Where to Stay in Adelaide First Time: Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Adelaide for first-timers are Adelaide CBD, Glenelg, North Adelaide, West Beach, Port Adelaide, Adelaide Hills, and McLaren Vale. These are popular and safe neighborhoods for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

In this blog post, I will help you to find where to stay in Adelaide for tourists, family, as well as the best places to stay in each area.

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia. Known for its gorgeous weather, world-class wine, natural beauty, and stunning architecture, Adelaide is well worth a visit. With a population of just 1.3 million, Adelaide is one of the smallest state capitals in Australia.

Adelaide is good base to explore the surrounding well-known wine regions such as The Barossa, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, and the Adelaide Hills. Consider taking a winery tour from Adelaide to discover the best of South Australia.

Adelaide CBD is the best area to stay in Adelaide for tourists, especially for first-timers because it has a super central location and a wide range of accommodation options. Booking hotel in this area, you will be in a heart of action, within easy walk to famous tourist attractions such as Adelaide Oval, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

If you want to be closer to the beach, there are various great suburbs along the West End of Adelaide which offer fantastic beachside areas. But if you enjoy quiet areas, there are great spots all around Adelaide such as North Adelaide, which offers relaxing open space.

To book hotels, I recommend spending at least three day in Adelaide to explore the city. This time will allow you to visit the most famous attractions, enjoy the food and wine; and get the sense of the local culture. You can also take a day trip to the wine region such as Barossa Valley. if you have more than three days, there are more day trips to wine region, Victor Harbor, and Kangaroo Island.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Central Business District
💎 Best luxury hotel:The Playford Adelaide – MGallery by Sofitel
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:ibis Adelaide
💰 Best budget hotel:Adelaide Central YHA

6 Best Areas to Stay in Adelaide for tourist

1. Adelaide CBD, where to stay in Adelaide for first-timers

Best Area to stay in Adelaide CBD
Adelaide CBD

Adelaide CBD is the best place to stay in Adelaide for first-timers, family, couple, and solo travelers because it it the most convenient location. The CBD is home to the broadest range of accommodation that suits all types of budgets, and it has the vastest range of attractions of anywhere in the city.

A popular attraction in the CBD is a thriving hub of food and culture, Adelaide Central Market. This market houses one of the largest fresh food markets in the world. It is an incredibly popular market which attracts over 9 million visitors per year.

Other attractions such as the Parliament of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, Adelaide’s Chinatown, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Rundle Mall, the Ayers House Museum, State Library of South Australia, Migration Museum, Elder Park, and Adelaide Central Market.

You can find any accommodation in Adelaide CBD, from budget hotels to mid-end hotels and even 5-star luxury hotels. Adelaide CBD is a great location.

Stay in CDB if you want to stay in a central location; you are first time visitor; you want to be near many attractions;


Holiday Inn Express Adelaide City Centre is located in the vibrant north-west quarter of Adelaide’s CBD. The central location provides guests with easy access to Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Convention Centre, the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the SA Health and Medical Research Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide Casino, and Rundle Mall, all within a 10-minute walk away. This 4-star hotel is a great place to stay for couples, business and leisure travelers.

ibis Adelaide is a 4-star hotel, just 10 minutes walk from Adelaide Convention Centre, The Adelaide Botanic Gardens and Royal Adelaide Hospital. It is 15 minutes’ drive from Adelaide Airport and Glenelg Beach. Adelaide’s arts district, which includes the Festival Center and Dunstan Playhouse is just 10 minutes’ drive away.

Adelaide Central YHA is ideally located for enjoying the West End, with markets, shopping, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs within walking distance. The property is just 20 minutes by bus from Adelaide Airport or Adelaide Parklands Rail Terminal. This hostel is a great place to stay for backpackers.


Read more: 20 Best things to do in Adelaide, Australia

2. Glenelg, staying near beach

Best Area to stay in Adelaide beaches
Adelaide Beach

If you’re looking to stay by the beach, then a great area to visit is Glenelg. Glenelg is perfect if you’re in Adelaide during the summer when it can get unbearably hot. It’s great are to learn the city’s rich heritage, relaxing on the beach, with many boutique shops and galleries or the cafes and restaurants.

A popular attraction in Glenelg is Glenelg Beach. Glenelg Beach has beautiful white sand that covers the entire beach, and plenty of open space. The beach is a great spot to escape the heat. Another popular attraction in Glenelg is the pier. The Glenelg jetty is also a popular spot for sunset. Built-in 1859, the pier tells a tale of the history of Adelaide.

Glenelg is home to a wide variety of accommodation. It is perfect for budget travellers with a great selection of budget hotels and backpacker hostels.

Stay in Glenelg if you like to be next to the beach, you want to be away from the CBD, you like relaxing surroundings, you don’t mind being away from many attractions., you don’t mind staying in quieter areas with fewer things going on.


Stamford Grand Adelaide is just a perfect getaway location and beautiful place to stay. Ideal for relaxation and unwinding. The hotel is located right on Glenelg Beach,  25 minutes’ drive from the Adelaide city centre, 15 minutes’ drive from Adelaide Airport . All grand rooms have been newly refurbished, with the new chic and modern décor accentuating the relaxed and stylish beachside culture of Glenelg.

Ensenada Motor Inn and Suites is an excellent location, close to Jetty Road. Lovely, very clean comfortable room, and  friendly staff.

Seawall Apartments is located right on the beachfront of the beautiful Glenelg Beach, Seawall Apartments offer unique self-contained accommodations with free WiFi and free car parking. Guests enjoy a sun terrace with BBQ facilities.


3. North Adelaide, where to stay in Adelaide for family

Best Area to stay in Adelaide zoo

A popular place to visit for those who want to escape city life is North Adelaide. North Adelaide is home to vast open space and parks; it is an excellent option for those who want to relax.

A popular attraction in North Adelaide is the Adelaide Zoo. Home to over 2500 animals and 250 different species, this is a superb spot for anyone looking to escape the busy CBD life. The Zoo is the second oldest zoo in Australia and offers a lot of fun for kids and family.

You can also explore the Adelaide Botanical Garden, Adelaide Oval, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Peace Park, and the Cathedral Hotel.

North Adelaide has a wide variety of hotels that suit all different types of budgets. The area is popular with backpackers, but it’s also common to see mid to high-end hotels around the area.

Stay in North Adelaide if you travel with family; you like relaxing spots, you don’t mind being away from the beach.


Majestic Old Lion Apartments offers 4-star fully self-contained studio apartments with free unlimited Wi-Fi. Majestic Tynte Street Apartments is ideal for long and short term accommodations. Great location close to shops and free connector bus into the city.  Lovely apartments with everything you need to self cater with supermarkets close by.

North Adelaide Boutique Stays Accommodation: is within walking distance of local bars and the dining precinct. The iconic Adelaide Oval and Adelaide Festival Center are a short stroll along O’Connell Street.

Majestic Tynte Street Apartments: is in a great location, with cafes, restaurants and shopping only steps away, these apartments are just over a kilometer from the center of Adelaide. Adelaide Oval and Adelaide University are within a 20-minute walk of the property.


4. West Beach, Staying Near Airport

Best Area to stay in Adelaide West Beach

Another popular coastal spot in Adelaide is West Beach. Home to glorious beaches, golf courses, shopping malls and numerous restaurants and bars.

Visitors enjoy many attractions in West Beach, but many enjoy the mega-adventure park based there. The mega-adventure park is home to a massive obstacle course that provides an observation deck and zip wire options for children. Alternatively, West Beach is home to a glorious coastline that anyone will enjoy relaxing on.

West Beach has hotels for all budgets, and it’s especially popular with travellers looking to be close to the airport. You can find anything from budget hotels to luxury hotels.

Stay in West Beach if you want to be near to the beach, you like relaxed spots, you want to be close to the airport, you don’t mind being away from the CBD, you don’t mind being away from the nightlife.


West Beach Parks Resort is set on the stunning coastline and just a short drive from the Adelaide CBD, West Beach Parks Resort offers direct beach access and a beautiful natural environment with spacious, lush grounds. There are a range of Adelaide accommodations options, including deluxe self-contained units, villas and bungalows.

BIG4 West Beach Parks  is located on West Beach. It features manicured gardens and BBQ facilities. Guests can enjoy a lagoon swimming pool, family friendly facilities and beach access.


5. Port Adelaide, goo chance to See Dolphin

Where to stay in Adelaide Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide is a superb spot to stay. It is located on the Adelaide coast, around a 30-minute drive from the CBD. Port Adelaide is an excellent location if you’re looking to be close to the beach.

There are many cool things to do in Port Adelaide, one of the coolest things is to check out the National Railway Museum Port Adelaide. This museum is Australia’s largest railway museum and shows exhibits from the commonwealth and South Australia railways. Another great thing to see is the Port Adelaide Dolphin Cruise, which shows the local dolphins on a delightful boat ride.

You can also check out Fishermen’s Wharf Market, and Port Adelaide Lighthouse.

Port Adelaide is home to a variety of Adelaide accommodation, it is possible to get cheap deals, but many hotels are mid to high end.

Stay in Port Adelaide if you want to see grand museums, you like to be near the coast, you want to see the dolphin tours, you like to be away from busy areas, you don’t mind being away from the principal attractions


  • Nightcap at Exeter Hotel: provides a bar, garden and terrace. Featuring a restaurant, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge.


6. Adelaide Hills, closest wine region from CBD

Located only a 20-minute drive from Adelaide city centre, Adelaide Hills is home to some of SA’s best food, wine and scenery.  The easiest way to visit Adelaide Hills is by car, but you can also catch the bus to Hahndorf, Cleland Wildlife Park, Mount Lofty Summit and Waterfall Gully.

One of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills is  taking a winery tour from Adelaide to see the best of what the region has to offer without a car. You can try Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. 

There are also plenty of other things to do in this area. Firstly, you can start exploring the Adelaide Hills and Cleland National Park at Waterfall Gully. It has 7 beautiful waterfalls, and many walking trails. You can hike up to the Mount Lofty lookout and Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens from one of its tracks.

On the way to the lookout, you will see Cleland National Park inside Waterfall Gully, the best place to see South Australia’s native animals including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats. 

You can also visit and enjoy a traditional German feast at the heritage German village, Hahndorf. Walking around the main street, grab a drink or meal at its bakeries, pubs and cafes. You can also visit Beerenberg Farm; and famous cellar doors: The Lane Vineyard and Hahndorf Hill Winery.

There are plenty of places to stay in the Adelaide Hills in heritage villages of Hahndorf, Balhannah, Aldgate, Oakbank and Stirling. You can choose an area that allows you to explore on foot, stop in at local cafes and walk out to dinner. 

Best places to stay in Adelaide Hills:

7. Barossa Valley, wine region, 50 minute from CBD

Just a 50 minute drive north east of Adelaide, Barossa is easily accessible by car or take the daily bus to Barossa via the Gawler Railway Station.

Barossa is one of the world’s great wine producing areas, with 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors. Here you will find shiraz, grenache, mataro, cabernet sauvignon and semillon vines. There are many charming chateaus or big-name wineries including Chateau Tanunda, Penfolds Barossa Cellar Door, and Jacob’s Creek.

You can admire the vines from a hot air balloon with Barossa Valley Ballooning and Balloon Adventures; dine at well-known restaurants and discover nearby villages and national parks.

Barossa Valley hosts the annual Barossa Vintage Festival with the five-day celebration. You can enjoy tea, lunch, live music, and wine tasting.

You can also visit the Barossa Farmers Market, run every Saturday at Vintners Sheds, Angaston.

Best places to stay in Barossa Valley:

8. McLaren Vale, wine region, 40 minute drive from CBD

Where to stay in Adelaide McLaren Vale
Winery in Adelaide

Located just a 45 minute drive by car south of Adelaide, the McLaren Vale is a fantastic option if you want a quiet stay. The McLaren Vale is home to some of Australia’s best wine.

If you’re in the McLaren Vale, you should visit the numerous wineries. Famous wines that come from the McLaren vale are shiraz, grenache and chardonnay. Some excellent wine tours cover the entire area. But if you’re in the Mclaren Vale, you should also check out the beautiful beaches such as Aldinga Beach, Maslin Beach, and Moana.

It isn’t easy to find budget accommodation in McLaren Vale, but you can find some tremendous mid to high-end hotels all around the area.

Stay in McLaren Vale if you like wine, you want to escape the busy CBD, you want to go trekking, you don’t mind being on the city outskirts, you don’t mind being away from other attractions.


McLaren Vale Motel & Apartments is located in the heart of the McLaren Vale wine region, McLaren Vale Motel offers spacious accommodations with modern appliances. It features an outdoor pool, barbecue facilities and free parking.

Serafino McLaren Vale is located in the heart of the McLaren Vale wine region, only 26 mi from the Adelaide CBD. Set among impressive vines, 200-year-old gum trees and in front of a tranquil lake, the hotel shares its grounds with Serafino Wines & Cellar Door, where guests can sample the latest Serafino wines.

Casavino Luxury Villas  offer modern self-contained accommodations in the McLaren Vale wine region, just 5 minutes’ walk from a number of wineries.


🎬 Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Adelaide:

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Adelaide is home to the world-class sport, excellent museums, superb old colonial buildings and vast open green spaces around the city. It is also the gateway for many people getting to explore the outback, with many visitors beginning their drive into Alice Springs and Northern Territory from Adelaide. 

Overall, Adelaide CBD is the best area to stay in Adelaide for tourist due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in a super central location, within easy walking distance to tourist attractions, as well as shopping, dining, and nightlife venues. The CBD also offers widest range of accommodations that suits all budget travelers.

Adelaide – South Australian Capital is a fantastic city to visit. Some of Australia’s most beautiful nature surrounds it, and it’s home to some tremendous attractions. Due to the city being on the smaller side, choosing the right area isn’t as crucial as it would be in Sydney, or Melbourne because you quickly access other parts of the city whereas in Sydney it can take hours to get from place to place.

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