- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Adelaide Guide (PDF)
Adelaide used to be one of Australia’s best-kept secrets, but the secret’s out and nowadays it enjoys a well-earned reputation as a gourmet food and wine capital. It’s equally known for its street art, independent galleries and thriving theatre scene.
Shopping in Adelaide
Rundle Mall is the major city shopping precinct, with leading department stores, boutiques, banking facilities, cafes and everything else expats might need.
Adelaide Arcade houses a range of speciality shops. It boasts cinemas, designer stores and restaurants galore, and epitomises the best that Adelaide has to offer.
There's also a great selection of markets in the city. A local favourite for fresh produce is Adelaide Central Market. Here, expats can savour everything gourmet that Adelaide and its wider region have to offer. Other popular markets include Gilles Street and the North Adelaide Vintage and Fashion Fair.
Restaurants in Adelaide
From award-winning restaurants to more humble offerings, there is something for everyone in this city. Those who are willing to travel a bit further afield will discover that restaurants located in Adelaide's wineries offer special dining experiences too.
Nightlife and entertainment in Adelaide
While the city’s nightlife doesn't quite compare to the thriving hubs of Melbourne or Sydney, there's still plenty to keep the night owls entertained. The club scene in Adelaide is eclectic and things heat up on weekends. Options range from wine bars and gastropubs to nightclubs and rooftop bars.
Theatre-goers will have plenty of opportunities to catch a good musical or stage performance at one of Adelaide's venues.
See and do in Adelaide
While Adelaide is perhaps smaller and less frenetic than the major Aussie metros, the city packs a punch when it comes to the quality and variety of its attractions.
Adelaide Botanic Garden
For a relaxing day out, guests can wander through this public garden of over 100 acres. Visitors can check out the Victorian-era greenhouse known as the Palm House and take a stroll through the National Rose Trial Garden.
Adelaide Festival Centre
There is plenty for art buffs to soak up at this multipurpose cultural venue. It boasts multiple theatres, a playhouse, an amphitheatre and exhibition spaces. Several annual art festivals take place here, along with top-notch musicals, plays, operas, dance shows and stand-up comedy.
Adelaide Zoo is a responsible wildlife sanctuary that cares for a diversity of critters, including quakkas, kangaroos, wallabies, emus, Tasmanian devils and even giant pandas. The zoo also offers overnight camps and close-up animal encounters.
Visitors of Barossa Valley can sample wines from some of Australia's most popular winemakers and visit the area's boutique cellars. Though the valley is particularly well known for its red wine – shiraz in particular – it also produces excellent white varietals.
What’s on in Adelaide
There is always something going on in Adelaide. Below are some of the best yearly events in the city.
Adelaide Fringe (February/March)
This month-long extravaganza features more than 6,000 artists from around the world performing in various venues across the city. It is the largest open-access arts festival in the southern hemisphere, with a programme that includes over 1,200 different events.
Adelaide Festival (February/March)
Going back nearly six decades, this acclaimed cultural event features an array of performances every year. Attendees can enjoy opera, theatre, dance and cabaret performances, as well as visual art forms such as fine art and new media.
Barossa Vintage Festival (April)
This fantastic five-day festival draws visitors to the Barossa Valley wine region just outside Adelaide. Here, attendees celebrate the region's food, wine and culture with an array of events, spread out over several days.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival (June)
This unique public festival, featuring top artists from the cabaret, music and theatre worlds, is the largest of its kind globally. Tickets may be on the pricey side, but the festival has loads of entertainment options and offers a not-to-be-missed experience.
Where to meet people and make friends in Adelaide
Expats fond of nature and hoping to get out and about can join this group of like-minded people. With social hikes and more serious challenges, this is the perfect community for expats looking to make friends while staying active and exploring Adelaide.
Shutterbugs will enjoy spending time with this photography group and meeting individuals with the same hobby. With outings to beautiful locations and feedback from the group, expats with a love of photography will find this group highly enriching.
Expats looking to make friends and stay healthy while exploring the city can find no better place than the official park run. Every Saturday, amateurs and serious parkrunners join in North Adelaide to socialise and try to beat their best time.
►For the best places to live check out Areas and Suburbs in Adelaide
Are you an expat living in Adelaide?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Adelaide. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global can tailor an international health insurance plan to perfectly fit the needs of you and your family. With 86 million customers in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.