Planning a solo trip to Adelaide? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- The capital city of South Australia, Adelaide is home to around 1.4 million people.
- Australia’s fifth largest city, it is a mecca for the arts and culture, with plenty of world-class museums, natural attractions and captivating sights.
- The planned city is so renowned for its accessibility, it claims to be the “20 minute city” in that its main destinations can be reached within that time frame.
- It is the only state capital never settled by convict labour and has always been entirely established by free settlers since its founding in 1836.
- Nicknames: Addy, City of Churches, RADelaide, The 20 minute City
- Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Spoken languages: Australian English.
- Best time to visit: from November to March, for pleasant temperatures and little rainfall.
- Arriving via airport (ADL): you can get to to the city centre in 22 minutes on the JetBus (J1 and J2 lines from Stop 10 on airport road) for $5.80.
- Taxis charge $18-25 for the city centre (this includes the $3 airport exit levy). The ride will be approx. 10-15 minutes.
WHERE TO STAY
- Best hostel for solo travelers: Adelaide Central YHA. Newly-renovated and right in the heart of Adelaide, this one is a winner. Welcoming staff, with modern and clean facilities (cleaned daily). Not the cheapest in town, but you get what you pay for!
- The CBD is a compact grid measuring one square mile that is home to Adelaide’s most popular historic and cultural attractions as well as its widest range of accommodation and entertainment.
- If relaxing by the beach is more your cup of tea, the caravan parks in West Beach and Glenelg are a cheaper option and have all the facilities (if not more) of the mid-upper priced ranged accommodation in the same areas.
- Adelaide Metro represents the public transportation network in the city, which consists of train, tram and bus services. Tickets allow transfers aboard the services and cost $5.90 one-way on cash tickets (peak) or $4.05 for Metrocard holders. A day pass is available for $11.20.
- Taxis operate on a meter system that charges $3.70 at flagfall and $1.87 per kilometre with a surcharge for evening runs and public holidays.
- Instead of taxis, consider getting a quote from Uber first (use their app).
- Drinking age is 18, and last call is 4 AM.
- Rundle Street keeps things casual and cosy with pubs and cafés that cater to the after-work crowd and the laid back drinkers.
- Hindley Street ups the tempo with a neon-lit strip of cigar bars and lounges, earning it the reputation o party central. The many bars, clubs and cheap(ish) restaurants on Hindley make this a popular area for students and backpackers.
- North Terrace is known for its gigantic nightclubs and all-night parties.
- Great bars for solo travelers in the CBD: Malt & Juniper, Alfred’s Bar, The Sorcerer’s Bar, and Udaberri Pintxos Y Vino.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute explores contemporary and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait art.
- Art Gallery of South Australia is a visual arts museum with a permanent Australian art exhibition that records the development of the country’s dating back to the colonial period.
- Ayers House is the former residence of Sir Henry Ayers, ex-Premier of South Australia and an excellent example of colonial Regency architecture built during the years of the gold rush.
- National Wine Centre of Australia is a unique attraction located on the edge of the breath-taking Botanic Gardens that allows visitors to experience the wine making process complete with wine tasting and superb dining.
- Are you a cricket fan? The Bradman Collection is a must see. Pore over the personal items of the world’s greatest batsman, donated by the man himself. Continue your cricket loving journey at Adelaide Oval.
- Ask a local and they will tell you that pubs far outnumber churches, despite Adelaide being known as the City of Churches. Before you hit the pub (or as you crawl your way to the next one), take the time to admire the more impressive Holy Trinity Church, St Peter’s Cathedral and St. Francis Xavier Cathedral.
- Mount Lofty rises above the city and presents an imposing figure from which to admire the panorama that extends to the Gulf, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.
- Cleland Wildlife Park places visitors in contact with the stupefacient wildlife for which Australia is known, from koalas to kangaroos and wallabies.
- The Esplanade at Seaford is an excellent coastal walk perfect for winding down and discovering the natural charm of South Australia’s beaches.
- Victoria Square is the epicenter of Adelaide’s CBD, a leafy pocket of the city marked by a fountain that looks up to the modern horizon.
- West Terrace Cemetery: take a guided tour through Adelaide’s oldest burial ground and one of the world’s first multi-denominational cemeteries.
- Walk among the elm trees and immerse yourself at Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia.
- The city is often referred to as the wine and festival capital of Australia, with “Mad March” representing the busiest month of the year thanks to world-class events such as the Fringe Festival, Clipsal 500, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Writer’s Week and WOMAdelaide.
- Adelaide was the first place in Australia to legalize nude swimming. If taking off your togs (swimming costume) tickles your fancy, the closest nudist beach to Adelaide, Maslin Beach, is a 45 minute drive away.
- The Barossa Valley is a major wine-producing region and tourist destination located an hour northeast of Adelaide. It is primarily known for its Shiraz variety of red wine, a must-sample.
- Great restaurants to try: Bread & Bone, Peel St, EST Pizzaria, Vietnam Village, Herringbone, Chianti ($$$ – Italian), Africola ($$$ – African), MaiKitchen Restaurant (authentic Viet with vegan options too), Two-Bit Villains (vegetarian).
- Where to find good cheap eats: Gouger Street offers an eclectic mix of cheap Asian eating options, while Central Market hosts food stalls of every variety and budget. Budget veggie options: Zenhouse Vegetarian Yum Cha and Thea Tea Shop.
- Dangerous areas: Adelaide is generally safe. In any case, exercise caution at night – especially on dark streets and around bars and clubs.
Recommended trip duration: 2-3 days