Western Australia (WA) gets a bad rap when it comes to planning a holiday. While its capital city, Perth, is only five hours away from Singapore, it’s often seen as being boring and “for retirees” (read: slower in pace) compared to other buzzier cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
Yet, there are exciting neighbourhoods in Perth that’ll surprise you, just in case you’re tired of the leisurely momentum of the city. Today, we’re spotlighting Northbridge, Perth’s trendiest inner city suburb that you might not be familiar with – yet.
Read on for what to do, where to eat and drink and where to stay in Northbridge neighbourhood of Perth.
Where to go
Perth Cultural Centre
If you only have time for one stop on your list of things to do at Northbridge, make it the Perth Cultural Centre. The locale may be “one stop”, but it’s actually a catch-all term that includes 6 venues: Art Gallery of WA, WA Museum Boola Bardip, State Library of WA, The Blue Room, PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts), and the State Theatre Centre of WA.
WA Museum Boola Bardip, in particular, is home to eight permanent exhibitions featuring the State’s scientific and cultural collections. A new programme has been included in their list of activities this year: visitors to the museum will enjoy free performances by Aboriginal Noongar dancers every Saturday morning.
Likewise, the Art Gallery of WA’s new rooftop venue is home to a stunning city skyline, complete with food and beverages with a distinct Western Australia flavour; an open-air sculpture walk, a new internal gallery space for exhibitions and events. Apart from the beautiful backdrop, remember to spend some time admiring the rooftop’s centrepiece – a 34-metre digital Aboriginal art piece by Nyoongar/Minang artist Christopher Pease, which will wrap around one-third of the rooftop wall.
During the day, Northbridge Piazza is a great place to just sit on the grass with a cup of coffee and just take in the the sights and sounds of the area. Here, you’ll find a permanent LED screen as its focal point which showcases films, creative presentations, sport, and music — 24-hours a day. Most events are free and generally no booking is required.
Where to eat and drink
Delicious, simple fare is what No Mafia stands for. Here, they place emphasis on using local produce to craft traditional Italian plates with a modern twist — think Roman arancinis, burrata, and duck pappardelle. The best seat in the house? By the balcony, of course.
No Mafia is located at 252 William St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia.
Francoforte Spaghetti Bar
Not sure what to have for lunch? Pasta is always a good idea. For some of the best pasta in town, you’ll find it at Francoforte Spaghetti Bar, situated at Williams Lane. Crowd favourites at the Italian joint include the guanciale carbonara with cured pigs’ cheek and pecorino, as well as the porco rosso with sugo, pork sausage and Grana Padano parmesan.
Francoforte Spaghetti Bar is located at 4/189 William St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia.
If you’re up for a raging good time with plenty of booze, Palace Arcade is the perfect place for you. Perth’s first arcade bar plays host to a monthly rotation of 50 vintage gaming machines from owner Saran Bajaj’s collection, and range from games like The Simpsons and Street Fighter, to X-Men and Space Invaders. They also stock local craft beer options, with frequently rotating taps for you to choose from.
Palace Arcade is located at 84 Beaufort St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.
Ruinbar is the latest hotspot in the area, a 300-person venue located on the corner of Beaufort and Newcastle Street. The previously dilapidated heritage building focuses on supporting local with their locally brewed alcohol – a third of the bar’s 18 taps pour Western Australian house beers, while the the remaining taps feature a rotating mix of Australian beers. Did we mention Aperol spritz and Paloma cocktails too? Over the weekends, the courtyard area also showcases food trucks, with plans underway to open an Australian-style pizzeria.
Ruinbar is located at 165 Beaufort St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.
Wines of While
There’s nothing a bottle of wine (or two) can’t fix. Those looking for a cosy wine bar can head to Wines of While, located at the top of William Street in Northbridge. The natural and organically-farmed wines here are worth a try, and any of the 200 wines in-stock can be brought and consumed at the bar, or are available for takeaway. The wine-by-the-glass selection changes daily, and guests can order a selection of small plates from the Mediterranean-influenced food menu.
Wines of While is located at 458 William St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.
Where to stay
Sure, you don’t have to stay within the neighbourhood itself, but there’s really no better way to soak in the atmosphere than spending a night at the locale. DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Northbridge, for instance, is a stylish, reliable option in the area, complete with an open pool deck, great city views, and four-star amenities to kick back in.
DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Northbridge is located at 100 James St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia.
Those who prefer boutique establishments can check into Alex Hotel, a cosy 74-room black-and-white hotel. A five-minute walk to Perth Railway Station, anyone would be spoilt after stay here.
While the rooms are a little more pared down compared to most, it’s clean and comes well stocked with everything you need. Think Lekker Bikes that guests can borrow for free, and a generous supply of craft ales, lagers, ciders, and a range of reds and whites in the lobby’s bar. With late checkout at 12pm across the board, you can be sure we’re booking a night at this designer location.
Alex Hotel is located at 50 James St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.