Adelaide combines exceptional food and wine, world-class events and immersive wildlife experiences.
Dine at some of the best restaurants in the country, sprawl out on sandy beaches minutes from the city and soak in the chic boutique city vibes. Here's our guide to the tops 10 things to do in Adelaide including where to eat and drink, what to see and must-do experiences.
1. Adelaide Central Markets
For a quintessential Adelaide experience, step into a thriving hub of food and culture at the Adelaide Central Market. A favourite spot with the locals, 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.
With so many exceptional beaches so close to the city centre, simply chuck on your bathers and jump on a tram and within 20 minutes you'll have arrived at 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, swim with dolphins or take a twilight cruise with Temptation Sailing and in the summer months pull up a seat at the Moseley Beach Club. While crowds flock to Glenelg in the summer months, Adelaide's coastline has you spoilt for choice. Discover more beaches in Adelaide or venture further south and discover the best beaches in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
3. Day trips
With more than 200 cellar doors on its doorstep, Adelaide is the wine capital of Australia and the best news is, it’s all so accessible. Head 20 minutes down the road to the magical Adelaide hills and unearth award-winning wineries and incredible local food producers. While away an afternoon nestled among rolling green hills sampling a local drop or taste-test your way through the regions cool climate wines while cycling the Piccadilly Valley Trail. Spend a little longer in the hills and explore winding leafy lanes, wander around fairy tale villages and sip from the best wineries, pubs and cellar doors.
Our city streets are literally teeming with award-winning restaurants dishing up unique, mouth-watering flavours. Step into Leigh Street institution Shōbōsho where smoky flavours are complemented with raw, cured, pickled and fermented dishes and are best served with a side of sashimi, noodles, yakitori, dumplings and bao. Adelaide's restaurants are undoubtedly best discovered by taste, so sample your way around the city's best places to eat and drink with our guide to Adelaide's best restaurants.
5. Bar hopping
In Adelaide, streets lined with quirky, speakeasy bars run through the city like a lifeblood for thirsty revellers. From swanky rooftop bars to cosy cocktail lounges tucked away amid laneways, Adelaide is shaking up classic and creative drops, pouring home grown vino and freshly brewed craft beer for you to enjoy. Ready for your night out in Adelaide? Sip your way around the city with our guide to the best bars in Adelaide.
6. Festival State
South Australia’s year-long event and festival calendar celebrates the state’s world-class food, wine, sport, art, design and culture. Don't know which show to book, what dates to plan for or what events the locals are talking about? Like an insider's cheat-sheet to the must-see shows, unmissable installations and yearly crowd favourites, discover our festival and events calendar and regional events calendar and start planning!
7. Adelaide Oval
Arguably the best sports stadium in Australia, nothing compares to the thrill of watching a game at Adelaide Oval. And the excitement doesn’t end when the siren sounds. After the game, reach new heights on the Roof Climb Adelaide Oval 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.
8. Adelaide Zoo
Tucked in the heart of Adelaide lies a lush oasis home to exotic animals from all corners of the globe as well as Australia’s most iconic species. With more than 2,500 animals and 250 different species to discover including the only pair of Giant Pandas in the Southern Hemisphere, Wang Wang and Fu Ni, Adelaide Zoo is one of the best family-friendly things to do in Adelaide. Hand feed giraffe, feel the wind from the wings of Blue and Gold Macaws on your face as they fly overhead, watch the pandas at bath time and learn about your favourite animals from the passionate keepers. You can feel good about your visit too; the zoo is a conservation charity, with your ticket helping their important work to protect species.
9. Art Galleries and museums
Go gallery hopping along Adelaide’s cultural boulevard, North Terrace, home to a myriad of unique and impressive art galleries and museums. Kick off at the Art Gallery of South Australia, housing one of Australia’s best art collections and exhibitions. Then, head next door to the South Australian Museum, renowned for its world-class natural history and cultural collections. If you need a second dose of art, head across the road and step into the future at the University of South Australia’s MOD, an innovative science and technology museum with quirky, ever changing exhibitions displayed over two floors.
10. Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Step off the city streets and into a veritable garden of Eden home to blooming rose gardens, tropical sanctuaries, rambling yet manicured gardens and lush lawns perfect for picnicking. Adelaide Botanic Garden spans 50 hectares, featuring stunning architecture, majestic avenues of ancient trees and, of course, the famous wisteria arbour. Explore the garden then stop for lunch at the multi-award-winning Botanic Gardens Restaurant, where you’ll dine on produce sourced from the surrounding gardens, under a heritage rotunda, overlooking ponds and lush greenery. Thirsty? Next door, you’ll find the National Wine Centre of Australia, home to more than 120 wines.
Check into Adelaide’s best hotels
Looking for somewhere to settle in during your Adelaide adventure? Check out our guide to the best hotels in Adelaide from 5-star luxury to budget-stays and start planning.