48 Hours in Adelaide – A 2 day Itinerary

Our 2 Day Itinerary for Adelaide is a comprehensive guide that will help you choose when best to visit the area, as well show you the must see attractions! Firstly, lets learn a little more about the city itself. 

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and is separated into two main parts; Adelaide and North Adelaide. These areas are divided by the River Torrens.

Adelaide showcases a superb mix of landscapes. These include glorious sandy beaches, luscious woodlands, imposing mountainous areas, and of course, the city centre which is the beating heart of this vibrant Australian city. 

Adelaide is popular with tourists who want to embrace all things Australian and enjoy the sights and sounds of a fun and modern city, but on a slightly smaller scale than you would perhaps experience at the larger hubs like Sydney or Melbourne. 

Adelaide Australia - Adelaide city skyline at sunset viewed across Torrens river from King William bridge

Adelaide is a particularly great destination for lovers of the outdoors, as it is crammed with opportunities for adventure. You have an array of watersport options over on the coastal side of the city, while back on dry land there are vast national parks through which to hike or bike. 

In Adelaide, you can expect to experience four distinct seasons courtesy of the predominantly Mediterranean climate. This manifests as relatively mild winters and hot, dry summers.

Temperatures can reach 30oC in the height of summer. The popular opinion is that the best times to visit Adelaide as a tourist would be just out of high season, during late Spring or early Autumn.

This way you still get to enjoy really pleasant weather but without the high prices and huge crowds. If you only have two days in Adelaide it is important that you base yourself in the right area so that you can reach everything easily and conveniently. 

By far the most popular spot for tourists to stay in Adelaide is the Central Business District, otherwise know as the CBD.

A vibrant hub of activity day and night, the CBD is made up of imposing skyscrapers that tower over the city, modern architectural office buildings, and designer shops and restaurants.

Many of the most famous attractions are found in the CBD making it the most convenient location for tourists visiting the city. 

Glenelg is almost the polar opposite of the CBD in terms of atmosphere and the views it offers. Located just west of the centre of the city Glenelg boasts a stunning coastal position and you can enjoy a sea view from many of the hotels and Air Bnb’s here.

This is a calmer, more laid-back area of Adelaide, but the hustle and bustle of the heart of the city is only a few minutes away so you are never too far from the action. 

The area of North Adelaide is mainly residential suburbs and the ideal spot for tourists to base themselves if they wish to immerse themselves in the day-to-day lives of the locals. There are plenty of clean, green areas and many charming boutique shops and restaurants scattered about too. 

Read on as we show you our recommendations for the best way to spend two days in Adelaide. We show you how to get the best from the city, to eat at the best restaurants and to ensure that you dont leave without seeing all the main sights and attractions. 

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Overview of 2 Days in Adelaide Itinerary

Day 1 in Adelaide

  • Breakfast at My Kingdom for a Horse
  • Browse at Adelaide Central Market
  • Admire the Adelaide Botanic Garden
  • Asian inspired lunch at Golden Boy
  • Stroll around the Art Gallery of South Australia
  • Super hero themed dinner at Chuck Wagon 175

Day 2 in Adelaide

  • Devour a long brunch at Bloom
  • Meet the animals at Cleland Wildlife Park
  • Time for retail therapy with shopping on King William Street
  • Enjoy a lavish dinner at 2KW
  • Watch the sun set at Glenelg

Day 1 in Adelaide

Breakfast at My Kingdom for a Horse 

We have always been told that the best way to start the day, (or in this case 48 hours in Adelaide!)  is with a good hearty breakfast. My Kingdom for a Horse is an uber-popular, trendy breakfast spot in the heart of the city.

It opens its doors bright and early in the morning to serve your favorite breakfast dishes from around the globe. Plus there is copious amounts of  award-winning coffee!

When it comes to the food menu you may decide to go Spanish with the Huevos Rancheros, or maybe you’ll choose something Tunisian and go for the African delicacy of Shakshouka.

One thing for sure is that at the end of your meal, you will feel full, satisfied, and ready for a day of exploring and getting involved with all the best things to do in Adelaide!

Browse around Adelaide Central Market 

No trip to Adelaide would be complete without a visit to Adelaide Central Market. The market is impressive in size, with over 70 traders all operating together under one roof.

In fact, it is one of the biggest covered markets in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere. The market traders here predominantly sell fresh food produce.

It is a vibrant colourful display of baked goods, fruit and veg, seafood, sweet treats, and much more.

You can enjoy a leisurely stroll around, taking in the wonderful chaos, noise, and smells of the market. Perhaps you will pick up some scrumptious offerings too! 

Adelaide, Australia - People shopping at Adelaide Central Market on a weekend. It is a popular tourist attraction in the CBD area and the most visited place in South Australia.

Visit Adelaide Botanic Garden

It is hard to believe that Adelaide Botanic Garden is in the middle of a city. Fifty hectares of stunning, beautifully manicured gardens, woodland, breathtaking sculptures, and elegant architecture await you.

There’s a splendid variety of themed gardens to explore, each designed to represent a different biosphere or specific plant habitat!

It is the perfect place to connect with nature and you can take some time to enjoy being educated on a diverse and spectacular array of flowers, plants, and herbs. Be sure to snap some shots of the unique buildings on display too.

The Palm House is a particularly fascinating piece of architecture. It is a glasshouse from the Victorian era that was imported from Germany in the late 19th century and is spectacularly Insta-worthy!

Adelaide Australia -  Palm House in Adelaide Botanic Garden

Lunch at Golden Boy 

Golden Boy is a delightful authentic Asian restaurant that is a fantastic spot, not far from the Botanic Garden, where you can enjoy a well-earned lunch, and perhaps a cheeky glass of Australian vino.

Well known for its asian inspired flavors, friendly service, and excellent attention to detail, tables at the Golden Boy get booked quickly so be sure to book in advance! 

Art Gallery of South Australia

An afternoon of culture is in store for you as you spend an enjoyable few hours browsing the art, sculptures, and projects on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia. In addition to the permanent displays, there are also regular visitor exhibitions to observe.

There is a brilliant gift shop at the gallery too, with inspired souvenir ideas so you are sure to find the perfect gift for even the most difficult-to-please friend back home!

Adelaide Australia - The Art Gallery of South Australia located on North Terrace in Adelaide CBD on a day

Superhero-themed dinner at Chuck Wagon 175

A fun superhero-themed meal at the Chuck Wagon 175, located in the north of the city, is a great way to end your action-packed first day in Adelaide!

They serve generous portions of all your American favorites including huge burgers, fries, shakes, and ribs.

As you take your seat, you will find yourself surrounded by all sorts of superhero memorabilia and a super lively atmosphere. 

Day 2 in Adelaide

Brunch at Bloom

One of the most sought-after brunch spots in Adelaide is a trendy eatery called Bloom. After such a packed day of activities on your first day in Adelaide, a leisurely start to day two is probably on the cards so be sure to make sure you don’t book a table too early!

The brunch menu at Bloom is bursting with delicious delight. In fact the hardest thing will be deciding what to choose to eat!

The dishes on this extravagant brunch menu are delightfully indulgent and just the ticket to kick off day two of your Adelaide Itinerary.

The ambience here is bright and modern and the thing that really hsines through at Bloom is exceptional attention to detail throughout. 

Cleland Wildlife Park 

Cleland Wildlife Park, located in the stunning Adelaide Hills, is unique in many ways from other similar attractions. The animals live in what is as close to their natural habitat as possible.

They are completely adapted to park life meaning that they are super tame and friendly and guests are allowed the privilege of stroking and feeding them snacks.

You may have the chance to get up close and personal with kangaroos, wombats, and wallabies for that perfect photo op.

Regular keeper talks give the opportunity to learn more about each animal and ask questions too. 

Child feeding kangaroo in wildlife park with hand

Shopping on King William Street

A great way to spend the latter part of your short break or weekend in Adelaide is some serious retail therapy on King William Street and Rundle Mall.

This iconic street, named after King William IV, is packed full of popular shops, stores, and cafes.

You can shop for gifts, souvenirs, and authentic keepsakes from the area while taking in some stunning architecture along the way including St Peter’s Cathedral which is a prominent landmark along this picturesque boulevard. 

Iconic Rundle Mall Balls in Adelaide CBD from ground point of view at night

Dinner on the roof at 2KW

A really special way to spend the last part of your two-day itinerary in Adelaide is with dinner at 2KW, which is located on the rooftop of one of the buildings on King William Street.

This restaurant offers sensational views over the city and a fabulous fine dining menu. The head chef here showcases only the best, locally sourced ingredients in his theatrical food prep processes that include carving at the table and show-cooking.

The extensive wine list, made up of bottles from all the very best local wine regions, perfectly complements the cuisine. The atmosphere at 2KW is elegant and upmarket yet relaxed and comfortable. 

Adelaide, South Australia Rooftop view of Hindley street with cafes and restaurants in CBD on a day looking west

Watch the sunset 

Head on over to Glenelg as dusk approaches to witness the Adelaide skies put on the most theatrical of displays.

Sunsets in Southern Australia can usually be counted upon to be quite spectacular so either grab a private spot on the sand to watch the glorious fire coloured show.

Or perhaps you would prefer to take a seat in one of the beach side cocktail bars. Either way, watching the sun set in Adelaide is truly the perfect way to end your trip.

People stroll on Glenelg jetty at sunset sky splashed with colourful hues of red, orange and blue in Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide Tour Ideas 

Barossa Valley Wineries Tour with Tastings and Lunch from Adelaide

One of the best day trips from Adelaide has to be a Wine Tasting and Lunch tour to the Barossa Valley.

This full-day tour from the city gives you the opportunity to visit several different wineries, learn about the specific details of that grape, and then, of course, the all-important tasting! 

Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Full-Day Tour in South Australia Highlights

This super popular tour is an opportunity for you to see all the most significant sights in the area in one well organised trip.

From wine tasting in the Mclaren Vale to paddling in the ocean at Glenelg this activity-packed tour will be a great chance for whistle stops at many main landmarks. 

McLaren Vale wine valley at sunset, South Australia

Kangaroo Island in a Day Tour from Adelaide

On this fabulous day trip to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide you will have the opportunity to see kangaroos, fur seals, and koala among many other amazing creatures.

This is the perfect trip for those who want to connect with local nature and wildlife and enjoy the stunning rural Australian landscape from land and sea. 

Iconic Remarkable Rocks  on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

48 Hours in Adelaide – A 2 day Itinerary – conclusion

Adelaide may not be the biggest or most flamboyant of Australian main cities but it has plenty to offer all of its visitors including some fabulous attractions, world class eateries and of course the good old fashioned Australian hospitality.

There is so much to see and do in the wonderful city of Adelaide that you could easily spend a week there and be busy every day.

Equally, if you are careful with your time and you plan well then it is definitely possible to enjoy Adelaide in two days especially if you use our 2 day Itinerary for Adelaide as a guide.

Recommended tours in Adelaide

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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