With the Barossa Valley on its doorstep, plenty of metropolitan beaches, a fantastic festival scene, and charming historic architecture, why isn’t everyone moving to Adelaide? South Australia’s capital city has a little something for everyone, in a city that feels more like a friendly, country town.

To make your transition easy, here are a few tips and tricks for moving to Adelaide, and settling in quickly.

A wide angle view of an Adelaide block, with a church in the centre of view, the clouds moving in a sparse pattern overhead

Essential advice before you move to Adelaide

Here are a few extra tips to get into Adelaide culture. You’d pick these up in your first few months, but knowing them ahead of time will help.

  1. Shops close early on weekends. If it’s after 5pm on a weekend, leave your shopping until tomorrow. This isn’t always a bad thing – just plan ahead.
  2. If you’re under 35, people will ask where you went to school, an outgrowth of Adelaide’s small population. Figure out a witty answer to break the ice in conversations.
  3. If you’re from interstate, get ready to taste every local food and beverage, locals are very proud. Here are our thoughts:
    • Coopers is a great beer, but West End is an acquired taste
    • Farmer’s Union iced coffee is great, but high in calories
    • Fruchocs … are complicated. Not in a good way.

A ring of beer kegs in the foyer of the Coopers Ale house and brewery in Adelaide

Finding a Home in Adelaide

In comparison to Australia’s other capital cities, Adelaide is a relatively affordable place to find a home. There’s a choice of green, leafy suburbs, beachside abodes, or city pads in the heart of the action. Due to the city’s small size, you can pretty much get anywhere you need to in about 20 minutes – true to Adelaide’s informal catch phrase, The 20 Minute City.

Two muscle cars on Rundle Street in Black and White, moving to Adelaide City Centre

Renting in Adelaide

As of 2018, the median rental price is $430 per week, however you can expect to pay quite a bit less in the outer suburbs. To help share out the costs of renting, check out sites such as Flatmates and Flatmate Finders. It’s possible to find private rooms in houses for less than $200 a week, as well as like-minded people to sign a lease with.

Buying Property in Adelaide

Adelaide is known for it’s 19th and 20th century architecture, but the city is also home to properties that make the most of nature with big backyards, as well as an ever-increasing number of new apartments. So your options for buying property when moving to Adelaide are many.

The median house price is $612,000, which is cheaper than other Australian cities. You’re also likely to get more bang for your buck. Check out realestate.com.au and Domain to find out where homes in your budget are located, and to choose the best suburb for you.

A house in Adelaide with ivy growing up the front - buying or renting a home when you are moving to adelaide

Adelaide Suburb Guide

Adelaide is a compact city, laid out in a grid with the Torrens River dividing the city centre. Suburbs branch out from the lush parklands surrounding the centre, and the outer neighbourhoods have their unique personalities. Whatever you’re after, you’ll find something to suit your new home in Adelaide.

Inner Adelaide

To be extra-close to the shopping, dining and cultural attractions of Adelaide’s cosmopolitan centre, choose an inner city suburb. These top picks offer easy CBD commutes, with plenty of green space for lifestyle too.

Adelaide City

Yes, you can live in the ‘suburb’ of Adelaide in the city of Adelaide. The ‘suburb’ actually covers a large area, everything within the ring of parks that surround the centre of the city – 2.5km across overall.

The CBD itself only takes up the northern section of that, the rest is full of apartments and medium density houses that are great places to live. There are multiple primary and secondary schools, as well as the main campuses of UNISA, Adelaide University, and Torrens University. The city is also surrounded by huge swathes of parklands, including the Botanic Gardens and Himeji Garden.

By definition, it’s very close to the jobs and attractions of the CBD, perfect if you don’t own a car. There are several GoGet cars in the area, which makes living car-free even easier.

Learn More about GoGet

The street of Adelaide's North Terrace, with cars moving to the intersection at the end

Kensington

Four kilometres from the CBD, Kensington boasts Victorian-era architecture and a village vibe. It’s outside the main city of Adelaide, but it’s well connected by bus, and is also very walkable.

The Parade offers shops, cafes, restaurants, and pubs for walking-distance entertainment. This suburb is also close to Marryatville High School, one of Adelaide’s best public schools.

North Adelaide

North Adelaide is a pretty posh suburb, sitting in the midst of parklands just north of the CBD. However, among bluestone mansions you’ll still find unit blocks with affordable apartments.

There are plenty of heritage pubs, boutiques and cafes, as well as North Adelaide Primary School. You’re also very close to Adelaide Oval during footy season.

An aerial shot of Adelaide oval, with the horizon warped by a fish eye lens

Malvern

Unley Road runs through the suburb of Malvern into the city and here you’ll find restaurants, boutiques, and homeware stores. In terms of pretty locales, an abundance of jacaranda trees and interesting architecture makes Malvern a favourite among locals.

Beach Suburbs

If you love to feel the sand on your feet most days, you can live by the sea and still get into the city in well under an hour.

Glenelg

The Adelaide Tram won’t take you a lot of places, but it will take you to Glenelg. It’s the end of the line, but you’ll be able to get into the CBD in just 25 minutes.

It’s easy to live like you’re on holidays in Glenelg. The seaside suburb offers a white-sand beach, snorkelling, diving, and fishing for recreation. There’s also dining and shopping on Jetty Road and Holdfast Marina.

It’s quite a touristy area, but still very relaxed and family-friendly. We’d compare it to Manly in Sydney (without the surf) or St Kilda in Melbourne (without Luna Park).

Glenelg Beach Boulevard in Adelaide, a pedestrian mall with palm trees lining each side

Henley Beach

For a holiday atmosphere without so many tourists, check out Henley Beach, just 10 kilometres from the city. There’s Henley Square for cafes and restaurants, parklands for weekend bike rides, and several schools close by, including St Michael’s College and Henley High School.

Semaphore

A north-western suburb about 14 kilometres from the city centre, Semaphore offers a traditional beach village feel, with plenty to do.

Though mainly you’ll want to eat ice cream on the sand, cycle along the shore, and shop and dine along Semaphore Road. For families with young children, Dominican Primary School is within this catchment area.

Finding Work in Adelaide

When you’re looking for work in Adelaide, key industries include manufacturing, construction, education, food and wine, ICT, health, real estate, and retail. It’s a small city, therefore networking with people in your industry might just lead to the perfect role. To start your job search, create a profile on sites including SEEK and CareerOne.The silhouette of a dozen climbers on the top of one of the sails of Adelaide oval, moving along it at twilight

Getting Around Adelaide

Public transport in Adelaide consists of buses, trams, and trains to get you around the city and across the suburbs. You’ll need to get a metroCARD, for integrated travel. If you’re cringing at the thought of having to buy a car, on top of moving costs, this is one city where it’s easy to get by without one. Combined with public transport, use GoGet, a car share service with vehicles conveniently located across the CBD, at the airport and at Adelaide IKEA.

Find your closest GoGet

A long exposure shot of a tram moving to Adelaide station, with Adelaide office blocks in the background

Adelaide Airport

If you’re moving to Adelaide but have family elsewhere, you’ll likely spend some time at Adelaide Airport. We mention it because it’s unique in a few ways.

Adelaide Airport doesn’t have a public transport connection other than the bus. That makes it a little less convenient to use than airports in other cities – other cities that aren’t Melbourne at least!

The good news is that the airport makes up for that by offering a range of other transport options, including GoGet cars. If you’ve got family visiting your new home in Adelaide, picking up a GoGet at Adelaide Airport gives them a more convenient option than a rental car.

Entertainment in Adelaide

Along with the great dining, shopping, and bar scenes in the CBD, Adelaide is close to some of Australia’s most incredible regions – it’s an amazing weekender city.

After moving to Adelaide and settling in, you could spend your weekends vineyard-hopping, from the Adelaide Hills to the Barossa, or between Clare Valley and McLaren Vale.

Pop over to Kangaroo Island on the ferry to get up-close and personal with wildlife, or unleash your inner history buff at numerous historic sites. You also need to visit Wang Wang and Funi, the two Giant Pandas currently living at the Adelaide Zoo.

 A Giant Panda eating bamboo, similar to Wang Wang and Funi, the Giant Pandas at Adelaide Zoo, whom you must visit when moving to Adelaide

Ready to start moving to Adelaide

With all this in mind, you’re almost ready to move to Adelaide! You’ll need to decide if you’ll support Port Adelaide or the Adelaide Crows, but let some new friends make their appeals first.

Enjoy!