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10 Incredible Adelaide staycations: where to stay & what to do

Linden Brown

Fancy a weekend filled with sprawling beaches and rolling vineyards? Us too.

In a city that’s easy to navigate yet rich in festivals, arts and music, every moment of your Adelaide staycation is filled with discovery and delight.

No need to book that expensive flight. 

We compiled this comprehensive guide to the best of Adelaide. It covers where to stay and what to do for a memorable staycation – in charming Adelaide style. 

Grab an Adelaide car rental and book a great hotel for an unforgettable experience close to home.

Jump to:

What is a staycation, and why choose Adelaide?

A staycation is your chance to explore your hometown as a tourist – minus the long travel times and hefty expenses. It's about enjoying a holiday vibe right where you live.

So why pick Adelaide? Imagine waking up in your city but seeing it through fresh eyes. Adelaide is a blend of natural beauty and vibrant culture. 

You're just a short drive from sun-kissed vineyards in the Barossa, pristine beaches in Glenelg, and lively arts festivals downtown. Start your day with a leisurely brunch at a local cafe, wander through the sprawling Adelaide Central Market, or lose yourself in the lush Adelaide Hills. And don’t forget about Kangaroo Island.

As a lucky local, Adelaide is easy, affordable, and packed with options.

Whether sipping world-class wines, lounging on the beach, or enjoying the city’s arts scene, an Adelaide staycation turns familiar streets into unforgettable experiences. Rediscover Adelaide, and fall in love with your city all over again.

Top ten hotels for the best Adelaide staycation

Five luxury hotels you don’t want to miss in Adelaide

Mayfair Hotel

In the heart of Adelaide, the Mayfair Hotel blends historic charm and modern elegance. This heritage building has been transformed into a haven of luxury.

Nearby: Just steps from the bustling Rundle Mall, the Art Gallery of South Australia, and a slew of vibrant eateries.

Why you'll love it: The Mayfair isn’t just a place to stay; it’s an experience. Top off a day of city exploration with a visit to the Hennessy Rooftop Bar, where you can sip cocktails and gaze at the city lights.

The Playford Adelaide, MGallery by Sofitel

This Art Nouveau-inspired hotel on North Terrace is about more than just staying the night – it's about immersing yourself in elegance.

Nearby: You’re right next to the Adelaide Convention Centre and steps from the Adelaide Festival Centre, putting you in the heart of Adelaide's cultural scene.

Why you'll love it: From the locally sourced menu at the award-winning restaurant to the luxurious wellness centre, the Playford delivers a truly personalised stay that makes every moment special.

InterContinental Adelaide

Resting on the picturesque banks of the River Torrens, the InterContinental Adelaide is where convenience meets luxury.

Nearby: The Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Oval, and SkyCity Casino are a short stroll away, and the entire city is at your doorstep.

Why you'll love it: Experience world-class service and enjoy rooms that offer views of the serene riverbank. It’s perfect if you want to indulge in a little luxury while experiencing the best of Adelaide.

The Oval Hotel

Built into the historic Adelaide Oval, The Oval Hotel offers more than just a stay – it offers a story.

Nearby: You're in the heart of Adelaide, surrounded by the city’s lush parklands and bustling CBD.

Why you'll love it: Wake up to views of the iconic oval and enjoy a morning coffee overlooking the hallowed turf – a dream for sports fans and luxury seekers alike.

Eos by SkyCity

In the vibrant heart of Adelaide, Eos by SkyCity sets the standard for luxury. It's not just a hotel; it’s a palace of modern indulgence.

Nearby: Part of the SkyCity complex, you’re right in the mix of Adelaide’s thriving Riverbank entertainment precinct.

Why you'll love it: Eos offers more than just sumptuous rooms and fine dining. It promises an escape into a world of luxury, with spa treatments that whisk you away from the mundane and casino excitement that ignites the night.

Are you looking for a city escape? What about a staycation in the Adelaide Hills wine region? Try the iconic Mount Lofty House, eating at award-winning Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant for panoramic views of the Piccadilly Valley, or explore the charming town of Hahndorf from The Manna by Haus

The combination of rolling vistas, old-world elegance and three-hatted restaurants makes the Adelaide Hills an exquisite place to stay. There’s also Mclaren Vale, home to 65 wineries and beautiful boutique hotels in the heart of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Five budget hotels to consider for an Adelaide staycation

Here are five budget-friendly hotels in Adelaide that offer more than just savings.

City Central Motel

Nestled in the city’s heart, City Central Motel offers straightforward, comfortable accommodations without the fuss. It’s perfect if you want convenience without a hefty price tag.

Nearby: You’re just minutes away from the vibrant Central Market and the charming streets of the Adelaide CBD.

Why you'll love it: It's a no-frills base that puts you right in the middle of everything – ideal for those who want to explore the city without wasting time or money on transport.

Adelaide Travellers Inn

This friendly hostel provides a homey feel with the benefits of budget accommodation. With a range of room options, it caters to backpackers and budget solo travellers looking for a laid-back stay.

Nearby: Located in the bustling area of Hutt Street, where cafes and bars abound.

Why you'll love it: The Adelaide Travellers Inn offers a relaxed, social atmosphere with a communal kitchen and lounge – perfect for meeting fellow travellers.

Glenelg Beach Hostel

Just steps from the beautiful Glenelg Beach, this hostel combines the fun of a beach holiday with the affordability of a hostel.

Nearby: Enjoy the sand and surf of Glenelg Beach, or hop on a tram to the city centre.

Why you'll love it: With its vibrant, youthful vibe and prime location by the beach, you can enjoy sun and socialising on a shoestring budget.

BreakFree Adelaide

Offering both hotel rooms and studio apartments, BreakFree Adelaide is a versatile option that doesn’t compromise on comfort.

Nearby: A short walk from the Adelaide Central Market and the artsy West End district.

Why you'll love it: The choice between rooms and self-contained studios gives you flexibility, whether you're staying a night or a week.

The Guest House

This budget gem provides clean, simple accommodations with a touch of hospitality that feels more like a B&B than a hostel.

Nearby: The Guest House is close to Adelaide's South Terrace, so guests can easily access the city's lush parklands and public transport.

Why you'll love it: It’s your cosy corner in Adelaide, offering peace and privacy with the perks of communal areas to mingle with other guests. Enjoy a quiet retreat after a day of urban adventures.

Five must-do activities for a couple’s staycation in Adelaide

Dive into the vibrant world of art together at one of the country's top galleries. It's like travelling the world through art – perfect for sparking deep, meaningful conversations or simply enjoying the beauty together.

2. Wander through the Adelaide Botanic Garden

Take a stroll through this lush oasis in the city's heart. It's peaceful, beautiful, and a little bit magical. There's nothing like sharing quiet moments in lush scenery to bring you closer together. There’s nothing like sharing quiet moments in lush scenery to bring you closer together.

3. Dine at a rooftop bar

Enjoy a meal at 2KW with its sweeping views of Adelaide. The combination of delicious food, exquisite cocktails, and the twinkling city lights below sets the stage for a truly romantic getaway.

4. Catch a performance at the Adelaide Festival Centre

Spend an evening immersed in live music or drama. The energy of a live performance is contagious, and sharing that with someone you love makes for an unforgettable night out.

5. Cruise on the River Torrens

Relax on a gentle boat ride through the heart of Adelaide. Why you'll love it: It’s a serene way to see the city, offering both quiet moments to chat and lovely views that make it feel like you’re in a world of your own.

Five fun activities for a family staycation in Adelaide

1. Adelaide Zoo

Home to over 2,500 animals, Adelaide Zoo is a bustling little world of wonders right in the city’s heart.

What’s special: Imagine your kids’ joy as they meet a koala up close or feed a towering giraffe. It’s not just fun; it’s a hands-on lesson in nature and conservation that’ll stick with them long after they leave.

2. South Australian Museum

This treasure trove of natural history and cultural exhibits offers a deep dive into our world.

What’s special: It's a journey through time and space, where each exhibit offers a story. Your kids can marvel at giant squid or ponder ancient Aboriginal tools, sparking conversations and curiosity.

3. Glenelg Beach

More than just a spot to soak up the sun, Glenelg is packed with activities, from a historic tram ride to bustling shops and eateries.

What’s special: After building sandcastles and splashing in the waves, you can stroll the jetty or hit the arcade. It’s the perfect mix of relaxation and entertainment, with plenty of ice cream stops along the way.

4. Cleland Wildlife Park

Set against a backdrop of natural bushland, this park lets you walk among and interact with wildlife in a way few places can match.

What’s special: Feed a kangaroo as it gently takes food from your hand, or experience the delight of holding a koala. These moments of connection with wildlife are priceless and offer a real touch of magic.

5. Adelaide Botanic Garden

A green heart in the city, these gardens offer a lush escape with hidden nooks, expansive lawns, and fascinating plant collections.

What’s special: There’s something soothing about wandering through beautiful gardens, and it’s a chance for kids to run free and explore safely. Whether smelling roses or watching ducks, it’s a day spent soaking up nature’s beauty.

How to get around during your Adelaide staycation

Why not add even more fun to your staycation? Leave your own car at home and grab a fun new ride. You can pick up the perfect car when and where you need it.

With Uber Carshare, great cars are parked close to Adelaide’s best spots. Fancy a sporty ride for a fun day out or a compact car for easy city parking? Pick up an Adelaide car rental close to where you’re staying. No queues, no paperwork. Just you, your favourite people, and endless possibilities.

Final word: create the best Adelaide staycation

Travel lets you discover new things – incredible sights, interesting smells and new tastes. You feel a new kind of buzz. But you don't have to go far to find that feeling. 

Imagine exploring and rediscovering the very best of your home city on a whim, without booking flights, navigating unfamiliar language or changing time zones. Grab a fun new Adelaide car rental, and it’s your adventure – on your terms.

For even more inspiration, discover some must-visit wineries in Adelaide and our favourite hikes in Adelaide


Where can I go for a staycation in Adelaide?

Adelaide: where city charm meets leafy retreats and sandy shores. Lose yourself in the cultural elegance of the city centre, unwind in the tranquil Adelaide Hills, or soak up the sun at Glenelg Beach. Each spot offers a unique slice of Adelaide life, perfect for a refreshing getaway in South Australia.

What are the best Adelaide staycation ideas?

Rediscover the joys of Adelaide with a staycation that's as relaxing or as thrilling as you want it to be. Dive into the vibrant arts scene with a show at the Festival Centre, savour the city's best bites at the Adelaide Central Market, or stroll through the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Don't forget a day trip to Barossa for a taste of world-class wines right in your backyard.

Where is the best place to stay in Adelaide?

For sheer indulgence, the Mayfair Hotel offers luxurious comfort with stunning city views right in the heart of downtown. If you're watching your budget but don't want to skimp on experience, Adelaide Travellers Inn offers a friendly, vibrant atmosphere just a stone's throw from all the city action.

What is there to do in South Australia in winter?

Enjoy a range of activities – explore the cosy cafes and vibrant arts scene of Adelaide, or embark on a scenic drive through the Barossa Valley. Try the popular destinations Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island. The cooler months are also perfect for whale watching along the southern coast, where the majestic creatures can be seen frolicking near Victor Harbor.

How much is a hotel room in Adelaide?

Costs vary widely depending on the time of year and how luxurious the room is. On average, budget hotels start around $100/night, while mid-range hotels range from $150-$250/night. For a more up-market stay, you’ll pay upwards of $300/night. According to KAYAK, the average price for a double room is around $250 per night. However, deals start at $51 per night.

Did you like this article? Check out our Brisbane Staycation, Sydney Staycation and Melbourne Staycation articles for more tips.