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Where to go in Adelaide

Find some of Australia’s best highlights in Adelaide and its surrounding areas.

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Sunny weather over a beach on Kangaroo Island.

From a foodie's paradise in the centre of the city to the historic sites of the North Terrace and relaxed vibes of Glenelg, Adelaide is brimming with places to be explored.

Venture further and you'll be treated to wine and dining in one of the world's top destinations: Barossa Valley. Wander south and Kangaroo Island will surprise you with a national park and unreal wildlife encounters. If you need a change from the city, the charming towns of Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf will welcome you for a weekend away.

This guide will help you discover where to go in Adelaide and surrounds for relaxation, adventure, wildlife, wine and food, entertainment and more.

girl restaurant

Victoria Square

Victoria Square is a lively spot in between the high rises in Adelaide's CBD. It's surrounded by 19th century buildings that have been preserved including Town Hall and St Francis Xavier's Cathedral.

It's also where Adelaide's only tram departs from and where the Adelaide Central Market makes home.

  • Best for: History, architecture, food.
  • How to get there: Victoria Square is in the centre of Adelaide's CBD and is easily accessed by bus or tram. Parking is also available undercover.
  • Top things to see and do: Have a tour of the Adelaide Central Market for breakfast, lunch or dinner, workout in Victoria Square and catch one of the happening events.
  • How long do I need? 1 hour - half day.
  • Recommended tour: Around the Square Adelaide Walking Tour.

port adelaide

Port Adelaide

Sitting just 14km outside of the city centre, Port Adelaide is a hub of museums, restaurants and heritage buildings.

It's here that you can find great seafood to feast on, excursions onto the water to spot dolphins and explore this state heritage listed area.

  • Best for: Seafood, historic sites.
  • How to get there: Port Adelaide is a 27-minute drive from Victoria Square or 50 minutes by bus and train.
  • Top things to see and do: Kayak with dolphins, go golfing, visit the Maritime, train and aviation museums and catch the Port Festival.
  • How long do I need? 1 hour - half-day.
  • Recommended tour: Kayak Tour of Dolphin Sanctuary and Shipwreck.

adelaide central market

Adelaide Central Market

One not to miss – not that you could. Just try and walk out without having something to eat!

Opened in 1869, the Adelaide Central Market has over 80 vendors offering just about everything from fruit to meat and more.

The market is open Tuesday through Saturday so be sure to visit Adelaide when it's open.


north terrade

North Terrace

This is one of the four terraces that surround Adelaide's CBD and offers a number of attractions worth visiting.

The street alone is beautiful to walk down and is shaded by big trees and sports historic buildings. Look deep and you'll find the attractions. This includes Parliament House, multiple museums, the University of Adelaide and the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

  • Best for: Architecture, art, culture, historic sites.
  • How to get there: Located north of the CBD, North Terrace is a 15-minute walk from Victoria Square or a 6-minute bus trip.
  • Top things to see and do: Check out State Library of South Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, South Australia Museum and Adelaide Botanic Garden.
  • How long do I need? 1 hour - half-day.
  • Recommended tour: Cultural Cape Adelaide Walking Tour.

beach

Glenelg

Hop on Adelaide's only surviving tram for a ride away from busy city streets to this getaway in Gulf St Vincent.

Glenelg holds a very LA vibe with its laid back feel. During the day, stroll along the beach or past the boutique hotels, cafes and shops. By night, grab a pint at a pub to watch the sunset and enjoy the seaside entertainment.

  • Best for: Relaxation, beach.
  • How to get there: Glenelg is southwest of the CBD and is a 25-minute tram ride from Victoria Square.
  • Top things to see and do: Hang out on the beach or by the pier, walk the Proclamation Trail, hit the waterslides at The Beachouse, sail or swim with dolphins and check out the Bay Discovery Centre.
  • How long do I need? Half-day - full-day.

torrens lake

Adelaide Festival Centre

Fun fact: The first multi-purpose arts centre in Australia is Adelaide's own Adelaide Festival Centre.

beenVisiting the venue is a must - and if you have time for a show it plays everything from ballet to opera to theatre performances and comedy.

  • Best for: Culture, art, performances.
  • How to get there: The Adelaide Festival Centre is located in Adelaide's north CBD. It's a 15-minute walk from Victoria Square or a 9-minute transit ride.
  • Top things to see and do: Enjoy a show, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the dressing rooms, check out one of the festivals, visit the Artspace Gallery and dine at The Star Kitchen and Bar.
  • How long do I need? 1-4 hours.

hot air balloon

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley isn't just one of Australia's best producing wine regions, it's one of the best in the world.

The region alone produces 21% of Australia's wine and if you need some direction, Shiraz is the specialty grape here. So it should always be on an order.

Outside of wine there are delicious restaurants, cooking schools and Lutheran churches to visit and explore.

  • Best for: Wine and foodies.
  • How to get there: The Barossa Valley is a 1-hour drive from Adelaide. Tours are also a popular way to see the region.
  • Top things to see and do: Visit the top wineries, take in the sites from above in a hot air balloon, visit the Barossa Farmers Market and make your own wine.
  • How long do I need? 1-2 days.
  • Recommended tour: Northern Barossa Valley Wine Tour.

kangaroo island

Kangaroo Island

A day trip from Adelaide, Kangaroo Island has visitors hopping in to see wildlife, explore its natural beauty and escape from the city.

Make the visit to Flinders Chase National Park, which is a protected nature reserve that covers a third of the island, and take in its magnificent coastal rock formations, penguin colonies, echidnas, sea lions and kangaroos.

Wine is also produced here, if that's your flavour.


adelaide hills

Adelaide Hills

Technically the Mt Lofty Ranges, the Adelaide Hills is the place to go for a refreshing break.

A number of small towns with German heritage make up the area such as Hahndorf and Lobethal, where you can spend time hopping from pub to pub and taking in the colonial homes.

Wildlife is easy to spot here, galleries are present and Lobethal is known for its Christmas lights and handicrafts.

  • Best for: Shopping, food and wine.
  • How to get there: Adelaide Hills is a 30-minute drive southeast of the city. A daily bus service operates from Adelaide's CBD. Tours to the area are also popular.
  • Top things to see and do: Try the wines, explore Mount Lofty, stop by the Lobethal Bakery, shop at Stirling Market and Adelaide Hills Farmers Market.
  • How long do I need? 1-2 days.
  • Recommended tour: Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf Wine Tour.

kangaroo

Fleurieu Peninsula

Yet another day trip destination from Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula is the ideal getaway for city slickers looking to find a slower pace.

Rolling hills, fine dining and excellent beaches for surfing make it a haven for relaxation.

Victoria Harbour is one of the most popular towns in the region and the McLaren Vale wine region rivals the Barossa Valley.


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