Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Adelaide, Australia

  • Published 2021/06/25

Located in the beautiful island continent of Australia, Adelaide is the coastal capital of South Australia.

A number of rivers flow through the area, including the River Torrens.

Adelaide is known to be one of the safest and most aesthetically pleasing Australian cities.

It is waterlocked on all sides, to which the city owes its mild temperatures throughout the year—around 14 degrees on average.

It has a major population of about 1.3 million, and the city is highly active both economically and culturally.

An ideal location for traveling, Adelaide brims with the country’s cultural deposits, like the South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Australian farmers’ markets are famous for their variety of goods, and Adelaide is known to have some of the best of them.

The city is famous for its nature parks, botanical gardens, creeks and natural waterfronts.

It’s also well-loved for its exciting downtown area, museums, cathedrals, wine centers, exceptional culinary scene, top-notch tram system, and fun festivals that are held throughout the year.

All these make Adelaide a desirable vacation spot.

To make the most out of your visit, check out this list of the top things to do in Adelaide, Australia:

Tour the Stunning Art Gallery of South Australia

Art gallery of south Australia in Adelaide

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One of the most prestigious galleries in Australia, this gallery is located in North Terrace and spreads over a vast area with a well-designed regal building.

Once you enter, you will find this humongous gateway into another universe of art filled with statues and paintings from every corner of the world.

The number of global styles and ethnicities of art the gallery represents is pretty mind-blowing.

Colorful decorations at Art Gallery of South Australia

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There is porcelain art from Asia, artifacts from as far as Egypt, Chinese art, rotating collections from South Asia, paintings and valuables from all over Europe, and of course, Australian gems.

Exhibitions are held all year round, and tourists love to see those of artists like Clarisse Beckett and Ramsey Prize.

Paintings from the medieval ages, Victorian period, and post-modern era, and the latest maestros of abstract art are featured here.

To capture the authentic cultural flavor of Adelaide, begin here.

Meet the Adorable Animals at Adelaide Zoo

Panda in Adelaide Zoo


Located a 15-minute walk from the center of the city, Adelaide Zoo is one of the most celebrated destinations here.

It is located just beside the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

This zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, including more than 250 species of reptiles, birds, mammals, and fishes.

Lion in Adelaide Zoo

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Prepare yourself to be treated to the sight of one adorable animal after the other as you stroll around this place.

You will spot beautiful and entertaining pandas, giraffes, lions, tigers, and kangaroos jumping around everywhere.

Name board of Adelaide Zoo /

The zoo features a segment called the Jewels of Asia, where you will find gorgeous peacocks, hyenas, and more animals from several parts of the continent.

One might even encounter a cute badger coming and holding their hand.

There are otters, monkeys, mongooses, alligators, a variety of birds, rhinos, hippos, and more.

Explore the Bustling Adelaide Central Market

Vendors selling fruits at Adelaide Central Market

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The Adelaide Central Market can easily be called one of the biggest ones in the entire southern hemisphere due to its impressive productivity, combining more than 70 traders under a single roof.

People from all over Australia sometimes come by just to visit this market.

It is said that the Adelaide Central Market has some of the freshest produce in South Australia.

Cheese tasting at Adelaide Central Market

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Once you enter the building, get ready to be dazzled by the overwhelming view of endless lit-up alleys and stall after stall of organic produce.

The products on offer include bath and body products, cheese, ricotta, bacon, different meats, candles, apples, pears, capsicums, berries, flowers, and plants.

Freshly baked breads at Adelaide Central Market

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There are also bakery stalls that sell desserts, cake pastries, Australian delicacies, and a variety of bread.

Endless fruits and vegetables, an array of seafood, poultry items, small goods, and health foods—you ask for it, and they’ll have plenty of everything.

Experience the True Pleasures of Traveling in Adelaide by Taking the Glenelg Tram Ride

Glenelg Tram moving along a curvy track in Adelaide /

To get a truly art-like view of the entire city and enjoy the flavors of living in or touring Australia, taking a tram ride and gliding through this beautiful city is a must.

Take the Glenelg tram ride, and as you hop onto one of the gorgeously painted trams running through the city, prepare to see hours’ worth of fun views.

Colorful Glenelg tram at Adelaide /

The trams are modernized, clean and fast.

You can also visit Glenelg Beach by taking the tram.

Glenelg tram passing through some tall buildings in Adelaide /

Tickets are very reasonable for the services they provide.

Drop by wherever you want to.

Have a Sporting Time at Adelaide Oval

Interior of Adelaide Oval

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Located on War Memorial Drive, you can bet Adelaide Oval will lift up your spirits the moment you visit this magnanimous stadium.

It is, without a doubt, one of the most celebrated and recognized venues in Australia.

Night view of Adelaide Oval /

The seating system is formed in the shape and style of a round gallery equipped to seat hundreds or even thousands of enthusiastic sports lovers.

There are games going on every week, so you don’t ever need to worry about it being empty.

Visitors entering the Adelaide Oval stadium

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Football games, baseball, cricket, concerts, and events regularly take place here.

A visit to Adelaide Oval will surely be worth your money.

Surround Yourself with Breathtaking Nature at the Adelaide Botanic Garden

Colorful roses at Adelaide Botanic Garden

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Standing with pride at Hackney Road, the Adelaide Botanic Garden looks like a wonderland blooming with greenery.

It is located at the very heart of the city, but once you enter those garden gates, you’ll instantly feel like you’re in a different world.

Majestic palm house at Adelaide Botanic Garden

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This area spreads over 50 hectares, and there are glass buildings that will essentially blow your mind with their architecture.

Be amazed by the organic ponds with larger-than-life floating lotus leaves and succulent segments, the heritage segments and oldest trees, and enjoy sitting by the kiosks or cafes.

Freshly bloomed water lillies at Adelaide Botanic Garden

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Learn about the Proud Australian History and Legacy at the South Australian Museum

Animal statues at South Australian Museum

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Another priceless monument located in the North Terrace area, the South Australian Museum pledges to make the rich heritage and bounty of Australia reach the locals and the masses traveling from all around the world.

Souvenir shop at South Australian Museum

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It is over 150 years old and houses valuables from some of the most comprehensive collections of the Australian Aboriginal cultures.

Exterior of South Australian Museum

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As deep as its roots are in culture, the museum also houses massive scientific artifacts like fossils, skeletal systems of organisms like dinosaurs, old weapons like daggers, and warthogs dating back over a thousand years.

Visit this museum and learn more about Australia.

Stroll through the Beautiful Adelaide Himeji Garden

Scenic view of Himeji Garden

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While in Adelaide, how about enjoying a little piece of Japan?

You read that right—the city of Adelaide provides a slice of Japan to its visitors.

Pond at Adelaide Himeji Garden

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Adelaide Himeji Garden is the ultimate attraction for lovers of gardens, but even those who don’t consider themselves big fans of green spaces will surely still find themselves falling in love with this place.

The Japanese garden has created a particularly detailed Zen garden inspired by the breathtaking Asian country.

Japanese styled door way at Himeji Garden

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Adelaide Botanic Garden comprises playgrounds, beautifully shaped and carved plantations, ponds with fishes and flowers like water lilies, little bridges to walk on, and unique trees that are over a hundred years old.

Lose yourself in this greenery and find your peace.

Shop till You Drop at the Famous Rundle Mall

Two huge metal ball at Rundle Mall /

You are sure to miss out on the city fun if you visit Adelaide without checking out the malls here.

There are many other shopping centers in the city, but Rundle Mall is probably the most popular one here.

People walking around the Rundle Mall

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Located in the Gawler Place area, it is a pedestrian street mall home to over 1,000 retailers.

Rundle Mall is not just a place to go shopping but is also a hub for food and entertainment.

Bronze statue of pigs at Rundle Mall

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There are hundreds of things for you to do, and you’ll love that the mall will give you a taste of the quintessential Australian life.

Quench Your Thirst at the National Wine Centre for Australia

Interior of National Wine Center of Australia

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Situated just at the edge of the Adelaide Botanical Garden, the National Wine Centre is certainly intriguing.

You will not be disappointed once you stand in front of the massive architectural structure, which is very modern-looking and twisted, like a puzzle.

Wine bottles stacked up at National Wine Centre for Australia

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It represents and showcases the entire Australian wine industry, so once you enter, prepare to witness the biggest amount of wine bottles you could ever imagine.

Learn all about each type of wine’s classification, flavors, and country of origin.

Exterior of National Wine Centre for Australia /

Exquisite wine is best paired with fine dining, which is just what you’ll find in the ground-floor restaurant.

Witness the Most Awe-Inspiring Views at Waterfall Gully

Waterfall Gully at Adelaide

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On top of shopping, wining and dining, a trip to Adelaide can’t be complete without getting to see the city’s natural attractions.

Waterfall Gully and its surrounding area are famous for nature sports activities like hiking.

This is a steep area, and hiking from Waterfall Gully to Mt. Lofty is frequently enjoyed by beginner and professional hikers.

You can also go for walks around softer paths with your family.

The top gives a breathtaking view of the waterfall and water body surrounding the deep green woods.

You might end up watching beautiful birds or hopping behind quick kangaroos here as well.

Browse through the Fine Collection at the State Library of South Australia

Plethora of books at State Library of Australia

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Let your heart skip a beat while pretending you’re a witch or wizard browsing through one of the Hogwarts libraries, as the Australian State Library gives off a similar vibe.

Exterior of State Library of South Australia /

The library is so vast that to be able to browse through its entirety would take a lifetime.

Take a break from the digital world, grab a book from your favorite section, and quietly soak into this place’s addicting sense of peace.

Reading area at State Library of South Australia

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If you want to learn about Australian history, this is the place to do so.

With hundreds of subjects for visitors to browse through, it sure is a wise landmark.

Pay a Visit to the Migration Museum

Entrance of Migration Museum in Adelaide

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This museum was built in 1986 and used to be the Australian Destitute Asylum.

It holds immense significance in shaping the political history of Adelaide.

Benches placed outside the Migration Museum

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South Australia is famous for the diverse cultures it houses; this place showcases and preserves those valuables, memorabilia, and artifacts.

The famous Aboriginal people’s history is showcased here.

Statue at Migration Museum

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The galleries showcase the pre-colonization history of the natives and immigration stories from the 19th century onwards from different parts of the world like Europe and Russia.

Guides are available here, making it an important site to visit.

Enjoy a Picture-Perfect Day at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

Lake at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

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The nature sanctuary that is Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is like a slice of heaven on earth.

Covering a vast area that you wouldn’t be able to cover in a day, this place houses a plethora of amazing woods and full-fledged forests, trails and hiking spaces, lakes, and gardens to quench your thirst for nature.

Picturesque view of autumn trees at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden /

There are lots of things you can enjoy doing here, from going for an evening walk, jogging, or hiking, to setting up a picnic with your family, fishing by the lake, or birdwatching in the woods.

Vibrant and colorful flowers at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

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Find Your Inner Peace at the Churches of Adelaide

St. Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide

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Along with being incredibly modern and rich in culture and history, Adelaide also has a religiously active side.

The city is home to some of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals in South Australia.

Stunning interior of St. Peter's Cathedral

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Two of the most famous ones are St. Peter’s Cathedral and St. Raphael’s Catholic Church.

St. Peter’s is located on the King William Road in North Adelaide and features beautiful Anglican architecture, with classic beige walls and larger-than-life interiors.

Exterior of St. Raphael's Catholic Church

User:Orderinchaos, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

St. Raphael’s is more on the minimalistic side, with red brick walls and a sanctuary-like feel.

It has a pipe organ and is one of the oldest churches in South Australia.

Chug along Towards National Railway Museum

Old trains at National Railway Museum

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The National Railway Museum, located at 76 Lipson Street, is the largest railway museum in all of Australia.

It has more than a hundred exhibits, each of them holding a piece of South Australian or Commonwealth Railway history.

Exterior of National Railway Museum

Bahnfrend, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The establishment houses historic vehicles, and you’ll definitely find the sight interesting and help you learn the area’s history.

You can also try out some of the trains for yourself!

Visitors enjoying the miniature train ride at National Railway Museum

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The museum has a gauge railway spanning 2 kilometers from Semaphore to Fort Glanville that’s open for visitors to ride.

Try Your Luck at the SkyCity Adelaide

Located near the railway station, Sky City Adelaide is a great place if you’re looking for some fun and a little exciting uncertainty.

Head to their casino and play a round or two on their various table games; who knows how much winnings you’ll end up walking away with.

If that’s not your thing, that’s fine, too; the venue also has a restaurant with top-quality dishes that you’ll definitely want to try out.

They also host several events and cultural presentations there, and you don’t want to miss out on those.

Step into the Heart of the Arts in South Australia and Go to the Adelaide Festival Centre

Adelaide is well known for its festivals, and the festival centre is the best place to go to if you want to be in the middle of the action.

It’s South Australia’s principal performing arts venue, and they constantly host various events and cultural exhibitions that any visitor would love to see.

The place was established in 1973, and since 1988, they’ve managed and operated Her Majesty’s Theatre.

When you go there, you’ll get the chance to see fantastic stage plays and some of the biggest touring musicals in the world, so give it a shot if you have the opportunity.

Visit Adelaide Gaol

The Adelaide Gaol is the first prison in South Australia, opening in 1841 and only closing its doors in 1988.

It’s also one of the oldest buildings in the area, and while now it no longer serves as a prison, you can still go there and see a museum and tourist attraction.

The prisoners of the gaol had difficult lives, spending most of their days in isolation and experienced capital punishments.

If you want to learn more about this dark history, you can book a self-guided tour and go around the area yourself.

The museum also has private tour guides who can help you out and give you more information about the site.

Stop by Victoria Square

Golden SkyCity building glistening in the sun at Adelaide /

VIctoria Square, also known as Tarntanyangga, is the largest public square in the area and is a great recreational space where you can just bask in the beauty of the city.

You’ll also find a statue of Queen Victoria there, for which the square is named.

There are various events hosted there, and even when the place is quiet, it’s still a wonderful stopover.

You’ll get the chance to see the heart of the city in action and even have the opportunity to mingle with other people.

Final Thoughts

The land down under may seem strange and unfamiliar, but that just makes it all the more perfect to visit and explore.

As the capital of South Australia, Adelaide is at the center of culture in the area.

Everywhere you turn is a treat for the eyes and will undoubtedly be an exciting adventure to go on.

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