Travel to Adelaide: a practical guide for international tourists

adelaide travel advice guide

Although not always on the map of mass tourism, Adelaide has a lot to offer to visitors. The capital of the state of South Australia is the fifth-most populous urban centre in the country and is also known as Australia’s “festival city.”

Indeed, culture is at the heart of many events and institutions in the city and travelling to Adelaide can help tourists get to know the country deeper.

It is also an extremely welcoming community with locals being happy to assist visitors with tips and advice.

Things to do in Adelaide include spending time outdoors in parks and green areas, tasting some of the world’s finest wine, and visiting first-class museums and art galleries. This practical guide includes useful information for a trip to Adelaide such as:

  • How to get to Adelaide
  • Adelaide’s attractions and landmarks
  • Adelaide’s weather and when to visit

How to get to Adelaide

There are several ways to get to Adelaide from Sydney and other Australian cities as well as from abroad. Find them below.

Travelling to Adelaide by car

Unlike other extremely isolated Australian cities like Perth, getting to Adelaide by car is relatively easy.

Driving from Melbourne will take less than 8 hours (although an alternative option is to take the longer yet breathtaking Great Ocean Road) while getting here from Sydney will take almost twice as long (14 hours.)

Flying to Adelaide airport

Adelaide International Airport serves 8 million passengers each year. Here operate international airlines such as:

  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Air New Zealand
  • Jetstar International
  • Fiji Airways

Can you get to Adelaide by train?

Thanks to the Great Southern Rail, it is possible to reach Adelaide by train from Melbourne, Sydney, Alice Springs, Darwin, and Perth. Buses are also available from nearby cities like Melbourne.

Do I need a visa to go to Adelaide?

The vast majority of foreign citizens (with the exception of New Zealand nationals) need to obtain a visa before travelling to Australia and Adelaide.

The good news is that many nationalities are eligible to apply for an electronic visa, meaning that they do not need to attend an Australian embassy or consulate in person to submit a paper application.

The electronic application can be filled out completely online in minutes from the comfort of one’s home or office. It is advisable to request a visa for Adelaide and Australia at least 2 business days prior to departure, however, most applications are reviewed and approved within 24 hours.

The documents required to travel to Adelaide with an electronic visa vary depending on the type of Australian visa the petitioner is applying for and their specific circumstances.

Adelaide weather: when to visit Adelaide

Weather conditions in Adelaide and South Australia can be considered similar to those of Europe and milder than in the rest of Australia, with gentle temperatures all year round.

The average maximum temperature in the summer is 29°C (84.2°F) and 15-16°C (59-60.8°F) in winter.

The best time to visit is, according to many, between March and May, and from September through November. This is because precipitations are lower and temperatures ideal for tourist activities.

Travelling during this time, visitors will also avoid peak Australian public holiday season. However, be mindful that some of Adelaide’s most popular festivals and events start in March.

Is Adelaide worth visiting?

Adelaide is famous for plenty of things, including arts and food festivals, Indigenous culture, wine, and human rights.

Many call Adelaide “the 20-minute city” because of how easy and quick it is to tour the centre of town, however, this does not mean that there is not enough to see here for a whole holiday.

The most important museums in Adelaide

The South Australian Museum is a natural history and research institution in Adelaide. However, it is especially famous for its Indigenous section, the largest collection of Aboriginal artefacts in the world.

The nearby Art Gallery of South Australia is also committed to the conservation of Aboriginal culture not only through its permanent exhibitions but also the annual Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art known as Tarnanthi. The Gallery was founded in 1881 and hosts almost 45,000 items representing Australian, European, North American, and Asian art.

What to do outdoors in Adelaide

Adelaide’s weather can be less extreme than in other regions of Australia, making it a perfect place for a stroll around the park.

The Adelaide Botanic Garden was open in 1857 and covers 51 hectares (130 acres.) Visitors can explore:

  • A rose garden
  • The Bicentennial Conservatory
  • Historic buildings like the Palm (a victorian-era glasshouse)

Nature lovers can decide to visit the Adelaide Zoo, which is home to about 300 species and over 3,000 animals. Some of the animals at the Adelaide Zoo include:

  • Tigers
  • Orangutans
  • Giant pandas
  • Giraffes
  • Lions
  • Snakes
  • Bears
  • Sloths
  • Kangaroos

Day trips from Adelaide include visiting beaches and rivers and signing up for some of the best wine tours in the country.

Is Adelaide safe for tourists?

Australia in general and Adelaide in particular are considered very safe places for visitors. Crime rates are extremely low and female solo travellers will feel safe touring Adelaide.

The capital of South Australia also experiences less petty crime compared to other major tourist destinations. However, visitors should follow common sense and keep their belongings close at all times.