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
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:
- the Oval 2-Hour Rooftop Climb, really a unique time and view
- the stadium tour, for the sport addicted
- a river cruise through the city
- a Kangaroo Island full day tour, expensive but sooooo beautiful
- the spectacular Dolphin Sanctuary tour with the kayak, great for families and couples
- Barossa Valley & Adelaide Hills wine tour with a visit to Hahndorf, the German town
- 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
In this article you will see
- 1 Best place to stay in Adelaide – In a nutshell
- 2 Best areas to stay in Adelaide
- 3 Best places to stay in Adelaide near the beach – Glenelg and West Beach.
- 4 Where to stay in Adelaide for one night or two – CBD
- 5 Where to stay in Adelaide with family – Glenelg or North Adelaide
- 6 Best place to stay in Adelaide on a budget
- 7 Best places to stay in Adelaide Hills – For wineries and nature
- 8 Stay in Barossa Valley or just a day trip?
You can read also
- How to get from Adelaide to Melbourne
- Where to stay in Melbourne
- Places to visit in Melbourne, including a few secret locations
- The Great Ocean Road drive with itineraries for 2 or more days
- Where to stay in the Great Ocean Road
- Gallery of the best photos of Melbourne and Australia
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.
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.
Several entertainment facilities are available in the area.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.