Getting Around Adelaide
The best ways to get around Adelaide are on foot and by bus or tram. Walking is ideal for short distances in the central business district, while the free bus and tram services provided by Adelaide Metro – the city's bus, tram and train network – are convenient options for longer trips between downtown locales. What's more, Adelaide's JetExpress bus offers an affordable way to get to and from Adelaide Airport (ADL), but keep in mind it offers limited weekday operating hours. Trains are ideal for commutes to suburban areas, and top attractions situated outside the city center are best reached by car. Taxis and Uber are also available, however, both can be pricey.
|On Foot||Most of Adelaide's top attractions are a bit removed from the city center, but many (including the Adelaide Zoo and Adelaide Botanic Garden) are with walking distance of one another. If you're staying in the heart of the city, you'll be able to walk from your accommodations to the South Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Adelaide Central Market, as well as Chinatown Adelaide and various shops and restaurants. Rely on one of Adelaide's motorized transportation options to travel outside the downtown area.|
Adelaide Metro operates more than 550 bus routes in and around Adelaide, as well as a double-decker airport bus service called JetExpress. Many Adelaide Metro buses make stops near city attractions, but for the cheapest way to get around central Adelaide, hop on one of the free City Connector buses (Nos. 98A, 98C, 99A and 99C). These buses travel in a loop inside Adelaide's central business district or between North Adelaide and downtown.
Bus Nos. 99A and 99C, the inner City Connector routes, are not available on weekends but operate every 30 minutes between 8:15 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. on weekdays. The 98A and 98C buses, meanwhile, run every half-hour or hour from 6:45 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. daily (with reduced hours on weekends and public holidays). JetExpress is available on weekdays during rush hour. All other buses have varying schedules, so consult Adelaide Metro's bus timetables before your trip. If you plan to ride one of the city's fee-based buses, expect to pay 3.40 Australian dollars (or roughly $2.50) for one-way "interpeak" trips – rides on Sundays, public holidays and weekdays between 9:01 a.m. and 3 p.m. – or AU$5.30 ($4) for one-way peak trips on Saturdays and during rush hour on weekdays. You can also purchase a three-day visitor pass, which includes three consecutive days of unlimited rides on any Adelaide bus, tram or train, for AU$26 (about $20) per person.
One tram route that travels to and from the Adelaide Entertainment Centre (a large concert and theater venue) and Glenelg (a beach community about 7 miles southwest of central Adelaide) is offered by Adelaide Metro. It makes multiple stops in Adelaide's central business district, including at the Adelaide Railway Station (the city's main train depot) and by Rundle Mall. Trams depart every 15 minutes starting at 5 or 6:15 a.m. and run until 12:15 a.m. daily. One-way tickets cost AU$3.40 to AU$5.30 (about $2.50 to $4) per person, depending on the time and day, or travelers can purchase a three-day visitor pass – which includes unlimited rides on all of Adelaide Metro's modes of transportation – for AU$26 (approximately $20) each.
If you plan on visiting suburban areas like Belair, Tonsley and Salisbury, consider using Adelaide Metro's trains. Nine train lines with stops at multiple local railway stations are available. However, none of the network's suburban stations sit near top attractions located outside the city (such as Waterfall Gully, regional vineyards and Kangaroo Island). Fees for single trip tickets, like those on other Adelaide Metro transit services, depend on the time and day, but you should expect to pay AU$3.40 to AU$5.30 (or $2.50 to $4) per person, unless you buy a AU$26 ($20) three-day visitor pass. Train timetables vary by line, but most routes operate every day on the half-hour or hour between midnight or 5 a.m. and 11:15 p.m.
Adelaide's reliable, convenient and inexpensive public transportation network is the best way to get around downtown and its surrounding suburbs. But to reach locales like Barossa and McLaren Vale without joining an organized tour, visitors will need to rent a car. Car rentals are available at Adelaide Airport and from several agencies in the city center. American driver's licenses can be used while in Adelaide, but remember that Aussies drive on the left side of the road and use kilometers to calculate distances and speed limits.
Taxi services are readily available in the city center but are expensive. All passengers are charged a base rate of AU$3.50 (nearly $3), plus an extra AU$4 per kilometer (or roughly $4.50 per mile). Additional charges may also apply for tolls, airport transfers and rides between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Cabs can be hailed on the street, at the airport or by calling ahead. Or, get from point A to point B by using the Uber app.
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