routes 410 and 990
Pro tip: I strongly urge that you get yourself a Transperth SmartRider card during your visit to Perth. This card allows for seamless switching between Perth’s different modes of public transportation without having to buy a ticket for every switch.

Crime Rate

Crime Rate

Unfortunately, crimes are something that you should always keep an eye out for during your travels. Most areas in Perth are considered safe, but there are also many places that are known for being crime hotspots.

Here are the May 2023 crime rates of the areas I mentioned earlier. This data was provided by the Western Australian Police Force.

AreaCrime rate per 100 residents
Perth CBD14.4
South Perth2.8

As you can see, most of the areas we talked about earlier are pretty safe, except for the Perth CBD and Northbridge.

According to WAtoday, a big reason why Northbridge is a crime hotspot is its active nightlife scene. Meanwhile, the Perth CBD also suffers from higher crime rates due to the high number of people that go through here at most hours of the day.

Pro tip: It’s best to save the emergency numbers of a city you’re planning to visit in advance to prepare for worst-case scenarios. The number for emergency services in Perth is 000.

Travel Costs

Travel Costs

Last but not least, we will need to discuss the average daily costs of your stay in Perth. According to Budget Your Trip, the average daily cost for a tourist to stay in Perth is A$201.

The website has also stated that the average weekly cost for a trip to Perth for two people is A$2,812.

To help you learn more about the kinds of expenses you might make on your trip to Perth, look at the table below.

ExpensesAverage Daily Costs in AUD (1 person)
Bottled water$2

Please take note that the figures provided are average costs, meaning that it’s possible for you to encounter either lower or higher prices depending on which shops or places in Perth you plan to visit.

Pro tip: There are many places in Perth that you can visit for free! Some places you should definitely check out since they don’t have an entrance fee are
Art Gallery of Western Australia
State Library of Western Australia
Elizabeth Quay Kings Park and Botanic Garden
St. Mary’s Cathedral
Scarborough Beach Mindeerup

Still hard to beat

Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2

Read more below Buy Now

Better Fitting

Mpow MDots Wireless Earbuds

Read more below Buy Now

Noise Cancelling

BlueWow A8 Macarons True Wireless Earbuds

Read more below Buy Now
Check more deals
Related topics