It’s easy to fall in love with the city of Fremantle in Western Australia. There are so many things to do in Fremantle and we immediately felt comfortable and at home. We stayed in Fremantle a few times already and are always looking forward to the next visit. During our visits we had plenty of time to look around and explore the sights of Fremantle.
During this trip, we found a house-sit in East Fremantle and had 10 days to experience the local life. We have found many beautiful places and at the end of the house-sit we would have gladly stayed longer.
Fremantle is also a popular destination for day trippers from Perth and its surrounding areas. Especially on weekends, Fremantle can be very busy and there are many interesting events during the summer months. Fremantle is a port town and if one of the big cruise liners is stopping, Fremeantle can be quite full.
To help you make the most of your visit to Fremantle, we have compiled a list with things to do in Fremantle. If you are on a Western Australia Road Trip, you should plan on spending a few days in Fremantle.
1. Enjoy a stroll through the lively Fremantle Markets
We love to stroll through markets in foreign countries. There is always something new to discover and we can get an overview of the offer of fresh produce. At the Fremantle Markets we always find delicious local specialties and products from other parts of the world.
The Fremantle Markets, along with local fresh produce and specialties, also offer a wide range of products and food from all corners of the world. There is Paella from Spain, Bratwurst from Germany but also local Fish and Chips fresh from the Ocean. There is something for everyone. In our article “Fremantle Markets – The Perfect Start in the Weekend” you can read more about the Fremantle Markets.
- Location: Corner South Terrace & Henderson Street, WA 6160 Fremantle
- Opening hours Market Hall: Friday: 9 am – 8 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm
- Opening hours The Yard (fresh produce): Friday: 8 am – 8 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 8 am – 6 pm
- Entry: Free
2. Indulge in the coffee culture of Fremantle
Fremantle is famous for its coffee culture. The main traffic axis through Fremantle is the South Terrace and the busiest section of this street is called Cappuccino Strip. Here the cafes, bars and restaurants line up one after each other.
Of course we also have to try a Cappuccino here on the Cappuccino Strip. Gino’s has been serving excellent coffee for over 30 years. It is one of the most popular cafes on the Cappuccino Strip, and every week over 150 kilograms of coffee beans are processed into delicious coffee creations.
Because we love Fremantle with its coffee culture so much, we come back again and again. We just feel comfortable here and we always love to discover new cafes. We have already visited many, but there are many more that we do not know and there are always new ones popping up. In our article “Are you looking for the best cafes in Fremantle?” you will find our tips on the best cafes in Fremantle.
3. Learn how to prepare a really good coffee and join a barista course in Fremantle
On our last trip through Australia we wanted to know what exactly makes a good coffee. We wanted to learn what influence factors there are and what a Barista needs to know to produce a good coffee.
And where is the best place to attend a Barista course? Of course, in the place where a street is called Cappuccino Strip. In Fremantle. In our article “Barista Course in Fremantle: We learn how to make great coffee“ we tell you more about the barista course and what the secret for a perfect coffee is.
4. Visit one of the breweries in Fremantle and try the local beers
But there is more than just coffee to discover in Fremantle. There are several small breweries in the area brewing their own beer. Little Creatures is located at the fishing boat harbor and this is also the place where they brew their fine beers. However, Little Creatures brewery has meanwhile grown quite a bit and supplies its popular beers all over Australia.
Located right in the brewery building, there is a large restaurant and bar on various levels. But a visit to the Little Creatures Brewery is best started with a beer tasting. You will get a whole set of 10 small glasses with each beer on offer. Afterwards, you can order the beer you like the most.
On the terrace of the restaurant we sit directly above the waters of the ocean and can even see dolphins swim by. The pizzas are freshly made at Little Creatures and baked in the wood fired oven. Delicious.
5. Learn more about the gloomy past while spending time behind bars at the Fremantle Prison
The old prison of Fremantle is an impressive, almost a bit frightening building. It’s listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site on the list of UNESCO. The first building of the Fremantle Prison was built between 1851 and 1859 by and for the prisoners who were deported from Great Britain to Australia.
The prison was extended several times to provide enough space for up to 1’000 prisoners. There was a high security section and it was the only place in West Australia where the death penalty was executed. 44 people were killed during the time the Fremantle Prison was operational.
In 1988, during a turmoil, several wardens were taken as hostages, a part of the prison was lit and destroyed. This turmoil also led to the decision to close the prison, but not before 1991, after serving for 136 years.
Today, Fremantle Prison is a popular tourist attraction. Five different tours are offered and you can learn more about the history of this gloomy place. I visited the “Doing Times” tour and could learn a lot about this place during the tour. We have seen the various cell tracts, the kitchen, the church, the courtyard and much more. A visit to the prison is not for the faint-hearted.
- Location: The Terrace, WA 6160 Fremantle
- Opening hours: 10 am – 5 pm seven days a week
- Ticket prices: Tours from AUD 20 to AUD 60 or a tour pass for all tours for AUD 100
6. Fishing Boat Harbor – Fish & Chips as fresh as it can be
No visit to Fremantle is complete without eating fresh fish and chips. At the Fishing Boat Harbor there are several restaurants and takeaways, which process the freshly caught fish into delicious fish and chips.
Joe’s, Cicerello’s and Kailies Fish Market are the big names for fish and chips. We love the smaller shop called Sweetlips. We normally get a big portion of fish and chips and share it together on the beach with a beautiful view of the sea and our feet in the sand. Beware, the seagulls are extremely naughty and try to steal your food.
7. Learn more about the maritime history at the Western Australian Maritime Museum
This interesting museum shows the maritime history of Western Australia and we found it very interesting. It is located in the harbor area and offers an indoor and an outdoor area with a variety of exhibits on the maritime history of Australia.
Between May 1986 and March 1988 the Australian John Sanders was on his long and lonely around the world trip with his yacht Parry Endeavor. Three times in a row, the adventurer circled the globe alone and made it into the Guinness Book of Records.
HMAS Ovens was built in Scotland in 1967. The 90 meter long and over 2’000 ton submarine had a crew of 62 men. This submarine class was extremely successful and was used for around 30 years. The submarine was powered by two electric motors. The energy for these electric motors was generated with two 16 cylinder diesel engines. Two batteries with a weight of 150 tons per battery were used to store the energy needed. These giant batteries had a storage capacity of about 94’000 car batteries.
At the Fishing Boat Harbor, located in a historic building, you can visit the Shipwreck Galleries, which are also part of the Western Australian Museum. The entrance is free and you can donate a gold coin.
- Location: Victoria Quay, WA 6160 Fremantle
- Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:30 am – 4 pm; Saturday: 11 am – 4 pm; Sunday: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Entry fee adults: Museum: AUD 15; Submarine: AUD 15; Museum and submarine: AUD 25
- Entry fee kids (5-15 years): Museum: free; Submarine: AUD 7.5; Museum and submarine: AUD 7.5
8. Join the locals at the Sunday Music concerts at the Fremantle Arts Center
During the summer the Arts Center hosts a series of concerts. The concerts are free and many people use these events in the beautiful park of the Arts center for a picnic with friends and families.
- Location: Fremantle Arts Center, 1 Finnerty Street, WA 6160 Fremantle
- Date: On the weekends from October to March
- Prices: Free
9. Enjoy the sunset at the South Beach Sunday Markets
During the summer, many food stalls are set up in the park at the South Beach on Saturday evenings. There are specialties from different countries, live music and on the beach you can follow the beautiful sunset over the ocean.
In the article “South Beach Sunset Markets in Fremantle” you can join us on a culinary journey around the world.
10. Take advantage of the pub specials in one of the hotels Left Bank, Newport or Norfolk
The variety of restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes in Fremantle is huge and to decide for a place is not always easy. On weekends it’s always busy in Fremantle and everybody seems to be going out. During the week it is easier to find a table.
During the week some of the hotels offer pub specials to attract more guests. The pub specials offer very good value for money and we can only recommend it. We really liked the steak special in the Left Bank on Thursday. A 300 gram T-Bone Steak with a pint of beer for AUD 17 with a beautiful view of the Swan River. The steak special at Newport Hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday between 12 am and 2:30 pm as well as 5:30 pm and 9:00 pm for AUD 15 we can also highly recommend.
11. Check out the Roundhouse, the oldest building in Western Australia
The Roundhouse is the oldest building still standing in Western Australia. It was built in 1830 on a rock, at the end of the High Street. First, the building was used as a prison. Soon, however, the Fremantle Prison was built out of lack of space and the round house was used as a police lock-up, living quarters for the constable and a store house.
From the Roundhouse you can see the historic buildings with the beautifully decorated balconies lining the High Street. High Street is the main road that crosses Fremantle in east-west direction. Along this street there are many cafes, shops and historical buildings.
The National Hotel is another beautifully renovated building on the intersection of High Street and South Terrace. Here you can meet the locals for a beer in the evening.
12. Enjoy the sun at Point Walter on the Swan River
Point Walter on the Swan River is especially popular on sunny and warm weekends. Hundreds of water sports enthusiasts and sunbathers line up along the river and groups meet for barbeques in the park.
We have been here twice during the time of our house-sit in East Fremantle and enjoyed relaxing in the park and walking on the sandbank. An absolute insider tip is the peanut butter muffin from the kiosk at Point Walter. These are extremely yummie and therefore sold out very quick.
13. Discover the many sculptures and art projects in Fremantle
Fremantle is also famous for its art scene. During our walks around the city, we always stumble over sculptures, art objects and street art. There are big projects like the new container rainbow but also interesting backyards with street art and graffiti. At the Fishing Boat Harbor, you can also take a selfie with the sculpture of Bon Scott, the former singer of AC/DC.
Just take a few hours to explore Fremantle on foot and keep your eyes open. You will surely find some beautiful places.
Where to stay in Fremantle
Our hotel tips in Fremantle
Pier 21 Apartment Hotel – The Pier 21 is good value for money, great location at the harbour, nice rooms with a amazing views
Quest Fremantle, Aparthotel – Great central location, rooms are modern and clean, good choice of restaurants nearby
The Mini Hub Fremantle (South Fremantle) – Great location, nice rooms, comfortable guesthouse with a beautiful garden
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Fremantle is one of the most beautiful and coziest cities in Australia and we are always looking forward to our next visit. We love the coffee culture and, the easy going lifestyle and exploring the city by foot. There is always something going on and there are so many things to do in Fremantle. What is your favorite city in Australia?
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