Fremantle is a relaxed city by the sea, half an hour down the Swan River from the Perth city centre. Freo is a city of art, food and history, set on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It’s always been a favourite hangout spot for Perth locals, and has recently become more known on the international stage. When you visit beautiful Western Australia, you simply have to come by Freo!
1. The Food Scene
Fremantle is full of amazing eateries, and there’s something for everyone on every occasion! While it’s basically sacrilegious to come to Freo and not go to the Little Creatures Brewery, there’s plenty more incredible spots you must check out. For ethical & sustainable deliciousness, you simply can’t beat The Raw Kitchen – the raw nachos are to die for! I adore the Grumpy Sailor for brunch – they do amazing bagels (amongst other things) which are the perfect Sunday morning snack after a long Saturday night.
The laid-back eateries on the Cappuccino Strip are incredible spots too, with Gino’s being a local’s favourite for as long as I can remember! Bread in Common has burst onto the scene in the last few years, quickly becoming a favourite with Perth locals. Run Amuk delivers A M A Z I N G hot dogs (with both meat & vegan versions) right around the corner from South Beach – seriously, you have to visit Run Amuk! Finally, Bib & Tucker is an amazing foodie joint, perched on the North Fremantle coast – it’s a beautiful place to watch the sunset!
2. The History
Being one of the main colonies in Western Australia after the Brits came in, Fremantle is a hotspot for Western Australian history. The Round House was the first permanent building in the Swan River Colony, and it’s now the oldest building still standing in WA. Fremantle Prison is another popular spot, with night tours being a favourite for locals and tourists alike. It functioned as a jail from 1855 to 1991, and the tours will take you through convict life, hangings in the gallows & perhaps a few ghost stories!
Colonial history aside, Freo is also home to amazing Indigenous history. The broad term for Indigenous people in south-west WA is Nyoongar, however there are 14 smaller sub-groups that occupied this land for tens of thousands of years before Europeans arrived. To gain a greater understanding, take a tour with Indigenous Tours, who will give you a history of Fremantle from an Aboriginal perspective.
Fremantle also has a few museums around, with a favourite being the Maritime Museum. Being a port city, the Maritime Museum is home to artefacts from WA’s history with the sea. Submarine tours and visiting the winning America’s Cup yacht are two of the most memorable parts of the Museum. You can also stop by the Shipwreck Galleries and Army Museum.
3. The Markets
The Fremantle Markets are one of my favourite places to visit in Perth! Some of the best food in Freo can be found right here in the markets – whether you’re after fresh fruit & veg, ice cream, baked goods or niche little goodies, chances are you’ll find it at the Markets. Be warned though: it gets craaaaazy busy by midday Saturday!
4. The Beaches
While it’s hard to go wrong with any beach in WA, Freo is home to some of the nicest beaches in Perth! My favourite though? It’s gotta be South Beach. Just around the corner from some of my favourite food spots in Freo, it’s also my favourite to go for a swim. Like I said though, it’s pretty hard to go wrong whichever beach you choose – WA is home to some of the best beaches in the world!
5. The Architecture
Fremantle has literally thousands of heritage listed buildings to explore. A lot of the buildings were built by convicts, and are full of history. A favourite spot in Freo is the Round House, which overlooks Bathers Beach. Also be sure to check out the Railway Station and the Esplanade Hotel!
The streets of Freo are literally full of beautiful old buildings – they’ve managed to stick around despite Perth’s huge growth over the past few decades. Just wander around Freo, crane your neck to look up at the stunning Victorian & Edwardian buildings and always take a few snaps!
6. Trips to Rotto
Rottnest Island (Rotto) makes a perfect little getaway while you’re visiting WA! The island is just a 30 minute ferry ride from Freo, and is home to incredible beaches and adorable quokkas. Hire out a bike and ride from beach to beach, have a delicious barbecue out in the sun and of course snap a selfie with a quokka. Accommodation on the island can be kinda expensive, so while I do love it for a weekend getaway, day trips are amazing too!
Fremantle has long been one of my favourite places in Western Australia, and it’s getting more & more well-known around the world. Food, art & history, all set oh so close to the stunning sea. Come visit!