Perth: The City That Always Sleeps?

Perth, Western Australia

The city looks like it could have been built only yesterday. As Australia’s newest and the worlds most isolated state capital, Perth is modern, clean, bright and very shiny! There are constant construction works in place with the city expanding at a rapid pace.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I intentionally visit a city, I have a few expectations. Primarily, late night buses and even later night opening hours for businesses. Well Perth, you truly disappointed me on this one.

Scott and I happened to just be perusing the CBD one beautiful day and decided to finish up with a few drinks in the city. The bars in the CBD seem to have fairly decent opening hours, but this wasn’t our problem today. We left the bar around 8pm after enjoying a few vino’s and wandered towards the train station. We were situated quite far out of the city, with Perth being ridiculously expensive, our Airbnb rental came with a fair price tag but a long distance from, well, everything.

Perth Lighthouse
Perth Lighthouse

We eventually arrived near our suburb around 9pm and had to transfer to a bus for the remainder of the journey. Upon disembarking the train and setting forth to the bus stop, we noticed it was eerily quiet for 9pm on a Friday night. No one was stood at the normally busy bus stop, so I checked the timetable. Peering through the graffiti marks, I suddenly realised we had just missed the last bus. The last bus!? It’s 9pm… ON A FRIDAY NIGHT. Are you kidding me!?

airbnb banner

Scott and I had walked back home from the shopping centre a few days previous, which was around 20minutes away, and that walk took us a good 45minutes. We really weren’t up for that right now. We walked to the stations car park and just stood there. No taxis. Brilliant. No phone battery. Doubley brilliant! A middle aged woman noticed our bewilderment and approached, asking if we were OK. We explained our situation and she took out her phone and called us a taxi. $35 later and we were home. Good God Perth.

Stunning skyline from Kings Park
Stunning skyline from Kings Park

This was a continual trend, staying out in the suburbs because we couldn’t afford the ridiculous prices anywhere close to the city meant we were isolated from everything. We thought we had found some comfort that there was a shopping complex within walking distance, however, you guessed it, all the restaurants closed at 9pm. I couldn’t believe this. I even spoke to a shop assistant in a shoe shop and inquired as to why everything closes so early. She said that as everyone in the city works, there is no point keeping bars and restaurants open till after 10pm. They tried it once and found the locals weren’t interested.

Now don’t get me wrong, Perth is a gorgeous city and if you are central enough, you can keep occupied till around 10pm, so long as you don’t require public transport to get home. But be prepared to make your own entertainment or have some very early nights. Books. Buy lots of books.

Not all my time in Perth was bad, I’ll be posting some more about my highlights soon!

Have you visited Perth? What did you think?

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Hi! Name’s Aly! Originally from Birmingham, England, I have been discovering the world for over 3 years straight. I am a psychology graduate with a love for Pho and red wine. Whether I throw myself into a novel or from 14,000ft up out of a plane, I look at adventure big and small and say “Let’s do this!”
  • Shaun

    Hey I live here and I agree. Nothing to do in the city after 9pm. It’s so expensive compared to other Australian citys.

    • Aly

      Yes, Perth is so very expensive. Luckily there is plenty of beautiful scenery in WA to make up for it! =]

    • PsychoTraveller

      Yes, Perth is so very expensive. Luckily there is plenty of beautiful scenery in WA to make up for it! =]

  • Malin

    Hi Aly, I am in Perth at the moment and thank good they have changed it to a bit later, my latest train is 2am and the buses run till I think 12 or 1am, which does not really make sense but okay 😊