Adelaide is my home town, and despite the jokes made by Eastern staters, I absolutely love it. No matter where I visit in the world, I am always pleased to look at the plane window and see my “just right” sized city and enter our humble airport. Sadly, Adelaide is skipped over on way too many traveller’s journeys. If you’re not sure whether to keep Adelaide on your itinerary, I hope these 7 good reasons will mean you come visit us soon!
1. The food and wine is amazing.
I have spoken about South Australia’s wine on this blog a lot. It is fantastic – definitely some of the best in the world. We have so many wine regions – the McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills – within an easy day trip of the CBD. But, we also have absolutely incredible food.
High brow restaurants include Africola, an amazing African-infused restaurant with a funky vibe, and Orana, which serves only food within a 50km radius – but at a pretty steep cost. I love what these places (and others) are doing to bring incredible food to Adelaide. At the other end of the scale, however, there are many cheap and multicultural options with flavours to die for. Parwana on Henley Beach Road serves Afghan, Addis Abbaba on Port Road (unsurprisingly) serves Ethiopian. For fresh food, look no further than the Central Market. Amazing!
2. The beaches are stunning.
I am not really a beach person (I know, I may need to hand in my passport), however I have seen enough of them to know that Adelaide’s are beautiful. My English husband and his family could barely believe the beaches we have just 20 minutes from the CBD – Glenelg, Henley, Semaphore, Grange and West Beach are all beautiful beaches with individual vibes. Best of all, despite how close they are to the city, they are never that busy.
If you go further afield this is even more true, and the beaches perhaps even more spectacular. Normanville, Moonta and Silver Sands are some of my favourites.
3. There are many great festivals
Most South Australian licence plates say “the festival state”. While at first this might seem like a surprising thing to be on them, look closer! Adelaide has a raft of absolutely fabulous festivals. Most of the big ones – the Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival and WOMADelaide – all happen in February/March, but there are others throughout the year. Some of these include the Guitar Festival, Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Multicultural Festival, and the Cheese Festival.
Even if there are no festivals on when you visit (which is pretty unlikely) you can still catch a great show at many places such as the Holden Street Theatre, Jade Monkey and Festival Theatre.
4. There’s more small bars than you could possibly visit in a trip
Over the last five to ten years, there’s been a huge push in Adelaide to support smaller, cooler bars and move away from the enormous superclubs with the sticky floors (not that I have anything against sticky floors, per se). As a result, Adelaide now has an enormous amount of really cool small bars, serving up amazing drinks with amazing atmosphere.
There are so many its hard to pick absolute favourites, but my local is Hains and Co, and I’m also a big fan of Bibliotecha, William Bligh, and Las Ramblas.
5. You can explore everything by bike – for free!
Recently, a bike sharing app started up in Adelaide. Since then, I have tried to make it my personal mission to inform everyone that YOU CAN GET A BIKE FOR FREE IN ADELAIDE. Simply drop by the Adelaide City Council or a bunch of different tourist information places, and they will give you a free bike. You just need to leave some identification and return it, obviously.
This is super cool because Adelaide is so easily explored by bike. You can easily cruise around the city, stopping by the Botanic Gardens and Parklands. You could also head out a bit further – such as to Norwood Morialta falls or even one of the beaches.
6. It is more chilled out than other cities.
Obligatory disclaimer: this doesn’t necessarily mean other cities are bad. But after the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and Sydney, Adelaide is bound to be a welcome relief. People are generally casual and friendly, and will stop and have a chat with you – albeit they’re likely to enquire as to why you’ve visited Adelaide.
There’s certainly plenty to do in and around Adelaide, but the pace tends to be a little slower and less about the rat race. People are happy to chat with you, and not everyone is in a rush. This is also one of the reasons I love living in Adelaide so much.
7. There are so many hidden treasures.
Even though I’ve spoken up about how I dislike the way that “touristy” places get dismissed – let’s be honest, we all like to find our own little special corners of the world. There are many you can find in Adelaide, because so many people overlook it when they travel around Australia.
Some of the places to start with include the Harry Potter-esque Mortlock Wing at the Adelaide Library; Tandanya, a gorgeous gallery celebrating Aboriginal culture, and Light’s Point.