See & Do

Ultimate Adelaide itinerary: What to do in 48 hours


Posted on 04 Apr 2019

If you’re only in town for a short stay, you’re in luck. Here’s our super-charged itinerary for 48 Hours in Adelaide. It's the best of the best.

Day one

Morning

There’s no better way to start the day than a workout, with the beautiful Adelaide Park Lands as your backdrop. Start with a jog or stroll around the Riverbank Precinct where the breathtaking view of the River Torrens at dusk will leave you feeling inspired for the entire day. Continue your journey past Adelaide Oval, the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to the East End for a hearty feed. Along Rundle Street and its surrounds, you’ll find plenty of eclectic cafes and some of the best restaurants in South Australia. It goes unsaid that the coffee is excellent too! Lonely Planet named Adelaide as one of the world’s best street art cities. You’ll spot plenty of beautiful murals and sculptures through the streets of the East End. Keep your eyes peeled for bursts of creativity around every corner.

Explore the best of fashion on Rundle Street, which is home to the greatest number of boutiques in South Australia. There are designers like Zimmermann bringing runway trends to your fingertips, vintage boutiques and an abundance of local talent. Wander down to Rundle Mall, Australia’s first pedestrian mall, where there are more than 700 retailers. ‘The Spheres’, fondly known to locals as the Mall’s Balls, is a large sculpture and easy meeting spot.

From Rundle Mall, you can soak in the arts on North Terrace. Here you will find the Art Gallery of South Australia, Migration Museum and South Australian Museum. You’ll also find the Mortlock Wing in the State Library of South Australia. It was voted one of the most beautiful libraries in the world and has a distinct Harry Potter-esque vibe! Elder Hall at the University of Adelaide quite often have concerts at lunchtime so pop your head in to possibly catch some live music.

Afternoon

Hop on the free tram on King William Street and make a pitstop at Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga. There are quite often events and activities underway and you might even be treated to a food-truck lunch.

You can also head to the Adelaide Central Market for the ultimate foodie experience. It’s the largest covered market in the Southern Hemisphere and has been bringing the tastes of the world to Adelaide for over 150 years. Wander the stalls where you will find everything from gourmet chocolate to homemade pasta, seafood and fresh bread, smallgoods to cheese, plus fresh fruit and vegetables. If you’re lucky, there will be ample amounts of free tasting. It’s also the perfect place to pick up some delicious pressies for your avid foodie friends.

Continue the adventure through the West End. Pop into MOD. UniSA’s Museum of Discovery, a future focused museum at the intersection of science, art and innovation. The exhibition changes twice a year and is interactive and engaging.

Evening

Not to show off, but Lonely Planet also named the West End one of the top three coolest neighbourhoods in Australia - with good reason! Peel Street, Leigh Street and Bank Street are just a few of the laneways lined with boutique bars and celebrated restaurants that are guaranteed to both surprise and delight.

Adelaide has cemented itself as a foodie hot spot. Six of thirteen South Australian restaurants that made the cut for AFR’s 2018 Top 100 Restaurants in Australia happen to be right in the heart of the city! The city is a melting pot of cuisines from around the world, good ol’ fashioned pubs and restaurants pushing the boundaries. Hutt Street is home to Adelaide icons like Chianti and House of Chow, while the laneways off Hindley Street mix hole-in-the-wall ‘street-eat’ offerings with restaurants like Peel Street Restaurant that nail the art of culinary creativity.

For some post-dinner entertainment, check out what’s on at the Adelaide Festival Centre for some big names and Broadway hits, or laugh out loud at a comedy show at Rhino Room. After a coffee or a night-cap? There are plenty of city haunts that will satisfy your night-time cravings. If you’re a real night owl, the Original Pancake Kitchen on Gilbert Place and Bakery on O’Connell in North Adelaide are both open 24/7.

Day 2

Morning

Hop on the free City Connector bus for a leisurely day in North Adelaide. After a delicious brekky on Melbourne Street take a stroll and immerse yourself in the gorgeous colonial architecture. Make your way to Light’s Vision on Montefiore Hill where there’s a statue of Adelaide’s first surveyor-general, Colonel William Light. From the lookout, you’ll get stunning, sweeping views of the Park Lands and city.

From here, continue up to O’Connell Street, a strip of more than 40 restaurants, cafes, pubs and boutiques. Shop to your heart’s content or pop your feet up and grab a drink. If you’re up for something more active, head to the Adelaide Aquatic Centre for a paddle or enjoy a round of golf at the scenic North Adelaide Golf Course. Be sure to check out the Adelaide Zoo, Australia’s second oldest zoo. There are over 3,000 exotic and native animals in this green oasis, including Wang Wang and Funi - the only Giant Pandas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Afternoon

The picturesque Adelaide Botanic Gardens sprawls across 23 hectares of the city. Take a guided tour or wander at your own leisure through the luscious gardens. The Botanic Gardens are much more than flora and fauna and is rich with breathtaking architecture, museums and more. For a truly special experience, have lunch at the iconic Botanic Gardens Restaurant or have a picnic in the tranquil Rundle Park / Kadlitpina in the Eastern Park Lands, a stone’s throw away from the East End.

Explore the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, the oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts centre in Australia. Tandanya fuses heritage, present day and the hope of the future through the rich stories and art of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Book onto an EcoCaddy guided tour in an electric- assisted pedicab, feel the wind in your hair as you explore the city highlights and Park Lands. Finish the tour at TreeClimb, Australia’s first inner-city aerial adventure park built within the natural environment of the southern Park Lands. Enjoy the fresh air and views while you’re up in the tree canopies tackling one of their 7 aerial courses.

Evening

Gouger Street is an Adelaide favourite for those who are looking for variety. From Mexican to Thai cuisine, the street is lined with restaurants suiting any budget.

For a nightcap, explore the city’s laneway bars. Boutique bars are aplenty and watering holes like 55ml, Pink Moon Saloon, Proof, Clever Little Tailor and Udaberri all have their own unique quirks. Lotus Lounge and Botanic Bar serve some of the best cocktails in the city however if you fancy a cocktail with a view rooftop bar, 2KW and Hennessey Bar are sure crowd-pleasers Then, it’s time to finish the night off on a high note! Adelaide is a UNESCO City of Music so live music and DJs are plentiful, providing the perfect conditions to dance the night away.