Fabulous food and wine, festivals and galleries, beaches and nature
South Australia’s capital is renowned for its excellent food and wine, lively festivals, innovative galleries and museums, elegant parks and nearby beaches.
Gourmet getaway? Adelaide is your city. Dine at award-winning city restaurants, sip cocktails in laneway bars and snack-stroll local markets. Allow for wine time in the surrounding wine regions: the nearby Adelaide Hills, famous Barossa Valley and Clare Valley, and McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Stretch your legs at elegant parks, the Botanic Garden and the city’s surrounding bushland reserves. Day trippers, head to the Adelaide Hills to climb the Mount Lofty summit and wander charming towns. Immerse yourself in German heritage in Hahndorf, wine and dine in Stirling.
Beach ready? Hop on a tram to local favourite Glenelg Beach, dive or snorkel the reef at Port Noarlunga, and stick around for sunset at Port Willunga.
Explore the galleries and museums on North Terrace and the West End, even historic Adelaide Oval, home of the Bradman Collection. Feeling festive? Time your visit with one of the city’s many fabulous festivals: Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide, Adelaide Cabaret Festival among the most popular.
Wine time, quiet time, beach time or show time, Adelaide has you covered.
Things to do: Adelaide
Take some Vitamin Sea at a city beach
It may be known as the City of Churches, but Adelaide’s credentials as a beach city are up there with Sydney and Perth. Its glorious, easily accessible metropolitan beaches (plus a few beauties slightly further out) are renowned for calm, crystalline water, soft sand, and unforgettable sunsets. A short tram ride from the CBD, picturesque Glenelg is a family favourite close to cafes and shops, while Semaphore Beach is all about relaxation, with a rolling lawn foreshore and old-school amusement-park rides (weekends and school holidays).
Shop like the locals at Adelaide Central Market
In this city bursting with gastronomic goodness, Adelaide Central Market is the Big Kahuna. With more than 70 traders under one roof, this enormous and historic market is your go-to for fresh produce and multicultural cuisine. Whether you’re craving artisanal cheese, coffee or baked goods, fresh locally grown fruit and veg, or delicious healthy snacks, you’ll find them (and more!) here. Part of Adelaide life since 1869, the market is South Australia’s most visited tourist attraction.
Image credit: Olga Kashubin / shutterstock.com
Get a taste for Adelaide’s wineries
As one of the world’s nine ‘Great Wine Capitals’ and gateway to no fewer than 18 celebrated wine regions, Adelaide has much to offer travellers with a taste for the grape. From the big reds of the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra to the famous riesling of the Clare Valley and the Adelaide Hills’ renowned cool-climate wines, it’s hard to know where to start! Explore at your own pace, join a tour, or time your trip to coincide with one of the many wine-related events that take place throughout the year.
Plant yourself in the Botanic Garden
Dating back to 1857, the Adelaide Botanic Garden lives up to the hype: it really is the city’s green heart, a lush urban oasis — and a must for anyone visiting Adelaide. With areas devoted to Australian natives, roses, cacti and succulents, health-giving plants, Amazon waterlilies and heaps more, this magical 50-hectare space can be as educational or recreational as you want it to be. Get the full story on a free guided tour, or simply wander where the mood takes you. Don’t miss the exquisite Palm House, a fully restored Victorian glasshouse.
Image credit: trabantos / Shutterstock.com
Find your favourite festival
Adelaide's buzzing festival calendar is undoubtedly one of the reasons the city is affectionately known as ‘RADelaide’. Among the best known are multicultural celebration WOMADelaide, the southern hemisphere’s biggest arts festival Adelaide Fringe, and the iconic Adelaide Festival. There’s a plethora of festivals focused on food, drink, music and sport throughout the year, while Bloom’s irresistibly eclectic program unfolds over the spring months. Whenever you decide to visit, you can be sure there’ll be something fun going on.
Image credit: Mariangela Cruz / Shutterstock.com
Distance to city centre 8km
Taxi A taxi to the city centre will take around 10 minutes and cost about AUD $20-25. An airport surcharge of AUD $3 applies.
Shuttle Airport City Shuttle runs about every 30 minutes into the city centre for around AUD $10. Pre-booking is not necessary – on arrival, go to the Information and Tourism Bookings booth on the ground floor of the terminal.
Bus Adelaide Metro runs frequent JetBus services to the city centre plus Glenelg and West Beach. The journey to the city takes around 30 minutes. To use the service, you’ll need to use a MetroCARD, which you can buy from the vending machine at the bus stop.
Rideshare services such as Uber, Ola and Didi can be found at the designated pickup zone to the left of the Terminal Car Park as you leave the terminal. An airport surcharge of AUD $3 applies.Back to top
When to go
Adelaide has hot, dry summers and mild winters, thanks to its coastal location. June tends to be the wettest time of year, while you can expect a few scorchers of over 40ºC in summer (December–February). March and April are generally the most pleasant months, mild with little rainfall.
Peak festival season hits around late February and March, as Adelaide Fringe, WOMADelaide and Adelaide Festival bring the city alive. But Adelaide's lively events calendar means that even deepest winter is a good time to visit, when the Illuminate festival lights up the streets with magical installations and projections.Back to top
The free City Connector bus runs every day, linking you to major attractions in the CBD and North Adelaide. A free tram operates between South Terrace and the City West Campus of the University of South Australia on North Terrace, while Tindo, the solar-powered bus, takes you between the city and North Adelaide for free. Alternatively, grab a free bike from one of the bike depots around the city centre and North Adelaide. There are also several car rental companies with branches at the airport, if you prefer the freedom of your own wheels.Back to top
Discover more about Adelaide
Best things to do in Adelaide
You're never far from a good time in South Australia’s cosmopolitan capital.
24 hours in the Adelaide Hills: top ways to wine and dine
Discover the hills east of Adelaide, a feast of produce, fine drops and creative dining.