Explore Adelaide with our official itinerary
Adelaide is bursting with culture, flavours, events and entertainment. Taste your way through world-famous wine regions just minutes away from the city, soak up the sun at picture-perfect city beaches and spend the night exploring a thriving restaurant and bar scene before retreating to one of the Adelaide's best hotels. Here's our guide to exploring Adelaide.
WHERE TO STAY
The newly opened Sofitel is the first internationally recognised five-star hotel in Adelaide. Superbly located in the heart of the CBD on Currie Street and just 15 minutes from Adelaide Airport, the Sofitel is bringing a touch of French elegance to South Australia while still reflecting the culture and character unique to our boutique capital. From a chandelier custom-designed to reflect the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri that carves a path through the centre of Adelaide to mosaic patterns throughout the building inspired by the stained glass found in holy windows across the city of churches. Splash out and book the presidential suite that boasts its own private dining room, walk-in robe and study, or opt for an overnight stay in one of their gorgeous and thoughtfully designed superior rooms. Start your day by diving into their indoor pool before retiring to their Club Millesime lounge or champagne bar after a day spent exploring the Adelaide Hills or Barossa regions.
Just 15 minutes’ drive from Adelaide Airport lies The Mayfair, Adelaide's premier five-star boutique hotel. Located in the heart of the city in a heritage-listed building, and on the doorstep of Adelaide’s small bars scene, The Mayfair is listed as one of the top hotels in Australia and New Zealand by Condé Nast Traveller and took home the award for Best Bed in Australia at the Gourmet Traveller 2018 Australian Hotel Awards. The Mayfair offers luxury accommodation and contemporary dining, as well as the stunning Hennessy Rooftop Bar. Little extras to make your stay memorable include luxury skincare products, rain showers and a premium complimentary minibar.
EOS at Sky City
Live it up in the lap of luxury at the brand new 5-star Eos at Skycity. Perched over the River Torrens with sweeping views beyond the city limits, EOS is perfectly positioned for city exploration. Stroll to Rundle Mall, the Botanic Gardens, Festival Centre, the Art Gallery, Adelaide Oval and Adelaide Central Markets, or explore laneways packed with bars and restaurants. That’s if you can tear yourself away from EOS. With a day spa, rooftop bar and restaurant, luxury suites and tailored services including an on-call cocktail mixologist, hair and makeup artist and personal trainer, EOS has your every need covered.
For more city stays, check out our guide to the best hotels in Adelaide.
WHERE TO EAT
One of the hottest tables in town, Africola is best enjoyed when shared. Let the spices of Northern Africa unleash your adventurous spirit to try something wonderfully unfamiliar. Opt for the sumptuous four course chef’s selection or fill your table with plates like golden dahl, sprouted lentils, fried cauliflower, sardine with harissa, falafel and marinated eggplant. With chef Duncan Welgemoed’s raving fans and great value, Africola is one of the best restaurants in Adelaide so make sure you book ahead.
Step into Adelaide’s house of decadence – Fugazzi. Undoubtedly one of Australia’s best pasta haunts, this New York-Italo inspired bar and dining room embodies the term moreish, from touches of velvet and marble to artistically curated cocktails and hand rolled duck cappelletti. Their menu is broken down into four segments – snacks, pasta, fire and sides - so be prepared to loosen your belt buckle. Try their version of Australiana cuisine with their Roman Vegemite finger, or go all out with a Wagyu Tomohawk.
Used to seeing the words “main course” and “entrée” on a menu? Well, do away with any preconceived notions of what a restaurant is before booking your ‘experience’ at Restaurant Botanic. It is exactly that – an all-encompassing experience that they like to call ‘flavour combinations’ instead of traditional courses. With 20 combinations dished out as part of a curated tasting menu by chef Justin James, all your senses will be awoken – from the taste and smell of James’ unique creations to the sight and sounds of the surrounding lush gardens and even the feeling of the food in your fingers (forks get put to the side). Nestled amid Adelaide’s botanic gardens and inspired by the flora and fauna found in this inner-city oasis, you can expect to find things like green ants, finger limes, paperbark parsnip pie and bunya bunya branches on the menu. Be warned though – this is not a meal for those short on time. It is akin to booking an experience like any other tour, with a minimum dining experience lasting four hours.
For more dining inspiration, check out our guide to the best restaurants in Adelaide.
WHAT TO DO
With small speak-easy style bars tucked under the streets, swanky watering holes perched above the city skyline, laneways packed with cocktail lounges and quirky bars hidden behind unassuming walls, Adelaide's bar scene is booming. Sip your way around the laneways of Leigh St, Peel St and Gilbert Place or drink in the boozy goodness of Adelaide's east end. Our top spots for a tipple or two include Pink Moon Saloon, Leigh St Wine Room, Maybe Mae, Udaberri, NOLA, BRKLYN or Bar Peripheral. For more bar inspiration, check out our guide to the best hidden bars in Adelaide.
Adelaide Central Markets
For a quintessential Adelaide experience, step out of your hotel and into a thriving hub of food and culture at the Adelaide Central Market. Here, countless authentic eateries offer a gastronomic gateway to Asia, while produce from all over South Australia including fruits, vegetables, cheeses, small goods, chocolate, honey and breads pack stalls manned by local producers. Grab breakfast, then embark on a guided tour, taking you through the market’s rich history, much-loved characters and tastes from all corners of the globe.
Roof Climb Adelaide Oval
Reach new heights on the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb at night. One of Australia’s most iconic stadiums, clamber over billowing rooftops and historic grandstands by sunset on a spectacular twilight tour. Snag the bests seats in the house and see the sun set from the best vantage point in Adelaide. Continue your Adelaide exploration with an environmentally friendly tour with EcoCaddy. Jump on-board one of their hybrid-electric rickshaws and get pedalled to any destination within the CBD, or let them show you around on a city highlights, street art or history tour.
Find more things to do in Adelaide here.
WHAT TO SEE
South Australian skies put on a show come sundown when collages of blazing red, yellow and orange paint the sky in a sunset spectacular best appreciated beachside. And with so many incredible west-facing beaches in Adelaide, you’ll have front row seats on the sand to a fiery show-stopper as the sun slips behind the ocean. Jump on a tram just 20 minutes to Adelaide’s favourite city beach, Glenelg. Walk along the foreshore and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants dotting Jetty Road before kicking your shoes off and pulling up a seat at the bar without even taking your toes out the sand. Other spots to settle in seaside as the sunsets include Brighton, Henley Beach, Semaphore, Port Noarlunga and Grange.
Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Spend a day exploring South Australia’s inner-city oasis, the Adelaide Botanic Garden. The sprawling Botanic Garden spans 50 hectares, featuring stunning architecture, majestic avenues and, of course, the famous wisteria arbour. Stop for lunch at the multi-award-winning , where you’ll dine on produce sourced from the surrounding gardens, under a heritage rotunda, overlooking ponds and lush greenery. Next door, you’ll find the National Wine Centre of Australia, home to more than 120 wines, and Adelaide Zoo.
Continue on to the Adelaide Hills
Venture just a little further and within minutes of the city arrive in the picture-book perfect Adelaide Hills. Start planning with our three-day Adelaide Hills itinerary.