The Best Things to do in Adelaide, South Australia

You’re about to discover the best of Adelaide, South Australia’s vibrant heart. Picture yourself strolling through bustling markets, exploring lush gardens, and marvelling at diverse wildlife.

Imagine sun-soaked beaches, historic sites, and shopping sprees. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or foodie, there’s something for you. So buckle up; your unforgettable journey starts now. Welcome to Adelaide, where every turn promises a new adventure.

South Australian Museum

Australian Cultural Highlights

Australia’s rich culture and history are encapsulated in the South Australian Museum, offering a unique look into the country’s Aboriginal heritage. Visit the Art Gallery of South Australia, where a broad spectrum of art collections from different eras and regions awaits you.

Don’t miss out on the State Library of South Australia, with its modern facilities, historical collections, and the Migration Museum, which tells the stories of the diverse people who’ve made South Australia their home. (Read Adelaide To Wilpena Pound)

South Australian Museum

Interestingly, when you visit the South Australian Museum, you’ll be immersed in Australia’s rich cultural heritage, particularly its acclaimed Aboriginal collections. As one of the best tourist attractions in Adelaide, it’s a must-see on your itinerary.

You’ll encounter fascinating exhibits ranging from natural history to indigenous art, offering a glimpse into the country’s past and present. The museum stands out among other tourist places in Adelaide for its vast anthropological collection and dedication to education and preservation.

As you traverse the museum halls, you’ll find yourself engrossed in the dynamic and diverse history that defines South Australia. As an attraction in Adelaide, it’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through time.

At the Art Gallery of South Australia, you’re bound to appreciate the vast collection of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander art, European pieces, Asian exhibits, and avant-garde sculptures.

As one of the best places to visit in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, this art gallery boasts an impressive art collection spanning centuries. Located in Adelaide’s city centre, the gallery is easily accessible and a must-visit tourist attraction.

Here, you get to immerse yourself in a rich cultural experience, learning about Australian history through the beautiful art pieces. The gallery’s knowledgeable staff provides detailed descriptions of the exhibits, enhancing your visit.

State Library of South Australia

During your visit to the State Library of South Australia, you’ll discover that it’s more than just a library; it’s a vital part of the state’s cultural history. As one of the oldest cultural institutions in the capital of South Australia, it’s a prominent fixture in Adelaide.

This tourist attraction is a mecca for history buffs and the best tourist spot for Adelaide sightseeing. You’ll be immersed in South Australia’s rich heritage as you explore its vast collection of books, photographs, and manuscripts.

Don’t miss the chance to tour the Mortlock Wing, a breathtakingly beautiful space reminiscent of a 19th-century library. With its role in preserving South Australia’s history, the State Library is a must-visit in Adelaide.

Migration Museum

You’ll love the Migration Museum, where you can learn about Australia’s immigration history since the early 1800s. You’ll be fascinated by the personal stories of individuals who’ve shaped the country’s diverse culture.

Nestled in the heart of Adelaide city, this museum is one of the best tourist attractions in Adelaide. It’s a must-visit place in Adelaide, offering a poignant and powerful insight into the migrant experience.

You’ll find a range of captivating exhibits, from the heart-wrenching tales of forced migration to inspiring stories of opportunity and hope. As a popular tourist spot, it’s a standout among sightseeing places and an essential part of any Adelaide travel itinerary. Conveniently located in Adelaide CBD, it’s one of the top things to do in Adelaide.

Adelaide Botanic Garden

Exploring Adelaide’s Natural Beauty

You’re about to be spellbound by Adelaide’s natural beauty. The Adelaide Botanic Garden will captivate you with diverse plant species and artful landscaping. Don’t miss the scenic trails of Waterfall Gully and the breathtaking views from Adelaide Hills; they’re truly unforgettable.

Adelaide Botanic Garden

In exploring Adelaide’s natural beauty, you’ll find that the Adelaide Botanic Garden, established in 1855, contains many themed plantings and educational displays. This garden is one of the best places to visit in Adelaide, offering an oasis in the city’s heart.

It’s a great place to learn about Australia’s diverse flora while exploring its winding paths. A guided tour can help uncover the garden’s history and unique plant species. Don’t miss the stunning Rose Garden, a sensory delight that showcases numerous rose varieties.

As one of the top Adelaide attractions, the Adelaide Botanic Garden promises an enriching and tranquil experience, making it a must-visit in your list of activities in Adelaide.

Waterfall Gully

After visiting Adelaide Botanic Garden, you’ll be thrilled with the natural splendour of Waterfall Gully, surrounded by lush greenery and home to the awe-inspiring First Fall waterfall. Nestled in the heart of Adelaide Hills, it’s considered one of the best things to do and a unique place to visit in Adelaide.

This serene oasis offers many fun things to do, from hiking trails that wind through the verdant landscape to the spellbinding sight of the cascading waterfall. Enrich your list of places to visit with this natural gem. Its tranquil beauty and the symphony of rushing waters make Waterfall Gully worth a visit.

Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills is a treasure trove of natural beauty, from its picturesque landscapes to its charming towns. Nestled away from Adelaide’s hustle and bustle, it’s an ideal retreat offering stunning views of Adelaide.

Mount Lofty, the highest peak, provides breathtaking panoramas you can’t miss. For animal lovers, a visit to Cleland Wildlife Park is a must. It’s an immersive experience where you can get close to Australia’s native wildlife.

Adelaide Hills is also family-friendly. Kids will love the toy factories and fairy-tale-themed parks.

Reaching Adelaide Hills is easy, thanks to numerous transport options. With attractions like these, it’s a perfect spot to experience the tranquillity of nature while being just a stone’s throw from the city. (Read Things To Do Around Hahndorf)

Adelaide Oval

Sporting Attractions in Adelaide

You’ll find the Adelaide Oval to be a true icon of Australian sport. With a history dating back to 1871, it’s hosted cricket and Australian rules football matches that have become the stuff of legend. When you’re not catching a match, explore the stadium’s rich history with a guided tour, or get a bird’s-eye view with a thrilling rooftop climb.

Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Oval’s iconic stature in the city results from its rich history and the memorable sports events it’s hosted. As one of the best tourist places to go in Adelaide, it’s a must-visit. Its recent revamp preserves its history while providing modern facilities.

From cricket to Aussie Rules football, it’s a sports lover’s dream. But there’s more! The Adelaide Oval Roof Climb offers breathtaking city views. Easily accessible from Adelaide Airport and close to the University of Adelaide and Adelaide Festival Centre, it’s a top attraction.

Don’t forget to visit the State Library and Adelaide Botanical Gardens nearby. Remember, Adelaide isn’t just about sports; it’s a vibrant, cultural city waiting to be explored.

Fascinating Wildlife Experiences

You’ll be captivated by the wildlife experiences Adelaide offers.

At Adelaide Zoo, you’ll see nearly 3,000 species and have the chance to interact with them.

Over at Cleland Wildlife Park, you can feed and hold over a hundred native Australian species in the stunning setting of Cleland Conservation Park.

Adelaide Zoo

With over 2,500 animals from 250 species, you’ll experience an incredible variety of wildlife at the Adelaide Zoo, providing endless opportunities for learning and fun. As Australia’s second oldest zoo, it’s a sanctuary amidst the bustle of the city. Managed by the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, a conservation charity that aims to connect people with nature, it’s a must-go in Adelaide.

It stands as one of the best tourist attractions in South Australia. The Adelaide Zoo lets you get up close and personal with animals, offering a unique blend of education and entertainment. It’s a testament to the trust of South Australia in nurturing nature and wildlife.

Adelaide’s second oldest zoo is a trip back in time and a leap forward in conservation efforts.

Cleland Wildlife Park

In the heart of Cleland Conservation Park, you’ll find Cleland Wildlife Park, a haven for over a hundred native Australian species, offering a hands-on experience like no other. Just a stone’s throw away from the centre of Adelaide, it’s one of the best tourist destinations in the area.

You can cuddle a koala, feed kangaroos, or watch emus strut. After, why not head down to the South Coast or pop over to the Barossa Valley? If you’re looking for accommodations, there are many hotels in Adelaide to choose from. Remember, the Adelaide Festival is a must-visit if you’re in town.

And don’t forget, Adelaide Zoo is Australia’s second oldest zoo. This city, with attractions like the National Wine Centre of Australia, will make you fall in love with Adelaide.

Food and Wine Highlights

You’ll relish the vibrant atmosphere at Adelaide Central Market, a foodie haven teeming with fresh produce and gourmet delights. Don’t miss out on the Barossa Valley, Australia’s premier wine region, where you can sample exquisite wines and explore historic vineyards.

Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or a wine connoisseur, these experiences are bound to impress your palate and provide a memorable Australian gastronomic journey.

Adelaide Central Market

If you’re looking for a taste of local culture, don’t miss out on the Adelaide Central Market, renowned for its wide variety of fresh produce, gourmet foods, and specialty products. The Adelaide Central Market is one of the world’s most vibrant and bustling markets. It’s not just a market; it’s a melting pot of cultures, all under one roof.

The Central Market is one of the best places for shopping in Adelaide. You’ll find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to artisan cheeses and specialty meats. After exploring the market, you can stroll down to the nearby Rundle Mall for some retail therapy or visit the Art Gallery for a dose of culture.

Don’t forget to check out the statue of Queen Victoria on your way to Port Adelaide.

Barossa Valley

You’ll surely fall in love with Barossa Valley, famed for its exquisite food and wine offerings. This Australian gem, steeped in rich history and culture, boasts some of the oldest vineyards on the planet. As you stroll through the lush landscapes, you’ll be captivated by the enchanting blend of European charm and Australian ambience. Don’t forget to indulge in the region’s famous Shiraz and savour the taste of locally sourced cuisine.

If you’re yearning for the coast, the stunning beaches in Adelaide are only a short drive away. Adelaide’s beaches offer the perfect way to unwind after your Barossa Valley adventure, from the serene sands of Henley to the vibrant energy of Glenelg.

Rundle Mall Adelaide

Exploring Adelaide CBD

As you stroll through Adelaide’s vibrant CBD, you’ll encounter Rundle Mall, a bustling shopping hub teeming with international and local brands.

Venture onto Hindley Street, where the city’s nightlife comes alive with unique bars, live music venues, and an array of eateries. Don’t miss Gouger Street, renowned for its mouth-watering dining scene, featuring everything from Asian to Italian cuisines and some of Australia’s finest wines.

Rundle Mall

Strolling through Rundle Mall, you’ll find yourself surrounded by leading retail stores and historic arcades, making it the perfect spot for a shopping spree in Adelaide. You’ll be in awe of the historic charms mixed with modern conveniences.

Don’t miss the iconic bronze pigs, a favourite among locals and tourists alike. This bustling shopping precinct isn’t just about retail therapy. It’s also a hub for street performers, adding an energetic vibe to your shopping experience.

Explore the Adelaide Arcade, a heritage-listed site that houses specialty boutiques. After a day of shopping, you can unwind at one of the numerous cafes and eateries scattered around the mall.

Hindley Street

Heading down Hindley Street, you’ll encounter an array of nightlife options, including bars, clubs, and live music venues, but it’s also known for its diverse dining scene, offering everything from Asian fusion to classic Italian.

You can’t miss the vibrant murals adorning the buildings, a testament to Adelaide’s thriving art scene. You’ll appreciate the heritage-listed buildings peppering the street if you’re into history.

During the day, browse the eclectic mix of shops selling vintage clothing, music, and unique trinkets. At night, immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere with live bands and DJs pumping out tunes. Don’t forget to try a local brew at one of the craft beer bars. With its culture, history, food and nightlife mix, Hindley Street is a microcosm of Adelaide’s charm.

Gouger Street

Why haven’t you explored Gouger Street’s bustling food scene yet, packed with various restaurants and cafes offering diverse culinary delights? You’re missing out on a culinary adventure right in the heart of Adelaide’s Chinatown. Gouger Street has everything from authentic Chinese dumplings to French patisseries, Thai street food, to Italian trattorias.

Stroll along the lively stretch, where the aroma of sizzling dishes wafts through the air. Pop into the Central Market, where local producers offer their freshest ingredients. Don’t miss Adelaide’s famous seafood at places like the Oyster Bar.

Gouger Street lights up as the sun sets, its vibrant nightlife beckoning. Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or a traveller seeking local experiences, Gouger Street is a must-visit.

Adelaide Festival

Festivals and Events

You’re in for a treat if you’re visiting during the Adelaide Festival or the Adelaide Fringe. The Adelaide Festival is an internationally acclaimed arts festival that includes opera, theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, cabaret, literature, visual art and new media.

The Adelaide Fringe, on the other hand, is the world’s second-largest annual arts festival, which offers a vast array of entertainment from theatre, comedy, and cabaret to circus, film and digital experiences.

Adelaide Festival

In March, you’ll experience the Adelaide Festival, a major cultural event showcasing diverse arts performances and installations. The city will come alive with music, dance, theatre, and visual arts from local and international artists. It’s not all about watching performances; you’ll also have opportunities to participate in various workshops and discussions.

From classical to contemporary art, there’s something for every taste. You might stumble upon a thought-provoking theatre piece, enjoy an exhilarating dance performance, or be moved by a stirring classical music concert. You’ll also have a chance to explore unique art installations scattered throughout the city.

Remember to book your tickets in advance as this festival is quite popular. So, get ready for an enriching cultural feast that’s quintessentially Adelaide.

Top Attractions During Adelaide Fringe

There are many attractions to check out during the Adelaide Fringe, from intriguing art installations to captivating street performances.

  • The bustling Rundle Mall, filled with vibrant boutiques and chic cafes, will mesmerise you.
  • Stop by the Adelaide Central Market to sample the finest South Australian produce.
  • Don’t miss Adelaide Zoo, home to the only giant pandas in the southern hemisphere.
  • For a touch of history, visit the State Library of South Australia and marvel at its vast collection.
  • Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of the Himeji Garden, a slice of Japan nestled in Adelaide.
  • Lastly, finish your day at Glenelg Beach, soaking in a breathtaking sunset.

Kangaroo Island Adelaide

Best Places to Visit Outside Adelaide

A short trip from Adelaide, Kangaroo Island allows you to see native wildlife up close, from kangaroos to sea lions, in their natural habitat.

Also within reach is Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, where you can enjoy authentic German cuisine and explore unique artisan shops. These are just two incredible destinations waiting for you outside of Adelaide.

Kangaroo Island Day Tour from Adelaide

You’ll marvel at the diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes when you embark on a day tour of Kangaroo Island from Adelaide. As Australia’s third-largest island, it’s teeming with native creatures, from kangaroos and koalas to sea lions and diverse bird species.

You’ll be awestruck by the rugged beauty of the Remarkable Rocks, sculpted by nature over millions of years. Visit the Seal Bay Conservation Park, where you can walk among sea lions on a guided beach tour.

Don’t miss the Kelly Hill Conservation Park with its stunning limestone caves. Round off your trip with a visit to the island’s wineries, sampling the local produce. Remember to pack your camera, sunblock, and a sense of adventure. With its pristine beaches, untouched bushland, and abundant wildlife, Kangaroo Island is a must-visit on any South Australian itinerary.

Experience the German Culture in Hahndorf

In the heart of Adelaide Hills, before the day ends, you’ll be immersed in Hahndorf’s German culture and adore its charming 19th-century architecture.

As you stroll down the main street, you’ll appreciate the beautiful Fachwerk buildings filled with artisan products, craft shops, and galleries. Sample the traditional German fare at one of the many pubs and restaurants. You won’t miss tasting locally produced cheese, beer, and wine.

Furthermore, the abundance of local markets selling fresh produce and handmade crafts is a testament to the town’s thriving community spirit.

Cleland Wildlife Park Adelaide

General Tips and Advice for Tourists

When planning your visit to Adelaide, consider the seasons; spring and autumn are ideal with their mild weather and vibrant colours. Navigating the city is simple, thanks to its grid layout and efficient public transportation, including trams, buses, and bike-sharing services.

Choose your accommodation based on your itinerary, from luxury hotels in the city centre to charming bed and breakfasts in the Adelaide Hills.

Best Time to Visit Adelaide

Why wouldn’t you consider visiting Adelaide during Autumn, when the weather is mild, and most of the city’s attractions are in full swing? It’s the ideal time to explore the stunning botanic gardens, vibrant central markets, and beautiful beaches.

The autumnal colours of the Adelaide Hills are a sight to behold, and the cooler weather is perfect for hiking in Cleland Conservation Park. You can catch an AFL game at the Adelaide Oval or enjoy the city’s rich arts scene at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The local wineries offer tastings, with the season’s harvest bringing out the best in their produce. Adelaide’s Autumn Festival features music, arts, and cultural events celebrating the season. Remember to pack a light jacket, as evenings can be fantastic.

Enjoy autumn in Adelaide; it’s a season you won’t forget!

Getting Around Adelaide

Before sunrise, you’ll find that getting around Adelaide is quite simple, with efficient public transport like trams and buses and bike-friendly paths if you’re up for some cycling.

The Adelaide Metro offers an extensive network of buses, trams, and trains that cover the city and suburbs. Adelaide’s flat landscape makes it perfect for cycling if you prefer a leisurely pace. You can use Adelaide Free Bikes, a no-cost bike hire service.

Don’t forget the iconic Glenelg Tram, which takes you to the beachfront. For a unique experience, try the Popeye Boat on the River Torrens. Hiring a car can help you explore the Adelaide Hills or Barossa Valley.

Where to Stay in Adelaide

You’re probably wondering about the best places to stay in Adelaide during your visit, right? Well, Adelaide offers something for everyone.

If you’re a history buff, choose a boutique hotel in the cultural precinct of North Terrace. In proximity to the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum, it’s a cultural hub. Love the beach? Glenelg offers beachfront resorts just steps from the sandy shores.

For luxury seekers, the city centre boasts high-end hotels with stellar views of the city skyline. Foodies should consider a stay near Adelaide Central Market. This bustling area offers a plethora of dining options.


People Also Ask About Adelaide

You might be wondering what Adelaide is famous for.

It’s renowned for its vibrant arts scene, world-class wine regions, and beautiful landscapes.

If you’re travelling with family, there’s plenty to do, from visiting the Adelaide Zoo to exploring the Botanic Gardens, and the best part, many of these attractions are free!

What is Adelaide famous for

Adelaide is renowned for its vibrant Central Market, stunning Botanic Gardens, historic Adelaide Oval, and the diverse species at Adelaide Zoo all offer a unique Australian experience.

Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the Central Market, a foodie’s paradise where you’ll find fresh produce, gourmet delicacies, and a multicultural culinary scene.

Wander through the Botanic Gardens, a lush oasis showcasing various plant life and tranquil settings.

Don’t miss the iconic Adelaide Oval, a mecca for cricket fans, where you can delve into sporting history.

Finally, meet the natives at Adelaide Zoo, home to numerous species, including the rare giant panda.

Adelaide, blending culture, nature, and history, will captivate your adventurous spirit.

What are the best things to do in Adelaide for families

Experiencing the joy of feeding a kangaroo at Cleland Wildlife Park or marvelling at the vibrant array of organic produce at Adelaide Central Market are among the best family-friendly activities in Adelaide.

The city is bursting with attractions that entertain and educate. Explore the South Australian Museum’s Aboriginal heritage collection to appreciate Australia’s rich indigenous culture.

Nothing beats Glenelg Beach, where you can build sandcastles or dip in the warm waters for a fun outdoor activity. Rundle Mall, the country’s first pedestrian street mall, is perfect for a family shopping spree.

And don’t miss the Botanic Garden of Adelaide, a serene place to learn about diverse plant species. Remember, Adelaide’s charm is varied, so try to experience as much as possible.

Are there any free tourist attractions in Adelaide?

In your exploration of Adelaide, you’ll find that there are indeed several free attractions worth visiting. These include the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Botanic Garden of Adelaide. At the Art Gallery, you’ll immerse yourself in a wealth of Australian and international art, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pieces. The Botanic Garden, on the other hand, offers a refreshing escape with diverse plant species and educational displays.

Stroll around the historic Victoria Square, or Tarndanyangga, the heart of Adelaide. Don’t miss North Terrace, famous for its heritage buildings and cultural institutions. Visit Glenelg Beach for a relaxing day or a picnic in the scenic Himeji Garden.

Last, immerse yourself in Adelaide’s lively atmosphere at the Central Market. Remember, the best things in life, or Adelaide, are free!


So, you’re ready to embark on your Adelaide adventure. From the bustling Central Market to the tranquil Botanic Garden, the exciting Adelaide Zoo, to lively Glenelg Beach, you’ll never run out of things to do.

Dive into the rich heritage at Carrick Hill, shop at Rundle Mall, or explore the local food and wine scene.

No matter what you love, Adelaide’s got it all. Get packing and start your unforgettable South Australian journey today!

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