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An Adelaide city guide – a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city of fine arts and fine wine

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Adelaide's a heady mix of history and innovation. It's not only a green and pleasant place, thanks to the many parks and rolling hills, but it also offers beaches and some of the most scintillating wine you'll ever have the pleasure of swilling around. Once seen as a dreamy, old-school city, nowadays Adelaide's got both feet in the present thanks to its cosmopolitan inhabitants, the boom in culinary excellence and a first-rate live music scene. 

Arts and culture

Adelaide's a true cultural center, and there's a huge array of activities and attractions to indulge the old grey matter. The Art Gallery of South Australia has everything from Aboriginal originals to work from the colonial era, not to mention a wide range of Asian exhibits. Wine's an art form here too, so the National Wine Centre of Australia is a must-see for any fans of the grape. The South Australian Museum has a massive variety of collections from across the globe, while Adelaide is also home to countless festivals and shows.

Where to eat

Adelaide has a booming dining scene, with cuisines from across the globe on offer, but perhaps the most notable efforts have been the strides made in making Modern Australian a match for any. There are plenty of gastronomic treats to be had around Rundle Street and The Parade. You can also try something a little more offbeat by seeking out new tastes for great prices in Adelaide Central Market, which has been going strong for over 140 years. And, this being Adelaide, there's some of the world's best wine on offer to wash your dinner down.


What to see and do

Adelaide's a city of contrasts, and variety, and this is perfectly illustrated by a meander down North Terrace where some of the city's main attractions cluster together, such as the Migration Museum and the Adelaide Festival Centre. Adelaide's stunning parklands are made up of 29 parks, and arguably the most unmissable is the Adelaide Botanic Gardens where tranquility meets eye-catching color. Throw in the golden beaches, the sporting venues, and the cruises or trips to be made from Port Adelaide to encounter dolphins and you're spoiled for choice.


Where to shop

If you're after a splurge, or making a day of it, you might want to head to Rundle Mall where the shopaholic can indulge in their every desire thanks to the 500 or so retailers who pack into this one precinct. Adelaide's not just about the big brands and, close to the mega-mall, Rundle Street proves just that, boasting boutiques and quirky one-offs in mostly 19th century surroundings. Magill Road is a must for any trinket hunters, with a dizzying mix of antiques and collectibles, art, and vintage furniture.


Travel tips

Adelaide can be fiercely hot in the summertime, especially the Outback, so your best bet to avoid scorchingly warm temperatures is to come in April or October, when there'll be far less risk or either flooding or fires taking the edge off your holiday. If you're planning on taking to the water, bear in mind that the ocean is at the toastiest temperature between December and March. For a walking tour, Rundle Mall Information Centre is a good port of call, offering 30 minutes for free.