this is the rainbow arch in Fremantle, one of the many things to see and do in Fremantle

Fremantle (Freo to locals) is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in Western Australia, and it’s a popular destination for tourists who are looking to experience a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor activities. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Fremantle.

With so many things to do in Fremantle you will need two to three days to explore at a leisurely pace, but add an extra day if you’re including a day out to Rottnest Island. However, I’ve visited many times and always seem to find something new each trip. It’s the little gem that keeps on giving.

These are the top 5 things to do when visiting Fremantle, Perth. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!

Explore the Historic Streets and Buildings of Fremantle

One of the best things to do when visiting Fremantle is to explore its historic streets and buildings. The city has a rich history dating back to the early days of the colony (around 200 years) so for history lovers this is a ‘must-do’. So put on some comfy shoes and check out Fremantle’s monuments and architecture.

Worth a trip in Freo is the Round House, which was built in 1830 and is the oldest building in Western Australia (groups of 10+ need to book in advance). This beautiful stone building served as the first prison in the colony around 200 years ago, and it’s now a museum where visitors can learn about the history of the area and its role in the development of Western Australia.

Entry is free but donations are greatly appreciated. Open daily from 10:30 to 3:30. The Round House can be seen in less than 1 hour.

Outside of The Roundhouse in Fremantle

Another historic building that’s worth visiting is the Fremantle Prison, which was built in the 1850s and served as a prison until 1991. Today, you can get your ‘true crime’ fix by joining one of the tours or just wandering the exhibitions. The evening ‘Torchlight Tour’ is highly recommended with prices starting at $18 for kids (10+) and $28 for standard adult tickets. Book in advance and be prepared for some ‘sordid and ghastly’ tales.

Other buildings of note in Fremantle include the former Post Office, the Town Hall, and the Customs House. Even just a wander down the High Street in the heart of town will satisfy any architecture and history lovers desire for some old elaborate Ozzie buildings.

Visit the Local Markets

Of course… the famous, award winning Fremantle Markets. Spread over two huge halls with over 150 stalls you won’t be disappointed!  There’s everything from food and jewellery to vintage clothing and art, so even if you don’t want to splash the cash it’s worth a visit even just to wander.

inside of Fremantle Markets

The markets are open Friday to Sunday and can get really busy so be prepared for that. If you’re going for food then a trip to Acropolis Souvlaki is highly recommended. It’s the tastiest Greek street food and my go-to, pretty much every time I visit.

Also worth a look is the E-Shed markets, located at Victoria Quay and open 7 days a week, they can be a good option if you’re in the area. Pop in for food, coffee, crafts, or to catch one of their events such as live music or face painting.

Take a Walk Along the Beach

Fremantle is a coastal city, and there are plenty of beautiful beaches to explore, with the added benefit of being incredibly close to the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Whether you’re a fan of swimming, sunbathing, or just taking a leisurely walk along the sand, you’ll find beautiful beaches in Freo with Perth’s signature white sands and clear waters.

One of the most popular beaches in Fremantle is Bathers Beach, which is a small and sheltered beach that’s perfect for families and those wanting to take a dip. This beach is located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and bars, making it a great place to spend a day, while easily being able to make the most of the local amenities.

Bathers Beach in Fremantle

Another popular beach is South Beach, which is a stretch of sand that’s popular with surfers, beachgoers, and walkers. This beach is a little further out of the city, but it’s a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The free Fremantle CAT bus can take you there easily with services departing every 20 minutes throughout the city. Times for the CAT bus change during the week so check online for the most up to date information.

Explore the Fishing Boat Harbour

For beer lovers, a visit to Little Creatures Brewery, right by the harbour, is a must-do. Take the brewery tour, learn about the brewing process, and sample some of their finest beers WA has to offer. Book online, tours run twice a day and start from $35 per person.

The brewery has a lively and relaxed atmosphere, and there’s plenty of seating both inside and outside, so you can enjoy your beer (or food from the restaurant) in the sun, or overlooking the water to the rear of the building. The pizzas always look and taste amazing, with vegetarian and kids options too, everyone will be happy!

Head across the road to the Esplanade Park which hosts a tourist ferris wheel, large playground, and skate park. The ferris wheel is best enjoyed during sunset to really make the most of the views across the ocean and city. 

the tourist ferris wheel in Fremantle

If you’ve worked up an appetite then make your way back towards to harbour for some fish and chips from a choice of restaurants, and finish off your day with a cocktail by the ocean at Bather’s Beach House. Relax on one of their beach lounger right there on the south side of Bathers Beach.

Explore Fremantle’s Maritime Themed Museums

Fremantle, being a port town has a rich maritime history. Head to the docks for a trip to Fremantle’s Maritime Museum where you can learn about Freo’s port, historic ships and naval background. They often house temporary exhibits which are an extra charge, but have always been worth it in my experience.  

The outside of the Western Australia Maritime Museum in Fremantle

Standard adult entry is $15 with those under 15 going free. The annual membership is definitely worth it for locals or those spending some time in Perth and regional WA, it’s reasonably priced and allows free entry to several different museums.

I definitely recommend checking the website to plan your visit; it has loads of useful resources about how to make the most of it, and you can check what they are currently showing in the temporary exhibit space.

With towering exhibits ands boats hanging from the ceiling, prepare to be wowed. The Maritime Museum has interactive displays and heaps of interesting information so there really is something here for everyone.

Next on the list is The Shipwreck Museum; one of our families favourite things to do in Fremantle! Definitely worth a visit, this museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the stories of some of the most famous shipwrecks in Western Australia. Included, is a huge section of the hull of the Batavia, which was a Dutch ship that was shipwrecked in 1629 with a brutal and fascinating backstory.

Inside the Shipwreck Museum in Fremantle showing the inside of the hull of the Bavaria shipwreck from above

Visitors to the museum can also see a range of historical artifacts, such as cannons, navigation instruments, ship models, and large metal anchors that kids love to climb just outside the museum entrance. The museum also has a range of interactive displays and hands-on exhibits, which make learning about history fun and engaging for visitors of all ages.

The Shipwreck Museum is free to enter but donations are appreciated. Our visits usually last around an hour with two little kids, but if you’re stopping to read about the history then expect to be there a little longer.

Live Music and Comedy

With Fremantle being an arts hub there are plenty of music and comedy venues to choose from, ranging from large venues with big name comics such as the Comedy Lounge, to more intimate settings like Port City Comedy Club.

If you’re looking to get your groove on then Fremantle is the place to be. With the Duke of George playing jazz and blues, and Mojo’s playing just about anything you can think of in an amazing atmosphere, live music is available most days of the week.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you’ll find plenty of things to do and see in Fremantle, Perth. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to experience one of Western Australia’s most vibrant and exciting cities. Freo really is a special place and should not be missed on your trip to Perth.

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