Living in Adelaide | Enjoy the Coastal Capital of South Australia

Living in Adelaide | Enjoy the Coastal Capital of South Australia

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Do you dream of moving to the Land Down Under? The extraordinary Australian wildlife and laid back lifestyle are two of many reasons this country is a op destination for international students. While all cities in Australia offer a unique experience, there is certainly something special about living in Adelaide.

Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is known for having fabulous beaches, unbeatable climate, and the best wine in the country. Despite its low profile, the city has a lot to offer. Nicknamed the Cultural Epicenter of Australia, Adelaide hosts a wide range of festivals, events, and entertainment. From renowned museums to award-winning restaurants, there’s so much to do and experience in this coastal capital.

To find out everything there is to know about living in Adelaide, keep reading!

Style and Quality of Life in Adelaide

woman living in Adelaide

With 1.3 million residents, Adelaide is the fifth-largest city in Australia. Despite its large population, you will rarely find yourself stuck in traffic. Adelaide is a bicycle-friendly city, where more people are riding bikes and enjoying outdoor recreation.

Speaking of outdoors, Adelaide has over 30 kilometers of connecting beaches. Most locals enjoy spending a day at the beach, whether it’s soaking up the sun, swimming with dolphins, or dining at one of many restaurants along the foreshore. The city is also full of parks and hiking trails that offer the best scenic views of Adelaide Hills and old architecture.

Much like other Australian cities, Adelaide embraces the relaxed, laid back lifestyle. One major difference, and benefit, is its lower cost of living. With rentals averaging almost 50% less than Sydney, Adelaide is one of the most affordable capital cities.

From diverse communities and top educational institutions to affordability, living in Adelaide is ideal for a student’s budget. It’s no surprise why over 30,000 international students come to Adelaide every year.


Climate in Adelaide

Similar to Mediterranean countries, Adelaide experiences warm, dry summers, and mild winters. During the summer, which occurs from December to February, temperatures in Adelaide average from 16.7°C to 28.6°C (62°F – 83.5°F). With hardly any rainfall during this season, >people living in Adelaide enjoy the lowest humidity of Australian cities.

Winters in Adelaide, which last from June to August, receive the most rainfall. During this wet season, temperatures range from 8°C to 16°C (46.5°F – 60.8°F). Despite receiving rainfall during this season, Adelaide still has the driest climate out of all Australian capital cities.

Cost of Living in Adelaide

Adelaide city busy downtown

Although Adelaide is cosmopolitan, it is the most affordable capital city in Australia. The cost of living in Adelaide is about 20% cheaper than Sydneyand Melbourne, and about 10% cheaper than Brisbane. Both the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia estimate the average costs of a student living in Adelaide are between 300 and 700 Australian dollars (AUD) per week, excluding tuition and course fees.

Using these figures as a reference, let’s take a look at the costs of living in Adelaide more in detail: food, accommodation, transport, and leisure.

Food and Daily Expenses

Let’s begin with grocery shopping in Adelaide. For items from the supermarkets, you should budget between 90 and 130 AUD per week. Below is a list of the most common food purchases (in AUD):

  • Bread (1 loaf): $2.50
  • Milk (1 liter): $1.30
  • Rice (1 kg): $2.70
  • Eggs (1 dozen): $4.80
  • Bottle of Water (600 mL): $3.00
  • A cup of Coffee: $3.25

Keep in mind, these are the average costs of items and can vary by store and brand. Also, a helpful tip for shopping in Adelaide is to bring your own bags.


One of the advantages of living in Adelaide is affordable rental prices. The cost of rentals in Adelaide can depend on two factors: the area of the city and the types of amenities.

In downtown Adelaide, the most expensive part of the city, you can spend around 250 AUD per week on a shared rental. If living on your own, the cost may be 400 AUD per week. On the other hand, an apartment rental in the suburbs can cost an estimated 300 AUD per week, and 150 AUD per week for a shared apartment. As for utilities—water, gas, electricity, and the internet—can cost about 100 AUD per week.

Tips on Finding Accommodation

Of course, you can look for rentals on the outskirts of Adelaide, where you will find cheaper prices. Also, shared apartments are common among students. Having a roommate can help you save money on rent and utilities. We strongly recommend that students come to stay in a hostel for a week or so while searching for accommodation, so they can become familiar with the areas and view the listings in person.

Hostels are affordable and convenient accommodation for travelers, which are easy to book and offer flexible dates. YHA Australia is a popular website to find and book hostels in Australia.

If you’re looking for something other than apartment rentals, there are alternative accommodation options for students. Many educational institutions in Australia encourage homestays, where students live with a local host family during the semester. You can also live on-campus in student housing, which is generally most convenient for students, providing amenities and utilities.


Another perk of living in Adelaide is its public transportation. The entire service is managed by Adelaide Metro, which includes the city tram (trolley) and city bus. A one-way fare for each service trip can cost between 3 and 6 AUD. Fares are cheaper, however, if you use the MetroCard and also providediscounts for students.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are several free transport options in Adelaide. The city offers free tram and bus services in certain areas, with stops at several tourist attractions. You can also take advantage of the free bike service> in Adelaide, a green-friendly way to tour the city and get some exercise.

Leisure and Entertainment

Last but not least, you can’t fully experience living in Adelaide without allocating time for relaxation and leisure activities. Known for its entertainment and social activities, you can expect a 10 AUD entrance fee at a bar in Adelaide and to spend about 12 AUD for a glass of wine.

A movie ticket costs around 15 AUD and lunch at a local restaurant to be around 16 AUD. Nevertheless, there are plenty of free activities to do in Adelaide as well, including beaches, street festivals, and visiting art galleries.

Work while Living in Adelaide

woman working in a shop

Many students choose to work to cover their expenses. The advantage of working in Australia is the paygrade. As of 2020, the minimum wage in Australia is 19.84 AUD, one of the highest in the world. With that said, there are still requirements to work in the city, which is what we will cover next.

Requirements to Work in Adelaide

Working in Adelaide has the same general requirements as other Australian cities. First, you will need a visa for Australia. There are two visas under which you are allowed to work and study in the country: the Student Visa and Working Holiday Visa.

Both visas permit students to work during the school year, with the Student Visa allowing students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week, and the Working Holiday Visa allowing 40 hours per week.

Aside from obtaining a visa, you must meet additional requirements:

  • Be at least age 18
  • Apply for a TFN or ABN, equivalent to social security numbers in Australia
  • >Have English proficiency

For full details regarding work requirements, check out our article on working in Australia. You can also visit the official Australian Government website for more information regarding Australian visas.

Areas to Live in Adelaide

suburb residential area in Adelaide

Each neighborhood in Adelaide offers a different experience. To make sure you choose a location that matches your style and preferences, let’s compare the most popular areas to live in Adelaide.

Central Business District

The Central Business District (CBD) of Adelaide is the city center where you can catch most of the public transportation. With dozens of cafes, restaurants, malls, and museums, there is plenty to do and see in this busy business area. The CBD area usually hosts Adelaide’s annual festivals and events. If you want to live where the action happens, CBD is your ideal spot.


If you prefer fewer crowds and more contact with nature, Glenelg is the perfect suburb. The neighborhood is home to Adelaide’s largest beach, Glenelg beach, as well as plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants along the coast.


About five minutes outside of the busy CBD is Brompton, another popular area. Brompton is an up-and-coming suburb, having much on-going construction of new townhouses and residential neighborhoods. Full of green parks and local shopping centers, this side of town is cozy and family-friendly.

Best Areas to Enjoy in Adelaide

people walking in Glenelg area

From beaches and parks to restaurants and nightlife spots, the city of Adelaide never sleeps. Check out the best areas to see and explore in Adelaide:

Gouger Street

To experience a variety of gastronomy, come to Gouger Street. Here, you can wine and dine in award-winning restaurants serving Italian, French, Thai, Argentine, and Vietnamese cuisine. Another major attraction on Gouger Street is the Adelaide Central Market, the city’s largest fresh produce market consisting of over 70 traders. The market is a 150-year tradition in Adelaide and serves as a food and culture hub of the city.

Jetty Road

Another major tourism area is Jetty Road, a kilometer-long retail strip. With proximity to Glenelg beach, Jetty Road is a popular dining and shopping hub. On this strip, you can enjoy plenty of seaside cafes, restaurants, gift shops, and beach entertainment.

North Terrace

A world-famous venue of several tourist attractions, North Terrace is an area you don’t want to miss. Here, you can take a stroll through the Art Gallery of South Australia, visit the Migration Museum, and tour the National Wine Center of Australia!

Things to Do in Adelaide

people walking in downtown Adelaide

While living in Adelaide, you will see the city transform into a festival epicenter during the summer. From January to April, you can enjoy the most renowned annual festivals, including the WOMADelaideAdelaide Fringe, and OzAsia. There is always something to celebrate in Adelaide, especially of diverse cultures and customs.

Study while Living in Adelaide

If you plan to study in Australia, be sure to include Adelaide on your destination list. In addition to affordable living, Adelaide offers a quality education at prestigious universities. Through our GrowPro program, there are plenty of opportunities to study while living in Adelaide:

English Courses

Is English your second language? Would you like to improve your proficiency? These English courses, ranging from general to intensive, will help strengthen your comprehension and communication skills in the language.

Vocational Courses

Are you interested in courses that prepare you for specific job sectors? Check out these vocational (VET) courses where you can receive in-class training and earn certifications to work immediately in your field of study.

Live in Adelaide with Help from GrowPro

There you have it! Everything you need to know about living in Adelaide and more! So, if after reading this guide you’re convinced of moving here, know that GrowPro Experience is here to help! Simply choose an experience on our Australia page, and one of our Student Advisors will walk you through the process.

Here at GrowPro, we help thousands of students every year to move to a new country, many of whom were their first time living abroad. If it is your first time, don’t worry!

After you choose an experience, our Student Advisors will reach out to answer any questions you may have. We also offer assistance in handling necessary paperwork with your selected school, student visa applications, and medical insurance.

Upon your arrival, we host >Welcome Sessions for you to meet other “growers” and provide plenty of resources to help you get adjusted to the new country. Subscribe to our YouTube page and download our free Australia e-book to learn more about studying, working, and living there, as well as other popular destinations around the world. Come live in Adelaide through GrowPro!

About the author

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Hey there! My name is Charlotte, and I'm working as an International Project Manager at GrowPro Experience. My goal is to help students all around the world to live the experiences of a lifetime 🙌🏽. I'm trying to inspire students by means of telling the story of former growers, showing what we are doing at each destination and writing about our cities and tips on our blogs. I got a big passion for adventures, doing sports in the park, learning new languages and seeing new places 🌏. That's one of the reasons why I studied European Studies and why I currently work for GrowPro, to expand my horizons. Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

Loading comments...