How to Get from Adelaide Airport to City

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Arriving in a new city by air can be daunting. 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.

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, it can leave you standing in the middle of the airport with all your luggage wondering what to do next.

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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 which 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.

Map showing the distance from Adelaide airport to city centre in Adelaide

So how far is Adelaide airport to city centre? It’s about 6km from Victoria Square or 6.5km from North Terrace. It is 7.5km from Glenelg.

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

Four public buses 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.

Bus shelter for the Jetbus services from Adelaide Airport to city centre

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 $6.20 (Oct 2023) but depending on the time of day (between 9 am & 3 pm weekdays, all day Sundays and public holidays), you may be able to get an off-peak ticket for $4.

Note: From late 2023 you will not need to purchase a ticket, just swipe and pay with a credit/debit card or your smart device if you have it set up. Fares will be $4.25 during peak hours and $2.40 for off-peak.

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.

More information about Adelaide public transport can be found on the Adelaide Metro website.

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 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

The rideshare waiting area at Adelaide Airport. A narrow roof over an area where people wait for Ubers to pull into the parks in front of it.

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

A view of the taxi rank outside of Adelaide Airport, showing one taxi and multiple barriers for people to line up in

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 at the taxi rank 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 $25-$30 mark. While we don’t generally have an issue in Australia, still ensure the meter is running on your trip. Again, taxis 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.

Adelaide Airport Shuttle to City Centre

Before Covid, there was a shuttle bus from Adelaide Airport to the city centre. While flights are beginning to come back, the city shuttle has not yet returned.

This will be updated with the details when the shuttle bus to Adelaide Airport begins again.

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, taxis and Uber will also get you to Glenelg.

Visitors can also catch the J1 bus in the opposite direction to go 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

View across the plaza in front of Adelaide Airport and the Altura Hotel which is 8 storeys tall and covered in glass. There is a plane taking off above the hotel.

If you are arriving in 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 metres 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 the Hangar Bar & Grill.


Still looking for the perfect Adelaide accommodation?
Take a look here at some of the best hotels in Adelaide to suit all budgets and styles


Now that you are in South Australia, these posts might help make your trip perfect
100 Adelaide Experiences
Must Try South Australian Food & Drinks
3-Day Adelaide Itinerary

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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.