Adelaide is your closet exhibitionist. It may not seem like a wild child from its chilled daytime façade but come dusk, it blossoms. From cosy chocolate cafés and pint-sized cocktail bars to multicultural venues and commercial nightclubs, the city has it all. Classical tunes, retro beats and hard metal can be found competing almost shoulder-to-shoulder in and around the Central Business District.
Every February and March, ingenious pop-up bars spring from the alleyways and rooftops during the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which hosts events and live performances.
Bars in Adelaide
One of the city’s most multicultural venues, this tapas bar and lounge on trend-setting Leigh Street is the hottest spot in town. It features DJs, live samba, soca, flamenco and Turkish belly dancers as well as African drummers. The tropical fish in the tank almost seem to join in with the grooves.
Kick back in their cushioned courtyard and enjoy a cheeky orange margarita on summer evenings, or slip inside the warmly-lit bar and surround yourself with exotic artworks.Address: , 12 Leigh Street, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8231 3939.
Fumo Blu Cocktail Lounge
For chic, 1950s décor, cosy booths, funky upholstered chairs, and a lot of blue light, head to this ex-underground cigar lounge in the East End. Order their signature blue-hued lemonade cocktail, Blue Smoke. Or, if you have the confidence to look the bartender straight in the face, order a Laced Nikkers, before mingling with those who have mastered the art of looking cool.Address: , 270 Rundle Street, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8232 2533.
The Apothecary 1878
If ever there was a medicinal bar, this is it. Located in the West End inside an elegant Heritage-listed building, this posh establishment houses bottled drinks and old chemist’s relics in restored pharmacy chests. The cosy setting seems like it’s been plucked straight out of a time-warped French village.
Sip fine award-winning wines (a list of 1,200) and dine on gourmet cuisine in their rustic restaurant, before browsing your way through the glass cabinets containing old tincture bottles and amusing medicinal remedies. The Apothecary 1878 is the intelligent choice for that very special occasion or to ask very important question.
Address: , 118 Hindley Street, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8212 9099.
Clubs in Adelaide
Black Bull Hotel
Adelaide’s first permanent hotel, this 19th century-era building is the place to go for all kinds of good fun. During the week they serve highly praised burgers and steaks in their pub, and offer deliciously wood-fired pizzas in their huge beer garden out back. On Friday and Saturday nights the mood goes from laid-back to energetic when the hotel’s popular nightclub opens upstairs. If live DJs and great food don’t entice you, know that the drinks are cheap!
Address: , 58 Hindley Street, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8231 3236
Situated down an otherwise innocent looking alleyway in Adelaide’s West End, Electric Circus is found behind the doors of Crippen Place, which also hosts the live music venue Rocket Bar upstairs. Expect international and local DJs performing every Friday and Saturday night. If you do need a break from dancing, head up to the top floor, where Rocket Bar operates a rooftop bar and cinema with 360-degree views of Adelaide.Address: , 17 Crippen Place, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8212 7433.
If you’ve come out to dance, this mega-club is the best place to go. With five floors pumping with music and fantastic lighting, HQ Complex has the atmosphere to get everyone having a good time. With multiple cocktail bars, the drinks are cheap and well-prepared. Live bands play almost every night of the week.
Address: , 149 Hindley Street, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 7123 2935
Live music in Adelaide
Grace Emily Hotel
One of Adelaide’s most vibrant live music venues, the Grace Emily Hotel is a pub that bends backwards to accommodate performers from all musical inclinations. A glance at its ever-changing events schedule will reveal indie, blues, folk, acoustic, rock and a cappella shows delivered by successful local and interstate bands.
Despite being away from the nightlife hotspots, and proud of being poker-machine free, the Grace Emily is an institution in Adelaide’s live music scene. It’s also an active venue during Adelaide’s annual arts festivals.Address: , 232 Waymouth Street, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8231 5500.
In this pint-sized, Parisian-style lounge-cum-performance art venue, cocktails and cabaret court each other. Enjoy comedy improvisations, live cabaret shows and jazz quartets that appear regularly on La Bohème's intimate stage, as well as stimulating cultural poetry evenings. Order one of their designer cocktails, or have the bartender whip up a made-to-order blend to allow your inner poet to flow.Address: , 36 Grote Street, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8212 8884.
Better known as "Thebby’s", the Thebarton Theatre is a 2000-capacity venue that promotes a range of shows; from up-and-coming bands breaking onto the circuit to more established artists looking to play a more intimate show in Adelaide. The theatre boasts original decor dating back to the 1920s and hosts a number of concert and comedy performances every week. Check the official website for listings.Address: , 112 Henley Beach Road, Torrensville, 5031
Telephone: +61 8 8443 5255.
Classical music in Adelaide
Dance in Adelaide
Theatres in Adelaide
Music and Dance in Adelaide
Adelaide Festival Centre
Adelaide’s iconic performing arts venue brags a prime position, being perched alongside the River Torrens, adjacent to Central Station and facing Adelaide Oval. The catalyst for the city’s ever-blossoming festival scene, the Festival Centre includes multiple performance venues, ranging from the intimate to the resplendent. Its versatility sees it host anything from visual art exhibitions to theatre, musicals, opera and comedy. Being one of Australia’s artistic treasures, the Festival Centre is host to major international touring performances.Address: , King William Street, Adelaide, 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8216 8600.