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A Guide to Living in Adelaide

If you’re looking for a city that’s vibrant, culturally rich, exciting and beautiful, Adelaide may just be the right place.

Adelaide, with its parklands and green gardens, is not only attractive, it is also extremely easy to get around in. The city is one of the few places in Australia that was planned before it was built and the simple grid of streets makes it easy to wander around, without getting lost.

Adelaide is a big city, but it doesn’t get the crazy level of busy you come across in other bigger cities in Australia, like Melbourne and Sydney. The city and its locals welcome you with a friendly and relaxed attitude into their welcoming community. With its open and wide streets, trees lining their sides and large areas of recreational parkland, Adelaide creates a feeling of unique spaciousness.

Things to do

Adelaide Fringe Festival

South Australia calls itself ‘Festival State’ and has every reason to do so! The Adelaide Fringe Festival is the state’s most well-known and popular event of the year. Running every year in March, the city attracts thousands of comedians, artists, musicians, and street performers. You can feel a completely different buzz across the entire city for a month, which both tourists and locals thoroughly enjoy.

Adelaide Hills

Food, wine and friendly locals – these are the top three things the Adelaide Hills are known for. If you’re looking to experience something different, try some freshly baked goods from one of the many bakeries in Stirling or go for a stroll around Hahndorf, an old German settlement.

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is only a short ferry ride from Cape Jervis and offers stunning nature and wildlife. Expect to get close to echidnas, koalas and even wild kangaroos and make sure you stop at Seal Bay to see some sea lions. Other options include caving, exploring sand dunes or going for a swim at Vivonne Bay.

Average weekly costs

  • Rent: $135-385
  • Food: $90-135
  • Electricity/gas: $40-55
  • Transport: $20-35
  • Internet/phone: $20-40
  • Other: $50+
  • Total: $350-700


Train or tram

Adelaide offers six train lines, from the Adelaide railway station to Belair, Gawler, Tonsley, Grange, Seaford and Outer Harbor, and one tram line.

The tram line runs from the Adelaide Entertainment Centre (AEC) to Glenelg and is free from the AEC to South Terrace as well as between Brighton Rd & Moseley Square, Glenelg. Make sure you catch the tram down to Glenelg whilst you’re in Adelaide.


Buses are often the best option to get around Adelaide. They run every 15 minutes on routes close to the city and either every 1/2 hour or hour in the outer suburbs. You can buy tickets from the bus driver using your MetroCard. If you’re in the city centre and need to go somewhere, there’s a free City Connector bus service between the city and North Adelaide.


Adelaide offers a few taxi ranks spread across the city. Here you can line up and get a taxi. Otherwise you can always try hailing one from the side of the street.


Uber X launched in Adelaide in July 2016. The app has been quickly taken up by the city. You can catch a ride without having to worry about safety due to the usual driver background checks.

Adelaide’s suburbs

City Centre

Apart from outstanding cafes, restaurants and bars, the city centre also offers Southern Australia’s oldest libraries, art galleries and buildings. Make sure to also browse the many shops and markets, as well as the beautiful botanic garden.

North Adelaide

Just across the River Torrens, with its stunning views and bridges, lies North Adelaide. This is the historic part of Adelaide and home to the city’s biggest sporting ground. And if you’re feeling a little hungry, North Adelaide offers a wide range of dining options.

Inner East

Heading out of the city centre for just a few minutes you can check out the Inner East’s hip cafes and pretty hotels. Stroll down the Parade and find some of your new favourite places.

Inner West

Right at the end of the free tram line are the joys of the Inner West. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a diverse community, a whole range of entertainment options and almost unlimited eateries.

Inner South

The Inner South offers the perfect Sunday: Sit down for a delicious brunch, watch a movie in a classic cinema and then enjoy dinner at one of the many dining options.

Adelaide’s Top 5s


  • Art Gallery of South Australia
  • Fontanelle
  • Samstag Museum of Art
  • Tandanya
  • FELTspace


  • Red Door Bakery
  • Abbots and Kinney
  • Hyde Park Bakery
  • Bakery on O’Connell
  • La Madeleine


  • Central Market
  • Market Shed on Holland
  • Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers’ Market
  • Gilles Street Market
  • City East Markets

Music venues

  • The Gov
  • The Jade
  • Thebarton Theatre
  • HQ
  • Grace Emily

Late night desserts

  • Elephant Walk
  • Fifty 61
  • Eggless
  • Spats
  • Dessert Story

Quick Facts

State: South Australia

Population: 1.3 million

Popular sports: Australian Rules Football, soccer, cricket, netball, and basketball

Traditional owners: Kaurna people

Famous Adelaideans: Sir Donald Bradman, Lleyton Hewitt, Bon Scott

Things to see if you had 24 hours in Adelaide: Cleland Conservation Park, Glenelg Beach, Adelaide Botanic Garden

International student support: Study in South Australia (and IDP, of course)

Public transport: Adelaide Metro

IDP office: Click here

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