Adelaide might be one of the most underrated cities in Australia. Even if some people might say that Adelaide isn’t worth a visit, I would fully disagree. In this city guide, I’ll present why I feel that visiting Adelaide is well worth it!
Visiting Adelaide also means managing expectations to some degree. It’s not that Adelaide doesn’t have beautiful spots, but the city center is just as phenomenal as in other cities. When it comes to Adelaide, you just have to look a little further for the real highlights.
The actual city center of Adelaide is the so-called Central Business District, which is a very artificial area with straight streets and the typical blocs. The city center just doesn’t feel like a city that grew by itself.
The medium-high skyscrapers don’t make it a lot better either. Nevertheless, the CBD is well worth visiting for a couple of hours as there are quite some nice historic buildings.
The Post Office, the Adelaide Arcada, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the St. Francis Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Beehvie Corner are the most interesting buildings.
The Central Market, where local goods are sold, is also worth visiting.
If you are into shopping or partying, be sure to visit the Rundle Mall and Rundle Street, which is the entertainment hub of Adelaide.
The more interesting buildings in Adelaide can be found closer to the river.
The Karrawirra Parri is located in the North of the Central Business Distrcit, which is where most of the interesting buildings are located. On the so-called North Terrace (South of the Karrawirra Parri) you can find the Parliament, the Regent Theatre, the beautiful Railway Station, the State Library of South Australia and the University of Adelaide.
All these buildings got a lovely historic charm and are well worth seeing. If you are in the area, it might also be interesting to walk by the uniquely designed War Memorial.
Something else I want to recommend in this city guide is just walking by the Karrawirra Parri in the area of the Adelaide Oval. When walking by the river, you can not only see the enormous stadium, but also the very nice Cathedral of Adelaide in the Northern direction.
If you are orientating South (in the direction of the CBD), you can have a look at the stunning design of the new Adelaide Convention Centre.
Another interesting piece of architecture here is the Artspace Gallery.
Earlier, I’ve mentioned that you have to look a little further when it comes to the highlights of Adelaide. While not too far away, the Botanical Garden at the end of the North Terrace is my personal favorite in the immediate city center of Adelaide.
It streches from the end of the North Terrace to the river in the North and is also right next to the Zoo. However, the Botanical Garden Adelaide alone is just an amazing place.
There are several buildings of unique architecture (one even reminded me of Valencia). In addition, there are several unique flowers and just great parks to hang out and relax.
Known as one of the touristic highlights of Glenelg, I wanted to at least mention this place. It’s reachable from the CBD by taking the tram in approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Glenelg is located right by the sea and known to be the beach and relaxation destination in Adelaide.
However, I didn’t find the place too appealing. While there is a decent beach, some infrastructure and even one or another nice building, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s worth going there.
If you happen to visit Adelaide for more than two days, I’d recommend two things, I’ve done while in the city. The city center of Adelaide is only a 40 minute train ride away from the Hallet Cove Conservation Park, which is an extremely amazing spot right out of urban Adelaide.
Not only are the beaches great, but there are also beautiful paths through nature. The sandstone formations alone are just stunning. Another recommendation would be visiting the Gleland Park. You can get there by bus (approximately one hour) or taxi (30 minutes) from the city center.
The Gleland Park is a nature reserve and allows you to cuddle and observe kangaroos, koalas and several other animals. If you are into wildlife, this is a great experience close to Adelaide as well.
I totally understand why some people find Adelaide sort-of boring. Nevertheless, I would totally recommend visiting the city. The Botanical Garden and the North Terrace as well as the walk along the Karrawirra Parri are very enjoyable and highly recommended. The city center has something to offer as well and is nice enough for sightseeing for a couple of hours. If you got more time, I’d recommend visiting Hallet Cove or the Gleland Park. I’m sure that you’ll find something great to do for two, three or even four days after reading this city guide!
What are your thoughts about Adelaide? Do you have any further recommendations?