Whether you’re a budget backpacker or just looking to cut costs, I got you covered – or as the cool kids say these days: I got you fam!
(Side note: do they still say that?)
Australia is an expensive tourist destination – even more so for foreigners from Asia due to the currency exchange rate. However, to quote Kim Possible “nothing is impossible”, not even experiencing the city of Perth for 20$ or less. In fact, you’d be surprised at how much you can cover in just a day!
Annalakshmi on The Swan River
Annalakshmi has been around for more than 26 years now and still continues to attract a daily crowd. Located along the Swan River, this infamous restaurant serves authentic, not to mention delicious, Indian food; however, there isn’t a menu but a buffet instead – expect a main meal, dessert, and a variety of beverages (water, tea, coffee etc.)
You’re probably wondering how dining at an Indian restaurant can cost less than 20$ but the reason I mentioned Annalakshmi is because you decide how much you want to pay for what you just ate – yup, no minimum fee.
I opted to pay 10$ for my meal but depending on your portion, you can either pay less or more.
After stuffing our faces, my friend and I used the free public transport to move onto our next destination. We hopped onto the Blue CAT Bus from Elizabeth Quay Station and headed towards Museum Station, where the next four destinations are located.
State Library of Western Australia
Libraries aren’t (always) boring and the State Library of Western Australia is a testament to that, showcasing various exhibitions monthly. Nearby the play area for children are various drawers which can be pulled open, displaying bits and bobs like vintage guns and animal skeletons – this is where my friend and I were during our visit, oohing and ahhing every time we pulled open another drawer.
If you aren’t carrying a water bottle along with you, re-hydrate at one of the many (free) water dispensers scattered around the library.
Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA)
Recommended by another friend, our visit to PICA was perplexing to say the least but only because of the current exhibition on-show; however, since no exhibition is ever permanent, I would still recommend PICA – especially because there’s an arts and crafts area where we got busy creating our alter egos (which we then blue-taced to the wall).
Art Gallery of Western Australia
This was definitely our favorite stop and if you’re a culture vulture, you’d 100% enjoy the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Currently, the exhibition highlight is ‘Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures’ which showcases personal photographs, scripts scribbled with notes, on-set props, on-set clothes (think the infamous outfit from Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight), and even his actual Acadamy Award! Unfortunately, I couldn’t take photographs 😦
After absorbing all that art, we walked towards Northbridge for a snack as it’s just down the road from PICA – literally. It’s an area known for its endless restaurants, bars, and arcades so you will be spoilt for choices – affordables choices.
I have a sweet tooth so we popped into San Churro for a ‘churros for one’ set, which costed 9.90$. Next to San Churro is the Northbridge Piazza, which so happened to be screening ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” for free so if you’re into movies, I suggest checking what’s on during your visit.
Kings Park (Optional)
If the weather allows, I would recommend visiting Kings Park, one of the world’s largest inner-city parks – which can also be reached and experienced without any costs. Although there is plenty to do at Kings Park, enjoying a (dinner) picnic while the sun sets, surrounded by nature, would be the perfect end to the day… in my opinion at least.
In order to continue saving (assuming you didn’t already splurge your remaining tenner on churros), visit a supermarket (local or Asian) for ready-made meals or affordable fruits and snacks under 10$; another option would be visiting a food court as most stalls normally have reasonably priced combo-meals.
Getting To Kings Park:
Return via the Blue CAT Bus from Museum Station (5) to Elizabeth Quay Station (1) then from the Elizabeth Quay Station (1) change onto the Green CAT Bus towards Kings Park Road (16).
“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” Charles M. Schulz