Arriving in a new city by air can be daunting. Airports are often big, confusing places and you arrive tired and just want to get to your accommodation. But how do you get there? If you haven’t planned it in advance it can leave you standing in the middle of the airport with all your luggage wondering what to do next. The post will give you all the details for how to get from Adelaide Airport to city, so you can plan in advance and land with confidence.
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- 1 Where is Adelaide Airport
- 2 How to Get from Adelaide Airport to the City
- 3 How to get from Adelaide Airport to Glenelg.
- 4 Adelaide Airport Hotel
Where is Adelaide Airport
We are lucky in Adelaide, the airport is not outside the city limits with an hour or more commute to the city centre that is common in so many cities around the world. Instead, it only takes about 10-15 minutes to get from Adelaide Airport to the city centre by car. This central location makes it a much easier journey into the city to start your South Australian holiday.
How to Get from Adelaide Airport to the City
What would be fantastic would be if there was a cheap, direct train or light rail option to get into the city centre, but unfortunately that is not the case at the moment. There are always discussions about this, and hopefully sometime in the future this will be the case. Until then, here are all the options for getting from Adelaide Airport to Adelaide City centre.
Adelaide Airport Bus to City Centre
There are four public buses that pass through the Adelaide Airport, two of which go via the city. They are collectively called the JetBus:
- J1: Elizabeth to Glenelg via city
- J2: Greenwith to Harbour Town via city
- J7: West Lakes to Marion Shopping Centre
- J8: West Lakes to Marion Shopping Centre
To get to the bus from Adelaide Airport to City, you will need to catch either the J1 or J2 – and you will be looking for the ones travelling to Elizabeth & Greenwith, not Glenelg nor Harbour Town as they are going in the opposite directions. In the city, the buses run from one side to the other along Currie & Grenfell Streets, so choose the stop that is nearest your accommodation. You can see a map of the routes here. The trip into the city on the bus will take 25-30 minutes.
The bus stop can be found a short walk from the airport exit. Make your way diagonally left across the plaza until you meet the road, then turn to your left. The bus stop is around 50m along the road on the same side.
These buses run on the Adelaide public transport system, so if you have a MetroCard you can use that to catch the bus. If you don’t have a card, there is a yellow ticket machine located at the bus stop where you can purchase a single ticket to get you into the city centre. An adult ticket is currently $5.80 (August 2021) but depending on the time of day (between 9am & 3pm weekdays, all day Sundays and public holidays), you may be able to get an off-peak ticket for $3.90.
To catch the bus to Adelaide Airport on your way home, there will be a bus stop approximately opposite the road where you got off. This time you are looking for the buses going to Glenelg and Harbour Town.
Adelaide Airport Shuttle to City Centre
NOTE: Covid has temporarily suspended these services with lack of both international and interstate flights diminishing demand – but I have been assured they will begin again when international flights resume, so I will leave the information here for now and update when I know more.
If you would prefer to be taken directly to your accommodation in the city centre but still don’t want to break the bank, then there is a very affordable shuttle bus option. The Northern Flyer has an Airport City Shuttle that runs approximately every half an hour and costs just $10 for your trip into the city.
There is no need to book the shuttle in advance, rather just go to the desk on arrival and pay then. You will find the desk straight in front of you as you come down the escalators from a domestic flight into the baggage hall. From international arrivals, turn left and walk a few metres towards the domestic baggage hall and the desk is on your right. Look out for the orange “City Shuttle” sign.
The shuttles generally operate from 8am – 9pm during the week, and 8am to 5pm on the weekends, so if you are arriving outside these times or near the limits, give them a call (+61 433 533 718) to confirm the service will be running.
On your departure from Adelaide, you will need to give them a call 24hours in advance to book the time for your shuttle bus to Adelaide Airport.
Looking for a shuttle bus to other locations in Adelaide, including private residences? Take a look at the Adelaide Airport Flyer.
Adelaide Airport Transfers by Private Car
If you prefer to arrive in a new location and see a person with your name on a card waiting for you, then this is the option for you. It’s also a great option sometimes if you have 3-4 people as the price per person becomes quite reasonable. Sometimes too you just want to know that everything is sorted before you arrive and you can relax and start your holiday. Here are a few options you might like to consider for your private transfer from Adelaide Airport to city:
- Adelaide Airport Private Chauffered Transfer – A stock standard private transfer from Adelaide Airport
- Round Trip Transfer in Private Vehicle – Book your round trip now so that your transport to Adelaide Airport is already organised, making for a hassle free holiday
- Adelaide Airport Arrival Transfer in a Tesla – Either indulge your chance to try one of these luxury cars, or do you bit for the environment with the transfers from Adelaide Airport to city.
- Private Minivan Transfer – If you have a larger group or lots of luggage, then a minivan transfer may be the best way to go (you can also book this as a round trip too if you prefer)
Adelaide Airport Car Hire
As usual, if you are looking for a hire car, Adelaide Airport has a whole selection of popular car hire companies located within the terminal. You can find the hire car desks to the left as you come down the escalators, opposite the baggage carousels. To ensure that the car you would like to hire is available for you on arrival, I recommend you book in advance. I use and recommend Rental Cars to search for and book cars as one search covers all of the car rental companies, and compares them on the same page.
Uber Adelaide Airport to City
Uber, and other ride share companies, are available at Adelaide Airport. When you book you will be directed to the ride Share pick up location. To get there, as you leave the airport, head to the left, diagonally crossing the plaza. You will see pedestrian lights to cross the road, and once across, the Ride Share area is just to the left. It will only take you 2-3 minutes to walk, and there are signs to follow along the way.
While Uber fees are variable depending on time and demand, expect to pay around $20-$25 to get into the city centre. Note that there is a $3 Adelaide Airport-imposed fee on all vehicles leaving the airport.
Uber may be the most popular, but you can also use other ride share providers in Adelaide too. Companies such as Ola, Go Catch, Shebah and MyCar will pick you up here too.
Taxi Adelaide Airport to City
As always, taxi transport from Adelaide Airport to city is available too. To find the taxis, walk across the plaza outside the airport towards the left hand side and you should see a line of taxis waiting to take you to your destination. Make your way to the front of the line and jump in the first available cab.
Taxi fares to the city should be around the $20-$25 mark. While we don’t generally have an issue in Australia, still ensure the meter is running on your trip. Again, taxi’s will charge you the extra $3 airport fee on top of the metered tariff.
Note: Taxi drivers should not enter the airport to tout for business. If you are approached by anyone in the terminal offering to drive you, politely decline and walk on. They could be trying to scam you. While this is rare (in fact I’ve never heard of it happening in Adelaide) it has happened at interstate airports so it’s always possible that it could happen here too.
Where to Find the Transport Options
Here’s a little video I took when exiting the airport to show you where to find taxis, buses and the ride share waiting area.
How to get from Adelaide Airport to Glenelg.
The other place in Adelaide that visitors often want to go to is Glenelg. Many of the options above, such as private transfers, taxi’s and Uber will also get you to Glenelg. Visitors can also catch the J1 bus in the opposite direction to Glenelg. There does not appear to be a shuttle bus option at the moment, but perhaps once Covid passes, that will be remedied.
Adelaide Airport Hotel
If you are arriving into Adelaide late in the evening or you have a very early flight when you depart, you may prefer to spend the night at the Atura Adelaide Airport hotel. The hotel is literally meters from the door of the airport – there’s not even a road to cross. The hotel was only opened in 2018 and has a contemporary, modern feel. Some of the higher rooms have views over the runway, perfect for the plane spotters in your group. The onsite restaurant continues the airport theme; it’s called the Hangar Bar & Grill.
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Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred. She has lived in the state for almost her whole life, just one short stint away as a teenager with her family. 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.