- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Adelaide Guide (PDF)
Relocation to any city has its ups and downs, and expats will find that Adelaide is no different. That said, the city remains popular with expats, and its pros far outweigh its cons.
Here are a few of the perks and pitfalls of moving to the South Australian capital.
Accommodation in Adelaide
+ PRO: Cheaper areas not too far from the city
Although Adelaide has more than a million inhabitants, few people live in the city centre. Most live in the eastern suburbs or on the coast, where it is often surprisingly cheaper than inland neighbourhoods. These areas are still close enough to Adelaide's city centre to be reachable by bus or tram in less than an hour.
- CON: Accommodation is expensive
It is no longer a secret: Australia is an expensive country to live in, and accommodation is a big part of this cost. This means that expats will need a good salary to cover the cost of accommodation. While money goes much further here than in larger Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, it's by no means a cheap place to live.
Food in Adelaide
+ PRO: Heaps of eateries
Whether an expat enjoys pub grub, spicy dishes or healthy food, they are sure to find a favourite spot in Adelaide. There is an abundance of restaurants, food trucks and other good eateries in Adelaide's city centre and in its various neighbourhoods.
- CON: Pricey meals
Eating out in Adelaide can be a pricey endeavour – whether eating at a fancy restaurant, in a food court or even just grabbing a takeaway sandwich, restaurant bills tend to sting.
Working in Adelaide
+ PRO: Good work-life balance
Although salaries in Australia may not be as high as in other expat locations around the world, the country is well known for its good work-life balance. As a result, working in Adelaide gives expats a chance to truly enjoy their stay in Australia in a more laid-back environment.
- CON: Tricky to find a first position in Adelaide
Expats fresh off the plane require determination and dedication to get the ‘Holy Grail’ that is a first Australian job. Because most employers prefer to hire local job seekers or expats with previous experience in an Australian-based company, it becomes a bit difficult to get a foot in the door. Once an expat gets that first position, they often keep it long term, knowing how complicated it was to get it in the first place, and loath to go through the process again.
Travelling in Adelaide
+ PRO: Many options for road trips
Driving along Adelaide's coastline is a wonderful experience. With outstanding landscapes and magical scenery, road trips are an absolute joy.
- CON: Domestic flights are pricey
Travelling interstate is unfortunately expensive from Adelaide. A trip west to Perth could cost more than flying to Indonesia. There are many flights every day, but prices increase significantly closer to the departure date.
+ PRO: Good public transport system
Whether an expat hops on the tram from Glenelg all the way to North Adelaide or catches one of the many buses and trains to Adelaide suburbs, it is quite easy to get around.
- CON: Frequency of public transport
Even though it is easy to catch a bus, it is not convenient to have to wait, sometimes up to an hour, for the next one. Expats might need to catch a bus, then a train and finally the tram to reach their destination.
Entertainment in Adelaide
+ PRO: Activities for every personality type
There's plenty to see and do in Adelaide. Hiking, surfing and stand-up paddleboarding are available for the sportive and adventurous – then there's cheese and wine tasting for the foodies, and a cultural district and a large range of shows in the heart of the city for the culture addicts.
+ PRO: Great selection of local beers, ciders and wines
Adelaide is the perfect spot for sipping great local beers, ciders and wines. This region is surrounded by vineyards with plenty of opportunities to pop into a wine farm for a tasting, which makes driving around the state of South Australia even more enjoyable.
►For an overview of the city, see Moving to Adelaide
Are you an expat living in Adelaide?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Adelaide. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.