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48 hours in Perth

With fantastic food, a vibrant late-night scene, nature, culture and entertainment, there’s plenty to do on a weekend in the west

Kings Park
Photograph: Martin Eade Kings Park
By Time Out in association with Aloft Perth and Marriott Bonvoy |

WA's picturesque capital is a laidback metropolis perched between the Swan River and the sparking Indian Ocean. It might be one of Australia’s smaller cities, but it’s no slouch when it comes to beaches, culture and hidden nightlife gems. Over the past few years the city has undergone a bit of a revamp, with the CBD and Northbridge joining forces to become a central hub for hungry foodies, bar-hoppers and retailer junkies. The surrounding suburbs have also upped their game, with new businesses springing up on the regular.

There’s heaps to explore on the west coast, but if you can only spare a couple of days to enjoy the sunny skies of Perth, here’s a few ideas on how to spend them. 


48 hours in Perth

Photograph: Martin Eade

Friday night

Start your weekend tour of Perth with a low-key dining experience at Hadiqa – a hidden rooftop restaurant and bar in the CBD offering up Middle-Eastern style share plates and some pretty serious cocktails. It’s worth going for the Diffa (chef’s selection) if you’re finding it hard to settle on dishes, which is a total bargain at $55pp.

After dinner, swing by Petition Wine Bar in the old State Buildings for a glass of wine and a cheese plate – the heritage building itself makes for a worthwhile visit, even if you haven’t saved room for cheese.

Halford Bar
Photograph: Supplied

Friday late night

With a belly full of delicious food and wine, it’s absolutely time for a cocktail or two, so we suggest you make your way to Halford. Located in the basement Safe Room of the 1897 Titles Building, Halford is like a classic 1950s lounge bar, complete with plush velvet furnishings and a finely tuned cocktail menu. Sit back and settle in, they’re open until 2am.


La Veen
Photograph: Martin Eade

Saturday morning

For breakfast in the city you just can’t go past La Veen, where the vibes are warm and the coffee hot. Located on quaint King Street, they serve up everything from classic smashed avo to pulled pork baguettes and acai bowls, alongside some of the best-brewed beans Perth has to offer.

After you eat is always a good time for a leisurely stroll, so peruse the recently refurbished Forrest Chase shopping precinct where you’ll find the likes of H&M, General Pants, Uniqlo and HypeDC, or wander down to the city’s edge and see what’s happening at Elizabeth Quay.

Photograph: Martin Eade

Saturday afternoon

Take advantage of Perth’s free CAT bus service and take a ride up to King’s Park. You’ll be rewarded with sweeping city and river views, botanical gardens and parklands just made for a slow afternoon stroll.

With your nature fix sorted, head back towards the city for a bit of indoor fun. Play a round of mini golf at Holey Moley or brush up your Mortal Kombat skills at Palace Arcade. Visit the cultural precinct, and check out the Art Gallery WA with its extensive collections of historical, contemporary and Indigenous art.

Lunchtime options are manifold. Wrap your mitts around an eye-wateringly good burger from the lads at Hoodburger, or heat things up with a spicy dragon ramen from Ramen Ichiraku. For something on the lighter side, you can’t go past the fluffy pita at Hummus Club or a late afternoon lunch of wine and cheese at Wines of While.


The Standard
Photograph: Rebecca Mansell

Saturday night

Northbridge is definitely the place to be on a Saturday night, as small bars open their doors and everyone’s out for a good time. Start with a drink at the effortlessly cool Ezra Pound, then proceed to hop, skip and drink your way around other local favourites like Sneaky Tony’s, the Standard, Mechanics Institute, and Frisk Small Bar, snacking on bar bites as you go.


Lucy's Love Shack
Photograph: Martin Eade

Saturday late night

When the late night hunger pangs hit, head straight to Billy Lee’s. This no-frills Chinese restaurant is a much-loved Perth institution from way back when, and their crisp salt and pepper squid just happens to make for the perfect late-night snack.

If you’re wanting to kick on, Joe’s Juice Joint, Lucy’s Love Shack and the Sewing Room all happily fly on the ‘anything goes’ radar and are open until late.


Freo Markets
Photograph: Martin Eade

Sunday morning

No trip to WA would be complete without spending a day in the portside town of Fremantle, and thankfully it’s an easy train ride away. Skip a sit-down breakfast and head to the Fremantle Markets for shopping and cheap takeaway eats from the likes of Chic Pea Vegan Café and Dirty Dogs Hotdogs. If you’re thirsty, both Little Creatures and the Norfolk are good places to stop for a cheeky beer and a rest before you move on.

Cottesloe sunset
Photograph: Peta Brady

Sunday afternoon

As you make your way back to the city it seems only fair to stop off by the beach, and hopefully catch a gorgeous WA sunset if the timing’s right. Do yourself a favour and grab an Uber to the Cottesloe Beach Hotel where all the pretty people love to congregate and the sunsets are magical, or head further up the coast to Island Market Trigg and take in the scenery with a crisp WA vino in hand.

Press shot of musician Troye Sivan
Photograph: Supplied

Sunday night

You might be flagging by this point, but Perth isn’t done with you just yet. It’s Sunday, and a good opportunity to keep things relatively civilised with dinner and a show. If you are in town on Sunday September 15 you can take in the eccentric electro-pop sounds of Troye Sivan, who is returning to Perth to play a special gig at the Aloft Perth Hotel as part of #AloftLive. For $250, the ultimate Live At Aloft Homecoming Tour package includes an overnight stay at Aloft Perth, $50 food and beverage credit per room to use in either Springs Kitchen or W XYZ bar, and two tickets to the Troye Sivan show. 

Otherwise keep an eye on the events listing at His Majesty’s Theatre for last-minute discounted tickets.

And finally, if you’ve got the energy, raise a final glass to your whirlwind tour of Perth with a gin cocktail from the Flour Factory, or a neat whiskey from Varnish on King. Go on, you’ve earned it.