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Adelaide is the state capital of South Australia and a city renowned for its architecture and culture. You will find elegant avenues, stylish boutiques, and buzzing streets lined with cafes, while the pretty River Torrens provides a scenic setting for a peaceful stroll.
With a population of one million, Adelaide is a substantial city with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is right in the center of some of Australia's best wine country, with lots of famous vineyards reachable on a pleasant day trip.
Adelaide has an exciting nightlife, great shopping, and fine sandy beaches, making it one of the most attractive cities to visit in Australia. The city is also famous for its calendar of cultural events and the Adelaide Oval is the premier venue for sporting events such as cricket and Australian Rules Football.
West Beach is a great place to visit to experience the beach culture of Adelaide. It is a good spot for walking and swimming and is adjacent to Henley and Glenelg beaches. There are lots of good restaurants at Henley Square, and you can fish from one of the many jetties on the beaches.
The Adelaide Oval is a must for sports fans. It hosts games of cricket during the Australian summer and has a good museum and a restaurant with a view of the ground. The atmosphere during cricket games is special, and it is well worth attending one of the domestic games during the summer.
For the best views of the city and surrounding countryside, head up into the Adelaide Hills and Mount Lofty summit. Here, you will find a restaurant and souvenir shop and stunning views of the Adelaide Plains and the city center.
Hahndorf is a German village just outside Adelaide. You can pick your own strawberries at Beerenberg Strawberry Farm and buy local chocolate at Melba's Chocolate Factory. It's a great spot for a picnic and there are lots of stores selling local crafts and products celebrating the village's German heritage.
Belair National Park is just seven miles south of Adelaide and is a great place to explore the Australian countryside. It has lots of good walking trails, tennis courts, and areas for picnicking.
Adelaide experiences a cooler climate than many of the other major Australian cities and avoids the humidity and heavy rains of the wet season. It can therefore be visited all year round. The best time to go, however, is probably March. Temperatures peak at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also the time when Adelaide comes out to play, with a host of festivals and events, including the Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival, which are the largest cultural festivals in the Southern Hemisphere. March also has the Clipsal 500 Supercar racing meetings, with street parties and concerts.
Adelaide Airport (ADL) is just four miles west of the city center. It has international flights across Southeast Asia, and the Air New Zealand service to Auckland has good connections to North America. The Cathay Pacific service to Hong Kong is a popular connecting route to Europe. Domestic flights include services to Sydney, Perth, and Melbourne. The public JetBus leaves for the city center every 15 minutes and costs A$5.10 for a single journey. An alternative is the Skylink Adelaide shuttle bus, which will take you directly to your city center accommodation for A$8. There is a taxi rank outside the terminal and the fare to the city center is around A$16-20.
Long distance train services are provided by the Great Southern Railway. It has services with sleepers and transport for cars, and connects Adelaide to Alice Springs, Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. A single ticket from Melbourne to Adelaide will cost from A$75.
Distances to other cities in Australia can be vast, and travelers should be ready for long driving times. The journey to Melbourne on National Highway 8 will take around nine hours, while the National Highway 20 to Sydney is 884 miles and will take twice as long. The road to Brisbane is more than 1,200 miles long.
Greyhound Australia runs regular services between Adelaide Central Bus Station (on Franklin Street) and other major Australian cities. A single fare from Melbourne will cost from around A$58.
The Austral provides basic, clean accommodation close to the city center on Rundle Street. There is a pub downstairs with private rooms to rent upstairs. The rooms don't suffer much from noise from the bar downstairs but bathrooms are shared. The Adelaide City Park Motel is well situated on Pulteney Street, while the Medina Grand Adelaide Treasury is housed in the former State Treasury building on Flinders Street; it has a great central position overlooking Victoria Square.
Glenelg – Glenelg is the historic beachfront suburb of Adelaide. It has a pretty seafront with a large jetty and is home to the Stamford Adelaide Grand Hotel. There are lots of restaurants and cafes along the front and the area can be reached by taking a short tram ride from the city center.
Felixstow – is a popular neighborhhood just seven minutes on public transport from the city center. It has the lovely River Torrens park, tree-lined streets, and some good local restaurants.
Port Adelaide – this is the city's historic harbor area. It has some fine architecture, historical buildings, and lots of opportunities to take cruises on the ocean. It is a good base for dolphin-watching trips and has some excellent traditional pubs and eateries.
There is an extensive bus system across the city, covering all of the major districts in Adelaide. An excellent feature of the network for the visitor is the City Loop (99C) service, which is free to ride. It has clockwise and anti-clockwise loops and stops at all of the major tourist attractions. The city also has a tram service and a train network with four lines. Single trip tickets cover all public transport and cost A$5.10. A day ticket is A$9.40
Taxis in Adelaide are plentiful and can be hailed on the street or booked by phone. The flat starting fare is A$3.70, and you will pay just under A$3 per mile thereafter.
Driving is a good option if you stay outside of the city center and the major suburbs served by the public transport network. Roads are good and jams are infrequent. Car rental is available from companies like Europcar and Avis, and prices start at around A$47.
The main shopping area of Adelaide is centered on Rundle Street, where you will find lots of fashion boutiques. The Rundle Mall offers more generalist shopping, with more than 800 stores, including international chains, fashion boutiques, and cosmetics outlets on a pedestrian strip. Harbour Town is a smaller, specialist mall featuring outlet stores and discount fashion.
A quart of milk in Adelaide is priced at A$1.11, while a dozen large eggs will cost A$5.25. Major supermarkets include Coles on Grote Street and IGA on Gilbert Street.
The Elephant Walk Cafe on Melbourne Street is a popular and atmospheric cafe serving modern Australian mains from around A$15. The Queen's Head Hotel on Kermode Street in North Adelaide offers traditional pub fare and award-winning pizzas. Mains are A$20-30. For excellent steak, try Gauchos on Gouger Street - mains cost upwards of A$40.