Budget your trip to Adelaide
If planning a trip to Adelaide, you will certainly be asking “What does it cost to visit Adelaide?” We regularly visit family in Adelaide, so we can share our local knowledge to help you to budget your trip to Adelaide. All prices are in Australian Dollars.
What does it cost to visit Adelaide?
It is possible to visit Adelaide on a reasonable budget, with a little “insider knowledge” on the best places to go. It is certainly a much cheaper city to visit than either Sydney or Melbourne. However your travel budget will vary greatly depending upon your travel style. Staying in hostels or caravan parks and self catering or eating from cheaper food outlets will be significantly cheaper than staying in a central hotel and dining at fine restaurants.
There are many free or cheap things to do in Adelaide, however you may choose to book one of the many tours available.
When visiting Adelaide, if not staying with family we always choose to stay in or around the city centre. Here you are within easy walking distance or a short tram ride from the major attractions . You can certainly find much cheaper accommodation further out, but we find the convenience is worth the additional cost.
Check out our travel budgets for other destinations
Cost Adelaide accommodation
Here’s an indication of the cost of various Adelaide accommodation options.
- A mid range hotel in central Adelaide will cost around $200 per night for two, including breakfast.
- In the beachside suburb of Glenelg you will find a comfortable motel for around $150 per night for two.
- The outer suburbs will have motels for around $120 per night for two.
- Hostel accommodation in Adelaide starts at around $29 per night
- Caravan Park accommodation starts at $48 per night
There are also a large range of serviced apartments, B & B’s and holiday lets, where you can save money by self catering. Many larger hotel chains offer “Kids stay Free” options which can add great value to your stay.
If driving to Adelaide, parking can be limited and expensive. Looking for a hotel which offers parking at an additional fee is the cheapest option.
Eating in Adelaide
Asking “how much does food cost” is like asking “how long is a piece of string?” It will depend on your tastes and budget. In Adelaide, you can find a range of restaurants along Gouger Street and Rundle Mall.
When we travel to Adelaide, we enjoy a mix of counter meals and “pub food”, a few meals at a mid-priced restaurants and take advantage of the cheaper food options.
- A reasonable restaurant will cost around $20 for an entree and $40 main course. A reasonable bottle of wine will start from around $25, bringing dinner for two to $150.
- A meal at one of the many ethnic restaurants and cafes will cost around $15 each for lunch and $25 for dinner each. Many of these will be BYO (bring your own wine), or you can expect to pay around $8 for a glass of wine or schooner of beer
- The nearby Adelaide markets have rows of food stalls where you can grab a quick takeaway for around $8. This is also the cheapest place to buy local produce if you want to self-cater.
- A “counter meal” at a pub or club will be around $25 to $30 for a main. A glass of wine or schooner of beer will be around $6. You can get a reasonably good meal for around $60 for two people.
Below we’ve listed the cost of some basic items to give you an idea of what to budget for food and drink.
Cost of food and drink in Adelaide
- Counter meal at a pub or club for two people $60
- Cost of meal in a good restaurant $35 main $20 entree
- Cafe Breakfast for two $25
- Coffee and cake at a cafe $20
- Meat pie from a bakery $5
- Take away coffee $3-$4
- Cafe lunch for two $30
- Glass of wine at a restaurant $8
- Bottle of wine at a restaurant $30
- Schooner of beer at a restaurant $8
- Schooner of beer at a pub or club $5
- Glass of wine at a pub or club $5
- Bottle of wine at a pub or club $25
- Bottle of wine from a bottle shop $7 to $19
- Six pack of beer from a bottle shop $15
- Loaf of bread at supermarket $2
- Litre of milk at a supermarket $2
- Kilo of sausages at a supermarket $10
- Kilo of lamb chops at a supermarket $15
- An average trolley of mixed groceries for two people for five days $120
Cost of Adelaide Transport
Adelaide has an extensive bus, rail, tram and light rail network. The Adelaide Metro Card visitor pass provides unlimited travel on Adelaide’s bus, train and tram system for three days for $25
Adelaide also operates a number of Hop on Hop off tourist buses.
- The Hop on Hop off Train Hopper takes you through the McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Hahndorf or Adelaide Hills wineries from $45 per person. Much cheaper than an organised tour.
- A free city connector bus runs in two loops, one through the Adelaide CBD and a second through the northern suburbs, connecting with most of the major attractions.
Getting from the airport
- Most larger hotels offer a free shuttle service to Adelaide airport.
- JetExpress provides a shuttle service to various locations included in your Metrocard.
If you are planning to take day tours out of Adelaide, driving can certainly be the cheapest option.
- Finding a hotel which offers free parking is the most economical option.
- Local parking stations will cost from $4 per hour
- Fuel in Adelaide is around $1.45 per litre. It costs around $70 to fill my small 4-cylinder vehicle. A full tank will take us between 500 to 600 kilometres, depending upon driving conditions
- Unlike Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, there are no toll roads in Adelaide.
Cost of Adelaide Attractions
The cost of entry to some of the more popular Adelaide attractions include:
- Adelaide Zoo $36 adults, $19 children or $91.50 for a family
- Adelaide Central Markets food tour $65
- Hire a paddle boat on the Torrens River from $20
- A barbecue boat on the Torrens starts from $69 per hour
- Entry to Cleland Wildlife Park $25.50 adults, $12 children
- Many of Adelaide’s festivals are free, ticketed events average $25-$35
- Day tours from Adelaide to Hahndorf and Barossa Valley start from $150 pp
- Day tour to Kangaroo Island $300
Free attractions in Adelaide
However, some of the best attractions in Adelaide are absolutely free. These include:
- Wandering along the Torrens River and the Elder Park precinct
- Visiting Adelaide Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia and the State Library
- Take a drive into the Adelaide Hills and visit the original German settlement of Hahndorf
- Stroll through the Himeji Japanese Gardens
- Visiting the Adelaide Botanical Gardens and the Bicentennial conservatory
- Visit the bronze pig sculptures in Rundle Mall
- Exploringing Adelaide’s Chinatown
- Haigh’s Chocolate visitor centre and the famous “Beehive Building”
- Take a tram to Glenelg Beach for a swim and walk along the pier
- Take a dip at Henley’s Beach
- Visit the Adelaide Migration museum
- Take a tour of the National Wine Centre next to the Botanical gardens
- Visit the Adelaide cathedrals.
- Visit Mt Lofty Summit and enjoy one of the many hiking trails
The above list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it will give you some useful information to start budgeting your trip to Adelaide.
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