Adelaide Travel Information
With a lively combination of country town and free-thinking cosmopolitan center, South Australia capital Adelaide is an easily walkable river-side city surrounded by swaths of lush parklands. The city’s hot art and music scene and multi-ethnic population lends itself to a vibrant urban experience spiced up with loads of fantastic restaurants, beaches, festivals and cultural events.
Adelaide International Airport
Situated about five miles west of the city center, Adelaide International Airport is serviced by numerous domestic and international carriers. Qantas, Virgin Blue and Jet Star provide service from other Australian capitals, and Tiger Air flies in from major capitals with the exceptions of Darwin
. International carriers include Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. Both the international and domestic features have major car rental desks, including Avid, Hertz, Budget and Thrifty. Major hotels and rail and bus stations are connected to the city via the Skylink, buses and the JetBus, linking the airport to West Beach, Glenelg and the northeastern suburbs.
Getting around the city is easy, with its relatively small size and easily navigable neighborhoods. The public network operates through three major zones, while the free CityLoop bus traverses major areas around the city center. Glenelg Tram operates between Victoria Square and the popular seaside suburb of Glenelg.
Pedestrian friendly Adelaide is easy to explore, whether you choose to hoof it or use the efficient bus and tram systems. The geographical heart of the city is historic Victoria Square, lined with grand government and elegant hotels. From here, you can catch the 20 minute tram ride out to the pretty seaside suburb of Glenelg, graced with white sandy beaches and a long fishing pier. To the west of Victoria Square, you’ll find Central Market, oldest continuously operating produce market in Australia.
Where to Stay
Adelaide offers a broad range of accommodations for every style and budget. Big international hotels include Hilton, Crowne Plaza, Sebel and Hyatt, but there are plenty of affordable mid-range hotels, charming bed-and-breakfasts and budget backpacker hostels. Rent a beach house in Glenelg or check out an elegant Adelaide Hills inn.
The Botanic Gardens of Adelaide offer acres of manicured formal gardens, duck ponds, lush lawns and the magnificent Bicentennial Conservatory, home to incredible rainforest species. Take the tram to lively Glenelg Beach or tour the historic winery at Penfolds Magill Estate. First Aboriginal cultural center in the country, Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute offers changing indigenous art exhibits and theatrical and dance performances.
Foodies will love exploring the more than 600 pubs, cafés and restaurants of Adelaide. More upscale establishments are clustered along the main restaurant thoroughfares of Rundle and Gouger streets, while cheaper eateries and nightlife spots lie along Hindley Street. The avenues of chic North Adelaide are lined with exquisite Victorian and Edwardian buildings, many housing upscale cafés, restaurants and bistros. For cheap, delicious multicultural fare from noodles to sushi and cakes, browse the city’s popular Central Markets between Grote and Gouger streets. Take the tram to seaside Glenelg for dazzling alfresco dining.
Nightlife and Cultural
From country music concerts to ballet, experimental theater and opera, Adelaide boasts a lively entertainment scene. Art galleries, bistros, theaters and grand concert halls offer a range of music and dance performances, with many performances held at major concert hall the Adelaide Festival Center. A lively bar and club scene includes wine bars, dance clubs, jazz lounges and a casino.
With an astonishing mix of chic boutiques, designer shops and eclectic galleries, Adelaide is a shopper’s delight. Head to Rundle Mall, the city’s main shopping strip, or browse the opal shops around King William Street. Find trendy frocks around King William Road and the Marion Shopping Center or head out to Harbour Town near the airport for bountiful bargains.
Fantastic festivals abound in lively Adelaide, and it’s best to book far in advance if you’ll be visiting during some of the larger events. Held during three weeks of March in alternating years, the Adelaide Festival is Australia’s largest performing arts festival and includes the Adelaide Fringe Festival and a Writers’ Week. Come experience amazing showcases of dance, visual arts, opera, classical music, cabaret and comedy. Music lovers throng to the city annually in February or March for the legendary WOMADelaide Festival, a world music extravaganza showcasing Australian and international artists