Why You Should Visit Northbridge, Perth’s Trendy Downtown Suburb
Are you planning a visit soon? Here’s why you should make sure to add Northbridge in Perth to your travel bucket list.
Western Australia (WA) has a bad reputation when it comes to planning a vacation. While its capital, Perth, is only a five-hour drive from Singapore, it’s often seen as boring and “for retirees” (read: slower) compared to other busier cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
Still, there are some exciting neighborhoods in Perth that will surprise you, just in case you’ve had enough of the city’s quiet momentum. Today we’re spotlighting Northbridge, Perth’s hippest city center suburb you may not yet know.
Read on to find out what to do, where to eat and drink and where to stay in the Northbridge area of Perth.
Where to go
Perth Cultural Center
If you only have time for one stop on your Northbridge to-do list, make it the cultural hub of Perth. Venue 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 Theater Center of WA.
WA Museum Boola Bardip, in particular, houses eight permanent exhibits showcasing the state’s scientific and cultural collections. A new program has been added to their list of activities this year: visitors to the museum will be able to attend free performances by Aboriginal Noongar dancers every Saturday morning.
Similarly, the new WA Art Gallery rooftop site is home to a beautiful city skyline, with food and drink with a distinct Western Australian flavor; an outdoor sculpture walk, a new internal gallery space for exhibitions and events. As well as the stunning backdrop, be sure to spend some time admiring the roof’s centerpiece – a 34-metre digital Aboriginal artwork by Nyoongar/Minang artist Christopher Pease, which will wrap around one third of the roof wall.
During the day, Northbridge Piazza is a great place to sit on the grass with a cup of coffee and take in the sights and sounds of the area. Here, you’ll find a permanent LED screen as a focal point that showcases movies, creative presentations, sports and music – 24 hours a day. Most events are free and generally no reservations are required.
Where to eat and drink
No Mafia stands for delicious and simple dishes. Here, they emphasize using local produce to craft traditional Italian plates with a modern twist – think Roman arancini, burrata and duck pappardelle. The best seat in the house? From the balcony, of course.
No Mafia is located at 252 William St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia.
Francoforte spaghetti bar
Don’t know what to eat for lunch? Pasta is always a good idea. For some of the best pasta in town, you’ll find it at Francoforte Spaghetti Bar, located on Williams Lane. Crowd favorites at the Italian joint include the guanciale carbonara with cured pork cheek and pecorino, and the porco rosso with sugo, pork sausage and Grana Padano Parmesan cheese.
Francoforte Spaghetti Bar is located at 4/189 William St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia.
If you’re up for a good time with lots of booze, Palace Arcade is the right place for you. Perth’s premier arcade bar hosts a monthly rotation of 50 vintage gaming machines from owner Saran Bajaj’s collection, and ranges from games like The Simpsons and Street Fighter, to X-Men and Space Invaders. They also stock local craft beer options, with frequently turning taps that you can choose from.
Palace Arcade is located at 84 Beaufort St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.
Ruinbar is the newest hotspot in the area, a 300-person venue on the corner of Beaufort and Newcastle Street. The previously dilapidated heritage building focuses on local support with their locally brewed alcohol – a third of the bar’s 18 taps pour Western Australian house ales, while the remaining taps offer a rotating mix of Australian beers. Did we also mention the Aperol spritz and Paloma cocktails? Over the weekends, the yard also showcases food trucks, with plans underway to open an Aussie-style pizzeria.
Ruinbar is located at 165 Beaufort St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.
Wines of Tandis
There’s nothing a bottle of wine (or two) can’t fix. Those looking for a cozy wine bar can head to Wines of While, located at the top of William Street in Northbridge. The natural and organic wines are worth trying, and one of the 200 wines in stock can be brought in and consumed at the bar, or is available to take away. The selection of wines by the glass changes daily, and guests can order a selection of small plates from the menu of Mediterranean-influenced dishes.
Wines of While is located at 458 William St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.
Where to stay
Of course, you don’t have to stay in the neighborhood itself, but there really is no better way to soak up the atmosphere than to spend a night in the surrounding area. DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Northbridge, for example, is a stylish and reliable option in the area, with an open pool deck, great city views, and four-star amenities for relaxing.
DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Northbridge is located at 100 James St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia.
Those who prefer boutique establishments can check into the Alex Hotel, a cozy 74-room black-and-white hotel. A five minute walk from Perth train station, anyone would be spoiled after a stay here.
Although the rooms are a bit more streamlined than most, they are clean and well equipped with everything you need. Think Lekker bikes that guests can borrow for free, and a generous supply of craft beers, lagers, ciders, and a range of reds and whites in the lobby bar. With a late 12pm check out in all areas, you can be sure we’re booking a night at this designer spot.
Alex Hotel is located at 50 James St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.
This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia Singapore