Adelaide is Australia’s City of Churches and often isn’t as high on tourist’s Australia bucket list as larger cities like Sydney or Melbourne. In fact, two days in Adelaide is a perfect amount of time to get a sampler of this beautiful South Australian capital city – though there’s certainly much to continue to entertain you if you chose a longer stay.
In fact, Adelaide blew me away, particularly punching well above its weight in the food and bar scene as well as a coastline that absolutely rivals Australia’s most beautiful beaches.
The city is small enough that you can walk to most locations within the central area and there is a fantastic tram service that regularly departs for the coastal regions such as Glenelg Beach (around 30 mins from the city).
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Where to stay in Adelaide
There are a couple of location options for those visiting Adelaide. If you’re wanting to stay by the beach and commute into the city, then consider staying around Glenelg Beach where you’ll be able to easily catch the tram into town and back whilst you enjoy the pristine white sands and crystal clear waters of Adelaide’s most popular beach.
For those preferring to tackle Glenelg as a day trip, staying anywhere in the CBD will make access to the city’s culinary delights nice and easy.
If you’re planning a foodie holiday with lots of dinner reservations, then definitely take this option.
I stayed at the Hilton Adelaide which was lovely and has a fabulous outdoor rooftop pool, but you’ll find all the major hotel providers to choose from such as the Sofitel or the new Crowne Plaza – all of which look great.
What to do for two days in Adelaide?
Visit the Adelaide Central Market
The undercover food paradise that is the Adelaide Central Market is an unmissable to any two days in Adelaide itinerary. The market is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest undercover markets selling fresh produce.
One of the things I love the most about this market is that there are so may stalls serving up free tasting samples or small plates of their specialty which means you’re able to stroll around and try many different dishes.
I recommend the falafel and hommus from Real Falafel and the incredible prosciutto and mozzarella panini from Lucia’s as a starting point. If you’ve got time, consider a guided tour of the market which will give you the background of this wonderful attraction as well as plenty of opportunities to taste from the best vendors.
The Adelaide Central Market is located right next to Chinatown and trades Tuesday – Saturday.
Eat at Africola
Now, Adelaide is chock full of amazing restaurants and food adventures, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more unique dining experience than the extremely popular Africola.
Specialising in South African cuisine, this restaurant will have you smacking your lips and tasting flavours that your little tastebuds have never experienced before.
You’ll sit down and the waiters will bring out a selection of dishes from the menu. You can advise of any food allergies, but otherwise just let them bring the food so you can really sample a wide variety.
Some of our favourites were the Crispy Chicken Tea Sandwich with Peri Peri Drippings, the Padron Peppers and the Peri Peri Chicken with Mpumalunga Fire, Boom Chakalaka. Honestly, everything brought to the table was incredible.
Africola is hugely popular, so do make sure that you book in advance to avoid missing out.
Soak up the sun at Mosely Beach Club
Glenelg is the most convenient beach to travel to from Adelaide’s CBD with a tram line that drops visitors off right at the foreshore.
Whilst there’s plenty in Glenelg to amuse you, the Mosely Beach Club summer installation brings a bit of European Riviera fun to South Australia with striped umbrellas and lounges on the sand by the Glenelg Jetty that feels oh so much like being back in Nice.
There’s no better way to marvel at the beauty of the spotless white sands of the Adelaide coast than with an Aperol Spritz in hand.
You can book a lounge area at the Mosely Beach Club, as it does get packed. However, there are areas for walk ins so if you’re travelling solo or in a couple, you’ll probably be able to find a seat if you’re patient.
Visit for a few sundowners, and catch Adelaide’s golden hour from this unique vantage point.
Grab brunch at Crack Kitchen
Just like bars and restaurants, Adelaide has plenty of options for coffee and brunch fare. Except on Sundays. I was flabbergasted that the city basically is entirely shut on Sunday morning – which is PEAK BRUNCH TIME!
Luckily, Crack Coffee was around the corner from my hotel and just happened to be recommended to me by the lovely waiter who served me at Africola… and it was open. Thank the coffee gods for that!
Jokes aside, Crack Café pumps out strong, milky lattes that definitely hit the spot for me. And their waffles with milk sorbet, chocolate and salted caramel were a work of art on a plate.
Just be prepared that if you visit on a Sunday, they will be busy since they seem to be the only place open!
Experience Italy in Adelaide at Osteria Oggi
It might seem odd after eating somewhere as adventurous as Africola, that we opted for an Italian restaurant for our second dinner.
But let me tell you that Osteria Oggi is no basic Italian restaurant. This place is like a slice of Italy in Adelaide.
The dishes are authentic, made perfectly and whilst they might be familiar foods such as ragu or carbonara, I guarantee you’ve never tasted those dishes quite like this before.
The carbonara came out with a raw egg on top of the plate ready to be stirred in fresh at the table. Mixed with a juicy guanciale (pig cheek) instead of the basic bacon you get in most run of the mill Italian restaurants, this dish blew my mind. I’m still drooling just writing this.
The mark of a real good authentic Italian restaurant is often found in their selection of apertivos and Osteria Oggi definitely delivers in this department, too.
Take in a view of the city from the summit of Mt Lofty
For breathtaking views of the Adelaide CBD stretching all the way out to the coastline, a visit to Mount Lofty Summit is a must.
Located out in the Adelaide Hills area, I’ve included this one in my list of things to do in Adelaide, because even if you don’t make it further than Mt Lofty to explore the Hills, the view here should definitely be on your bucket list.
The summit also affords energetic visitors to undertake one of the walking tracks around the area ranging from a quick 15-minute circuit to a longer, more arduous tramp.
To get to Mount Lofty from the CBD, you can either drive there (plenty of parking) or catch a bus and walk the rest of the way to the summit.
… just outside Adelaide
Consider extending your stay in Adelaide and surrounds further so that you venture further afield into the magical Adelaide Hills region where you can visit Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf. It truly feels like you’ve been teleported across the world to a beautiful European old town where sandstone buildings and traditional German food are in plentiful demand.
The Adelaide Hills are also home to many wineries, with the region specialising in Pinot Noir varietals. For foodies, exploring the Beerenburg Strawberry Farm is also a must, where visitors can pick their own fresh strawberries and enjoy local produce at the Beerenburg cafe.
Getting to the Adelaide Hills from Adelaide CBD is an easy 30 minute drive from the city if you’ve hired your own car or it will take 50 minutes on the public bus.
… and a little further afield
Adelaide is blessed with several major wine regions only a short drive away. One of Australia’s most beloved wine regions, the Barossa Valley is a mere hour away from the CBD. If you have time to extend your stay and feel like a couple of days out in wine country, this is the place to do it.
McLaren Vale is also less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide’s CBD and whilst the Barossa is arguably the most famous, this wine region also rates highly with visitors that love their Shiraz.
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