Best Areas to Stay in Adelaide

Last updated:

This article may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission. Read the full disclaimer here.

Trying to work out the best areas to stay in Adelaide? Read on…

So, you’re planning a trip to Adelaide but you don’t know where to stay. The city centre is the obvious answer, but you’ve stayed there before, want to enjoy the beaches, or just prefer to be a little out of the hustle. Here are the best places to stay in Adelaide, with their pros and cons.

Feature image photo credit: Tourism Australia, Adelaide Sightseeing, Adelaide

Have Questions? – Come and join the Facebook Group and ask any questions you may have about travel in South Australia. We can provide answers, make further suggestions and update you with the latest information. Click here to join now.

A hotel pool at dusk with views over the city skyline beyond
Photo credit: Hotel Indigo Adelaide, Hotel Indigo, Adelaide

Staying in the Adelaide City Centre


  • Central location, making it easy to explore the city’s major attractions.
  • Great public transport links, including trams, buses, and the free City Loop bus.
  • Wide variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.


  • Can be busy and somewhat noisy, especially on weekends.
  • Parking can be difficult and expensive.
  • Accommodation prices might be higher due to the central location.

It is no surprise to hear that for most people, especially first-time visitors to Adelaide, the city centre is the best place to stay.

The Adelaide CBD is the heart of the city, with a mix of modern and historic architecture, green spaces like the Botanic Gardens, and cultural institutions such as the Art Gallery of South Australia.

It’s perfect for those who love to be in the middle of the action, with endless options for dining, shopping, and exploring. If you are visiting Adelaide for one of the many festivals or sporting events, this is the place to be.

Whether you’re after the bustling market scene at the Central Market, a serene walk along the River Torrens, or a night out at the Adelaide Festival Centre, there’s something for everyone.

Who Would Choose to Stay Here: Ideal for first-time visitors, business travellers, and anyone keen to immerse themselves in Adelaide’s vibrant city life.

Accommodation Options:

  • Mayfair Hotel: A luxurious boutique hotel offering elegant rooms and a rooftop bar.
  • Hotel Indigo Adelaide Market: A vibrant and stylish hotel that reflects the spirited atmosphere of the nearby markets. It offers guests a unique blend of local charm and modern luxury.

Click here for more hotels in Adelaide.

The front of a modern hotel covered in foliage. The sign says M Suites
Photo credit: Majestic Hotels, Majestic M Suites, Adelaide

Be on the City Doorstep at North Adelaide


  • Quiet, residential area with beautiful parks and architecture.
  • Excellent dining scene, especially along O’Connell Street.
  • Close to Adelaide Oval and other sporting/concert venues.


  • Fewer nightlife options compared to the CBD.
  • Can feel removed from the city’s hustle and bustle.
  • Limited public transport options late at night.

North Adelaide is a sophisticated and serene suburb that offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s fast pace while still being within walking distance of the CBD.

It’s known for its stunning heritage homes, leafy streets, and a fantastic array of cafes, restaurants, and pubs.

The area is also a stone’s throw away from Adelaide Oval, making it a prime spot for sports and music fans. For a touch of culture, visit the nearby Adelaide Zoo or take a stroll through the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

Who Would Choose to Stay Here: Couples, families, and sports enthusiasts looking for a quiet yet convenient location.

Accommodation Options:

  • Majestic M Suites: An upscale accommodation experience with spacious, modern suites, offering guests a blend of luxury and comfort close to the city’s prime attractions.
  • Majestic Minima Hotel: A unique boutique hotel featuring rooms artistically designed by South Australian artists.
Looking along a jetty back towards the shore. A man is standing on the jetty enjoying the view. On the shore is a multi-story hotel with the sun behind it.
Photo credit: South Australian Tourism Commission, Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

Escaping to the Beach at Glenelg


  • Beachside location with stunning sunsets and a relaxed vibe.
  • Plenty of outdoor activities, including swimming, jet skiing, and beach volleyball.
  • Lively Jetty Road with its cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.


  • Can be quite crowded during summer and weekends.
  • Accommodation and dining options can be pricey.
  • Farther from the CBD, though connected by tram.

Glenelg is Adelaide’s premier beach destination, offering a blend of city convenience and seaside relaxation.

The historic Glenelg tram connects you directly to the CBD, making it easy to enjoy both beach and urban life.

The area is bustling with activity, from the Beachouse amusement park for families to vibrant nightlife for the young and young at heart. It’s also a fantastic spot for dolphin watching, with several tours available.

Who Would Choose to Stay Here: Beach lovers, families, and those looking for a more laid-back atmosphere away from the city centre.

Accommodation Options:

  • Stamford Grand Adelaide: A luxury hotel right on the beachfront, offering stunning views and first-class amenities.
  • Oaks Glenelg Plaza Pier Suites: Offers comfortable self-contained apartments, ideal for longer stays or those wanting a home-away-from-home experience.
View over water to a wharf where an old wooden boat is berthed. In the background is a red lighthouse with a white top and many buildings, one has a large street mural of a male on it.

Enjoying the History at Port Adelaide


  • Rich in history and culture, with numerous museums and heritage buildings.
  • Revitalised waterfront area offering dining, shopping, and entertainment.
  • Close to beautiful beaches and natural reserves.


  • Less bustling nightlife compared to Adelaide CBD.
  • Some areas are still under development, which might be a con for some visitors.
  • Public transport options are more limited than in the city centre.

Port Adelaide, affectionately known as ‘The Port’, is a historic area that has undergone significant transformation, blending its rich maritime past with modern conveniences and attractions.

It’s great for history buffs, with the South Australian Maritime Museum, the National Railway Museum, and the Aviation Museum offering fascinating insights into Australia’s nautical, rail, and aviation history.

The Port’s waterfront has been redeveloped into a vibrant hub of eateries, pubs, and shops, all while retaining its historic charm.

The area is also known for its street art, with numerous murals and installations adorning the walls of old buildings, making for a vibrant and photogenic environment.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the nearby Dolphin Sanctuary offers the chance to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Who Would Choose to Stay Here: Ideal for families, history enthusiasts, and those looking for a unique stay away from the typical city scene. It’s also great for visitors interested in exploring Adelaide’s maritime heritage and enjoying a more laid-back vibe.

Accommodation Options:

  • Quest Port Adelaide: A modern apartment hotel offering spacious and comfortable self-serviced accommodations, perfect for families or longer stays.
  • Largs Pier Hotel: Boasting a blend of historic charm and contemporary luxury, the Largs Pier Hotel offers guests beautifully appointed rooms with stunning seaside views, located in the Port Adelaide district.
A multi-story hotel with a plane flying overhead
Photo credit: Mark Lane, Atura Adelaide Airport, Adelaide

Airport Accommodation for an Early Flight

With the Adelaide Airport located only ten minutes from the city centre and not much further than that from Glenelg, there isn’t a huge need for airport accommodation, but if you are simply passing through the city, there are some options.

An obvious choice is the Atura Adelaide Airport hotel, a modern hotel just metres from the terminal. This is perfect for those 6 am flights when every extra minute of sleep is a bonus.

There are also three other nearby options that I would suggest when just looking for a place to sleep

  • Adelaide Airport Motel: A convenient and comfortable option for travellers, offering modern rooms with all the essentials, just minutes from the airport terminals.
  • Parador Inn by Adelaide Airport: This inn provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, featuring stylish rooms and excellent amenities, making it perfect for both short stays and longer layovers.
  • Nightcap at Rex Hotel: Offering a relaxed and friendly pub-style accommodation, the Nightcap at Rex Hotel combines comfort with the convenience of being close to both the airport and local attractions.

Even More Ideas

If you are driving into – or out of – Adelaide via the South Eastern Freeway, then there are several motels to be found along Glen Osmond Road from the bottom of the Freeway into the city.

This could be a good option if you want to avoid some traffic. It will also be much cheaper, both for your room and for car parking (which will probably be free)

While not an option yet, coming later in 2024 is a new Crowne Plaza hotel in the northern suburb of Mawson Lakes. It has good public transport with a train link straight into the city centre.

This will be a good option if you are coming into Adelaide from the north, or if you are planning a wine tasting in the Barossa.

And of course, any of the beach suburbs will be a great option, particularly if you have access to a car. Sometimes public transport can be a little lacking.

Now that you have your accommodation, read these next
10 Self-Drive Day Trips From Adelaide
Adelaide 3-Day Itinerary
100 Adelaide Experiences

Don’t forget to come on over and join the Facebook group for more South Australian inspiration and to get all your questions answeredClick here to join now.

Please share this post with a friend and pin it for later

Pinterest Pin for Best Areas to Stay in Adelaide showing a map of Adelaide with a red pin stuck in it
Pin Me
Josie sitting cross-legged in a garden
About the author

Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred, living here for her whole life. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.