3 days in Perth: An Easy to follow itinerary

If you are planning your Perth itinerary and wondering how many days to stay in Perth and what you just must not miss, then you are in the right place. Our 3 day Perth itinerary includes the most popular things to do in Perth and a few brand new spots you may not find in your guidebook.

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When is the best time to visit Perth?

There’s no bad time to visit. There’s plenty to do in Perth all year round, however, to truly embrace everything the capital city of Western Australia offers. The best time of year to visit is in spring or early summer between September and December.

Perth is renowned for its gloriously sunny weather and in springtime the weather is warm, wildflowers are in bloom and Perth is abuzz with activities. Average temperatures are over 20 degrees and the days are long, so you can make the most of your time in the sunny destination and discover all of Perth’s natural beauty.

How long do I need to visit Perth?

To truly experience Perth, Western Australia, allow yourself at least three days. We’ve handpicked some of the best day trips, restaurants, beaches, and activities Perth has on offer to immerse yourself in this vibrant city.

To maximise your Perth itinerary try to plan your trip so you are there between Thursday and Sunday when most places are open

If you have more than three days in Perth, there are some incredible day trips to add to your Perth itinerary, including the beautiful Swan Valley wine region and hiking trails in the Perth hills, and Yanchep National Park in the North-west.

Planning on staying longer? Add Rottnest Island to your list, you won’t be disappointed! To see even more of Western Australia, a trip to the south coast of Western Australia is an absolute must. The Margaret River region is brimming with wineries, walking trails, beautiful beaches, mountain biking, and bird life.

Where is the best place to stay in Perth?

You can find a place to stay in the Perth CBD on any budget.

There are loads of cheap hostels that are nice and central, so everything is within walking distance, including:

  • Hostel G Perth – Modern hostel with great dorms. Excellent family suites and private rooms too
  • Spinner’s Hostel at Northbridge – Noted for its friendly staff and super clean facilities, this is a great choice for anyone wanting to enjoy Perth’s nightlife

Mid-range hotels

If you want a few more comforts, these are great boutique hotel options:

If you’re searching for a more luxurious city stay:

  • The Ritz-Carlton – overlooking the Quay, this is a lovely special occasion hotel that will impress most anyone.
  • The Westin – Large rooms and suites with fabulous in-house facilities particularly the day spa and Australian Chef Guy Grossi Garum Restaurant.
  • COMO the heritage Treasury building – very spacious, lux rooms in a classic style.

Day One – Explore the Perth city centre

Key sites: Today you will visit Elizabeth Quay and the Perth waterfront, Swan River, Perth’s cultural precinct, and Kings Park.

Begin your Perth adventure in the city’s heart. Get to know the city by starting your day around the Swan River before immersing yourself in Perth’s fascinating culture and exploring the spectacular Kings Park and Botanic Garden.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA, Sunset view of skyline of Elizabeth quay in Perth, Australia
Elizabeth Quay Perth

For your morning on the Swan River choose one of these fun ways to explore Perth’s waterfront.

  • Book a guided river cruise from Barrack Street Jetty and see Perth from a different perspective as you take in the wonderful sights, including Elizabeth Quay’s Bell Tower where you can ring the bells and get a certificate.
  • Alternatively, you might like to see the city from a kayak
  • If you want to see even more of Perth from the river, there are options for day cruises to Rottnest Island, the Swan Valley, and Fremantle.
  • Take the ferry to South Perth and hire a catamaran or join a kayak tour and paddle around Heirisson Island, hire a jet ski at Mill Point Reserve, or have some fun on a water bike.
  • Cruise around the river and city on a Segway Tour from Barrack Street Jetty. Keep an eye out for dolphins, particularly near the water’s edge.
  • Book a gondola for a relaxing, romantic ride from the Quay to Claisebrook Cove in East Perth – you’ll be forgiven for thinking you are in Venice rather than Perth.
  • If you’re keen to see some of Australia’s unique wildlife, visit the Perth Zoo across the river in South Perth. The Perth ferry runs regularly between the Quay and the Mends Street Jetty and costs less than $5 for a return trip. Check out the larger-than-life Frilled Neck Lizard and Numbat sculptures in Mindeerup Piazza when you disembark.
  • If you’d prefer something a little more adventurous, book Perth’s longest zipline and climb at the majestic Matagurup Bridge in East Perth. Take a free red CAT bus to the bridge and prepare to witness scenic views of the river and Perth skyline from great heights as you fly off the platform at up to 75km/hour! You can even book a twilight climb and witness the bridge and sky light up at night.
3 days in Perth free bus
Perth free city bus Credit: Tourism Australia

Next, head to the Perth Cultural Centre, located just north of the CBD, to explore Perth’s cultural and historical heritage.

In the precinct, it’s worth visiting the WA Museum, Boola Bardip, and the Art Gallery of WA. There’s plenty to see here, including Aboriginal art and special exhibitions. There’s even Yoga at the Museum some weekends, where you can stretch it out under the Museum’s blue whale, Otto, surrounded by artefacts and the soothing sounds of a live DJ.

Sunset view of Yagan square in Perth, Australia
Yagan Square, Perth

Afterwards, wander over the Horseshoe Bridge into Yagan Square, a meeting place and window into Noongar culture. Here you’ll find a variety of cafes and restaurants, native gardens and public art, all interwoven with links to the traditional owners of the land.

Next stop: Kings Park

Next stop on the Perth itinerary is Kings Park. Wear your walking shoes, but hop on a free CAT bus from the Perth Busport to get there first.

Kings Park is one of the most magnificent inner city parks in the world. Stretching over 400 hectares of natural bushland, the park overlooks the beautiful Swan River, city skyline and Darling Ranges. Larger than New York’s Central Park Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens offer some fantastic views over the city

There are over 2,000 plants in Kings Park that can only be found in Western Australia.

If you visit in spring, you’ll witness some of the most spectacular wildflowers on display. Wander through the Botanic Garden and see how many of the 3,000 species of native flora you can spot and take in breathtaking views from up high on the Lotterywest Federation Walkway.

Duck swimming alongside the Flame of Remembrance in the Pool of Reflection c in Kings Park, Perth, Australia
Flame of Remembrance in Kings Park

The Kaarta Gar-up Lookout is a great place to take a photo with the city as a backdrop. It’s also worth visiting the State War Memorial to learn more about the Western Australians who served their country in wars throughout history.

If you are happy to keep strolling, check out Federation Walkway a 620m treetop walkway in Kings Park

This afternoon you could also opt to join a walking tour of the Perth arcades and laneways and discover the history and colourful murals of inner city Perth

Tip: To celebrate a special occasion, treat yourself to an authentic Australian fine dining experience at Wildflower restaurant in the COMO Treasury building on St. Georges Terrace.

Alternatively, take a sunset dinner cruise along the Swan River and check out the sunset!

Day 2 – Discover Perth’s beaches

Key sites: Today you will some of Perth’s famous beaches, take a coastal hike, and watch one of those spectacular west coast sunsets.

If you hear the term “west is best” when you’re in Western Australia, locals are referring to the beaches. Western Australia is home to some of the best beaches in the world. The Indian Ocean spans the entire west coast and you’ll be spoilt for choice on which bucket list-worthy beach to tick off first. Here’s how to spend the ultimate day on Perth’s famous white sandy beaches.

Swim, surf, snorkel, or stroll along the coast

A morning swim and a delicious breakfast are one of the best ways to start your day. Perth’s quintessential swimming spots are Cottesloe Beach and City Beach, where you can cool off in the calm clear waters and grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby cafes afterwards.

Scarborough Beach Perth
Scarborough Beach Perth

If you’d like to give surfing a go, Scarborough and Trigg beaches are the places to search for a swell or book lessons with local surfing pros. If you’d prefer to just take in the views and grab photos of the Indian Ocean, there’s a path that runs from Trigg Beach to Hillary’s Boat Harbour.

Grab a coffee from popular cafes Little Bay or Yelo and sit and watch the waves roll in. If you fancy snorkelling with some of the local marine life, start at Mettams Pool in North Beach or self-drive down to the Omeo Shipwreck at Coogee Beach, about 30 minutes from the CBD.

The Omeo is part of the award-winning Coogee Maritime Trail. Learn about the shipwreck and maritime history as you keep your eyes peeled for a variety of fish, starfish, and corals. It can get busy, so it’s best to get there before mid-morning.

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, visit Coogee Common for lunch, overlooking the beach. Built in 1894, and originally known as the Coogee Hotel, the farm-to-table restaurant grows as much as possible on-site in their extensive gardens which they harvest daily – so you can expect the freshest seasonal ingredients delivered directly to your plate!

3 days in perth sunset
City Beach Perth Sunset Credit: Tourism Australia

Watch an iconic sunset

You haven’t truly experienced Western Australia without a trip to the coast to catch the sunset. The sun sets later in summer, so there’s plenty of time to grab a takeaway meal and find a good spot by the sea. Get your phone ready to capture the sun going down over the horizon. No east coast sunset can beat this!

Here are some of the best ways to enjoy a Perth sunset:

  • Grab some fish and chips and soak in the atmosphere at Cottesloe Beach
  • Pack a picnic or barbecue essentials and head to City Beach.
  • Get a window seat at Island Market Trigg for a cocktail and tapas at sunset.
  • Make your way to the top of the grassy hill at Scarborough Beach.
Perth bar tour
Make new friends on a Perth Bar Tour Credit: Travello

If you are looking for something to do tonight, we recommend joining this 3hr Perth Bar Tour, which departs each evening at 6 pm. It’s great for anyone wanting to learn more about Perth but especially good for solo travellers who prefer not to eat and drink alone.

Day Three – Visit Fremantle

Key sites: Today you explore the historic city of Fremantle, visit the Fremantle Markets, UNESCO-listed Fremantle Goal, and check out some of the fantastic public art and colonial buildings.

Perth’s famous port city, Fremantle, is a must-see on your Perth itinerary. Spend a day exploring the centre of the city, rich in history and full of amazing restaurants, eclectic shops, and fun activities.

Freemantle is known as Walyalup by the Whadjuk Noongar People

Commonly called “Freo” by locals, Fremantle is located around 16km from the Perth CBD. Hire a car and drive 30 minutes southwest of the City centre, or if coming by public transport jump on the Fremantle train line from Perth station, which heads straight to the Fremantle town centre.

Rainbow Sea Container Art, created by Perth artist Marcus Canning.The artwork is 9 metres high, 19 metres long and weighs 66 tonnes.
Rainbow Sea Container Art, created by Perth artist Marcus Canning.

Fremantle Markets

The Fremantle Markets are the best introduction to the unique harbor-side city. Established in 1897, they’re one of the few remaining original markets in Australia. Step into another world when you enter this vibrant marketplace in the centre of town.

Inside, you’ll find local artisans displaying all kinds of goods, including fashion, homewares, hand-crafted jewellery, fruit and vegetables, spices and tea, handbags, art and crafts, Australian souvenirs and so much more.

Fremantle, Western Australia -
Fremantle Markets

When you’re done browsing the stalls, venture into the Yard. Here you’ll be spoilt for choice, with an array of street food vendors tempting you with flavours from around the world.

Let your tastebuds lead the way- gozleme, gnocchi, Gado Gado, bratwurst, dumplings, gourmet Indian pies, and even doughnuts, Dutch baby pancakes, and hand-crafted ice cream are all on offer! The markets are open Friday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm.

Fremantle Prison

The next stop on your ultimate Perth itinerary is the Fremantle Prison, by far one of Western Australia’s best historic sites and only a short walk from the markets. The Prison is the largest structure built by convicts in Western Australia and the most intact convict establishment in the country.

Silhouette of British prisoners entering Fremantle Prison.
Fremantle Gaol was initially used for convicts transported from Britain

There’s free entry to the Gatehouse to view the gallery, convict depot, museum, and gift shop, but you haven’t truly seen the Prison without going behind bars on one of the tours. The tunnels tour is one of the most memorable experiences you’ll ever have, even if you’re not that interested in history.

After putting on your hard hat and overalls, you’ll descend 20 metres underground to explore a labyrinth of tunnels built by the convicts, while you’re entertained by the knowledgeable and super witty guides. If you feeling adventurous – it is 100% worth it.

Dinner and drinks in Fremantle

Head into the heart of Fremantle’s town centre for great food and drinks at one of the many fantastic restaurants and bars.

Something is brewing in Fremantle and it is local craft beer! If you’re craving a cold drink after a long day on your feet, visit the new Gage Roads Brewing Co on the Walyalup Waterfront, Running with Thieves, or Little Creatures Brewing Co for a pint and wood-fired pizza on Fremantle’s fishing boat harbour.

Street with historical houses in Fremantle, Australia
No shortage of dining and people-watching options in Fremantle

If you are looking for a restaurant for dinner, here are my favorites:

  • If you’re in the mood for fresh, local seafood paired with some great wine, put Madalenas Bar on your list.
  • If you’ve never been served by a robot waiter and love affordable and delicious Thai food, try out Spice Market.
  • History meets contemporary at The Old Synagogue, a beautiful heritage building full of trendy restaurants and bars.
  • You’ll find modern Australian cuisine with a side of beach views at Bathers Beach House, Perth’s only absolute beachfront restaurant where you can dine right on the sand.
  • Tucked away behind the Fremantle Markets, you’ll be delighted to discover Emily Taylor, a modern Asian fusion restaurant named after a ship that sailed from England to Fremantle in the 1800s. Insider tip: Be sure to order their signature roast duck.

You could also choose to join a Fremantle Food Tour that runs at 2 pm or 3 pm each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Fremantle food tour
Fremantle Food Lovers Tour

If you have over 3 days in Perth,

We are sure you will discover that the city of Perth, Australia, is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the southern hemisphere.

Perth, to Rottnest Island, near Perth in Western Australia
Sealink Rottnest Island ferry

There are so many places to visit nearby Perth we suggest along with your 4-5 days in Perth city you should try to allow 3-7 days to explore the rest of South-Western WA. This area, including Margaret River and Albany, offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

Got a question? Head over to our Australia Travel Tips Facebook Group and ask a local.

Author: Lisa Cook is a freelance writer based in Perth who grew up in the coastal town of Albany, which she credits for her adventurous, ocean-loving spirit. With a deep love for travel, Lisa will give you the ultimate experience of food, culture, and people – sharing local secrets and the joy of discovering new places.

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