48 Hours in Perth: Best Places To Visit on a Weekend
What should you do in Perth if you have only 1 to 2 days to spare? Here’s a detailed itinerary of all the best things to do in Perth Australia on a short holiday.
Australia’s sunniest capital city, Perth offers plenty of options for travellers to see and do—you can venture on a self-drive trip, look for secret spots to explore, or simply savour its mouth-watering desserts.
But if you have only 48 hours or the weekend in Perth, what should you include in your 2D/1N Perth itinerary? Read on for recommendations by the team at Pan Pacific Perth for the top things to do in Perth.
Day 1 – Morning stroll through Perth city centre
Address: 13 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000, Australia
For your first day out in Perth, see the beautiful city on foot with a leisurely stroll through the city centre. Along the way, you can take beautiful photos of Perth’s oldest heritage buildings.
Look for the Government House, located just a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Home to successive Governors of Western Australia since 1863—even till today—the grounds are open to the public every Tuesday to Thursday between 12 noon and 2:00pm. Missed those timings? You can still catch a good view of the imposing stone-and-brick Gothic building across the street.
Opposite, the St George’s Cathedral beckons. Built in 1888 and one of few cathedrals constructed from handmade bricks, it is open to visitors every day from 7:00am. Catch the morning sun gleaming through the stunning stained glass windows, framed by tall pine ceilings and a Caen stone pulpit carved in France.
Walk round the corner, and you will find the Perth Town Hall. Unless hired for a private function, the municipal building is open to the public from Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Perth Town Hall was once the tallest structure in Perth after its completion by convicts and free men in 1870. Here is a little challenge for the eagle-eyed—see if you can spot decorations with convict motifs such as windows in the shape of the broad arrow and decorations in the shape of a hangman's rope.
Day 1: Afternoon frolic at Cottesloe Beach
Address: Marine Parade, Cottesloe, Western Australia 6011, Australia
When in Perth, do as the locals do. Slather on the sunscreen and hit Cottesloe Beach—West Australia’s most loved seaside destination for over a century.
There are countless activities to while a lazy day away—the unspoiled beach is perfect for a cool dip in the sea or a walk along the white sand. If you prefer to snorkel, or to chill at a café gazing at the soothing sea, head to the northern part of the beach. Over at the southern side, rocky reefs and cliffs abound. However, you can spot acrobatic wind-surfers and kite-surfers here.
If you are lucky, you might even catch an outdoor music concert at the grassy Cottesloe Esplanade, a favourite haunt of local picnickers. Stay till dusk to catch a mesmerising sunset over the Indian Ocean.
Day 1: Sumptuous Peruvian dinner and river-side jaunt
Address: The Esplanade, Perth WA 6000, Australia
Telephone number: +61 8 6557 0700
Opening hours: 24 hours daily
Hungry for something exotic? How does Peruvian sound to you?
Newly opened at Pan Pacific Perth, Uma Restaurant features award-winning chef Alejandro Saravia’s modern interpretations of authentic and beloved Peruvian classics. Using premium West Australian produce, the menu offers a wide array of ceviches (a seafood dish typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices), traditional vegetable dishes, as well as fresh beef, lamb and chicken dishes.
With your appetite fully satiated, it is time to see Perth at night. Head out to nearby Elizabeth Quay for the beautiful twinkling lights of Perth’s skyline, and catch a glimpse of the iconic suspension bridge over the Swan River. View numerous public artwork and sculptures along the boardwalk.
Day 2: Morning market experience
Address: Corner South Terrace & Henderson Street, Fremantle, WA 6959, Australia
Telephone number: +61 08 9335 2515
Opening hours: Friday: 9.00am to 8.00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9.00am to 6.00pm
Looking for a unique locally-made souvenir or a laidback cafe to relax over a cuppa? Be prepared to spend a few hours exploring this vibrant Victorian-era nook.
The iconic Fremantle Markets, in operations since 1897, is a must-visit destination for any traveller to Perth. Over 150 stalls hawking an astonishing array of fresh produce, international food, beverages, fashion, homeware, and toys vie for your attention.
Be charmed by buskers around the market areas. Or participate in special seasonal events like face painting. To learn more about the precinct, download this trail map explaining the atmosphere, architecture and tales of Fremantle Markets.
Day 2: Afternoon exploration of Fremantle Prison
Address: 1 The Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
Telephone number: +61 08 9336 9200
Opening hours: 9.00am to 5.00pm daily
Imagine this. A ragged old ship sailed into Fremantle Harbour. On board the ship are countless convicts from the British Empire, seasick and worn after the tumultuous ocean voyage.
The year? 1850—when the blueprint for the settlement’s first convict barracks took shape.
A place of incarceration from the 1860s to its closure in 1991, Fremantle Prison was Western Australia’s only World Heritage-listed building. The site witnessed much drama and despair—from floggings and hangings, shocking convict escapes to prisoner riots.
To revisit its infamous past, consider visiting the attraction (most exhibits are free-entry) or book a guided tour. There are five to choose from, including one that brings you 20 metres below the prison to explore a labyrinth of tunnels built by prisoners!
Get directions to Fremantle Prison | Buy tickets
Day 2: Evening performance at His Majesty’s Theatre
His Majesty’s Theatre
Address: 825 Hay Street, Perth WA 6000, Australia
Telephone number: +61 8 6212 9292
Image credit: Michal Lewi/Wikimedia
Toured the heritage buildings? Check.
Gone to the beach? Check.
Shopped at the markets like a local? Check.
What nocturnal activity can you add to your Perth “to-do” list? Catch a moving performance at the grand His Majesty’s Theatre.
Built in 1902, the stunning Edwardian Baroque building is a regal State Heritage icon, complete with ornately decorated interiors, dome roof and marble staircase. Home to the West Australian Ballet and West Australian Opera companies, it also hosts pop concerts, musicals, and cabaret shows.
To book the performance of your choice, check its event calendar for upcoming shows in Perth.
Experience the city like a local with the #Perth package, where you will enjoy daily buffet breakfast at Montereys Brasserie, as well as complimentary self-parking and Wi-Fi. Speak to our team at Pan Pacific Perth for information, and read our travel guides for more travelling tips in Perth!
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