The CBD is the beating heart of Western Australia's capital. We did the research for you and rounded up the top things to do in the Perth CBD, from the best restaurants to book to our favourite boutique hotel and not-to-be-missed activities.
Visitors fresh off the plane may need to squint – and not just because of the sunshine. With its vivid blue skies and glittering waters, Perth can feel hyper-real, as if someone turned the brightness up.
It’s a dazzling backdrop for skyscrapers, small bars and upscale restaurants but that’s Perth – anything but ordinary. The cosmopolitan city now hums with high-end hotels, ambitious public art, no-rules menus and Indigenous inspiration.
Como The Treasury
This contemporary hotel within the Victorianera State Buildings has luxurious light-drenched rooms with Egyptian-cotton-dressed beds and huge freestanding stone bathtubs you could practically swim in. But why would you when there’s a 20-metre indoor lap pool under a two-storey wall of louvred windows? Make sure to book a massage at Shambhala Spa.
Eat and Drink
Fleur at Royal Hotel
Dimly lit, save for the lightbox art, this relaxed 50-seat restaurant winks at fine dining. Go with the dégustation menu for imaginative Japanese-inspired fare or try Afternoon Bloom on Saturdays – an indulgent high tea where the beverage in question is prosecco and cucumber sandwiches are replaced by kimchi arancini. Bookings are a must.
The street food of Thailand comes to Perth at this Western Australian sibling of David Thompson’s much-loved Sydney spot. The walls are decorated with murals from Bangkok artist Alex Face while unapologetically punchy flavours dominate the menu. Prin’s Noodles, with tender pork and prawns, is a crowd favourite.
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Helmed by executive sous chef Danny Feng, The Ritz-Carlton’s elegant restaurant has a simple concept: showcasing locally sourced ingredients in the best (and tastiest) light. Indulge in barbecued Berkshire pork paired with an abalone sourced from Burns Beach or the smoked Abrolhos Islands scallop, and pair it with Western Australian wines to best experience the hyper-local fare.
This bustling spot has the convivial feel of a British pub but with a much more upscale offering – think ricotta gnocchi with duck ragu or local cheeses with lavosh and honeycomb. Head to the neighbouring Beer Corner or the wine bar for a tipple with expert service.
Inspired by the six seasons of the Noongar calendar, this refined top-floor restaurant features artful dishes that hero native ingredients and game, such as smoked kangaroo tartare with samphire. Sit by the wall of windows to check out the panoramic views of the Perth skyline.
Immerse yourself in history
The newly refurbished WA Museum Boola Bardip in the CBD weaves Western Australia’s history into a multi-sensory journey. Not shying away from the state’s darker past, the museum challenges visitors with the experiences of the First People after the arrival of Europeans. Other highlights include its comprehensive collection of Indigenous art, an enormous blue whale skeleton, multi-media exhibits and striking meteorite displays.
Explore a waterfront playground
Make your way across the curved footbridge at Elizabeth Quay, designed to give a 360-degree outlook of the Swan River. Then download a free map for a self-guided art tour. Be sure to see the harmonious Spanda sculpture, Pinjah, a mosaic inspired by a Dreaming story in a water park, and Edge, an animated lighting installation that hugs the entire length of the inlet and changes colour with the weather.