6 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Adelaide

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Situated by the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges by the shores of Gulf St Vincent Adelaide is one of the most incredible and unique cities in Australia.

Adelaide was founded mainly by immigrants who were instrumental in building many of the city’s top sites, including its majestic churches, public spaces and memorable boulevards. 

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Although it was once overlooked in favour of Australia’s other more popular cities like Melbourne and Sydney, Adelaide has slowly established itself as one of the hottest destinations in the Land Down Under.

Today, the city is known worldwide for its sports venues, beaches, museums and other points of interest. If you’re looking to spend some time in this charming city, you might want to check out our list of top-rated tourist attractions in Adelaide. 

(Pro tip: To avoid having to drag your luggage around, look for an Adelaide storage locker where you can stow your heavy bags and other belongings.)


Art Gallery of South Australia

One of the top-rated tourist attractions in Adelaide - the inside the Art Gallery of South Australia

Located in the heart of North Terrace, Adelaide’s cultural precinct is the Art Gallery of South Australia. Founded in 1881, it is one of the city’s most visited attractions and home to one of the finest art collections in Australia.

The museum’s permanent collection consists of approximately 45,000 individual artworks (from both Australia and different parts of the world) and across every medium imaginable – from paintings, sculptures and photographs to metalwork, ceramics and textiles. 

While each piece on display here is impressive, the Art Gallery of South Australia is particularly renowned for its impressive collection of Australian artworks, particularly from different indigenous tribes.

Additionally, the gallery also hosts the Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Festival, also known as Tarnanthi Festival, held every year. 

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Traditional wrought iron gates leading into the Adelaide Botanic Garden

Established in 1856, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens is a 51-hectare public garden found in the heart of the city. The site is popular among locals and tourists who are looking to get away from the busy city life and be close to nature.

One of the oldest gardens in Australia, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens is filled with exotic plants, lush greenery and some ancient architectural features.

Located within the garden is the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, which features a series of permanent collections and touring exhibitions that teach the importance of plants and their vital role in everyday life.

Another must-see feature of the park is the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, which houses a range of at-risk and endangered plants that are native to Australia and other countries in the Pacific.

Whether you’re into botany or just wanting to unwind, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens is truly a must-visit when in the city.

Adelaide Central Market

A fruit and vegetable stand at a market

Most of the biggest cities in the world have their own major market but only a few can rival the glory of the Adelaide Central Market!

Sitting in the centre of the South Australian capital, the Adelaide Central Market was founded in 1869 and has since served as the hub of the city’s food and drink culture.

This is why it’s no surprise that the market is Adelaide’s most visited attraction, with over eight million visitors flocking to the market every year. 

The Adelaide Central Market has over 80 stalls selling all kinds of food, including fresh produce, local wines, gourmet cheeses, and local delicacies.

Numerous food stalls sell ready-to-eat dishes and products such as pastries, coffee and sandwiches, to name a few. I recommend Le Souk for its Algerian-inspired all-day breakfasts and delicious paella.

A lot of the locals come here to do some grocery shopping or even get a quick bite to eat. In an effort to be more environment-friendly, customers are also required to bring their own shopping bags when they buy from the market. 

(Pro tip: If you can, visit on a Saturday which is when vendors offer discounted prices to move their products quickly.)


Looking through a row of palm trees to a plaza and the beach beyond

While the city centre of Adelaide has more than enough attractions to keep you occupied, there are plenty of places not too far from the CBD that are worth exploring. One of these places is the charming seaside village of Glenelg.

Sitting on the shores of Holdfast Bay in Gulf St. Vincent, the town is only 25 minutes away via the tram, which makes it a popular destination for those who are looking to escape the city life for a while. 

One of the highlights of the village is the Glenelg Beach, Adelaide’s most popular city beach, which boasts a picturesque jetty, miles of golden sand and some of the most amazing sunsets in the city.

Another place worth checking out in the village of Glenelg is Jetty Road, a major shopping district where you can find a good mix of designer brands as well as locally-owned boutiques.

Adelaide Oval

A view across the playing field at Adelaide Oval. A cricket match is in progress, and a group of people can be seen taking part in the roof climb and are standing on top on the stand.

Widely regarded as the most beautiful cricket ground in the world, the Adelaide Oval is in the heart of the city and one of the attractions that you shouldn’t miss.

Opened in 1871, the stadium is best known as a venue for cricket, although it also hosts other sporting events throughout the year.

After undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2014, the stadium’s seating capacity has increased to 53,000 and now boasts more modern features. 

Whether or not you’re a fan of Australian sports, it would be a fun and memorable experience to watch one of the games held live at the Oval.

If you happen to visit on a non-game day, you can opt to join a guided tour of the stadium; these 90-minute tours take you through the different parts of the Oval while sharing stories of the building’s colourful history.

You can also join in with the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb and view the city from a different perspective. Lean out over the oval surface – if you dare!

South Australian Museum

Looking across a water feature to buildings beyond

Culture vultures and history lovers will definitely enjoy a visit to the South Australian Museum in the North Terrace. Established in 1856, it is both a museum and a research facility and offers an in-depth look into Australia’s natural history. 

The permanent collection consists of more than four million objects, including one of the world’s biggest collections of Aboriginal artifacts. The best part? Entrance to the South Australian Museum is free of charge!

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Want more things to do in Adelaide? Take a look at these posts next
100 Adelaide Experiences
10 Top Things to Do in Rundle Mall
Fun Tours in Adelaide City Centre

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.