The capital of South Australia on the coast of the Southern Ocean and the fifth largest city in Australia, Adelaide is a dynamic city with enough culture and entertainment to keep any visitor occupied.

Previously inhabited by the Kaurna Aboriginal tribe, Adelaide was founded in 1836 as the planned capital of the British province of South Australia, designed by Colonel William Light. Named after Queen Adelaide, the consort of King William IV of the United Kingdom, the city’s early economic problems were surmounted by improved trade to the rest of Australia via the Murray River. Indeed, just 20 years after its foundation, Adelaide became a self-governing colony and remained one of the most prosperous spots in the country, despite downturns in the 1890s and 1930s. However, it was only during the 1970s under the administration of Don Dunstan that the city established itself culturally by finally removing some of the long-existing puritanical legislation.

Adelaide is also an extremely diverse city thanks to immigration. This protean character is reflected in Adelaide’s many attractions which continue to bring in tourists to this day.


Although Adelaide lacks any major pieces of architecture or heritage sites, the city itself is something to behold and can be viewed from the top of Beacon Hill and the Adelaide Hills, which also provides a panorama of the Adelaide plains. You can also find a number of picturesque and tranquil beaches to the south of the city on the Fleurieu peninsula.

Similarly, just outside Adelaide proper, the Belair National Park is one of the city’s main attractions along with the Botanical Gardens in North Terrace and the Adelaide Zoo in Frome Road, one of the oldest zoos in Australia.

Adelaide is home to many museums and galleries, including the South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia, both in North Terrace, as well as the Migration Museum in Kintore Avenue, celebrating Adelaide’s diverse makeup.

However, the city is known nationally and internationally for its events and festivals. The most prominent of these is the Adelaide Festival of Arts, held biennially during March in the city centre. Established properly in 1960, the Festival includes performances of opera, dance, classical music and film. The alternative to the Festival of Arts is the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which takes place annually in February and March. Considered the second-largest fringe festival in the world behind Edinburgh, it has an international reputation and draws many visitors to Adelaide.

Other notable events in the city include the biennial Adelaide Film Festival in February, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas in July, also held biennially and revolving around a series of debates and key speakers, and the renowned WOMADelaide annual world music and dance festival in Botanic Park during March.

Adelaide is an Australian sporting centre, with a number of local teams. The Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide are both highly successful Australian Rules Football teams who play their matches in the Premiership at the AAMI Stadium. The city is represented in cricket by the Southern Redbacks, who play their matches in the Pura Cup and ING Cup at the Adelaide Oval (also a legendary Australian Test match venue). Adelaide even has a football team, Adelaide United, who play in the A-League at Hindmarsh Stadium.


Being a modern city, Adelaide is packed with shopping districts and streets such as the Rundle Mall and the Central Market near Victoria Square.

However, the best place to start is the Westfield Marion Shopping Centre, the largest shopping centre in the city with some 400 shops within.

Nightlife and Eating Out

You can’t go far without finding somewhere to eat in Adelaide, but some of the best areas for restaurants are Glenelg and Hutt Street. You can also find plenty of international alternatives down Gouger Street, Rundle Street and Grote Street like Chinese, Italian and Indian. The city is also famous for its local wine from the nearby wine-growing districts of McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley to name but a few.

With two universities in the city, Adelaide has a vibrant nightlife with clubs and bars galore down Rundle Street, Gouger Street, Hindley Street and Light Square like Cargo and Exeter pub. You can also find great places to drink and dance elsewhere like Shotz in Pirie Street, Heaven in North Terrace and The Garage at the end of Waymouth Street.

Adelaide is home to the Skycity Adelaide Casino, found in North Terrace.

Tourist Information

South Australia Government Travel Centre18 King William StreetAdelaide5000Tel: +61 08 8363 4500Web: South Australia Tourism (official website)


Adelaide is served by Adelaide International Airport, adjacent to West Beach. Buses and taxis can be used to reach the city proper, which is nearby.

International and domestic connecting flights are regularly available but only to limited destinations.

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