Adelaide: city of churches, vineyards and funky festivals. There’s a ton to do here, from watching live music and wandering markets to exploring Adelaide Hills on a luxury food and wine tour.
But not every experience has to break the bank! Here are 7 awesome free things to do the next time you’re in Adelaide.
1. Get your culture fix
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Adelaide has heaps of incredible galleries and museums and most are free, so they’re friendly on your wallet! The Art Gallery of South Australia has over 38,000 works, which is more than enough to fill a (free) afternoon, and there’s even a free lunch time talk on Tuesdays presented by curators and artists. For a taste of local art, head to the Jam Factory, located in Adelaide’s West End Arts Precinct. This funky spot gives you the chance to visit artists’ studios and watch stunning contemporary art being made.
If you’re a history buff, or art just isn’t your thing, give the South Australian Museum a try. Inside the unique French chateau-style building is the world’s largest collections of Aboriginal artefacts and countless more exhibits from Egypt and the Pacific.
Plus – it’s right next door to the Art Gallery of South Australia, so you can save even more money on transport!
Art Gallery of South Australia
Address: North Terrace, Adelaide
Opening hours: daily, 10am-5pm
Address: 19 Morphett Street, Adelaide
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm
South Australian Museum
Address: North Terrace, Adelaide,
Opening hours: daily, 10am-5pm
2. Check out yummy produce at a market
With all of its fresh produce, Adelaide knows how to hold a market. The Central Market has been around for over 140 years and is the largest undercover market in the Southern Hemisphere. It has a bustling, crazy atmosphere and is an exciting way to spend a few hours as you wander the stalls. You’ll find everything you’re looking for with fresh fruit, artisan cheeses and succulent seafood galore. Keep your eyes out for vendors with free taste testers!
Adelaide Central Market
Address: 44/60 Gouger St, Adelaide
Opening hours: Tues 7am-5.30pm, Wed-Thurs 9am-5.30pm, Fri 7am-9pm, Sat 7am-3pm.
3. Try Haigh’s chocolate
You don’t have to spend a fortune to try some of Adelaide’s most famous chocolate. In fact, if you book a free guided walking tour of their factory, you’ll get to taste Haigh’s delicious chocolate for free! You can check out the factory where the magic happens and learn about the chocolate making process while you munch on a free sample… who could say no to that?
Address: 154 Greenhill Road, Parkside, Adelaide
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 8.30am-5.30pm, Fri-Sat 9:30am-5:00pm
4. Reach new heights
You can’t visit Adelaide without getting a photo for Instagram at Mount Lofty Peak, so lace up your runners and get climbing. Mount Lofty is Adelaide’s highest peak, and it has spectacular views to enjoy after your work out!
5. Drive the Barossa
Sure, the Barossa’s known for its pricy wine tours and exclusive restaurants, but take a day drive up here and you could see just as much for free! Take your time and explore all of the famous wineries, idyllic vineyards and rolling hills, and better yet, pick up some supplies at the Central Market for a yummy, cheap picnic lunch.
6. Escape into nature
It’s not only the Barossa Valley that has scenery and nature galore! In Adelaide city itself, there’s plenty of chances to escape into some greenery.
The Adelaide Botanical Gardens are a good place to start. Its 19 parks cover 45 percent of the city, so it’s hard to miss! There are lawns, a rose garden, tranquil ponds and a wetland that’s home to over 60,000 plants. Relax here for an hour or two or spend a whole day exploring the mixture of native and exotic plants.
Also in the city is Himeji Gardens. Smaller than the Botanic Gardens, but just as beautiful, this spot was a gift to Adelaide from their Japanese sister city Himeji in the 1980’s. It’s a little oasis in the middle of the bustling city, full of Japanese style gardens and leafy ponds. You could easily escape here for a day with a good book and cup of coffee .
Adelaide Botanical Gardens
Address: North Terrace, Adelaide, 5000
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 7.15am-sunset; Sat, Sun, 9am-sunset
Address: 283 South Terrace, Adelaide
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8am-5.30pm
7. Check out the churches!
Of course, you can’t miss this – it’s the city of churches after all. There’s St Peter’s Cathedral, St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Holy Trinity Anglican Church and Brougham Place Uniting Church… and that’s just the start! There are over 500 churches in the city, so visiting them all could take a while, the best way to do it is to hit the streets and take a wander round the city. Not only will you get a sense of Adelaide’s remarkable history as you check out these insane structures, but you’ll get a free city tour as well!
St Peter’s Cathedral
Address: 27 King William Rd, North Adelaide
St Francis Xavier Cathedral
Address: 39 Wakefield St, Adelaide
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Address: 88 North Terrace, Adelaide
Brougham Place Uniting Church
Address: 93 Brougham Pl, North Adelaide