Adelaide is different things to different people. The capital of South Australia has long been known as the “City of Churches,” its skyline dotted by religious gathering places. But, for some, that could be seen as a misnomer.
Despite its buttoned-down reputation, Adelaide has a lot to offer visitors in terms of pubs and nightlife. Some of the region’s finest drinking spots and restaurants are found in Adelaide. Luckily for you, the convenient layout of the city’s streets makes it easy to get around no matter what you’re trying to do. So rent a car if you are in town (try Drivenow.com.au, they’ve got pretty cheap deals) and hit the streets.
Perhaps the most impressive building in the entire city is the Holy Trinity Church. Built in 1838, it was the first Anglican church in South Australia and is the oldest one still open for visits in Adelaide. Located in the heart of the city on North Terrace, it’s a great way to get a glimpse of a beautiful, historic structure in the middle of town.
Just about a kilometre and a half north sits another breathtaking church. St. Peters Cathedral is a five-minute drive up King William Road in the Pennington Terrace part of town. The intricate symmetry of the front of the church is definitely worth a peak, as are the steeples pointing skyward.
Once you’re finished there you might be ready to hop back in the car and shift gears. Maybe you need some fuel of your own after taking in such stunning sights. Adelaide may be known for its churches, and rightly so, but as previously mentioned, there are plenty of popular pubs and eateries that are worth a visit when you’re cruising around town.
For example, you’ll forget all about your more religious experiences of the afternoon when you step into La Bohème. Even though it’s in the middle of Adelaide, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a swanky French joint from years past. Cabaret shows complete the experience and pair well with the eclectic decor and drink options.
Just four blocks north of the faux French spot sits the Apothecary. Like the churches and La Bohème, it pays homage to a time gone by. Set in an old pharmacy, it utilises original wooden cabinets and amenities. The Apothecary is definitely a swankier place than your average pub, with an extensive wine list and more refined dining options.
But if you’d also like to work in a hotel stay into your road trip plans, Austral hotel will suit many tastes. It’s hard to go wrong at the Austral, just a few blocks east of the Apothecary on the corner of Bent and Rundle, the Austral has ample outdoor seating in front that serves as a great people watching hangout spot. And if you’re feeling a bit fancy, you can head into their white-tablecloth dining room.
Church and fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive concepts when in Adelaide. Hop in the car and cruise around to see what everything the capital of South Australia has to offer.
Words: Jessica Xu