Perthites have long known the understated magic of the City of Light. And while the destination’s famed drawcard is its natural beauty, Perth boasts a colourful arts and culture scene that’s often forgotten but deserving of discovery. WA’s picture-perfect capital lies along the estuary of the Swan River, on the traditional lands of the Whadjuk Noongar people, where Aboriginal Australians have lived for at least 45,000 years. In 1829, Perth was founded by Captain James Stirling and named after the Scottish city.
Perth day trip itinerary
From museums and shows to culinary genius and everything in between, this Day Trip itinerary gives you a tasty tease of Perth’s arts and culture scene.
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10:00 am: Chu-se some pastries to start the day
There are about sixty thousand reasons to visit this Perth pitstop made famous by social media. Brought to life by self-taught bakers, Ryan and Seren Chu, and proven by the ever-present queues that twist down Highgate’s William Street, a drop in to Chu Bakery for coffee and pastries is a guaranteed way to start the day trip right.
Designed by hospitality stalwart Mata Design Studio, this low-volume, high-quality bakery which became an overnight success is renowned for its French pastries and to-die-for croissants. But who are we kidding, you can’t go wrong with anything at this neighbourhood joint.
10:30 am: Take a walk through Hyde Park
Once you’re fed and fired up for adventure, head across the road to Hyde Park for a leisurely stroll and picturesque photo opportunity if you’re that way inclined. The inner-city park which was gazetted as a public garden in 1897 and named after London’s own, boasts a lake, walking trail, and playgrounds. Originally known as Third Swamp, the area was once a camping, hunting, and ceremonial site for the Whadjuk Noongar people. In the latter half of the 19th century, when Aboriginal people were restricted from entering the Perth City area, it was one of the few camping spots remaining to them.
11:30 am: Let’s make our way into Northbridge
Take the snappy drive to Northbridge via car or Uber. Merely a five-minute walk from the Perth City, this cultural hub is a kaleidoscope of food and arts, celebrated for its boutique landscape, café scene, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
12:00 pm: It’s time for some Authentic Bites
If you want the inside scoop on Perth’s best dumpling hangouts, this little spot, hidden in plain sight, is among the best. Although waiting for a table at Authentic Bites is almost a given, thanks to the lines out the door, the pan-fried pork dumplings are sure to make it worth your while. You can also take a peek into the kitchen to see how these juicy parcels of goodness are created.
1:30 pm: Visit the WA Museum
Take the nine-minute walk or three-minute car ride to the state’s premier cultural organisation, the Western Australian Museum Boola Bardip and spend a few hours seeing the sights and exhibitions. Word to the wise: be sure to visit the Origins exhibition, which uncovers the wonders of our planet; from microorganisms to the origins of our galaxy.
Tip: Book your tickets online before you go so you don’t have to queue up at the door.
4:30 pm: A pre-dinner rooftop cocktail
Pop in for pre-dinner drinks where classic Mai Tai’s are slung on the regular and creative island concoctions are the norm. Northbridge’s James Street is home to Perth’s newest 60s-inspired, Tiki cocktail lounge, Tiki as FK. The city skyline views from the rooftop bar are panoramic and the alcoholic brews are tropical and delightfully refreshing.
5:30 pm: Dinner at Sauma
Enjoy dinner at Sauma, where vibrant Indian flavours and a laidback atmosphere collide in the beating heart of Northbridge. Expect WA produce balanced with a respectable wine list and dishes that are prepared over days, not hours. Pair that with indie décor, distressed brick, Sanskrit panels, and arty pendants. Word on the street is that the Shark Bay prawns and Cone Bay barramundi curry are hard to beat.
7:50 pm: See a Fringe show
Check out a show at the immensely popular, annual Fringe World Festival which is taking place from January 19 to February 18. From comedy and music to circus, there are an array of entertainment options to sieve through. We recommend buying a ticket to GODZ, a hedonistic dive into the lives of the ancient Gods of Olympus. The comedy acrobats from Head First will fuse storytelling, circus, and physical prowess to God-like proportions in the form of gravity-defying stunts, heroic strength, and comic twists.
9:20 pm: Finish the day trip with late-night gelato
While Cuccini Gelato only recently opened its Northbridge doors in early 2023, the Italian-inspired, minimalistic establishment has quickly cemented itself as a William Street gem. Everything here is made from scratch, so whether you fancy the traditional pistachio, fior di latte or chocolate notes, the crowd-pleasing rum and raisin, or new-wave avocado and lime sorbet, you’re certain not to be disappointed.