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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are plenty of amazing experiences in Adelaide that the whole gang will enjoy. These are some of the most popular family friendly experiences around.
Touring on a budget in Adelaide? Spend time instead of money on terrific experiences.
Migration Museum - Find out if there are any special displays, exhibits or tours on at this popular museum.
Public Art - Plan a visit and get an insight into the cultural and artistic side of the area.
Kurrangga Park - If you want to turn up the fun factor on your break, this is the place to do it.
Waterfall Gully - Close your eyes and draw a deep breath — nothing beats being by the water for some calm and relaxation.
Adelaide Convention Centre - Arrange a visit and find out the significance of this place to the locals.
Pilgrim Uniting Church - Inject some spirituality into your getaway with a stop at this religious site.
West Beach - Throw a ball around with the kids or simply kick back and get some sun at this popular coastal spot.
River Torrens Linear Park Trail - Bring along your camera and let the natural surrounds spark a sense of awe in you.
Victoria Square - Grab your rug, pack some finger food and find a cozy spot to appreciate Mother Nature.
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You could leave your cash in the hotel safe for the day, because these fantastic attractions won't cost you a cent: