Adelaide Sights & Attractions

The genteel city of Adelaide is aptly nicknamed ‘the City of Churches’.

Wide tree-lined streets, lined with gracious colonial architecture, surrounded by hectares of spacious parks and gardens and straddled by the Torrens River, make Adelaide the perfect city for walking and cycling.

Planned in 1836 by Colonel William Light, then Surveyor-General of the colony of South Australia and settled by English free settlers, the city named in honour of Queen Adelaide (the wife of King William IV) still retains a touch of Old England.

What to do and see in Adelaide

Discover numerous entertainment options in city streets crowded with sophisticated museums and galleries, restaurants, bars and clubs.

Take in a comedy at the Arts Theatre, a concert at the Adelaide Festival Centre or try your luck at the Adelaide Casino. Numerous churches that dot the city are testament to the varied religious beliefs of English settlers.

Adelaide is also known for some of world’s finest wines – thanks to German immigrants who brought winemaking skills in the 1830s – and the surrounding region produces more than half the total Australian vintage featuring premium wines from the Barossa, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Coonawarra regions.

Must-see attractions in Adelaide, include the following…

Bradman Collection – Discover a huge range of cricket memorabilia donated by 'the Don' before he died.

National Wine Centre of Australia – Blend your own virtual wine in an interactive exhibit and sample some of Australia’s rarest vintages in an architectural treat overlooking the Botanic Gardens.

Migration Museum – Learn about the origins and fates of some of the millions of migrants who made Australia home.

Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute – Exhibits and tours give an insight into Aboriginal culture. Watch the didgeridoo performance held at noon every day or buy original artwork.

Where to stay in Adelaide

Adelaide offers an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the following 5-star hotels…

InterContinental Adelaide
Location: North Terrace, Adelaide
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD279 per room
Description: On the banks of the River Torrens, the InterContinental is adjacent to Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Convention Centre and the Adelaide Casino. Each room and suite offers lovely city views and a luxurious, marble bathroom. Adelaide InterContinental guests can dine at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Riverside or enjoy award-winning Japanese cuisine at Shiki. Both restaurants have extensive wine lists featuring a selection of award-winning Adelaide wines. The Atrium Lounge has an elegant, relaxing atmosphere ideal for afternoon tea, cocktails or late-night drinks. It also features live entertainment throughout the weekend. On level 21, Club InterContinental has private lounge access. Each of the hotel’s 367 rooms and suites are beautifully decorated and include a spacious, ergonomically designed work area with high-speed internet access. All of the spacious bathrooms include a separate bathtub and a walk-in shower. The InterContinental Health and Fitness Centre includes a full gym, personal training upon request and heated outdoor pool. The hotel’s tour desk can assist with booking local activities and unique events around Adelaide.

Mayfair Hotel
Location: 45 King William Street, CBD, Adelaide
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD244 per room
Description: Located in the heart of Adelaide and overlooking Rundle Mall, the luxurious Mayfair Hotel offers free WiFi and a restaurant, cafe and lounge bar. All rooms offer stylish décor and a 55-inch flat-screen TV. Guests enjoy an onsite fitness centre. Set within a heritage-listed, renovated building, the boutique Adelaide Mayfair Hotel is 200 m from the Art Gallery of South Australia. It is 3 minutes' drive from Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide Oval and Parliament House. Adelaide Airport is 6 km away. Each air-conditioned room has a minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. All rooms include a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. The bar serves a selection of South Australian wines, while the restaurant offers cuisine using local produce. The French-inspired Café55 features delicious French food and a deli-style snacks. The property offers meeting and event facilities.

The Playford Adelaide - MGallery by Sofitel
Location: 120 North Terrace, CBD, Adelaide
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD240 per room
Description: This award-winning 5-star hotel in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant North Terrace features a 24-hour fitness center with a heated pool and sauna. The restaurant serves an extensive buffet breakfast. Located across from Adelaide Convention Centre and Adelaide Casino, The Playford Adelaide-MGallery Collection is a 10-minute walk from Festival Theatre. The shopping area of Rundle Mall is a quarter mile away. Each room features air conditioning, cable TV and a marble private bathroom. Tea/coffee-making facilities and a minibar are also included. Some suites have a spa tub and kitchenette. The award-winning Playford Restaurant serves modern cuisine featuring the best South Australian ingredients. The Playford Lounge Bar has Art Nouveau décor and a wide-ranging drinks menu. Facilities include a business center, valet parking and guest laundry. The tour desk can arrange trips to the Barossa Valley. The tram to Glenelg Beach departs from around the corner.

Crowne Plaza Adelaide
Location: 16 Hindmarsh Square, CBD, Adelaide
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD233 per room
Description: Located on Hindmarsh Square in the heart of Adelaide's city centre, Crowne Plaza Adelaide is only a 15-minute walk from local attractions such as Rundle Street's fashion boutiques and lively cafe culture. It is a pleasant 45-minute drive to the Barossa Valley and Mclaren Vale. Crown Plaza Adelaide is a short 15-minute walk down Rundle Mall to Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Convention Centre and Adelaide Casino. Each of the 308 rooms at Adelaide Crowne Plaza feature comfortable, modern decor and offer deluxe amenities. All rooms include an ergonomic work-desk, an LCD TV with cable channels and luxurious bedding. Some have furnished balconies. Guests can unwind in the lap pool, enjoy a work-out in the well-equipped fitness centre and dine indoors or alfresco at Red Salt bar and restaurant. In-room WiFi is available. Overlooking the gardens of Hindmarsh Square, the hotel is set in leafy and peaceful surroundings. The tour desk can provide information on local attractions such as the Adelaide Zoo and various wineries.

Peppers Waymouth Hotel
Location: 55 Waymouth Street, CBD, Adelaide
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD224 per room
Description: Peppers Waymouth Hotel offers spacious modern accommodation with stunning views across the city. Facilities include an indoor swimming pool, fully equipped fitness centre, plus a bar and restaurant. Superbly located in the heart of the city centre, Peppers Waymouth is just 5 minutes’ walk from Central Market and Rundle Mall. It is only a 10-minute walk to Adelaide Convention Centre. Each room includes a marble en suite bathroom with deep bath and separate shower, plus cable TV and views of the city and surrounds. Some rooms include a private balcony and a separate lounge room. Peppers Waymouth Hotel features 2 restaurants, Essay Kitchen which serves a variety of cuisine and Barketta, which offers an extensive menu featuring share-plates. Guests at Peppers Waymouth Hotel have access to a hydrotherapy spa pool and sauna. Meeting and business facilities are available.

Sights a short drive from Adelaide

Take control from the driver’s seat and discover a range of exciting getaway options just a short drive away from Adelaide city centre.

Take in the picturesque scenery of rolling hills, woodland and fields of vines and discover historic villages and cellar doors along the wine trail, all the while enjoying delicious food washed down by renowned wines.

Barossa Valley

Enjoy a few days of pure indulgence in one of the world's greatest wine producing areas, only an hour's drive north of Adelaide.

Comprising the Barossa and Eden valleys, the Barossa’s 20km (12mi) by 30km (18mi) wine region is home to a rich European culture with German and English-style villages and churches. Enjoy wine tastings at the cellar doors of some of the 50-odd wineries.

Read more about the Barossa Valley Wine Trail

Clare Valley

Take a 300km (186mi) circle drive through one of Australia’s premium wine-growing regions, exploring historic towns that were once the lifeblood of South Australia.

Sample fine wines at some of the numerous cellar doors, all within a 15-minute drive of each other, and taste local produce from their fine restaurants.

Discover remnants of the region's copper mining heritage in the historic towns of Kapunda and Burra, step back in time in the Heritage-listed towns of Auburn and Mintaro, enjoy panoramic views over vineyards and woods in the Skilly Hills and browse numerous galleries and antique shops found along the route.

Read more about the Clare Valley Heartland Heritage Trail

McLaren Vale

Experience a drive that along the Fleurieu Way that brings together all of the best elements of southern Australia, from the world-renowned McLaren Vale winemaking region to peaceful little coastal hamlets and sandy beaches that stretch all the way to Cape Jervis.

Synonymous with fine wines for more than 150 years – South Australia’s first vineyard was established at Old Reynella in 1838. McLaren Vale is one of Australia’s most renowned wine regions.

Take a few hours or a full day to tour Route 60 – a 28km (17mi) scenic drive through the region’s heartland. Within the McLaren Vale you can explore more than 76 cellar doors, and you can often meet the vineyard owners to discuss bouquets and cellaring potentials as you sample their wares.

Head to Main Street and browse art galleries and craft shops and spoil yourself with an evening meal at any one of a number of award-winning restaurants.

Read more about the McLaren Vale

Flinders Ranges

Step back in time on a journey through the Flinders Ranges, a 540 million-year-old landscape that offers a treasure trove of nature's bounty in South Australia.

Located about 380km (240mi) north of Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges are the largest mountain range in South Australia. The discontinuous ranges stretch for more than 430km (265mi) from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna.

Explore caves and rugged, colourful gorges along the famous Heysen Trail or Mawson Trail that run for several hundred kilometres along the ranges, providing scenic long distance routes for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.

Several small regions in the Ranges have protected status. These include the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park (photo) near Wilpena Pound, the Mount Remarkable National Park in the south near Melrose, the Arkaroola Protection Area in the north, The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park west of Quorn, and the Mount Brown Conservation Park south of Quorn.

Read more about the Flinders Ranges

Best time to visit Adelaide

Adelaide experiences a dry Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cold winters, with year-round sunshine.

For the best weather visit Adelaide from November to March.

Summer (December to February) averages a high of 29°C (84°F) and an average low of 17°C (63°F) with minimal rain.

Autumn (March to May) averages a high of 26°C (79°F) in March dropping in May to an average high of 19°C (66°F) and a low of 10°C (50°F). Rain showers increase.

Winter (June to August) has an average high of 17°C (63°F) and a low of 8°C (46°F). June and July are the wettest months of the year, however the brief rain showers are interspersed with hours of sunshine.

Spring (September to November) receives an average high of 19°C (66°F) in September rising to 25°C (77°F) in November with an average low of 11°C (52°F).

More about Adelaide weather

How to get to Adelaide

Adelaide is located north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent in the west and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges in the east.

The city stretches 20km (12mi) from the coast to the foothills, and 90km (56mi) from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south.

The most convenient route to Adelaide, from overseas or interstate, is by air to Adelaide International Airport (ADL), located close to West Beach and about 6km (3.7mi) west of the city centre.

Latest update: Adelaide Attractions: 5 May, 2022