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Top Activities in Adelaide

See all 240 things to do in Adelaide

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What to Do in Adelaide: Must See Attractions

Adelaide Attractions

As the cosmopolitan capital of South Australia, Adelaide is a chic coastal city with lively food, wine, art, and shopping scenes along with world-class events. Within the city, visitors and locals alike enjoy a range of activities and attractions including museums, galleries, festivals, and sporting events, while the city’s prime location offers easy access to the water, desert, and countryside. Whether you want to shop the Central Market, swim with dolphins in the bay, or wind your way through the wineries in the nearby valleys, this bustling metropolis is jam-packed with places to go and things to do.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Adelaide

Though relatively small for a major city, Adelaide boasts a collection of distinct districts, each offering a unique environment with plenty of exciting things to do.

Central Market/Chinatown — Taste the best South Australian and Asian eats at this mecca of meat, cheese, and produce. The historic Central Market is a hub of both contemporary dining and traditional cafes, while next door in Chinatown you’ll find a community of passionate artisans and traders. Spreading west from the markets, Adelaide’s densest strip of Asian culinary options features Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, and Vietnamese eateries.

City Southwest — A quieter neighborhood with Whitmore Square at its center, City Southwest is a community known for its environmental and social activism. Here, find a small but thriving collection of local cafes, hotels, and bars with a focus on sustainability.

Cultural Precinct/Riverbank — Along the main drag of North Terrace is where you’ll find the city’s most iconic cultural institutions, including the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, and the State Library of South Australia. Sitting along the bank of the River Torrens are also important art venues such as the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Dunstan Playhouse.

East End/Rundell Street — In the East End, quirky independent retail mixes with high-end fashion and some of the city’s best restaurants, cafes, and bars. The atmosphere is hip and vibrant, with locals waking up to the aroma of fresh coffee and winding down with a craft cocktail or glass of fine wine. Connecting Rundle and Union streets, the car-free laneway of Ebenezer Place is an artisan oasis offering some of the city’s most unique shopping experiences.

Hutt Street — Nestled in the southeast of Adelaide with lush parks on each end, this “village in the city” is a flourishing strip of award-winning restaurants, quality cafes, and gourmet supermarkets. The tree-lined street is a charming blend of residential and commercial, with more than 60 percent of its businesses operating independently.

O’Connell Street — This stylish street in North Adelaide dates its architectural origins back to the 1830s. Among cute cottages and graceful homes, historic buildings house high-end furniture stores, English-style pubs, and a range of eateries from fast food to upscale bistros.

Rundle Mall — Rundle Mall, at the heart of the Central Business District, is the city’s premier shopping destination. Following a recent $30 million refurbishing, the beautiful pedestrian mall boasts more than 700 retailers offering the latest in fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and food.

West End — Lying just to the west of Rundle Mall, the West End has a history as a post-war entertainment hub which lives on in its high concentration of music venues and dance clubs. Once known as the seedier side of town, the University of South Australia’s West End campus has transformed the area into a fresh and dynamic destination, with progressive cultural institutions and events including the Jam Factory, the SASA Gallery, and the Adelaide Feast Queer Festival.

What to See in Adelaide

Immerse yourself in the colonial elegance of Adelaide with a stroll by the stunning historic buildings that line North Terrace. Admire the Victorian beauty of the art gallery and museum, and then head inside to scope out their artistic and cultural offerings. In the Art Gallery of South Australia, see an outstanding collection of almost 40,000 works that cover centuries of Asian, European, North American, and Aboriginal Australian art. At the South Australian Museum, dive into the cultural heritage of the region with 5 floors of intriguing displays and special exhibitions.

Sightseeing in Adelaide

For Outdoor Adventurers

Explore the natural wilderness of Kangaroo Island, a rugged destination lying just off the mainland of South Australia. On a convenient 1day outing, you’re taken to the island, more than a third of which is protected by nature reserves. Scope out the picturesque landscapes as you wander the beach, climb over spectacular rock formations, and catch sight of wildlife such as sea lions, koalas, and colorful birds.

For Animal Lovers

Get even closer to wildlife with admission to the Adelaide Zoo, located just northwest of the Botanic Park. Wander the grounds to discover more than 2,500 exotic animals from around the world, including giant pandas, Sumatran tigers, and Bolivian squirrel monkeys. If even that’s not enough, get closer than ever before as you swim with the dolphins. A short drive out of the city at the Glenelg Beach marina, boats depart daily to bring you right into the native habitat of bottlenose dolphins.

For Foodies

Discover the city’s delightful and delicious culinary culture with a morning walking tour through the Adelaide Central Market. With a local guide leading the way, begin the day with breakfast at iconic Lucia’s Cafe and then set off to uncover all the best Australian food offerings. Sample bites of ripe, juicy fruit, hand-picked nuts, succulent meat, and handmade cheese. If you prefer to get out of town for a bit, explore the stunning region of the Barossa Valley and the quaint village of Hahndorf. Soak in the breathtaking scenery as you savor a scrumptious 2-course meal, as well as wine from some of the region’s top producers.

For Sports Enthusiasts

Go behind the scenes at the Adelaide Oval

with a tour that explores the secrets of the world-class stadium. Get exclusive access to areas typically restricted to athletes and staff as your expert guide reveals inside knowledge and little-known facts. For sports lover who are also thrill seekers, you won’t want to miss the chance to

climb to the very top of the stadium

. Strap yourself into a harness for an exhilarating adventure that takes you across the Oval’s roof, offering panoramic views of downtown Adelaide, the winding River Torrens, and the lush botanical gardens.

Free Things to Do in Adelaide

They say the best things in life are free. Be sure to explore the following around Adelaide:

Migration Museum - Find out if there are any special exhibitions or guided tours on at this respected museum.

Public Art - This is a non-negotiable stop for culture vultures eager to add an artistic touch to their getaway.

Kurrangga Park - You'll love this attraction if you're eager to kick your heels up and simply have fun.

River Torrens Footbridge - This modern landmark is an unique backdrop for that vacation profile pic.

Parliament House - If you're fascinated by bygone times, this is one stop you really shouldn't miss.

Waterfall Gully - Just being close to the water is guaranteed to leave you feeling calm and rejuvenated.

Adelaide Convention Centre - Make room in your must-see list to stroll around this place of local significance.

Pilgrim Uniting Church - Gain an understanding of the local religion at this spiritual place.

West Beach - Toss a ball around with the youngsters or simply kick back and soak up the sun's rays at this coastal spot.

River Torrens Linear Park Trail - Escape the urban jungle and immerse yourself in nature at this glorious place.

Victoria Square - If you're into nurturing your garden, this attraction will excite your green thumb.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Adelaide

Glenelg

Enjoy the delights of the ocean, a pretty coastline, heritage architecture and a fun-filled amusement park at this charming beach resort on the edge of Adelaide.

Beach ViewShoppingDining

McLaren Vale

Enjoy watersports, visit historical buildings, explore a shipwreck and go on wine-tasting tours in one of South Australia's oldest wine regions.

WineryRelaxingCheese

Hahndorf

Find a little slice of Germany in the Adelaide Hills, where the tree-lined main street bustles with old-fashioned bakeries, pubs, restaurants and winery cellar doors.

WalkingHillSpa

Adelaide Central Business District

Travelers to Adelaide Central Business District praise its popular shops. If you've got some more time to explore, be sure to make a stop by Rundle Mall and Victoria Square.

ShoppingBusinessDining

Gawler

You might consider checking out South Para Reserve while you're exploring Gawler and the larger Adelaide area.

Friendly People

North Adelaide

North Adelaide is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Adelaide Oval and Adelaide Zoo while you're in town.

DiningFriendly PeopleFamily-friendly

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Adelaide on a sunny day?

When the weather's fine, these outdoor activities guarantee a great time:

What to do in Adelaide on a rainy day?

There's no need to splish, splash and splosh your way through a soggy day when there are terrific indoor activities like these on offer:

What should I not miss in Adelaide?

If you'd like to see the best of this place, find time for these attractions in your itinerary:

  • Rundle Mall
  • Adelaide Oval
  • Adelaide Central Market
  • Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Are there cheap things to do in Adelaide?

You'll find plenty of activities and tours here that are just the ticket if you're traveling on a tight budget:

What can you do in Adelaide for free?

You could store your cash in the hotel safe for the day, because these cool attractions will cost you nothing:

  • Rundle Mall
  • Adelaide Central Market
  • Victoria Square
  • Government House