Life’s better in the South – from beaches and hikes to museums and wildlife, find out the top 50 things to do in Adelaide, Australia!
- Things to do in Adelaide
- 1. Adelaide Central Market
- 2. Rundle Mall
- 3. Art Gallery of South Australia
- 4. Adelaide Zoo
- 5. Adelaide Botanic Garden
- 6. Adelaide Oval Roof Climb
- 7. South Australian Museum
- 8. State Library
- 9. National Wine Centre
- 10. Chinatown
- 11. Tandanya
- 12. St. Peter’s Cathedral
- 13. Adelaide Gaol
- 14. Himeji Garden
- 15. Adelaide Town Hall
- 16. Parliament House
- 17. Adelaide Arcade
- 18. National War Memorial
- 19. Jam Factory
- 20. Migration Museum
- 21. Union Hotel
- 22. Riverbank Bridge
- 23. BBQ Buoy
- 24. Glenelg Beach
- 25. Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange
- 26. Gorge Wildlife Park
- 27. Mount Lofty
- 28. Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
- 29. Cleland Wildlife Park
- 30. Port Adelaide
- 31. Semaphore Carousel
- 32. Garden Island
- 33. National Railway Museum
- 34. South Australian Maritime Museum
- 35. South Australian Aviation Museum
- 36. Soto’s Fish Shop
- 37. Wittunga Botanic Garden
- 38. Linear Park Trail
- 39. Adelaide Farmers Market
- 40. Bakery on O’Connell
- 41. Haigh’s Chocolate Factory
- 42. Magill Road
- 43. Capri Theatre
- 44. Hallett Cove Conservation Park
- 45. Carrick Hill
- 46. Morialta Conservation Park
- 47. Cafe de Vili’s
- 48. Belair National Park
- 49. Vietnam Restaurant
- 50. Plant 4
- Where to Next?
- 8 Classic Australian Road Trips
Things to do in Adelaide
Not sure what to do in Adelaide? You won’t be able to say that anymore after reading our massive list of Adelaide attractions and activities!
We’ve got the usual suspects plus quite a few off-the-beaten path tips that only locals would know, if I do say so myself… no matter how far I roam, Adelaide will always be Home Sweet Home.
If you don’t have the luxury of staying with family like me, finding an affordable hotel can be challenging, especially with kids involved. Make sure you find the best Adelaide family accommodation that has all the amenities you want.
We’ve got a lot to get through so without further ado, let’s get into…
The 50 best things to do and places to visit in Adelaide, South Australia:
1. Adelaide Central Market
Shop for a home cooked meal or a picnic at the Adelaide Central Market. You’ll find over 80 fruit and vegetable stalls as well as vendors selling bread, wine, cheese, and chocolate.
Or just come for the vibrant atmosphere and the best laksa in Adelaide at Asian Gourmet. It’s definitely one of the top places to visit in Adelaide for locals and guidebook touting tourists alike.
Opening hours: Varies. Closed on Monday.
2. Rundle Mall
Go shopping in Rundle Mall and meet some of Adelaide’s most colorful characters, including 3 bronze pig sculptures. Have fun taking photos with them as it’s totally fine to sit on them or pet the pigs. In the middle of the shopping strip you’ll find Rundle Mall’s original icon, the Mall’s Balls.
Store Hours: 9 am – 7 pm Monday thru Thursday; 9 am – 9 pm Friday; 9 am – 5 pm Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm Sunday
3. Art Gallery of South Australia
From Indigenous Australian art to the Heidelberg School, see the diversity in Australian art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. The European landscape paintings and Asian art collections are also really impressive. Free guided tours of the gallery highlights are held daily at 11am and 2pm.
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily
Free Tours: 11 am and 2 pm daily
4. Adelaide Zoo
Meet Wang Wang & Funi, the resident giant pandas at the Adelaide Zoo. They’ve been on loan from China since 2009 and are the only breeding pair in Australia, but they’ve yet to produce any offspring.
At the zoo you’ll also see many native animals such as koalas, kangaroos, emus, and sea lions. Head over to the children’s zoo for a chance to pat a quokka and to take the ultimate Aussie selfie.
Adelaide Zoo Entrance Fee: $37. Buy a combined ticket with Monarta Zoo for $55.50
Hours: 9:30 am to 5 pm everyday
5. Adelaide Botanic Garden
Wondering where to go in Adelaide? Get back to nature at the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Take a relaxing walk around the grounds or relax with a book on the grass.
Stop to smell the roses in the Rose Garden and see what’s inside the Bicentennial Conservatory. Don’t miss the fascinating Santos Museum of Economic Botany, the last of its kind in the world.
Hours: Open daily, hours vary depending on the season
6. Adelaide Oval Roof Climb
See the city around you from a whole new perspective on the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb. It’s one of the top Adelaide activities! After putting on your blue jumpsuit and strapping into the safety harness, you’re ready to scale to new heights. From the roof you can see why Adelaide Oval is regarded as one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.
For more info check out my Adelaide Oval RoofClimb review.
Adelaide Oval runs Stadium Tours for $25. Cricket buffs will want to check out the free Bradman Collection. Adelaide Oval is also the home of cricket and football in South Australia, and hosts major sporting events and international concerts year-round.
Although Australia is a very safe country to travel in, we always recommend purchasing travel insurance before any trip. We’ve been using World Nomads through 80+ countries over the past 12 years and have been really happy with their coverage and services.
For more details check out our World Nomads review here.
Adelaide Oval RoofClimb: From $109
7. South Australian Museum
Be inspired by the Dreamtime as you make your way around the world’s largest Aboriginal cultural collection at the South Australian Museum. It’s one of the top things to do in Adelaide, Australia. Bring your kids to the Discovery Centre on Level 1 for a fun, hands-on experience.
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm everyday
8. State Library
I seek out libraries wherever I travel, yet I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t been to the Mortlock Chamber in the State Library in my very own hometown. It’s even been listed as one of the top 20 most beautiful libraries in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine. Please pay a visit on my behalf and send photos!
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily
9. National Wine Centre
Take the Wine Discovery Journey at the National Wine Centre and learn everything you need to know about Australian winemaking. The interactive experience will take you through the entire process, from the vine to the bottle. Put your new found knowledge to the test in the tasting room, the largest in Australia.
Read more in our review of the best Coonawarra wineries.
Price: Free Self-Guided Tour; $15 Guided Tour; $70 and up for Tastings
Hours: 9 am to 6 pm daily
While you’re at the Central Market take a stroll through Chinatown and tempt your tastebuds at one of the many restaurants along Gouger Street. Eating out here should be on every Adelaide itinerary.
Take a photo with the guardian lion statues at the Chinese gates at either end of Moonta Street. Celebrations are held here during Chinese New Year.
Gain a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture at Tandanya, whose name means ‘place of the red kangaroo’ in the traditional Kaurna language. At Australia’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed arts center you can learn about Indigenous culture through visual art, music, and storytelling.
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm Monday thru Saturday. Closed Sunday
12. St. Peter’s Cathedral
Adelaide is known as the City of Churches and there are none more impressive than St. Peter’s Cathedral. It actually looks a lot like the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, rose window and all. You can attend a service most days of the week, or have a peak inside when it’s open.
Hours: Open everyday; hours vary.
13. Adelaide Gaol
If you’re looking for more places to go in Adelaide, you can experience what life was like behind bars at the Adelaide Gaol. Almost 300,000 prisoners were housed here between 1841 to 1988. Walk the hallways and cells on a self-guided tour, and discover the hidden characters and stories behind South Australia’s criminal past.
Adelaide Gaol Entrance Fee: $14.50
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm daily
14. Himeji Garden
Feel the serenity as you stroll through the small but peaceful Himeji Garden. You can see the Japanese influence in the lake, rock garden and water features. If you’re feeling stressed from city life, then find your zen again at this oriental oasis.
Hours: 8 am to 5:30 pm
15. Adelaide Town Hall
There are many places to see in Adelaide. Visit the Adelaide Town Hall and admire the architecture and wonderful art exhibits. From the outside you can look up at the balcony from where The Beatles waved at 300,000 screaming fans in 1964. Then stop by at the nearby Treasury Bar and enjoy a drink, just as the Fab Four did all those years ago.
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm Monday thru Friday
16. Parliament House
When it’s not in session, you can take a free guided tour of Parliament House at 10 am and 2 pm daily. It’s historically, politically, and architecturally interesting. All Adelaide sightseeing tours make a stop here on North Terrace and the old Parliament House is just next door too.
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm Monday thru Friday
17. Adelaide Arcade
Shop in style at the Adelaide Arcade. It dates back to 1885 and many of its heritage features have been restored. Stroll down the arcade and go from one boutique store to another.
Be sure to pick up some locally made chocolate at Haighs. Adelaide Arcade connects to Gay’s Arcade where there’s a small museum on the 1st floor with memorabilia of yesteryear.
18. National War Memorial
Pay your respects at the National War Memorial on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue. It commemorates those who died in WWI. You can go inside the sculpture and see the names of fallen South Australians engraved on the walls.
19. Jam Factory
See artists at work in the studio and view glass blowing demonstrations at the Jam Factory. Then wander through the contemporary art galleries and pick up a beautiful piece of art, craft, or design at the wonderful gift shop.
Price: Free, Classes start at $265
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily
Free Tours: 11 am Monday thru Friday
20. Migration Museum
Discover the many different stories and faces behind immigration in Australia at the Migration Museum. The exhibits are thought-provoking and will leave you with a deeper understanding of what it means to be Australian.
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily
21. Union Hotel
Score one of the best meal deals in Adelaide on Monday night at the Union Hotel. Gourmet pizzas with pork belly prawns and spiced lamb are just $7 – they’re normally $19-23. On Tuesday to Thursday nights the pizzas are $10-12. It’s also Happy Hour from 5-7 pm weekdays so what more can you ask for?
Hours: Open daily. Hours vary.
22. Riverbank Bridge
From North Terrace make your way through the Railway Station or Festival Theatre to the Riverbank Bridge. It was built at a cost over $40 million in 2014, but it’s become one of the top tourist attractions in Adelaide.
Cross the bridge over to Adelaide Oval and enjoy the superb views, especially at night when the bridge lights up. During match day, the atmosphere is amazing as fans make their way to and from the game.
23. BBQ Buoy
Hire a BBQ Buoy, complete with wine and a cheese platter, and see the Adelaide waterfront along the River Torrens in style. BYO food and music to hook up to the bluetooth speaker. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Adelaide and perfect for a unique romantic date too.
BBQ Buoy Prices: From $150
24. Glenelg Beach
Relax on Adelaide’s most popular beach at Glenelg, where you can do as much or as little as you like. Besides the beach, you can shop, eat, and drink down the man street. History buffs can check out the Bay Discovery Centre, while playing at The Beachhouse amusement complex is one of the best things to do in Adelaide with kids.
25. Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange
The Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange has the look and feel of an old English library, complete with chesterfield couches and bookshelves. You can even bring in your old books for a trade. Settle in and make your way through over 100 whiskeys and 40 gins.
Hours: Tuesday thru Sunday from 5 pm to late
26. Gorge Wildlife Park
Hold a koala in your very own arms at Gorge Wildlife Park. It’s one of the coolest Adelaide experiences you can have! Sessions are held daily at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. There’s no extra charge and you can take your own photos. I bring all my overseas family and friends here and it’s always a highlight for everyone.
Find out what other native animals you can see in my Gorge Wildlife Park review.
Gorge Wildlife Park Entrance Fee: $17
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm daily
27. Mount Lofty
Still not sure what to see in Adelaide? Join locals on the steep hike from Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty for the best views of Adelaide. It takes around 1-1.5 hours, or you could take the easy road (literally) and drive all the way to the summit. There’s a cafe that’s open for breakfast and lunch at the top.
28. Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
Get back to nature at the beautiful Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. The colors are stunning in autumn and spring. Follow the sculpture trail around the main lake or wind your way through scrub land on many walking paths. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a relaxing time in the great outdoors.
Hours: Open daily; hours vary
29. Cleland Wildlife Park
You could spend all day at Cleland Wildlife Park, but don’t miss the afternoon keeper presentations. Hear interesting talks on dingoes and Tasmanian devils at 2:30 pm and 3:00 pm before feeding time. I’ve also been there on a Friday afternoon and have seen koalas being weighed, which was too cute for words!
Cleland Wildlife Park Entrance Fee: $25.50
Hours: 9:30 am to 5 pm daily
30. Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide has arguably the best street art scene outside of the Adelaide CBD. There are some 10 large scale murals, all within walking distance of each other. Most of the works are from the biannual ‘Wonderwalls’ festival – the next one is in 2021. Use this street art map and take yourself on a self-guided tour.
31. Semaphore Carousel
The Semaphore Carousel features 80 handcrafted wooden horses and it’s the largest of its kind in Australia. Kids will love choosing their favourite horse and going for a spin on this 80 year old merry-go-round.
Make it a whole day out for the family and check out the nearby beach, playground, waterslide, mini-golf, skate park, and bouncy castle.
Semaphore Carousel Tickets: $5
Hours: 12 pm to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday
32. Garden Island
Hire a kayak or join a tour out to Garden Island in Port Adelaide. Paddle your way through mangroves as you make your way to the Ships’ Graveyard. Naturally, it’s home to several shipwrecks. The river is also home to the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary where dolphins come to feed, play, socialize, and nurse their calves.
33. National Railway Museum
Climb aboard old trains from many different eras at the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide. It’s the largest museum of its kind in Australia with over 100 exhibits and locomotives.
You can ride a small train around the whole museum, or go for a scenic journey along the coast to Semaphore ($8 tickets sold separately).
National Railway Museum Entrance Fee: $12
Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm daily
34. South Australian Maritime Museum
Learn about the voyages of Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin at the South Australian Maritime Museum. The state was first mapped by these 2 men in 1802. Wander through 3 floors of exhibitions and climb the nearby Port Adelaide lighthouse.
South Australian Maritime Museum Entrance Fee: $10
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily
35. South Australian Aviation Museum
See over 20 different types of aircraft inside 2 massive adjoining hangars at the South Australian Aviation Museum in Port Adelaide. There are also a few planes where you can climb aboard and even jump into the cockpit.
Check out the exhibits and chat to the friendly volunteers. The Aviation Museum is a lot more fun than you’d expect!
South Australian Aviation Museum Entrance Fee: $10
Hours: 10:30 am to 4:30 pm daily
36. Soto’s Fish Shop
Order takeaway fish and chips from Soto’s Fish Shop and watch the sunset on Semaphore Beach. Soto’s opened in 1949, making it one of the oldest takeaway shops in SA. And Semaphore Beach is one of the best beaches in Adelaide – combine both for an unbeatable evening.
Hours: 11:30 am to 8:00 pm daily (Monday closes at 7:30 pm)
37. Wittunga Botanic Garden
Wittunga Botanic Garden is a little-known park in the suburbs. While it’s not as popular as the Mount Lofty or Botanic Gardens, there’s a peaceful tranquility here that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Wittunga has a huge variety of native birds and animal life that are attracted to the indigenous flora. The gardens are beautiful to stroll through, and don’t forget to pack a picnic to enjoy while you’re there.
Hours: Open daily; hours vary
38. Linear Park Trail
Cycle the 12 km Linear Park trail from the CBD to the river mouth at Henley Beach. It’s flat, scenic, and suitable for all ages. If you don’t have your own wheels, you can hire a bike for free from 15 locations in Adelaide or walk/run the trail with your own two feet.
39. Adelaide Farmers Market
There’s no better place to pick up some fresh local produce than at the Adelaide Showground Farmer’s Market. Check out what’s in season, meet the growers, grab a coffee, and something to eat. The 11 am cooking demonstrations might even inspire you to try some new recipes.
Hours: 9 am to 1 pm on Sunday
40. Bakery on O’Connell
The 24/7 Bakery on O’Connell is an Adelaide institution where locals come for a sweet or savoury fix after a night out on the town. From pies and pasties to cakes and donuts, over 200 products are made on the premises. Vegetarians and vegans will be pretty happy with the menu too!
41. Haigh’s Chocolate Factory
Take a free guided tour of the Haigh’s Chocolate Factory and see how the best chocolate in South Australia is made by machine and hand. Phone ahead as bookings are essential.
After the tour, stock up on some chocolate at the visitor center where you can sometimes find seconds and samples at discount prices.
Visitor Center and Tour Hours: Monday thru Saturday; hours vary
42. Magill Road
Attention all antique lovers – catch any bus from the city to Magill Road. Start at Osmond Terrace and go east where you’ll find at least 10 antique shops within 3 blocks. Even if you don’t buy anything (or you don’t have room in your suitcase) it’s always fun to search for diamonds in the rough.
43. Capri Theatre
Watch a cult film or a new release at the historic Capri Theatre. Built in 1941, it’s an independent not-for-profit cinema run mostly by volunteers.
Be sure to get in your seats early to see the 2nd largest organ in the Southern Hemisphere rise out of the stage. The unique Wurlitzer pipe organ plays in the evening sessions on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Capri Theatre Tickets: $17. Cheap Tuesday tickets are $10.
Hours: Open daily; hours vary
44. Hallett Cove Conservation Park
Discover the Sugarloaf on the Glacier Hike in Hallett Cove Conservation Park. It’s a huge, unusually-shaped rock formation that was created 280 million years ago during the Australian Ice Age. See it for yourself before continuing on the beautiful coastal walk to Marino.
45. Carrick Hill
Wander through Australia’s most splendid period home at Carrick Hill. Built in 1939, this English Manor holds a large collection of drawings, sculptures, antiques, and paintings.
Join guided tours at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm, or visit any time at your own pace. Only the house has an entry fee; it’s free to stroll across the grounds and beautiful formal gardens.
Carrick Hill Entrance Fee: $17
Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm Wednesday thru Sunday. Closed in July
46. Morialta Conservation Park
Do go chasing waterfalls on one of the many trails in Morialta Conservation Park. The three falls are at their best in spring or winter. Spot koalas in the trees and hunt for tadpoles in the creeks and rock pools. Don’t miss the fantastic views of the park from the Deep View Lookout.
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
47. Cafe de Vili’s
Bite into a pie floater, any time of the day, at the 24/7 Cafe de Vili’s. I don’t love it, but a pie floater is an iconic South Australian dish – it’s a meat pie topped with tomato sauce in pea soup. You’ll have to judge it for yourself!
48. Belair National Park
Go bushwalking in Belair National Park, the 1st in South Australia and the 10th national park in the world. There are easy, moderate, and difficult hikes all offering fantastic views of native woodlands, lakes, and seasonal waterfalls.
Try to time your visit with the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month if possible. This is when the Old Government House in the heart of park is open to the public (1-4 pm) for a gold coin donation.
Price: Free on Foot; $12 per Vehicle
Hours: Open daily; seasonal hours
49. Vietnam Restaurant
Dine with locals and make your own cold rolls at Vietnam Restaurant. Vietnam Restaurant is a suburban delight. It’s the 1st Vietnamese restaurant in Adelaide and the owners were among the first boat people to arrive.
The food is consistently good and almost every table orders the DIY cold rolls with prawn, or meat balls on sugar cane skewers.
Hours: 11 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 10 pm Tuesday thru Sunday
50. Plant 4
Feel a part of a local community at Plant 4 in Bowden, a foodie market place just outside the city. You can catch the free tram to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre – Plant 4 is just across the road. It’s got big hipster vibes with trendy eateries, artisan shops, and markets several times a week. The complex is still developing so watch this space…
Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday; hours vary
Where to Next?
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