Everything You Need To Know Before You Go To Adelaide

Adelaide, South Australia

Known as the “City of Churches”, Adelaide is now more famous for its events and festivals with tens of thousands of tourists flocking to the South Australian capital each year.

The city itself was planned before being founded in 1836. That planning can be seen today in the well thought out grid layout of the CBD (similar to Melbourne) surrounded by parklands.

Actually, in several aspects Adelaide is very much a smaller, more casual version of Melbourne. But with its own distinct culture and atmosphere.

Adelaide is also the fifth largest city (in terms of population) in the country and the gateway to the nearby world-famous Barossa Valley wine region.

Having visited Adelaide many times over the past few years, I’ve compiled some of my best tips and advice that I’ve picked up during my time there.

Where To Stay In Adelaide?

Much like any other capital city around Australia, there really isn’t a shortage of accommodation options in Adelaide.

That said though if you are planning to travel during any number of the events that Adelaide hosts, then make sure you book your accommodation early if you’d like to stay within the CBD.

My first suggestion is to look in and around North Terrace, in particular near Rundle Mall if you’d like to stay somewhere centrally located and easy walking distance to the key attractions.

For a shorter stay in Adelaide, the Holiday Inn Express and Ibis are comfortable and convenient, good for business trip options. If you are planning on staying a week or more then the RNR Rundle Mall and Oaks Adelaide Horizons Suites are better suited for those longer stays.

Obviously with convenience comes a cost, so I have some cheaper options still within the CBD for you as well… Both RNR Serviced Apartments Adelaide and BreakFree Directors Studios are good options for a comfortable stay. While on the really cheap end, the Adelaide Central YHA is the best of the dorm-style backpacker options.

Pro Tip: If you plan on driving to or renting a car while in Adelaide, just keep an eye out for parking costs associated with your accommodation. While many hotels offer parking, it’s usually a paid extra at a fairly steep rate.

Once you start looking outside the CBD, you’ll have even more choice in both styles of stay and price point. While there are plenty of options, if it’s your first time to Adelaide then Glenelg is your best bet.

Both by the beach and short tram trip into the city, check out Oaks Glenelg Liberty Suites and Ensenada Motor Inn and Suites for good alternatives.

Getting To The City From Adelaide Airport

Adelaide Airport is really close to the city, and the beach.

It’s about a 15-minute drive from the airport into the CBD, so whether that be self-driven or in a taxi or ride-sharing service like Uber. Taxi’s and Rental Cars are easily found right across the courtyard from the Airport terminal.

While for the ride-sharing/Uber services have their own pickup area, just look out for the signs. To save yourself some time waiting book in your ride before leaving the terminal. Often there aren’t any cars just waiting.

Adelaide doesn’t really offer specialised shuttle bus service into the city, but the local public transport service, the Adelaide Metro, does offer a public bus if you are looking to save some money.

Getting Around Adelaide

Getting around within the city itself isn’t too difficult. Being a relatively level city laid out in a grid you can easily walk around Adelaide without a map and still not get lost.

Most places within the city are with a reasonable walking distance and that is how the locals tend to get around.

That said, the Adelaide Metro does run the single tram line through the center(ish) of the city as well as public busses.

Currently (November 2020) the Tram is free to use between North Terrace and South Terrace, making it a good option to get from one side of the city to the other. Beyond that, you will need to pick up a local metroCARD.

Getting Beyond The City

As I’ve just mentioned Adelaide Metro offers a couple of public mass transit options for getting beyond the city including busses, trains and a tram.

But as always, my main recommendation is going to be renting a car. If you have any intention of heading out to the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills or any number of other places while you are in Adelaide then having your own transport is going to be the way to go.

Adelaide’s small size means the roads are pretty straight forward to navigate and at this stage there aren’t any toll roads in South Australia. Although new motorways connecting the regions to the city are currently under construction so that might change in the future.

What Should You Do In Adelaide?

I’ve got a whole post dedicated to all the things that Adelaide has to offer, which you can check out here.

Where To Find Food/What To Do In The Evenings?

You are not going to have a shortage of options on places to eat and then kick on while you are in Adelaide. There are pubs and cafes on just about every corner.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Rundle Street Mall is really convenient with a good variety of dining options throughout the day and into the evening. But you should also head over to Hindley Street (directly across the tram line from Rundle Street) for the Pub/Nightclub scene.

Also, make sure you visit Adelaide Central Markets/Gouger Street while you are in Adelaide. Don’t even question me on this one, just check it out.

If you’d like to get some more information to help in planning your trip to and around Australia… I’ve got a whole series of blog posts with all sorts of tips and advice to you.

Feel free to share this post with your friends and if you’d like some more general travel tips, head on over to my travel tips page for plenty more tips and tricks.

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And if you have a travel-related question you would like me to answer, head on over to my contact page to get in touch and let me know.

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About the Author: Rhys Vandersyde

Traveller, Photographer, Content Creator. I've spent the last 10 years exploring all over the world, but there is still plenty more to see. Find out more about me at vandersyde.com.au

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