Ten Best Things To Do In Adelaide in 2024
By Michael D’Angelo and Meenakshi Iyer
Widely known as the City of Churches, Adelaide today is filled with a rich heritage, local flavour, enthralling events, and festivals such as the Adelaide Fringe and WOMADelaide. From the gorgeous landscape to bountiful local markets, these are the top ten things to check off your bucket list in Adelaide.
1. Adelaide Fringe – Soak in the Festival Season
February and March are the busiest months in Adelaide’s social calendar. Numerous events including marquee festivals such as the Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival, and Womadelaide take place around this time of the year. It's little wonder this time of the year is also known as 'Mad March'.
As part of Adelaide Fringe, more than 1,000 shows across theatre, art, and music are performed at multiple venues across the city over a month. Adelaide Fringe is the biggest arts festival in Australia and the largest Fringe Festival outside of the iconic Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The best of Adelaide Fringe in 2024 includes ABBA Gold: Waterloo 50th Anniversary Show crowd favourite Rouge, a circus for grown-ups.
Fringe is one of the best times to visit Adelaide and soak in the city’s history, culture, sights, sounds, and more. While you’re here plan your stay in Adelaide with Adelaide Sightseeing's well-curated tours and experiences.
2. Kangaroo Island – Enjoy the perfect weekend getaway
Kangaroo Island or KI as the locals like to call it is a beautiful island situated south of Adelaide. Known for its pristine beaches, native bushland, and wildlife, Kangaroo Island is the perfect way to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle. With over 500 km of coastline, Kangaroo Island is the third-largest island off the coast of Australia.
Kangaroo Island is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. However, if a day is all you’ve got, our popular One Day Kangaroo Island Experience is the best way to explore the island. It includes a guided beach walk amongst a colony of rare Australian sea lions at Seal Bay, a visit to the popular Flinders Chase National Park, a pit stop at Admirals Arch to admire the spectacular rock archway, and kangaroo and koala viewing at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.
If you have more than a day, check out our multi-day packages here.
3. Adelaide Central Market - Discover Adelaide's food mecca
Forget the supermarkets, Adelaide Central Market is full of fresh daily produce from the storeholders. It's where you can buy fruits, vegetables, and other delicious treats that come directly from South Australian farmers and producers. The market has grown in its 150-year history to include over 80 stalls and has become the heart and soul of the city (especially since Adelaide is so focused on good food).
Stop by for breakfast or lunch and enjoy the hustle and bustle of this colourful celebration of food. The market also focuses on regional produce, so you'll find some of the best produce from Kangaroo Island, the Murraylands, and the Barossa Valley for sale here. The market is open Tuesday through to Saturday.
When in Adelaide, we recommend joining our Adelaide City Highlights half-day tour and then spending the afternoon tasting your way through the Central Market.
4. National Wine Centre - Taste the best of Australian wines
Nestled in the heart of Adelaide's Botanic Gardens, the National Wine Centre is a unique experience. It is a must-do on your trip to Adelaide. If you're pressed for time and can't visit all the beautiful wine regions, then a quick stop at the National Wine Centre will give you a taste of the best South Australian wine. Here you can experience the winemaking process, from the beginning through to the bottling with the interactive Wine Discovery Journey.
With over 120 of Australia's most diverse wines, it is also the largest tasting room in the country. You can visit the National Wine Centre as part of our Adelaide City Highlights half-day tour.
5. Hahndorf – Explore this quaint escape
Hahndorf is a beautiful German town situated 30 minutes from Adelaide. It is known for its German-style pubs, modern cafes, winery cellar doors, gin distilleries, bakeries, and so much more. As part of our Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf Experience tour, you can go from spending an afternoon at the iconic German Arms Hotel or Hahndorf Inn to tasting delicious cheeses at Udder Delights or going back to being a child at the many old-fashioned lolly shops. You will also make a pit stop at Beerenberg Farm Shop, where you can indulge in some retail therapy and buy flavourful fresh fruit products.
6. Adelaide Oval RoofClimb - Take on the icon
It may not be as tall as Mount Everest, but the Adelaide Oval RoofClimb Tour certainly has the thrill and spectacular views to take you on an exciting and heart-thumping adventure.
Regarded as one of the most picturesque sporting grounds in the world, this unique experience will take you to new heights and you'll discover the most scenic views of Adelaide here. You can even choose to do the roof climb during evening sporting events - can you just imagine the roar of 50,000 fans from under your feet. This experience is one of the best things to do in Adelaide at night.
7. Popeye Tours - Cruise along the Torrens River
No, thankfully this Popeye Tour does not involve eating a can of spinach, but it does involve a sightseeing cruise along the Torrens River, overlooking the scenic riverbank precinct.
The Popeye Cruise tours are a heritage icon that began in 1935 and it has stayed in the same family all this time. It's somewhat of an icon in Adelaide as the tours have continued to evolve and modernise - plus it's a beautiful way to see this part of the city. The boat attracts plenty of onlookers, so be prepared to flex your muscles.
8. The Cube, d'Arenberg - Unravel the puzzle
Make your way down south of Adelaide to the McLaren Vale wine region to explore the impressive structure of The Cube. Here you'll be treated to an experience that will excite the senses.
You'll love the Alternate Realities Museum, a virtual fermenter, and the wine sensory room, as well as the other tactile experiences over 5 levels. Stop for a wine tasting at the top and enjoy the impressive views of the region.
TIP: Make sure you book your travel with us and we'll take care of everything from bookings, two-course lunch, and a guided tour of the region on our McLaren Vale and The Cube Experience day tour.
9. Cleland Wildlife Park – Set a date with your favourite furry friends
Located just 20 minutes from Adelaide, this nature retreat is home to over 130 species of Australian wildlife. Here you can feed kangaroos, hold a koala and discover native wildlife. We recommend opting for the Cleland Wildlife Park Experience. It includes a pit stop at Mount Lofty to soak in the city views, a koala close-up experience, and even a gift voucher for the Cleland Gift Shop.
10. Barossa Valley – Discover the legendary wine region
A visit to South Australia is incomplete without a trip to the rolling vineyards of Barossa Valley. This award-winning wine region is home to over 40 grape varieties. It is also known for Australia’s most unique varietal style – Barossa Shiraz. Savour some of the best of Australian varietals at Pindarie Wines, on our Barossa Food and Wine Experience tour. You can also indulge in some of the local produce at Maggie Beer's Farmshop.
Getting around Adelaide
Getting around Adelaide is a breeze thanks to its well-planned and accessible transportation options via the Adelaide Metro Network. The tram system, in particular, connects key locations within the city and its suburbs, offering a convenient way to explore. For those who prefer cycling, Adelaide is a bike-friendly city with dedicated bike lanes and shared paths, making it easy to pedal around and enjoy the scenic landscapes. Additionally, Adelaide's compact city center encourages walking, allowing you to discover charming cafes, boutiques, and cultural attractions on foot. You can also discover incredible street art during your walks around the city bylanes.
Car rental services and ride-sharing apps are also readily available for those who prefer the flexibility of driving. With multiple transportation options, navigating Adelaide is not only efficient but also provides an opportunity to experience the city's diverse neighborhoods and vibrant atmosphere.
What is Adelaide best known for?
Adelaide consistently captivates visitors, earning its spot as a must-visit city in Australia. Whether indulging in culinary delights, exploring cultural festivities, or savoring world-class wines, Adelaide offers a distinctive experience that leaves a lasting impression.
Is 3 days enough in Adelaide?
With its compact layout and an abundance of attractions, spending 3 days in Adelaide is ample time to immerse yourself in the city's diverse offerings. Begin your exploration by strolling through the bustling Central Market, indulging in local flavors and artisanal delights. Discover the city's cultural richness with visits to the South Australian Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia, where art and history converge seamlessly. For nature enthusiasts, a day trip to the nearby Adelaide Hills or pristine beaches provides a refreshing escape.
Don't miss the chance to explore the renowned wine regions like the Barossa Valley, sampling world-class wines and culinary delights. Adelaide's vibrant festivals and events calendar ensures there's always something happening, offering a glimpse into the city's lively spirit. With its accessibility and a well-connected transportation system, 3 days in Adelaide allow for a delightful and well-rounded experience, striking the perfect balance between urban exploration and natural beauty.