Last updated on February 28, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, travelling and making photos for 20 years. Read more Where To Stay

Where to stay in Adelaide and Adelaide Hills

Not many travellers venture to South Australia and this is a pity because it’s really a great off the beaten path state of Australia.

This guide will help you to identify the best places to stay in Adelaide, the best area to book your hotel or AirBnb.

And you know the greatest stuff?

The post as been updated with 2020 content, no old stuff. In this new release, I have added also a new area, Kent Town

Pier at the Glenelg Beach
Pier at the Glenelg Beach

Before your trip, I also suggest checking out the Advertiser website, the Adelaide newspaper with plenty of information on local events.

Best place to stay in Adelaide – In a nutshell

  • Best places to stay in Adelaide near the beach: Glenelg for nice hotels and bars meanwhile West Beach for a more secluded stay.
  • Where to stay in Adelaide for one night or two: CBD is the best neighborhood to be close to most of the attractions that Adelaide has to offer and it’s just a short tram away from the beach
  • Where to stay in Adelaide with family: Glenelg if you like to spend some time with the kids at the beach besides the museums and attractions that the city has to offer. A great alternative is North Adelaide, much greener and with plenty of open space for the kids to run around
  • Best place to stay in Adelaide on a budget: the CBD is the best bet for hostels, the Central YHA is a great one.
  • Best places to stay in Adelaide Hills – For wineries and nature: the Mount Lofty House MGallery has one of the most amazing views in the state I believe. Book there for a memorable stay. Read more about Adelaide Hills.
  • Here below the top experiences you should not miss in Adelaide:
  • You may explore the Adelaide Hills on your own however the drawback is that someone cannot taste as many wines. My recommended website to rent a car is RentalCars.com. This is a Booking.com owned website that compares prices from over 30 rental companies. I always had the best deals here

    Best deal at RentalCars today

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Best areas to stay in Adelaide

The capital of South Australia is quite a simple city to navigate. There is a city centre (CBD – Central Business District), a few interesting neighbourhoods around it and a couple of beach sites that should not be missed.

Here are the best areas to stay in Adelaide on a map.

Best areas to stay in Adelaide
Best areas to stay in Adelaide (See interactive Google Map)

CBD – The City Centre

One of the best places to stay in Adelaide is the City Centre.

This place is known to be both easily accessible and remarkably live.

There are also several hotels to choose from, depending on your taste and preference.

The City Center is located only 4 miles from the Adelaide International Airport. With a taxi, it will take you 15 minutes only to get to the CBD (expect $25-$30).

The CBD is more popular with business offices than apartments, however, this trend has been changing in the last few years

I love the streets of the city, organised in a simple grid. And from there you can access the Karrawirra River Banks with its beautiful park and the Football Oval.

You will love every single aspect of Adelaide city centre.

View of the Adelaide CBD from Victoria Square
View of the Adelaide CBD from Victoria Square

Several entertainment facilities are available in the area.

These places include Rocket Bar and Rooftop, Maybe Mae and Hennessey rooftop bars.

During the day you can tour areas such as Art gallery of South Australia where you will get to see more than 30,000 incredible artwork.

You can also visit the South Australian Museum if you want to learn more about Australian Culture.

There are also several restaurants where you can get served a great selection of local dishes. The Golden Boy is still one of my favourites, a bit formal, a bit casual, always serving great Thai inspired dishes.

This is so far what makes Adelaide CBD great for anyone who is wondering about where to stay in Adelaide.

North Adelaide, 2km north of the city

North Adelaide is a much quieter area if compared to CBD. It’s a great neighborood to stay if travelling with family and kids.

It’s only 2km from the city centre and surrounded by several parks and playgrounds where you can take some time off with your kids.

There are a few eateries and pubs, but definitely not the best place to stay in Adelaide if you are looking for nightlife.

The Oxford Hotel in North Adelaide
The Oxford Hotel in North Adelaide

You will find a number of hotels where you can spend the night, however, not as many as in the CBD

You may check out the inexpensive Wellington Hotel that is on the opposite side of Wellington Square. They have a good selection of pub dishes.

Another mention goes to the Ruby Red Flamingo, with an Italian inspired menu, perfect for dining with kids.

You can then take a walk to the Reservoir Park where you can experience the typical South Australian fauna.

Or you can go to the Glover Playground where your kids can have a great playtime.

Glenelg, the main beach area

Glenelg is a suburb located 11km east of the city, right on the coast.

It is by far among one the most appealing places to stay in Adelaide thanks to its beautiful location, right in the middle of Holdfast bay.

There is a direct tram that runs from Adelaide CBD to Glenelg which makes it very convenient if you plan to enjoy the beach but still visit a few of the city attractions.

Glenelg Beach
Glenelg Beach

Once in Glenelg, have a walk to the Holdfast Marina area, where you can also have a nice dinner, like in the inexpensive and informal Oyster Bar Holdfast.

West Beach

West Beach is the best place to stay in Adelaide if you are looking for a laid back destination.

It’s a beach north of Glenelg, popular with water activities as kitesurfing and swimming, or just walks along the beach

Watersports at the beach
Watersports at the beach

You can also practice some golf at the West Beach Parks Golf, just a few hundreds of meters from the beach.

West Beach is a friendly place, where you will meet plenty of locals, always open for a chat.

Norwood & Kent Town

Most people who have visited Norwood & Kent Town, the closest neighbourhood east of the CBD, will tell you how interesting this area is.

It has gone through a great change with plenty of interesting shops, cafes and eateries, mostly along The Parade

You will find great dining places like Argo on the Parade, which is a hip busy café with great food.

From there, walk to the Aqua Boutique, which is known for its interesting apparel designs.

And if you need a haircut than book your slot at the Bladez Barber Shop, one of the best in Adelaide.

German pub in Hahndorf - Adelaide Hills
German pub in the “German” village of Hahndorf – Adelaide Hills

Best places to stay in Adelaide near the beach – Glenelg and West Beach.

Both Glenelg and West Beach are the areas to be if you are looking for a place to stay in Adelaide near the beach.

West Beach is more of a secluded neighbourhood, famous also for the Big 4 Camping area. 

It’s well connected by bus (J1) to the city centre (~30 minutes trip)

The Selene Seaside Apartment is a great accommodation located 150m from the waterbody. This place offers free Wi-Fi, free parking and entertainment facilities, among others. A great quiet place to spend your holiday.

Latest deal at the Selene

Selene Holiday Seaside Apartment
Selene Holiday Seaside Apartment

Glenelg has instead several remarkable hotels where you can stay and have a fabulous experience.

There is also a good selection of restaurants and cafe. Overall a great neighbourhood to stay if you want to have some beach lifestyle.

If you are after a great view then book at the Oaks Plaza Pier, located on the beachfront. Remember to specify a sea view room and make sure you are on the higher floors to avoid the noise of the ground-level bar. They have a fitness centre and a beach centre which is fitted with Free Wi-Fi.

Check availability at the Oaks Plaza Pier

Oaks Plaza Pier Apartment
Oaks Plaza Pier Apartment

The Stamford Grand is a luxury hotel that comes with so many advantages. First it is located at the beachfront, and second, it is surrounded by places where you can shop, dine and get entertained. The hotel also provides several amenities such as a fitness centre, a spa and a pool.

Check availability at the Stamford Grand

Stamford Grand Adelaide
Stamford Grand Adelaide

Where to stay in Adelaide for one night or two – CBD

If you are looking to spend a night or two in Adelaide, you can go ahead and pick one of the great hotels situated in the CBD.

From the CBD you can easily experience the city and most of the attractions of Adelaide. You can also take a 25 minutes tram to Glenelg if you are after a few hours of sunbathing.

The CBD also offers the best restaurants and cocktail bars

The InterContinental is one of the best places to stay in the CBD, with a great atmosphere and amazing food too. It is situated also close to the main station, which makes it very convenient. The rooms are stunning, and the view is impressive. And of course, there is a great swimming pool with a handy gym. 

Check availability at the InterContinental

InterContinental Adelaide
InterContinental Adelaide

Where to stay in Adelaide with family – Glenelg or North Adelaide

In case you are planning to visit Adelaide with your family then I would suggest two areas.

Glenelg is a great destination if you want to mix sightseeing with some beach time. 

The beach area is not famous for parties, it is instead a quiet place to spend a great relaxed stay.

The alternative is North Adelaide. This is also a very quiet area, surrounded by parks and playgrounds.

It’s only 2 km from the city centre which makes it ideal for a holiday of attractions and an easy time at the park with the kids.

The North Adelaide Heritage Cottages are known to offer some of the best services that will suit you and your family. Each room is fitted with a TV and a DVD for entertainment. They provide fully equipped kitchens that you can use to prepare meals for your family.

Check latest deal at the Cottages

North Adelaide Heritage Cottages
North Adelaide Heritage Cottages

Best place to stay in Adelaide on a budget

If you are looking for the best place to stay in Adelaide without spending too much then you are better off staying outside the CBD.

If you are arriving by car then you can find a few motels on the main roads entering the city as Glen Osmond Road.

In this way, you will be able to spend less than $100 for a double/night

The alternative is to book in a hostel as the Adelaide Central YHA, right in the CBD. In doing so you will get to enjoy also the Adelaide nightlife, almost next door to the Hostel.

Check latest deal at the Central YHA

Adelaide Central YHA
Adelaide Central YHA

Best places to stay in Adelaide Hills – For wineries and nature

Adelaide Hills is an attractive and appealing place to stay thanks to its vast vegetation cover.

Once you set foot on Adelaide Hills, you will be impressed by the jaw-dropping view.

There is not really an “Adelaide Hills” town as such, it’s more of an area.

Go ahead and find a nice hotel to relax as you enjoy some of the most scenic views in Adelaide.

One such place includes Mount Lofty House MGallery, which can be accessed by Mawson drive. The place offers an undistracted view of the rich vegetation cover on the Piccadilly Valley. It is also known to be one of the most romantic places to stay in Adelaide Hills for couples.

Check availability at the Mount Lofty House

Mount Lofty House MGallery
Mount Lofty House MGallery

You can take a drive to the beautiful botanic gardens and stroll around while admiring its impressive natural panorama and abundant fresh air.

Even though the botanic garden is usually appealing all year round, plan a summer visit to get the best of it.

Wineries of Adelaide Hills

The next thing on your list should be to visit the amazing Wineries scattered all over Adelaide Hills.

You can enjoy tasty wines at places such as

among many others.

For a fine dining experience book a table at the Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant. They are known to prepare some of the best tasty foods in the Adelaide hills.

There are also other restaurants that will offer you not only a great meal but also a beautiful place to spend a day or two.

Riding in the Adelaide Hills
Riding in the Adelaide Hills

Elegant accommodations can be experienced in the Starling Golf Club, or if you have a family, you can stay in Hahndorf town, a German enclave of Australia.

On your second day, you can decide to visit some of the most renowned places in the area such as the Cleland Wildlife Park and the Mount Lofty Summit.

The summit offers an excellent viewpoint where you can see the whole of Adelaide Hills.

Stay in Barossa Valley or just a day trip?

Barossa Valley is a renowned wine-producing area in Adelaide.

This is a place where you can visit and get a taste of some of the most remarkable wines you have ever tasted.

Walking inside the Seppeltsfield Winery
Walking inside the Seppeltsfield Winery

Should I stay in the Barossa Valley or just a day trip?

A day trip will give you a great idea of the Barossa Valley, with the possibility to visit a few wineries and taste some of the greatest wines produced in Australia

I would probably stay in Barossa only on a second or third trip or if I am planning to do a local wine course.

Entrance to the famous Seppeltsfield Winery in the Barossa Valley
Entrance to the famous Seppeltsfield Winery in the Barossa Valley
Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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