AdelaideTravel Guide

You may have heard Adelaide described as the  ‘City of Churches’ and while this hasn’t changed, South Australia’s capital is now defined by so much more. There’s the hip bar scene, the excellent restaurants, the world-class wineries, the cultural festivals like WOMADelaide, the bustling Central Market, the beach and picturesque pier at Glenelg… not to mention the fine hotels dotted all around the city. If you’re planning a visit, explore our Adelaide travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time in this inviting city. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay, getting around Adelaide and more. 

Adelaide quick facts


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Explore Adelaide

Where to stay in Adelaide?

For a short visit or a longer stay, deciding where to stay in Adelaide is simple. Booking your accommodation will depend on your agenda, whether you plan to explore the wine regions or spend more time in the city centre. There’s a wide variety of places to stay in Adelaide, from five-star hotels in the city’s heart through to modern apartments near the beach in Glenelg. All budgets are catered for and you’ll find public transport in Adelaide makes everything easy to get to. If travelling in peak times, such as during March’s festival season, make sure to book in advance. 

Bordered by the North, East, South and West Terraces, the city is one of the best areas to stay in Adelaide. From here you can shop ‘til you drop, indulge in fine-dining, head to an exciting sporting event at Adelaide Oval or get cosy in your hotel. When you're ready to head further afield, simply hop on a tram from the centre of town. 

Glenelg is one of the best areas to stay in Adelaide if you simply can't wait to start relaxing! Less than 10km from the airport, Glenelg has a host of beachside accommodation options available. With a tram line connecting you to the city and plenty of exciting restaurants and bars in the area, Glenelg is a fabulous spot to kick back and get some sun. 

Filled with heritage-listed buildings and grand cathedrals, North Adelaide is a true jewel in the city's crown. Just minutes from Adelaide Oval, this inner-city location is a great base to enjoy a stay. Find something amazing to eat at any hour on O'Connell Street, or walk down to the River Torrens and observe the lights of the city from Montefiore Hill. 

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  • Adelaide skyline with river at sunset
    • long pier at sunset
    • Glenelg town hall
    • Vineyards with purple flowers
  • Adelaide skyline with river at sunset
    Adelaide skyline with river at sunset
    Adelaide skyline with river at sunset
  • long pier at sunset
    long pier at sunset
    long pier at sunset
  • Glenelg town hall
    Glenelg town hall
    Glenelg town hall
  • Vineyards with purple flowers
    Vineyards with purple flowers
    Vineyards with purple flowers

Things to do in Adelaide

There’s so much to explore and endless things to do in Adelaide. From upbeat shopping precincts to an exciting art scene, the city easily plays host to weekend getaways, extended holidays, and everything in between. Deciding exactly what to see in Adelaide, from the extensive list of options, is the only hard part of planning a trip to this vibrant city! 

A stunning venue that melds historic features with modern sporting iconography, Adelaide Oval is a jewel in the centre of the city. Positioned on the River Torrens, overlooking both the city and North Adelaide, the oval remains an Adelaide landmark worth touring. The stadium, which was redeveloped in 2014, hosts entertainment and sporting events including football and cricket. 

The beachside suburb of Glenelg is a popular spot for soaking up some sun, no matter what the season. In summer, the beach is perfect for a quick dip, or you may just want to wander along the esplanade. Grab a bite to eat or something sweet from the many cafes. Just a short tram ride from the city, a stop in Glenelg is essential for your Adelaide sightseeing itinerary. 

Kangaroo Island is a haven of native bushland and wildlife located southwest of Adelaide. Large parts of the island are protected nature reserves, providing a safe home for sea lions, penguin colonies, and numerous bird species. Kangaroo Island is a rugged escape from the mainland and you'll soon understand why it's one of South Australia's most precious treasures. 

A natural history museum founded in 1856, the South Australian Museum stretches across five floors. With displays including Australian Aboriginal artefacts, fauna, mammals, fossils and much more, a visit to this museum is exciting and educational. The permanent exhibitions are an amazing reflection of the world. Once you've finished exploring, refuel with a quick bite or a coffee in the museum cafe. 

A world first when it opened in 1986, the Migration Museum Adelaide is a social museum dedicated to the culture of South Australian people. Focusing on the stories and experiences of migration, the museum displays exhibitions on the many cultures that make up this diverse state. The museum is located just a few minutes' walk from Rundle Street. 

There are some amazing inner-city galleries that add unique contributions to the local cultural and arts scene. A great way to explore these Adelaide art galleries is following the walking trail, which takes in retail and public galleries. The Art Gallery of South Australia is worth checking out to see emerging artists and local favourites. 

Part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, the beauty of the Adelaide Hills makes any holiday photo memorable. Home to numerous wineries and food experiences, the region also has an exciting pub scene that feels relaxed and cosy. Mount Lofty Summit overlooks the lights of the city, while gorgeous villages such as Hahndorf and Stirling feel like delightful discoveries tucked away from the tourist track. 

Officially recognised in 1988 as Australia's oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf has retained its quaint village charm. Just 28km from Adelaide's centre, Hahndorf mixes handmade goods with modern dining and craft beers among the beauty of historical architecture. Providing the perfect daytrip, be sure to include this town on your list of must-do Adelaide attractions. 

The natural beauty of the Clare Valley is the perfect backdrop to one of the state's best wine regions. There are more than 30 wineries located in this area, which has gained a reputation for producing world-class Shiraz and Cabernet. A two-hour drive from Adelaide, sightseeing in this area wouldn't be complete without a wine tasting or cellar door visit.

Found on North Terrace, the Art Gallery of South Australia is open every day of the week. With free general admission (some exhibitions have an entry fee), the gallery has an extensive collection. There are more than 38,000 stunning works of art sourced from artists locally and around the world, including ceramics, metalwork, prints and paintings. 

Half an hour from the city centre you'll find an Adelaide museum boasting Australia's oldest collection of maritime items. Located in Port Adelaide, the South Australian Maritime Museum pays tribute to sea voyages that explored the coastline. There are more than 20,000 objects to explore, and the museum regularly has new exhibitions, tours and events to highlight their offering. 

Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Flights to Adelaide

Adelaide food and drink

Choosing where to eat in Adelaide is no easy task! The restaurant scene has never been more exciting, with alfresco dining areas and cafes popping up all over the city. From takeaway to tapas, there’s plenty to sample. Check out a trendy cafe for food that looks as good as it tastes, or be tempted by the dishes of gourmet chefs. Traditional restaurants and modern eateries are spread throughout different restaurant precincts, ensuring your tummy will be satisfied no matter when or where hunger strikes. Whether you’re seeking out the best coffee in Adelaide, fresh food markets or somewhere to relax with a drink, you’ll find it. 

The delights found in Adelaide food markets are a treat for the senses. Pick up fresh locally grown fruit or delicious baked goods in Adelaide Central Markets, open Monday to Saturday. There are numerous weekend produce and farmers' markets to explore further into the suburbs as well, ensuring an endless assortment of tasty eats.  

While the food scene is perhaps more renowned, Adelaide's bars and nightlife haven't been left behind. Small bars and cocktail hotspots offer the perfect place to relax or mingle. From craft beers to whiskey bars, the nightlife in Adelaide is sure to excite. If you prefer something quieter, take in the beauty of the city of churches with a drink at a rooftop bar. 

Whether you head to the city centre or into the surrounding area, the quality of Adelaide's restaurant precincts will satisfy even the most discerning of tastes. The Parade in Norwood offers the best in inner-city alfresco dining just minutes from the CBD. Meanwhile, Rundle and Hutt Street's restaurant precinct is home to charming pub fare, international cuisine, and cosy dessert cafes. 

The allure of a cup of coffee is hard to resist, so it's important to know where to get the best coffee in Adelaide. Head to Rundle Street for a quick caffeine boost, or wander into a cosy cafe hidden in one of the many laneways around the city. From a warming espresso to a sweet caffeine creation, Adelaide cafes will have something to accommodate you. 

Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Adelaide through your eyes

Where to shop in Adelaide?

While the city is steeped in history, the modern sophistication of Adelaide’s shopping scene is sure to please you. Rundle Street Mall, home to more than 700 retailers, is the destination for fashion, beauty, homewares, and more. While wandering through the pedestrian mall, the city’s personality shines through in the eclectic mix of sculptures. Stop by the Mall’s Balls, Rundle Mall Pigs, or one of the newer additions, The Rundle Lantern. Venture out to experience Adelaide shopping precincts around the city, offering plenty of options in retail, food, and much more. Choosing what to buy in Adelaide really depends on what catches your eye! 

Every Sunday, Fisherman's Wharf in Port Adelaide becomes a hive of activity. Featuring more than 120 stalls, all undercover, this market is best explored at a leisurely pace. During the summer months, head to Ebenezer Night Markets in Ebenezer Place, just off Rundle Street. Browse the craft, jewellery and food stalls while enjoying entertainment such as live music or a DJ set.

Outside of the major shopping centres, there are numerous options to satisfy any retail therapy craving. Adelaide's shopping precincts are spread throughout the city, from the upmarket charm of King William Road to laidback Jetty Road in Glenelg. The Parade in Norwood features a mix of fashion retailers, book stores and cafes, making it a great spot to spend an afternoon

Home to many exceptional shopping centres, Adelaide does not disappoint when it comes to variety. Browse classically styled arcades within the CBD for souvenirs, sweet treats and gift ideas. Scour the many fashion retailers for a new outfit or find a piece of decor for any room of the home. Adelaide's main shopping centres are in Marion, West Beach, Burnside, West Lakes, Modbury, and Elizabeth. 

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When is the best time to travel to Adelaide?

The weather in Adelaide does vary, with some hot weather in summer and cool winters. There’s something special to experience any time of year, so the best time to travel to Adelaide depends on your agenda. February and March is busy in the city, with arts and sporting festivals bringing many visitors. Autumn and early winter is a beautiful time to enjoy a meal by an open fire, something many restaurants and wineries offer. However, rainfall in Adelaide is highest during the cooler months with June averaging the most rainfall, so be prepared by packing for all conditions.

Summer in Adelaide can be very warm, but the city also has the lowest humidity in Australia, which helps to keep you comfortable. From late December to early February, Adelaide temperatures can reach 40°C, so avoid staying out in the sun for extended periods. Seek out indoor activities, and cool off with a swim in the afternoon. Appropriate clothing: Shorts and a t-shirt. Don't forget: Sunscreen, a hat and swimwear. 

Winter in Adelaide often has warm sunny days, with nights cooling down to an average of 7°C. It's best to wear layers during the day as light winds can make the air feel cooler. Rainfall is most common during winter months, so carrying an umbrella or rain jacket is always wise. Appropriate clothing: Long pants, a jumper or jacket. Don't forget: An umbrella and a scarf. 

As tree-lined walkways become tinged with red and orange leaves, the weather in Adelaide becomes even more pleasant. Autumn in Adelaide is characterised by warm, sunny days and crisp nights, particularly towards the end of the season. Adelaide Hills usually drop a few degrees cooler, so pack a jumper if you're heading out to explore. Appropriate clothing: T-shirt and light cardigan. Don't forget: A jumper and long pants for cool evenings.

As the parklands turn a vibrant green, spring in Adelaide means gardens are in full bloom. Nights can still be cool, averaging between 9-13°C, with temperatures dropping once the sun goes down. Once daylight saving begins in October, the days become warmer, averaging between 21-24°C. Low rainfall makes this a great time to visit. Appropriate clothing: Shorts with a jumper, or pants with a t-shirt. Don't forget: A hat and sunscreen. 

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How to get around Adelaide

With buses, trains, trams and taxis available, Adelaide transport is plentiful. The city’s public transport is affordable and easy to use with some free transport options available in the city centre. Most transport services interconnect, making it simple to explore some regions by tram and others by train. You can also jump on a free hire bike to explore the city on two wheels, or sit back in a pedicab and let someone else do the peddling. Explore Adelaide’s pedestrian-friendly design on foot if you prefer walking, or hire a car if you plan to head beyond the city.

There are many taxi ranks located throughout the CBD and outside the airport. Supervised taxi ranks can be found near night-time hotspots such as the city and Glenelg. Book a taxi by phone or online. Adelaide Independent Taxis, Suburban Taxis and 13CABS are the main Adelaide taxis operating in the city. 

When it comes to getting around Adelaide, exploring the city on foot is a breeze. Walking tracks alongside the River Torrens make for a beautiful morning stroll, or take a walk along the esplanade in Glenelg. The CBD has numerous walkways and arcades, and the grid-like layout of the city makes navigation simple. 

The familiar rumble of Adelaide trams can be heard throughout the city, along Port Road, and out to Glenelg. Running on separate traffic controls, the trams have two free travel zones: in the city and Jetty Road. Travelling outside these areas requires a ticket. For anything longer than a weekend getaway, consider getting a three-day Metro Visitor Pass, which works on Adelaide Metro bus, train and tram services. 

Adelaide Free Bikes can be collected from 20 locations around the city. Simply show ID and complete a form and you'll be given a bike lock, helmet and a bike for you to make use of for the day. With some of the most accommodating bike laws in Australia, Adelaide bike hire is a great way to see the city. 

Let us help you organise your own wheels for exploring. Hire a car today.

What are the best beaches in Adelaide?

With South Australia’s capital city renowned for its wonderful Hills (rolling green landscapes, world-class wine and gourmet delights, anyone?) you’d think the beaches in Adelaide would come off second best. Far from it. Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches are a drawcard in their own right, bewitching both locals and travellers with the promise of a dip in the dazzling sea as part of the everyday.  

Glenelg is one of the most popular of all the beaches in Adelaide, and just a 20-minute tram ride from the city. Jump out at Moseley Square, and you’re there. Glenelg Beach is a big hit with families, due to its sandy, wide beach, turquoise waters and shaded, grassy picnic areas. There’s a charming ‘seaside holiday’ vibe to Glenelg, with its long jetty and views back to the beach, plus plenty of restaurants and cafes along the waterfront.

Brighton is another city-proximate beach in Adelaide that has a loyal local crowd and is a favourite with travellers too. Like Glenelg, Brighton Beach is known for its long jetty stretching out over water. The Brighton Beach atmosphere is relaxed and easy-going, and it’s only about 8 minutes south of Glenelg by car. If you’re on day trip, try both!  

Other impressive Adelaide beaches include Semaphore Beach, with its white sand and family-friendly shallows, and Christies Beach, Moana and Port Noarlunga—a little further away but each unique and each worth exploring. 

As far as beach-meets-fine-dining goes, Henley beach is your pick. Henley gives you coastline that stretches as far as the eye can see, and has a good number of high-end seafood restaurants to choose from. If you’ve always wanted to sip an award-winning South Australian wine as you watch the waves roll in, Henley is your #1 destination.


What are the best parks in Adelaide?

The sheer number of Adelaide parks means you may not have time to see them all. It’s worthwhile adding a few to your sightseeing list though! While Adelaide may be known as the city of churches, the stunning park lands spread throughout the city offer a quiet spot to people-watch, to wander and admire, or to simply unwind for a few minutes. Adelaide’s green belt features 29 individual parks that surround the inner city. Each park has its own personality with monuments, garden beds, and picnic areas spread throughout. Take some time to find one you love. 

Found in the heart of the city, the Adelaide Botanic Garden is home to a diverse array of native and exotic plant life. Stretching across 50ha of land, the garden has numerous walkways with stops along the way for admiring the various plant life. The Garden of Health, International Rose Garden, and Mediterranean Garden demonstrate the beauty and diversity of the plants found here. 

Found in the bushland of the Adelaide Hills, Cleland Conservation Park preserves natural surroundings for native wildlife. With many walking and cycling tracks, the park offers a unique opportunity to explore this scenic spot your way. No visit is complete without a look at Waterfall Gully, the largest of seven waterfalls in the area. 

Located right beside the tram line into the city, Victoria Square is a beautiful sight in daylight or after the sun sets. With the square's namesake, Queen Victoria, overlooking the area and some of Adelaide's most beautiful buildings surrounding it, this is a haven in the city centre. Three Rivers Fountain and the water feature are popular spots in the summer. 

On the southern bank of the River Torrens, Elder Park brings a touch of natural beauty to the city. Bordered by a walking and cycling track, Elder Park is a stunning spot to stop with a coffee and watch the world go by. Watch rowers power along the river, wave to Popeye the boat, and admire the way Adelaide parks fit so perfectly within the city. 

The oldest national park in Adelaide, Belair National Park is part heritage and part natural bushland. Explore Old Government House, or take a walk along the many trails available here to find the perfect picnic spot. One of Adelaide's favourite attractions, Belair National Park is also home to tennis courts and cricket pitches (available for hire if you fancy fitting a little sport into your holiday). 

Located in the East Parklands, Rymill Park is a gorgeous spot if you're seeking a little recreation. The lake being the centrepiece, Rymill Park has rowboat hire to allow you to enjoy it from a different perspective. Hosting major events during the festival season, the park is also home to a beautiful rose garden and community barbecue facilities. 

Getting from park to park is so much better with your own wheels. Hitch your ride now!

Adelaide Frequently asked questions

When packing for a holiday in Adelaide, there are a few essentials you won't want to forget. Comfortable walking shoes for exploring, as well as sunscreen and a hat for sun-drenched days by the beach, because nothing ruins a holiday quite like sunburn on the first day. Last, but by no means least, be sure to pack your appetite, as Adelaide is home to some of the best food and wine in Australia.

Adelaide is a city with plenty of options for a fun-filled holiday. Take a stroll through the vibrant Central Market to indulge in delicious local produce or get up close with new furry friends at the Adelaide Zoo. For a dose of history and culture, head to the Art Gallery of South Australia or take a walk through the picturesque Adelaide Botanic Garden. Let's not forget about the stunning beaches just a short drive away, such as Glenelg and Semaphore.

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It depends on what brings you to Adelaide in the first place. If you’re here for the beautiful beaches, January and February are the best months to make the most of the warm weather. If you don’t mind the cold, June is excellent for whale watching, and if you fancy a drop, summer and autumn are when the local vineyards are harvested, so there’s plenty to see (and sample!). All in all, there’s no bad time to visit Adelaide.

Eat, explore and eat some more. Adelaide boasts an incredible foodie culture, in fact, it has the most restaurants per capita than any other city in Australia! And don’t even get us started on the wine. Adelaide’s wine region produces more than half of the country’s wine, so it stands to reason that there are some excellent sip spots to fill your Adelaide adventure. It isn’t all eating and drinking, Adelaide is also known for its live music, incredible month-long festivals, beautiful botanical gardens, thriving markets, art galleries and historic sites.

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