Tram, Moseley Square, Adelaide, South Australia © Tourism Australia
Getting around Adelaide
With free trams and buses within the city centre, getting around Adelaide is quick and easy.
By Mark Sariban
Adelaide is an easy city to get around, with a great range of options for public transport, driving, cycling and walking. Here’s how to get around Adelaide with ease.
Transport in Adelaide
- Airport Transfers
Adelaide has an extensive public transport system of buses, trains and trams. To use the network, it’s recommended that you purchase a MetroCard. You can purchase a regular metroCARD at Adelaide Airport or from participating retailers in the city. Use the Adelaide Metro’s My next service tool to find your nearest stop and real-time service information.
- You can also purchase a metroCARD Visitor Pass, which gives you three days of unlimited travel on the Adelaide Metro network for one fixed fee. These cards can be purchased from the Adelaide Metro InfoCentre at the Adelaide Railway Station.
- If you choose a regular metroCARD, you’ll need to load it with some money to cover your fares. You can do this online, at metroCARD retail agents or by using ticket machines at train stations.
- You can use a contactless credit card, debit card or mobile device to tap and pay on trams and O-Bahn busway buses. Note that the tap and pay option does not provide the benefit of discounted transfers to other services.
- To start your ride, tap your card on the reader when you board your selected mode of transport and be sure to tap off when you disembark.
Tip: If you arrive on a cruise ship, you can purchase an inexpensive one-day Cruise ship metroCARD at the Outer Harbor railway station or the Adelaide Metro InfoCentre.
Adelaide is serviced by Adelaide Airport (ADL) near the city centre. There are several options for reaching the city from the airport.
- Public buses are an easy way to get from Adelaide Airport to the city. J1 and J2 buses run from the airport to the city approximately every 30 minutes. You can use a metroCARD to pay for this airport service.
- You’ll find taxi ranks and rideshare pick-up areas at the front of each terminal – simply follow the signage. The journey from the airport to the city takes around 15 minutes.
In Australia, airlines, trains, buses and ferries have accessible options for people using mobility devices, as well as services for hearing and vision impaired travellers. Many hotels and attractions in South Australia, including surrounding areas such as Adelaide Hills, are also accessible.
- Adelaide Airport provides special assistance for people with disabilities and can help with baggage, getting around the airport, and getting on and off the plane.
- The majority of buses, trams and trains have accessible options – check the Adelaide Metro website for information on using public transport before your trip.
Getting around Adelaide on public transport
Adelaide has a useful tram service that operates through the city centre and inner suburbs. It’s most convenient for travel within the city and reaching the popular coastal suburb of Glenelg. The service runs every 10-15 minutes from around 7am to midnight.
- The tram is free to use in Adelaide city centre between Entertainment Centre Station and South Terrace Station.
Adelaide’s rail network is a great way to visit attractions outside of the city centre. From Adelaide Railway Station, you can catch the Outer Harbor line train to reach destinations such as historic Port Adelaide and the beachside suburb of Semaphore.
Adelaide has a free City Connector bus service operate in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions in the city centre.
- Use 98 City Connector buses to travel between Adelaide’s downtown hotels and attractions such as the South Australian Museum, Adelaide Botanic Garden, Adelaide Zoo and Adelaide Oval.
Getting around Adelaide by car
Driving in Adelaide is easy and safe, but you may find it’s easier to use a combination of taxis, rideshares and public transport to get around town. You can also book tours to many of the stunning destinations outside of Adelaide and leave the driving to someone else.
If you do opt to rent a car at the airport or in the city, you may want to check whether your hotel charges a daily parking fee.
- The City of Adelaide operates nine UPark off-street car parks with approximately 6,000 car parking spaces.
- Download the free City of Adelaide Park Adelaide app to find parking spaces and make contactless payments on your smart device.
Adelaide is served by three major taxi companies: Independent taxis, Suburban taxis and 13cabs (Yellow Cabs).
- You can hail a taxi on the street (a taxi is available if its rooftop light is on) or at taxi ranks in built-up areas.
- You can also book a taxi by phoning individual companies, downloading their apps or using the GoCatch app.
Tip: Female travellers can also book a ride with Shebah, a rideshare service with all-women drivers catering to women. (Adult men can use the service if they need to transport a child who requires an approved child safety seat.)
Make the most of your time in Adelaide with a guided driving tour, such as Adelaide Sightseeing’s Adelaide City Highlights tour.
Other forms of transport in Adelaide
- Cycling & scooting
Taking a sightseeing cruise on Adelaide’s rivers is a great way to see the city.
- Cruise the River Torrens through the city centre on the charming river boat Popeye.
- Spot the dolphins of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary during a Port River Cruises tour on Port Adelaide River.
The City of Adelaide’s cycling networks make riding around the city easy and enjoyable.
- Follow the Adelaide Bike Art Trail to see 11 large-scale sculptures located next to public bike racks.
- Download an app from Beam or Neuron to access a pool of shared e-bikes and e-scooters across Adelaide.