With trend-setting dining options, an ever-impressive events calendar and beach scenes just a tram ride away, few places can compete with South Australia’s capital when it comes to laid-back style
A few months ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Adelaide as the fifth most liveable city in the world, edging out attractive contenders such as Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto and even Sydney.
Now, South Australia’s capital has been hailed as a top 10 city to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet.
That’s pretty impressive for a city that was once known as an agreeable but rather quiet country town.
Famous for its relaxed attitude to life, Adelaide has quickened its pace in so many respects. Impressive new stands at the Adelaide Oval rise over the River Torrens, ready to welcome the England team to battle for the Ashes on December 5. The city’s entertainment quarter too has been given a major facelift while an impressive new hotel is also taking shape.
The culinary scene has become a trend-setter with options ranging from authentic food trucks to innovative menus in fine-dining restaurants. High quality Korean, Sichuan, Thai, Indian and Malaysian food is widely available alongside favourites made from fresh regional produce.
Attractive laneways and pedestrian precincts buzz with cafés, wine bars and music venues. Tiny hole-in-the-wall bars are springing up and are proving great meeting points for locals and visitors alike.
One of the best is Clever Little Tailor in Peel Street – ideal for tasty snacks or a glass of wine. The Collins Bar and Lotus Lounge are other new arrivals. Located in the Hilton Adelaide, Collins offers a global drinks cabinet and smart service, while Lotus Lounge is a cocktail bar with a Bohemian vibe. The ever-popular Press continues to fly the flag for Spanish tapas with an Aussie twang.
The colourful Central Market also has a fine reputation as one of Australia’s best places to seek out edible treats.
Adelaide may still be laid-back but it’s effortlessly chic, too.
One thing that has remained rock steady is the city’s commitment to staging major international sporting and cultural events. Impressive drawcards such as the Adelaide Festival, Womadelaide, Adelaide Fringe and the V8 Clipsal 500 motor race are integral to the city’s summer events calendar, which culminates in Mad March.
Santos Tour Down Under meanwhile goes from strength to strength, attracting some of the world’s best competitive cyclists and thousands of excited spectators. This will certainly be a year to remember.
Another great advantage that Adelaide boasts is its proximity to some of South Australia’s must-visit sights.
Just a short ride on a historic tram from the city centre, you can be in one of the picturesque beachside suburbs such as Glenelg where swimming with wild dolphins is an everyday occurrence.
Meanwhile, wonderful wine regions start just outside the city, with welcoming cellar doors from small-scale artisan producers to world-famous labels. The Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Fleurieu Peninsula and more are all within easy reach. Not much further away, you can experience classic Australian Outback scenery and great stretches of wild coastline.
Lively city break or breath-taking countryside tour? In South Australia, it’s easy to do both.