Where to stay in Adelaide for first time: 5 Safe areas

I have few friends who live in Adelaide, and I visit them often. I love the city for its affordable cost of living, laid back atmosphere, and its thriving food and wine scene. In today’s article, I will help you to find the safe places to stay in Adelaide for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safe areas to stay in Adelaide for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Adelaide and recommend some of the best hotels for all budgets.

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia situated on the southern coast of the country. The city has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. 

It is known for its vibrant arts and culture scenes with numerous festivals throughout the year, including the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival, and WOMADelaide.

Adelaide is home to several universities, including the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and the University of South Australia, making it a hub for education and research.

Some notable landmarks in Adelaide include the Adelaide Oval (a major sports stadium), the Adelaide Botanic Garden, and the South Australian Museum. The city is also known for its food and wine culture, and the Central Market is a popular destination for food enthusiasts.

The regions surrounding Adelaide are known for their natural beauty, including the Adelaide Hills and the wine regions of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.

Is Adelaide safe to visit? 

Yes, Adelaide is generally a safe city to visit. Like any urban area, it’s essential to exercise normal precautions, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid poorly-lit areas at night to ensure your safety.

If you’re visiting beaches, follow water safety guidelines, and swim between the flags where lifeguards are present. Also Be cautious of snakes in bushland areas and follow guidelines if you encounter any wildlife.

It is also recommended to respect the local customs and traditions of the Indigenous people, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities. 

Where to stay in Adelaide for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Adelaide for first-timers and tourists are Adelaide CBD, North Adelaide, Glenelg, West Beach, and Adelaide Wine Region. Adelaide is a relatively compact city, so getting around is generally easy regardless of where you stay.

Adelaide CBD, without a doubt, is the most popular area for first-timer visitors to book their accommodations. It is ideal for those who want to be in the heart of the city with easy access to shopping, dining, and attractions such as Victoria Square, Rundle Mall, and Central Market.

North Adelaide offers a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the CBD but still has easy access to major sights. This area is close to Adelaide Oval, parklands, and boutique shopping on O’Connell Street.

You can consider staying in Glenelg and West Beach if you are after a beach holiday in Adelaide. These areas have plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars along the waterfront. They are also easily accessible from CBD by tram and car.

For wine enthusiasts, you can consider staying in the nearby vineyards and wineries. The best places to stay in the Adelaide wine region are the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, and Adelaide Hill. They are a bit farther from the city but great for a relaxing getaway.

On one of my trips to Adelaide, I stayed for 5 nights at the Holiday Inn Express. It was a great stay in central Adelaide, easy access to all major attractions such as Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Casino, and Rundle Mall. Also close to the train station and buses. Breakfast was tasty, and my room was clean and comfortable. 

Below is a map of the popular areas in Adelaide for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Adelaide first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Adelaide first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Adelaide, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Adelaide have been carefully selected by me from well-known booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Safe areas to stay in Adelaide for first-timers and tourists

1. Adelaide CBD (Central Business District)

Adelaide CBD is one of the best places to stay in Adelaide for the first visit. It is the heart of Adelaide, making it convenient for accessing major attractions, shopping areas, and cultural sites.

You’ll be close to cultural attractions such as the Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide Art Gallery, and the South Australian Museum.

The CBD is home to Rundle Mall, Adelaide’s premier shopping destination. It’s home to a wide range of shops, boutiques, and department stores.

The CBD offers a diverse array of restaurants, cafes, and bars, providing plenty of options for dining.

This area offers easy access to Adelaide’s entertainment precincts, including the Adelaide Festival Centre, with many theaters, cinemas, and live performances.

The CBD is well-connected with public transportation, including buses and trams, making it easy to explore other parts of Adelaide.

Best places to stay in Adelaide CBD for first-time tourists:

Luxury ($$$): Eos by SkyCity, great popular 5-star hotel on Festival Drive in downtown Adelaide, easy walking distance from major sights such as the Oval Stadium and Rundle Mall. It has an outdoor pool, fitness center, 24-hour front desk, family rooms, and very good breakfast.

Mid-range ($$): ibis Adelaide, popular 4-star accommodation in a prime location in the CBD, easy distance from Rundle Mall, Convention Center, Botanic Gardens and Royal Hospital. Also a short Uber ride from the Airport, the beach, and the arts district. Great base for sightseeing.

Mid-range ($$): Miller Apartments, 4-star family-friendly accommodation on Hindley Street, in the middle of the CBD, close to the train station, walking distance to most things. It offers self-contained units with a fully equipped kitchen. The 3 bedroom apartment can accommodate a maximum of 7 adults.

Budget ($): YHA Adelaide Central, one of the best backpacker hostels in the heart of the city center, great base for solo travelers and group of friends. Easy access to the West End, with many shops, markets, restaurants, cafes, bars. Short bus ride from Airport or Parklands Rail Terminal.


2. North Adelaide

North Adelaide is a delightful area to stay if you enjoy a more residential and laid-back atmosphere but still want to be close to the city center. This area is known for its tree-lined streets and historic architecture.

If you’re a sports enthusiast, North Adelaide is close to Adelaide Oval, where you can catch cricket matches, football games, and other sporting events.

O’Connell Street is the main street in North Adelaide and offers boutique shopping, cafes, restaurants, and pubs. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll and to explore local businesses.

North Adelaide is adjacent to the expansive Adelaide Parklands. It’s a wonderful area for a relaxing walk or picnic, providing a green escape from the urban environment.

While not as dense with attractions as the CBD, North Adelaide has its own charm with places like the David Roche Foundation House Museum, a private collection of antiques and fine arts.

Best places to stay in North Adelaide for first-timers:

  • Luxury ($$$):  Oval Hotel at Adelaide Oval, great 5-star accommodation conveniently located on King William Rd, close to the iconic Adelaide Oval, short distance from CBD and Adelaide Casino. It has onsite parking, 24-hour front desk, and very good breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): Majestic M Suites, great 4.5 star sustainable hotel centrally located in the heart of Adelaide North End, easy access to nice parks, O’Connell street cafes and restaurants.
  • Budget ($): North Adelaide Boutique Stays Accommodation, 4-star boutique style  accommodation located on  Gover Street, short walk from  O’Connell Street, Adelaide Oval and Festival Center. It has family rooms and free parking which is a bonus for those who drive.

3. Glenelg

Glenelg is a fantastic choice for a beach holiday in Adelaide. Glenelg boasts a stunning sandy beach along the Gulf St Vincent. It’s a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water activities.

Jetty Road is the main street in Glenelg and is lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. It’s a vibrant area where you can shop, dine, and enjoy street entertainment.

The historic Glenelg Tram connects the suburb to the Adelaide CBD, providing a scenic route along the coast. It’s a unique and enjoyable way to travel between Glenelg and the city.

Moseley Square is a central gathering point with outdoor seating, cafes, and often hosts events and live performances. It’s a hub of activity in Glenelg.

The marina at Holdfast Shores offers additional dining options and the opportunity to enjoy waterfront views.

Glenelg offers various entertainment options, including a cinema complex, beachside markets, and a range of water sports.

The area is family-friendly, with playgrounds along the foreshore, making it a great destination for travelers with children.

Glenelg is renowned for its stunning sunsets over the ocean. Watching the sun go down over the water is a popular activity for both locals and visitors.

Best places to stay in Adelaide in Glenelg for visitors:

  • Mid-range ($$): Oaks Glenelg Plaza Pier Suites , popular 4-star family-friendly hotel on Holdfast Promenade, great base in Adelaide for beach holiday. It is only a 30 mins tram ride to the CBD. Also close to Holdfast Marina and Jetty Road shopping precinct. The hotel has multiple bars,café restaurants, laundry service and a tour desk.
  • Mid-range ($$): Oaks Glenelg Liberty Suites, 4-star accommodation on Colley Terrace, that has a heated indoor pool, private parking, and family rooms. Easy access to the marin, the tram stop to get to the city center.
  • Budget ($): Adelaide International Motel, 3-star affordable accommodation on Anzac Highway, easy access to Glenelg Beach, tram/bus stop. It has free onsite secure parking, outdoor swimming pool, and good breakfast.

4. West Beach 

West Beach is a beachside location north of Glenelg with a laid-back vibe. It’s a great place for swimming, beach walks, and enjoying the seaside ambiance.

West Beach is known for water activities such as windsurfing, kiteboarding, and paddleboarding. If you’re interested in water sports, this area offers opportunities to try them out.

West Beach is relatively close to Adelaide Airport, making it a convenient choice if you have early morning or late-night flights.

Best places to stay in Adelaide in West Beach:

  • Mid-range ($$): The Retreat West Beach Parks, great 4-star beachfront hotel on Military Road, Easy to get to attractions and the beach. Short drive from Glenelg, Henley Beach, Harbourtown, and the CBD.
  • Mid-range ($$): Atura Adelaide Airport, great 4-star hotel, best place to stay in Adelaide airport for early flight, close to West Beach. A short walk to the airport terminal. It has family rooms, 24-hour front desk, fitness center, and good breakfast.
  • Budget ($): Esplanade Apartments at West Beach, 3.5 star accommodation on Seaview Road that has direct beach access, offering family rooms, free parking, and apartments with a well-equipped kitchen.

5. Adelaide Wine Region (Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and McLaren Vale)

Choosing to stay in the Adelaide Wine Region, which includes areas like Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and McLaren Vale, is an excellent option for those who are passionate about wine, picturesque landscapes, and a more rural setting.

Adelaide Hills, located just east of Adelaide, is known for its cool climate, rolling hills, and boutique wineries. You can explore the countryside, artisanal food producers, scenic drives, and the historic German-influenced town of Hahndorf.

Barossa Valley is renowned for its world-class Shiraz wines. It has a rich wine heritage with many established wineries and cellar doors. In addition to wine tasting, you can explore local markets, visit historic sites, and enjoy the Barossa’s culinary offerings.

McLaren Vale specializes in producing bold red wines, particularly Shiraz. The region is also famous for its Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. McLaren Vale offers stunning coastal scenery, and many wineries have panoramic views. 

Each of these regions provides opportunities for vineyard tours and wine tastings. You can learn about the winemaking process, explore cellars, and sample a variety of wines.

Beyond wine, these regions are known for their fresh local produce. You can indulge in regional cheeses, olives, and other gourmet delights.

Best places to stay in Adelaide Wine Region for travelers:

Luxury ($$$): Mount Lofty House & Estate Adelaide Hills, 5-star  historical country house, one of the best places to stay in Adelaide Hills Wine Region. It is 15 mins drive from Adelaide CBD, short distance from Mount Lofty Summit lookout, Cleland Conservation park, and Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. Great base to explore Hahndorf and Stirling towns.

Mid-range ($$): Serafino McLaren Vale, popular 4-star accommodation in the heart of the McLaren Vale wine region, surrounded by beautiful nature. Great base for day trips to Onkaparinga River National Park and Hallett Cove Conservation Park. You can enjoy a hike or bike ride along the Shiraz Trail nearby.

Mid-range ($$): Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, great 4-star hotel in the Barossa Valley, the oldest and best known wine region in Australia. You can stay in a room that has a balcony with views of Jacobs Creek Vineyards and Barossa Ranges. Short drive to Tanunda with its Golf Course, shops, and restaurants.


You can continue reading about other popular tourists destinations in Australia in these articles:

In conclusion, Adelaide CBD, North Adelaide, Glenelg, West Beach, and Adelaide Wine Region are the best places to stay in Cairns for first-timers and tourists. These are generally safe areas, but it is always important to practice common sense no matter where you stay.

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Adelaide. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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