A weekend guide to Adelaide, South Australia
We often book quick weekends away to another city to explore. This time for us, it was Adelaide! We booked the weekend not knowing a thing about the city or what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised as to how much this place has to offer.
So, if you are only down for a couple of days, here are our suggestions on what to see and do.
Itinerary for an Adelaide weekend
Friday: Arrive in the evening, check in to your hotel and grab a bite to eat
Saturday: Barossa Valley
Sunday: Adelaide, Hahndorf, Glenelg, McLaren Vale, Henley Beach
Day 1: Barossa Valley
Visiting the Barossa Valley has always been on our list of things to do. When we booked our trip to Adelaide, it was, of course, the first thing that was added to our itinerary.
If you’re rushed for time and only have a weekend for Adelaide, then you can do this in a day trip. The Barossa is around an hour out of Adelaide and you can either pick up a tour or if you have a designated driver (aka Jenna) then you can do it yourself with a rental car.
Click here to read about the Barossa Valley and our recommendations for where to stop.
Day 2: Adelaide, Hahndorf, Glenelg, McLaren Vale & Henley Beach
The best way to explore the city is by bicycle! This is also the most economical as the bikes are free for the day, you just have to head to one of the 10 pick up points to get yourself sorted. For more information on how and where to pick up a bike, click here.
It is also a great way to stay active while on holidays!
Rundle Mall: The mall is Adelaide’s main shopping street and you will find everything you need if you’re looking to do a bit of shopping.
When you’re walking along the mall, you will probably notice some life-sized bronze pigs! Yep, pigs! I’m sure there is a long story behind these pigs, but I believe their names are Augusta, Oliver, Horatio and Truffles… very interesting!
Peel Street: If you’re looking for some funky bars and eateries, then check out Peel Street. We found a great spot to eat (turns out everyone goes there – the place was jam packed before the football game and everywhere else was still quiet!). Keep reading below for our recommendation.
If you haven’t had Haigh’s chocolates before, do yourself a favour and go and buy some. They are just delicious. Haigh’s was founded in Adelaide in 1915 and their chocolate is delicious!
Adelaide Botanical Gardens: Personally, you can probably give the gardens a miss if you don’t have a lot of time.
If you’re interested in the zoo, then you will see it is located in the gardens. If you do find yourself here, you should take advantage of the free walking tours at 10.30am and see what’s around.
Mount Lofty: For spectacular views over Adelaide, this is the spot to be! It is only about a 25-minute drive from Adelaide and on the way to Hahndorf if you’re visiting this region. It was pretty foggy when we went up. We left Adelaide with blue skies but as we arrived at the top, it was a chilly 6 degrees and windy!! We could make out the city, but wasn’t the clearest morning!
There are also plenty of walking trails on the mountain if you feel like getting active.
Windy Point: If you are stuck for time and wanting a good view point, you can also try Windy Point. It is less than 20 minutes from Adelaide so might be easier and quicker to get to! We didn’t stop in here, but it’s an option if you are looking for something a little closer.
Hahndorf: What a gorgeous little town!
It is the oldest German village in Australia. It is worth a stop in if you have a car and able to get around. The Hahndorf Inn or Haus are great spots to have a quick drink or bite to eat.
It really does make you feel like you’re in Germany. There is even a German tourist store with clocks and artefacts to make you feel like you’re there.
The little cottages and buildings are really something else! I’ve not seen anything like it during our travels in Australia.
While you’re in Hahndorf, you should stop in at Udder Delights on the main street. You can get some coffee or food and relax.
To see more photos of Hahndorf – see the end of this post.
Henley Beach: Located only 10 minutes from Adelaide Airport is Henley Beach. Whether you’re after a good swimming spot or even a fishing spot, this beach has both. If you have time to spend the day there, you will find some lovely restaurants and cafe’s just off the beachfront.
When we stopped in, it was cold and windy but on a summer’s day, it would be lovely. It is far less touristy than Glenelg (see below) but you do need a car to get there.
Glenelg: Depending on how you’re going for time, you may want to take Adelaide’s only remaining tram from Victoria Square down to Glenelg.
The tram makes it super easy to visit, but because of that, it is a touristy beach. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from and a nice pub on the waterfront.
I must admit – the beaches in South Australia don’t wow me, not when you compare it so Sydney’s beaches or those on the Gold Coast.
As we were driving through McLaren Vale, we stopped in at Sellick’s Beach. I wasn’t too impressed with the actual beach so I wouldn’t recommend driving all the way out here unless you’re in the area for the McLaren Vale or heading to Kangaroo Island.
We ended up with a bit of time after visiting Hahndorf so we detoured through McLaren Vale and stopped in at some wineries.
It was so lush and green in this part of the world. But I must admit, we definitely preferred the Barossa! In saying that, we highly recommend stopping in at d’Arenburg winery.
The others we stopped in at were S C Pannell & Fox Creek Wines.
We, unfortunately, didn’t have enough time to visit Kangaroo Island as you really do need a full day. If we are ever down in South Australia again, we will certainly make a trip to Kangaroo Island to check out Seal Bay and Remarkable Rocks.
Where to stay in Adelaide
We stayed at the Mercure Grosvenor Hotel Adelaide. The hotel is very centrally located and has onsite parking. Click here for our full review of the hotel including a short video!
Getting around in Adelaide
If you’re wanting to explore the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf you will be best to hire a car. We recommend using Hertz Australia. Click here to read more about hiring a car in Adelaide and why we recommend Hertz!
Where to eat in Adelaide
Bread & Bone Wood Grill: We ate here on a Saturday night and it was pretty early. It had the most atmosphere in comparison to everywhere else in the street. The place was packed! It was just before a football game so everyone was in getting dinner.
The food was great and the service was also good. Highly recommend it!
Do you have travel insurance?
Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.
Here are some more photos of Hahndorf.
“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
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