Where to stay in Perth

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Find out where to stay in Perth and discover an array of areas that need to be on your itinerary. Western Australia’s sun-kissed capital boasts a patchwork of charming enclaves, presenting everything from engaging colonial history and the verdant Kings Park to eye-popping beaches and the hopping Rottnest Island.

Perth CBD — fringed by East Perth, West Perth, Northbridge and Swan River — is the city’s focal point. Stay here to enjoy Perth’s modern, rising and vibrating side.

More laid back, Cottesloe Beach and Scarborough Beach are where to stay in Perth for beach lovers. How about bedding down only steps from that quintessential Australian shoreline?

For an unrivaled dose of history, consider the fun, friendly Fremantle, crowned by a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or, to escape the mainland pace altogether, opt for the quokka-dotted Rottnest Island.

Perth CBD

Such a remote city needs to be self contained, and Perth CBD has everything you expect from an international hub, and more. This compact area facing Swan River is just bursting with activity.

Kings Street invites you to upscale shopping. Gucci, Prada, Chanel and Louis Vuitton — it’s easy to break the bank here. But lined by elegant buildings from the early 1900s, you certainly don’t need to spend money to enjoy a morning on Kings Street.

For lower price tags and more people watching, continue on the adjoining Murray and Hay Streets. Partly pedestrian only, these lively strips framed by a wide range of stores and often enhanced by street performers complete the shopping experience of Perth CBD.

St Mary’s Cathedral, on Victoria Square, grabs the CBD’s prize for the most interesting architectural story. Today’s eclectic appearance, especially the curved design stands out, is the result of protracted expansions — one of them took more than 70 years.

To enjoy dinner with a view, make your way over to the Elizabeth Quay area, named after former Queen Elizabeth II and beautifully overlooking Swan River.

Jutting out into Swan River, Barrack Square is dotted with riverside eateries and bars. Sit down at the Amano for a tasty blend of Italian and Australian dishes, and romantic Swan River views.

Did you arrive before dinnertime? Climb Barrack Square’s 82.5-metre (271 ft) Swan Tower, famously home of the 18 ringing Swan Bells, one of them the 6,500 kg ANZAC Bell.

If you want to escape the busy city, know that you can take the ferry directly from the Barrack Street Jetty to Rottnest Island. Yes, at the heart of the city centre you really have the best of Perth at your fingertips.

Takeaway: Perth CBD is where most visitors choose to bed down, and it’s easy to see why. This is the most complete option for where to stay in Perth, offering both unique sights and easy access to other city areas.

Recommended hotels in Perth CBD

Hilton Waterfront

Wake up to the stunning views of Swan River; then lounge by the pool while enjoying that same breathtaking perspective. On your doorstep, CBD sightseeing and the friendly entertainment scene of Barrack Square await. This Perth hotel knows exactly what a holiday is all about, and it’s surprisingly affordable.

Ritz Carlton

Check in at the luxury hotel tying the Elizabeth Quay area together. Massive floor-to-ceiling windows add grandeur and offer remarkable views of Perth’s cityscape, Swan River and the lush Supreme Court Gardens; it’s almost like you don’t have to go out to take in the sights.

COMO The Treasury

A hotel and attraction in one, Como The Treasury is set in the heritage State Buildings from the 1870s. Marvel at the history, the Premier of Western Australia once had his office here. Then enjoy the best of 21st-century hospitality, including spacious, tastefully decorated rooms and the crowd-pleasing Post and Wildflower restaurants.

The Spanda sculpture in Elizabeth Quay, Perth CBD, during sunset
Savor a sunset at Elizabeth Quay.

East Perth

Defined by its long Swan River waterfront, East Perth is located between Perth CBD, with all its activity, and Burswood, home of Crown Perth and Perth Stadium. And, on top of convenience, this suburb holds a few gems of its own too.

High on any Perth itinerary should be The Perth Mint.

Established in 1899, it captivates you with the gold industry’s fascinating story. Highlights include the Australian Kangaroo, a gold coin weighing a tonne (literally), and a gold pouring demonstration.

For some fresh air, stroll Queens Gardens, housing a replica of the renowned Peter Pan statue in London’s Kensington Gardens, or Victoria Gardens, beautifully east-facing Swan River.

While touring the area, you might hear loud cheering. Called Western Australia’s home of cricket since the 1800s, East Perth’s WACA Cricket Ground is holy ground for sports fans.

If you’re hungry, make your way over to the Claisebrook Cove enclave of East Perth. Like a downsized Elizabeth Quay version, quieter and mostly frequented by locals, it offers cosy waterfront restaurants.

When it’s time to tour the rest of Perth, you easily get there.

For example, it’s only 1.5 km and 20 minutes by foot from The Perth Mint to Swan Tower, a popular sightseeing combo. Add another 10 or 15 minutes to reach the jewel of West Perth, the verdant Kings Park.

Takeaway: Sure, East Perth is not as activity-full or vibrating as Perth CBD. However, it’s a less touristy option for where to stay in Perth that puts you within 30 minutes by foot of most city sights.

Hay Street sign showing the way in Perth, Western Australia
Lace up your shoes and follow Hay Street to the CBD.

Burswood

If you prefer something central, look away now. Burswood, on the “wrong side” of Swan River, isn’t ideal for sightseeing. Instead, it’s the best place to stay in Perth for gambling.

Burswood’s Crown Perth is a huge entertainment complex offering thrilling moments for a wide spectrum of visitors.

Try your luck at the tables; the casino is open 24/7. Enjoy the myriad of restaurants and bars; there’s one for every night of your Perth stay. Sit down to watch live sports on big screens; this beats your living room.

Or, why not catch a theatre show? The excitement never seems to end at Crown Perth.

But Burswood has more in store than its non-stop entertainment mecca. Another reason to stay in Burswood is the massive Perth Stadium, also known as Optus Stadium.

With a 60,000+ capacity, it’s the ultimate venue for everything from cricket and Australian football to concerts. International stars including Ed Sheeran, Eminem and U2 have performed here.

Takeaway: Pick Burswood for where to stay in Perth if you mainly come for Crown Perth or Optus Stadium events. If you don’t, other locations are more convenient for exploring Perth.

Recommended hotels in Burswood

Crown Towers

Crown Towers highlights the advantage of being away from the CBD; the Perth City skyline reflecting on Swan River is breathtaking. This is the most luxurious among Crown’s three hotels, meaning premier rooms and superb amenities.

Crown Metropol

In the first row for non-stop entertainment, the Crown Metropol sits at the heart of the Crown’s sprawling complex. Views of Perth CBD are fantastic here too.

Crown Promenade

Crown Promenade is the most budget-friendly Crown hotel in Perth. Still the high comfort level makes it a popular option for those who don’t crave for luxury.

Matagarup Bridge spanning Swan River against the backdrop of Optus Stadium, Perth
Matagarup Bridge connects Burswood and East Perth.

West Perth

Despite the uncreative name, West Perth is a superb source of inspiration. Bordering Perth CBD to the east, this is where you find the flower-filled Kings Park, a city oasis like no other.

There’s no shortage of awe-inspiring vantage points here. Kings Park encompasses 400 hectares of greenery brilliantly overlooking Swan River, Canning River and Perth CBD.

On the horizon, the rising Darling Range makes it a photogenic quartet.

But the best is yet to come.

More than 3,000 species of Western Australian flora await in the botanical gardens. As appreciated is the bushland section laced with trails making you feel more in the actual bush than in a city park.

If you ever want to leave this sanctuary, just walk over to Perth CBD. From the Fraser Avenue entrance of Kings Park, it’s 20 minutes to James Street shopping and not many more to the ringing Swan Tower.

Takeaway: Kings Park is alone a great reason to pick West Perth for where to stay when visiting Perth. Strolling through the lush park to the sound of singing birds is like balsam for your soul.

The State War Memorial in Kings Park looking out over Perth's city centre
Kings Park against the backdrop of Perth CBD.

What about Subiaco? West of West Perth, the leafy suburb of Subiaco hides. While Subiaco puts you further from most tourist hot spots, it’s an interesting option for those preferring to stay just outside the city centre. If this sounds like you, consider the modern Vibe Hotel.

Northbridge

When Perth CBD calls it a day, the suburb directly north across the railway tracks is just getting started. Northbridge is the undisputed nightlife hub of Perth.

An international melting pot, Northbridge has an exciting aura. Prepare for an eclectic mix of restaurants, quirky watering holes and, later during the night, buzzing nightclubs.

Especially on Fridays and Saturdays, when the suburb is swarmed by people looking for a good time, it can get loud.

To seek respite (or recover from the night before), visit the adjoining Perth Cultural Centre, adding a more sophisticated touch to the area.

Walking through Perth Cultural Centre, with many shaded places to sit down, is always pleasant. This troublefree environment goes hand in hand with the precinct’s cornerstone attractions:

  • Art Gallery of WA
  • WA Museum Boola Bardip
  • State Library of WA
  • The Blue Room
  • Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA)
  • State Theatre Centre of WA.

Besides the nightlife and cultural drawcards, Northbridge’s strategic location can’t be overestimated. Follow Williams Street south for 10 minutes to reach Hay Street; in another 10 you’re by Swan River.

Takeaway: Nightlife lovers, unite! Northbridge is the best place to stay in Perth for that big night out. It gets loud here at night, but maybe that’s exactly what you’re looking for.

Perth mural art depicting a running man in suit
Embrace Perth’s lively, artsy side.

Fremantle

History buffs go into overdrive in Fremantle (or just “Freo”) for its over 250 heritage buildings, the biggest collection in Western Australia. Add to that a thriving nightlife scene, and it’s clear why everyone seems to love this port town situated where Swan River meets the Indian Ocean.

The 1850s Fremantle Prison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about the convicts, spend some time behind bars, crawl in tunnels and, if you dare, explore the property after dark.

Keep the history coming at the Round House, appealingly facing Bathers Beach. Opened in 1831 as a gaol, it’s Western Australia’s oldest public building.

The WA Maritime Museum showcases the state’s proud seafarer past with the help of a wide range of vessels, including the 1983 America’s Cup-winning Australia II yacht.

Completing a day of Fremantle history, WA Shipwrecks Museum features fascinating, in some cases even upsetting, displays. The Batavia Gallery is the star attraction, telling the story of one of the worst horror stories in maritime history.

South Terrace is Fremantle’s main drag, lined by cafés, restaurants and bars. Think a breezier version of Northbridge’s vibrating nightlife scene — this is a great venue for a fun night out.

Want a change of scenery? Embark on a 30-minute ferry ride to Rottnest Island. In the other direction, a scenic Swan River cruise is a delightful way to get to Perth CBD.

Takeaway: Fremantle offers historic sights around every corner, making it a top place to stay for history buffs. Add to that a fun restaurant and bar scene, providing a coastal contrast to Northbridge.

The Jetty statue in Fremantle, standing in Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
Be sure to visit Fremantle, a historic port town.

Cottesloe Beach

Western Australia is spoiled with stunning beaches, and Perth is certainly no exception. Join locals at Cottesloe Beach (to fit in, call it “Cott”), a quintessential place for soaking up Western Australia’s magnificent coastline.

The snow-white sand sets a lovely scene for relaxing days under the Perth sun. The water is crystal clear with reefs inviting snorkellers over; check out Peters Pool, a lovely, protected spot.

Surfers riding waves create the ultimate backdrop. Marvel at the show from a safe distance, or maybe ride the waves yourself — Cottesloe Beach is the cradle of surfing in WA.

When you need to refuel, make your way over to the beachside establishments serving food and drinks. Alternatively, unfold a blanket under one of the framing Norfolk Pine trees for a shaded picnic.

On Cottesloe Beach, you might ask yourself: What’s Bondi Beach? Although Cottesloe Beach gets crowded on weekends, it has every ingredient you need for a great holiday on the beach.

To tour the rest of Perth, Cottesloe Beach puts you within 20 minutes of Perth CBD and 15 minutes of Fremantle by car. It doesn’t get much more convenient with that.

Takeaway: Stunning beaches and easy access to other must-see areas of the city makes for a great Perth stay. If you’re a beach bum looking for soft, sandy fun, Cottesloe Beach calls your name.

The sugar-white Cottesloe Beach framed by a calm Indian Ocean
There’s nothing not to like about Cottesloe Beach.

Scarborough Beach

There’s a friendly rivalry going on in Perth. Some 10 sun-drenched km north of Cottesloe Beach, Scarborough Beach challenges for the best-beach-in-Perth title.

Even seasoned beach bums find it hard to separate them.

Scarborough Beach has it all too: White sand, check; clear water, check; top surfing conditions, check. Next to the beach, restaurants, bars and grassy areas perfect for picnics and people watching appeal.

A Scarborough institution, the Rendezvous Hotel shoots up towards the blue Perth sky. Providing eye-popping ocean views and unbeatable beach access, this is a great option for Perth accommodation.

How about rest-of-the-city access? Drive from Scarborough Beach to Perth CBD in 20 minutes or down to Fremantle in 25 minutes.

Takeaway: Scarborough Beach makes it tough for the beach lover: Should you pick Cottesloe Beach or Scarborough Beach? Both are excellent options for where to stay in Perth.

Blue waves lapping the shore at Scarborough Beach, WA
Feel sand between your toes on Scarborough Beach.

Rottnest Island

No guide to where to stay when visiting Perth is complete without mentioning Rottnest Island. A 30-minute ferry ride from Fremantle, Rottnest Island offers the ultimate island escape.

From the blue bays and white beaches to the lighthouses and quokkas, this is a slice of paradise — one such that is like nowhere else on the planet.

Over 400 marine wildlife species call the waters surrounding Rottnest Island their home. Thanks to an array of protected bays, such as Little Salmon Bay, it’s easy even for beginners to take advantage of the incredible underwater diversity.

Those bays teeming with life are fringed by gorgeous sun-kissed beaches. Leaving visitors in awe, there are 63 Rottnest Island beaches to choose from.

For history, discover Rottnest’s two rising lighthouses: Bathurst Lighthouse and Wadjemup Lighthouse. While Bathurst isn’t open for visitors, you can climb Wadjemup on a guided tour.

How to get around? Recline aboard the island’s convenient hop-on-hop-off bus, or pedal away on a bike yourself. Encompassing 19 km2 (it’s 11 km from east to west), Rottnest Island is a joy to tour.

At all times, keep an eye out for curious quokkas, having a special place in Rottnest Island’s soul. This is the capital of the Quokka Kingdom, which only consists of a few Western Australian enclaves — don’t miss out on that mandatory quokka selfie.

Takeaway: If you seek a true escape, Rottnest island is the best place to stay in the Perth area. But even if you don’t choose to stay here, make sure to take a day trip. What’s a better reward than an adorable quokka (or two)?

Recommended hotels on Rottnest Island

Samphire Rottnest

Dutch 1696 explorer Willem de Vlamingh described Rottnest Island as “a paradise on earth”. Nowadays, Samphire Rottnest elevates that experience further, letting you enjoy barefoot, beachfront luxury in unique Rotto style.

Two cuddling quokkas on Rottnest Island, Western Australia
Rottnest Island’s most famous species: The quokka.

There’s more: Although the wine region of Margaret River isn’t in Perth (but a 2.5-hour drive by car away), it’s the perfect extension to a Perth trip. Here, sample award-winning wine, eat the freshest of produce and relax on quiet beaches.

Where to stay in Perth FAQ

What’s the best part of Perth to stay in?

Perth CBD offers the most convenient location for city sightseeing, with Elizabeth Quay standing out as a romantic enclave offering Swan River views. A popular alternative is Fremantle, also known as the Old Town of Perth for its many colonial-era structures.

Where to stay in Perth on the beach?

Cottesloe Beach and Scarborough Beach are exceptional options for where to stay in Perth on the beach. Both these sun-drenched hubs for swimming and surfing are located within 20 minutes by car of Perth CBD.

Is it better to stay in Perth City or Fremantle?

Perth City and Fremantle are for different reasons great options for where to stay when visiting Perth. Opt for Perth City to enjoy a bustling, modern focal point, while Fremantle is ideal for a laid-back getaway.

Which is the best place to stay in Perth CBD?

The Swan River views at the Hilton Waterfront and Ritz Carlton are incredibly hard to beat. If you prefer a luxurious historic hotel, COMO The Treasury has got you covered.

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