In the age old dispute of Melbourne vs Sydney, Adelaide always wins. Why? Because it's just cool. It lacks the pretense of Sydney and the bustle of Melbourne. It is just a great laid back and relaxed place that I could call home.
Centering around Victoria Square, all of your entertainment is a quick walk away. If your lazy then the public transport is inexpensive and easy. Throughout town you find that Adelaide is called home to the nicest people in Australia thus far. They are friendly and polite and they don't act like big city folk. Purchase this print of Victoria Square.
The evenings offer plenty of live music as well as festivals. South Australia is known as the Festival State and with good reason. Adelaide seems to have new posters up around town advertising some festival or another. Clipsal, Womadelaide, the Film Festival to name a few.
The Rundle Mall in the town center has buskers and street performers throughout with outdoor cafes and pubs that dot all the surrounding streets. Guitarists, magicians, and jugglers entertain crowds along the street.
This chap for example is a street performer who plays the flute. What a great example of contrast. And this happens all over Adelaide, people don't fit every stereotype here, and not knowing what to expect is what makes a place interesting.
St. Pauls Cathedral in North Adelaide is visible from all over the city. Ever wonder why Adelaide is called the city of churches? Back in the 1800's, Adelaide was the only city founded purely by free settlers. They werte so free in fact they were even free to practice their own religion which attracted people from a variety of religions. Also something that brought the Germans over, their influence still present today in many cities in South Australia. Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills is a great example of this. Purchase a print of St Pauls Cathedral.
Being a huge fan of food markets, the Central Market was a personal favorite for finding fresh food and very reasonably priced meals, by Australia standards.
The Adelaide Central Market has been around for over 140 years, and you'd think by now they know what they're doing. Come here for fresh from the butcher meats, cheeses, fruits and veg. Everything here is grown locally and you know the money is staying in the community.
As a proud Burger connoisseur, I would further like to declare that I have found the current leader of the Best Burger in Australia competition. The Aussie burger, found at Jensens Cafe in the Central Market includes beef, bacon, BBQ Sauce, fried egg, beet root, lettuce and tomato. There was probably more, but who had time to check. I have never cried while eating a burger before, that was embarassing.
This burger will be hard to beat, but I will accept any worthy challengers that present themselves (idealy with a side of chips).
Even the buildings in Adelaide are an eclectic mix of old and new. This is how a city can maintain its sense of history and character while stilling making way for new buildings that don't overpower the old. Too many cities get rid of the old buildings to make way for the new.
A relief to see that some city planners finally got this right. The entrance to Rundle Street Mall is a great example.
The other noticeable feature in Adelaide is the public art that you find all over the city. From the fountains in the parks to the sculptures that add personality to what would only be normal buildings. It's not in your face nor is it subtle. It's just right for a city this size.
The reason to love Adelaide is because it doesn't have to try very hard to be an amazing place. It just is. Sydney gets all the attention when in the end it is just another big city. It pays big city prices and has big city people who think their big city lives are more worthy. Sure it has the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge and makes for some great Sydney photos, but every big international city has its Opera House or its Big Ben or its Statue of Liberty.
Then comes Melbourne who has the unfortunate luck of playing second fiddle to Sydney. While it does have less pretense than Sydney, it still has to live in Sydney's shadows and try that much harder to get any tourist action. Why go to Melbourne when you can get everything in Sydney.
After that you need personality, that one thing that so many cities lose and Adelaide has. If you don't believe me, then just ask the biker looking fellow who plays the flute if Adelaide has personality.
This is the city I could live in. Now if I can only find Adelaide's American equivalent.
Now please join me for A Day Out in Adelaide
First Impressions of Melbourne