Adelaide travel guide

Adelaide Tourism | Adelaide Guide

You're Going to Love Adelaide

Adelaide is the state capital of South Australia and a city renowned for its architecture and culture. You will find elegant avenues, stylish boutiques, and buzzing streets lined with cafes, while the pretty River Torrens provides a scenic setting for a peaceful stroll.

With a population of one million, Adelaide is a substantial city with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is right in the center of some of Australia's best wine country, with lots of famous vineyards reachable on a pleasant day trip.

Adelaide has an exciting nightlife, great shopping, and fine sandy beaches, making it one of the most attractive cities to visit in Australia. The city is also famous for its calendar of cultural events and the Adelaide Oval is the premier venue for sporting events such as cricket and Australian Rules Football.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Adelaide

1. West Beach

West Beach is a great place to visit to experience the beach culture of Adelaide. It is a good spot for walking and swimming and is adjacent to Henley and Glenelg beaches. There are lots of good restaurants at Henley Square, and you can fish from one of the many jetties on the beaches.

2. Adelaide Oval

The Adelaide Oval is a must for sports fans. It hosts games of cricket during the Australian summer and has a good museum and a restaurant with a view of the ground. The atmosphere during cricket games is special, and it is well worth attending one of the domestic games during the summer.

3. Adelaide Hills

For the best views of the city and surrounding countryside, head up into the Adelaide Hills and Mount Lofty summit. Here, you will find a restaurant and souvenir shop and stunning views of the Adelaide Plains and the city center.

4. Hahndorf

Hahndorf is a German village just outside Adelaide. You can pick your own strawberries at Beerenberg Strawberry Farm and buy local chocolate at Melba's Chocolate Factory. It's a great spot for a picnic and there are lots of stores selling local crafts and products celebrating the village's German heritage.

5. Belair National Park

Belair National Park is just seven miles south of Adelaide and is a great place to explore the Australian countryside. It has lots of good walking trails, tennis courts, and areas for picnicking.

What to do in Adelaide

1. Parliament House: The Seat of Government

Located in downtown Adelaide, the Parliament House holds the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council of South Australia. Based on a design by Edmund Wright and Lloyd Taylor, construction on the Greek Revival building began in 1874. Featuring ornate Corinthian columns, majestic towers, and an imposing dome, the structure was finished in Kapunda marble and West Island granite. Visitors can enjoy free tours of the entire site on non-sitting weekdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

2. Glenelg Beach: A Sandy Seaside Paradise

Located in Holdfast Bay, the seaside village of Glenelg, a 25-minute tram ride from downtown Adelaide, is famous for its sandy white beach, quaint hotels, busy shops, outdoor cafes, and summer festivals. A great place for snorkeling, scuba diving, or swimming with the dolphins, Glenelg also attracts hikers and cyclers looking to explore the Federation Trail with its colonial cottages and sand dunes, as well the Kingston Park ocean reserve. The village is a family-friendly destination with a popular amusement park, a coastal golf course and numerous art galleries and museums. Glenelg also hosts a popular annual Jazz Festival and the City to Bay Fun Run.

3. Adelaide Central Market: A Food Lover's Delight

Founded in 1869, the Adelaide Central Market has attracted locals and travelers hungry for food and culture for over a century. One the largest covered markets in the Southern Hemisphere, the shopping center features more than 80 traders offering a variety of fresh meat, seafood, and produce, as well as cheeses, baked foods, and health foods. Eight million visitors flock each year to the marketplace, which is South Australia's most popular tourist attraction, to eat or have a drink at one of the many multi-ethnic restaurants and cafes.

4. Adelaide Botanic Gardens: Beauty in Bloom

Home to some of city's most emblematic buildings, such as the Bicentennial Conservatory, the Palm House, the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion, and the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens feature nearly 124 acres of Australia's most beautiful and diverse plant life. With a variety of thematic gardens, such as the First Creek Wetland, the Garden of Health with 2,500 healing plants, the International Rose Garden and the Australian Native Garden, this Adelaide landmark allows visitors to explore the natural wonders of the world in one spectacular location.

5. Victoria Square: A Walk Through History

Victoria Square, also known as Tarndanyangga, is one of the highlights of Adelaide. Home to the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Adelaide General Post Office, and the Premier's Office, as well as the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis Xavier, the central square is a great starting point for visitors to the city with five trams offering service. A few steps from the Adelaide Central Market, where sightseers can grab lunch, Victoria Square hosts two centuries of South Australian history centered around a striking statue of Queen Victoria.

Parliament HouseParliament House
Glenelg BeachGlenelg Beach
Adelaide Central MarketAdelaide Central Market
Adelaide Botanic GardensAdelaide Botanic Gardens

1. Parliament House: The Seat of Government

Located in downtown Adelaide, the Parliament House holds the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council of South Australia. Based on a design by Edmund Wright and Lloyd Taylor, construction on the Greek Revival building began in 1874. Featuring ornate Corinthian columns, majestic towers, and an imposing dome, the structure was finished in Kapunda marble and West Island granite. Visitors can enjoy free tours of the entire site on non-sitting weekdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

2. Glenelg Beach: A Sandy Seaside Paradise

Located in Holdfast Bay, the seaside village of Glenelg, a 25-minute tram ride from downtown Adelaide, is famous for its sandy white beach, quaint hotels, busy shops, outdoor cafes, and summer festivals. A great place for snorkeling, scuba diving, or swimming with the dolphins, Glenelg also attracts hikers and cyclers looking to explore the Federation Trail with its colonial cottages and sand dunes, as well the Kingston Park ocean reserve. The village is a family-friendly destination with a popular amusement park, a coastal golf course and numerous art galleries and museums. Glenelg also hosts a popular annual Jazz Festival and the City to Bay Fun Run.

3. Adelaide Central Market: A Food Lover's Delight

Founded in 1869, the Adelaide Central Market has attracted locals and travelers hungry for food and culture for over a century. One the largest covered markets in the Southern Hemisphere, the shopping center features more than 80 traders offering a variety of fresh meat, seafood, and produce, as well as cheeses, baked foods, and health foods. Eight million visitors flock each year to the marketplace, which is South Australia's most popular tourist attraction, to eat or have a drink at one of the many multi-ethnic restaurants and cafes.

4. Adelaide Botanic Gardens: Beauty in Bloom

Home to some of city's most emblematic buildings, such as the Bicentennial Conservatory, the Palm House, the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion, and the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens feature nearly 124 acres of Australia's most beautiful and diverse plant life. With a variety of thematic gardens, such as the First Creek Wetland, the Garden of Health with 2,500 healing plants, the International Rose Garden and the Australian Native Garden, this Adelaide landmark allows visitors to explore the natural wonders of the world in one spectacular location.

5. Victoria Square: A Walk Through History

Victoria Square, also known as Tarndanyangga, is one of the highlights of Adelaide. Home to the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Adelaide General Post Office, and the Premier's Office, as well as the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis Xavier, the central square is a great starting point for visitors to the city with five trams offering service. A few steps from the Adelaide Central Market, where sightseers can grab lunch, Victoria Square hosts two centuries of South Australian history centered around a striking statue of Queen Victoria.

Parliament HouseParliament House
Glenelg BeachGlenelg Beach
Adelaide Central MarketAdelaide Central Market
Adelaide Botanic GardensAdelaide Botanic Gardens

Top activities & attractions in Adelaide

Where to Eat in Adelaide

The Elephant Walk Cafe on Melbourne Street is a popular and atmospheric cafe serving modern Australian mains from around A$15. The Queen's Head Hotel on Kermode Street in North Adelaide offers traditional pub fare and award-winning pizzas. Mains are A$20-30. For excellent steak, try Gauchos on Gouger Street - mains cost upwards of A$40.

When to visit Adelaide

Adelaide in August
Estimated hotel price
$15
1 night at 3-star hotel
Adelaide in August
Estimated hotel price
$15
1 night at 3-star hotel

Adelaide experiences a cooler climate than many of the other major Australian cities and avoids the humidity and heavy rains of the wet season. It can therefore be visited all year round. The best time to go, however, is probably March. Temperatures peak at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also the time when Adelaide comes out to play, with a host of festivals and events, including the Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival, which are the largest cultural festivals in the Southern Hemisphere. March also has the Clipsal 500 Supercar racing meetings, with street parties and concerts.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Adelaide

Plane

Adelaide Airport (ADL) is just four miles west of the city center. It has international flights across Southeast Asia, and the Air New Zealand service to Auckland has good connections to North America. The Cathay Pacific service to Hong Kong is a popular connecting route to Europe. Domestic flights include services to Sydney, Perth, and Melbourne. The public JetBus leaves for the city center every 15 minutes and costs A$5.10 for a single journey. An alternative is the Skylink Adelaide shuttle bus, which will take you directly to your city center accommodation for A$8. There is a taxi rank outside the terminal and the fare to the city center is around A$16-20.

Train

Long distance train services are provided by the Great Southern Railway. It has services with sleepers and transport for cars, and connects Adelaide to Alice Springs, Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. A single ticket from Melbourne to Adelaide will cost from A$75.

Car

Distances to other cities in Australia can be vast, and travelers should be ready for long driving times. The journey to Melbourne on National Highway 8 will take around nine hours, while the National Highway 20 to Sydney is 884 miles and will take twice as long. The road to Brisbane is more than 1,200 miles long.

Bus

Greyhound Australia runs regular services between Adelaide Central Bus Station (on Franklin Street) and other major Australian cities. A single fare from Melbourne will cost from around A$58.

Airports near Adelaide

Airlines serving Adelaide

United Airlines
Good (2,810 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,358 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,100 reviews)
KLM
Good (345 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,397 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,303 reviews)
SWISS
Good (450 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,181 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (915 reviews)
Iberia
Good (906 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,356 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (300 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (309 reviews)
Finnair
Good (683 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (2,546 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (767 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (436 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (146 reviews)
LOT
Good (335 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (135 reviews)
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Where to stay in Adelaide

Glenelg – Glenelg is the historic beachfront suburb of Adelaide. It has a pretty seafront with a large jetty and is home to the Stamford Adelaide Grand Hotel. There are lots of restaurants and cafes along the front and the area can be reached by taking a short tram ride from the city center.

Popular Neighborhoods in Adelaide

Felixstow – is a popular neighborhhood just seven minutes on public transport from the city center. It has the lovely River Torrens park, tree-lined streets, and some good local restaurants.

Port Adelaide – this is the city's historic harbor area. It has some fine architecture, historical buildings, and lots of opportunities to take cruises on the ocean. It is a good base for dolphin-watching trips and has some excellent traditional pubs and eateries.

Where to stay in popular areas of Adelaide

Most booked hotels in Adelaide

Atura Adelaide Airport
Excellent (8.8, 4587 reviews)
$134+
Ibis Adelaide
Excellent (8.4, 4041 reviews)
$104+
Ensenada Motor Inn and Suites
Excellent (8.4, 900 reviews)
$111+
Oaks Glenelg Plaza Pier Suites
Excellent (8.2, 5479 reviews)
$124+
Mawson Lakes Hotel
Excellent (8.1, 1103 reviews)
$90+
Intercontinental Adelaide, An IHG Hotel
Good (7.9, 2593 reviews)
$161+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Adelaide

Public Transportation

There is an extensive bus system across the city, covering all of the major districts in Adelaide. An excellent feature of the network for the visitor is the City Loop (99C) service, which is free to ride. It has clockwise and anti-clockwise loops and stops at all of the major tourist attractions. The city also has a tram service and a train network with four lines. Single trip tickets cover all public transport and cost A$5.10. A day ticket is A$9.40

Taxi

Taxis in Adelaide are plentiful and can be hailed on the street or booked by phone. The flat starting fare is A$3.70, and you will pay just under A$3 per mile thereafter.

Car

Driving is a good option if you stay outside of the city center and the major suburbs served by the public transport network. Roads are good and jams are infrequent. Car rental is available from companies like Europcar and Avis, and prices start at around A$47.

The Cost of Living in Adelaide

Shopping Streets

The main shopping area of Adelaide is centered on Rundle Street, where you will find lots of fashion boutiques. The Rundle Mall offers more generalist shopping, with more than 800 stores, including international chains, fashion boutiques, and cosmetics outlets on a pedestrian strip. Harbour Town is a smaller, specialist mall featuring outlet stores and discount fashion.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk in Adelaide is priced at A$1.11, while a dozen large eggs will cost A$5.25. Major supermarkets include Coles on Grote Street and IGA on Gilbert Street.

Cheap meal
$13.45
A pair of jeans
$70.80
Single public transport ticket
$2.84
Cappuccino
$3.04