Adelaide is a city of diversity, rich in history and culture, with a thriving food scene and an abundance of public spaces. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, with a coastline fringed by inviting beaches and a Mediterranean climate, while inland there are rolling green hills and some of the best wine regions in Australia. While the city isn’t always the first choice when it comes to an Australian city break, most who make the trip find themselves pleasantly surprised, and the word is spreading. Adelaide has found its way onto the tourist radar, and people are flocking here to experience for themselves the delights that the city holds. So, book yourself in at one of Adelaide’s best hotels and follow this guide to experience the best of the city.
Things to do
Adelaide has a fantastic range of things to do to suit everyone, from wine tasting to lazing on the beach. Here are some of the best things to do in Adelaide.
Adelaide’s CBD is like an island surrounded by a sea of greenery. The parks and gardens that surround the city make the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens is a beautiful place to visit, full of lush Australian and international flora. Enjoy a picnic amongst the trees or relax on the grass with a good book. As the day heats up, head over to the air-conditioned National Wine Centre to learn about South Australia’s wine industry and, if the occasion calls for it, sample some wines.
A visit to the Adelaide Zoo is a must for all animal lovers and families. Located right next door to the Botanic Gardens, Adelaide Zoo is the second oldest zoo in the country and is home to over 3000 animals, with rare and exotic species from giant pandas to towering giraffes. There are lots of interesting exhibits to check out and the kids will love the Nature’s Playground.
St Peter’s Cathedral
One of the most iconic buildings in Adelaide is St Peter’s Cathedral, dominating the view as you explore Adelaide’s parklands to the north of the CBD. The church makes for some beautiful photos with the parklands and the city in the background.
The most popular and easily accessible beach in Adelaide is in Glenelg, which also happens to be one of the most charming historic neighbourhoods of the city. A tramline directly connects the city to this picturesque beachside suburb, making it the perfect spot to go for a beach break from the city. After cooling off in the ocean, stroll along Jetty Road and Holdfast Shores for an amazing range of cafes, restaurants, bars and boutique shops.
If you have access to a car, the 30-minute drive to historic Semaphore is well worth it. Another historic beachside suburb, Semaphore has a long stretch of sandy beach, with a line of historic buildings lining its foreshore behind the dunes. Enjoy a meal and a drink at the Palais Hotel, originally a bathing pavilion built in the 1920’s, or go back in time with a ride on the Semaphore Carousel, dating back to the same era. Equally historic is the steam train ride up to Fort Granville, all of this making for a full day out.
Adelaide is a cultural city and as such contains a good range of museums and art galleries. The Museum of South Australia contains an excellent collection of artefacts with a strong focus on Indigenous Australia. The Art Gallery of South Australia is a small gallery with a surprising range of art from all over the world. The Migration Museum provides a look into the cultural diversity of the different ethnicities that have migrated to Adelaide throughout its history. On a hill overlooking the city, the 1930’s mansion of Carrick Hill gives you a look at one of the finest homes in Adelaide’s history.
The Adelaide Hills are the place to go to escape the city for the day. This picturesque range of low hills borders the city to the east and is full of charming little historic villages, bushwalks and the closest wineries to the city. Enjoy the fresh air and get active on the walking trails in the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, and visit the charming historic town of Hahndorf with its German heritage.
For many, a trip to the Barossa Valley is the highlight of their time in Adelaide. The Barossa Valley is certainly the premier wine region in the country, with wines being produced here since the 1800’s. It is a scenic drive north of Adelaide but many wine tours depart the city. It’s not all about the wine though, with many charming towns and villages to explore, picturesque scenery and amazing food to sample.
Where to eat
Adelaide has grown to become a true foodie’s paradise over the years. Indulge in a culinary journey through Adelaide’s thriving food scene, from cafes to fine dining.
Adelaide Central Market
A wonderful place to start your food journey in Adelaide is at the famous Adelaide Central Market. This historic market is consistently regarded as the best food market in the country, with over 80 stall holders selling everything from fresh produce to exotic eats that you’ve never heard of before. Locals and tourists alike flock to this market daily to get their food fix at the stalls and cafes that make the market one of the most popular spots in the city.
Many world class chefs have decided to call Adelaide home and the city is therefore thriving with high quality fine dining restaurants. For truly unique Adelaide dining, Chef Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana is the place to go, using indigenous Australian ingredients to create unique and exciting dishes that consistently get rave reviews.
Peel Street has quickly become one of Adelaide’s trendiest and most popular dining and nightlife precincts with lots of excellent restaurants and bars to choose from. The aptly named Peel St restaurant always draws a crowd and is well known for its amazing share plates, best enjoyed with friends over a few drinks.
Karma and Crow
For one of Adelaide’s best new breakfast and brunch places, head to Karma and Crow on Richmond Street. Occupying an old industrial building, this light and airy place has a relaxed vibe, with excellent coffee and delightful breakfast favourites.
Adelaide is a very walkable city, with a dense CBD surrounded by beautiful parklands that are perfect for walking. The city also has an excellent free public transport system, to easily transport you around the CBD. The 99C bus does a loop around the city, stopping at many important stops. The city’s free tram service runs from the entertainment precinct and onwards to Glenelg Beach. Bikes are also readily available all over the city, completely free to use.
Adelaide is certainly an exciting city, with a thriving culture and a surprising array of things to do. You are sure to want to return to Adelaide again and again.