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Relocating to Adelaide Pros and Cons

Relocating to Adelaide: Pros and Cons

Adelaide is a city that balances the rush of a thriving economy and the perks of being in nature. 

The city is designed for great work-life balance. After work, it’s easy to grab a drink at the local pub with your buddies!

Of course, no matter how great living in Adelaide may sound (not to brag, but it’s Australia’s most liveable city!), living here has pros and cons.

If you’re eyeing Adelaide as the city to spend the next years of your life in, I’ve got you covered! This guide combines my local experience and data gathered over the years to make it more helpful.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Adelaide

ClimateMostly sunnyHeat waves in the summer
FoodFood is diverseSome restaurants are pricey
Public transportationPublic transportation is owned by one companyFast travel timesHigher rates during peak hours
EducationHome to many international studentsHas some of the top universities of the world
EmploymentGood work-life balanceHigh unemployment rate
CommunityDiverse populationHigh levels of religion toleranceIt’s the second-least populated state capital
EntertainmentMore than 400 festivals yearlyShopping centers are fewYou may take time to get accustomed to dates of festival

Adelaide’s Climate

We start the list by considering the climate in Adelaide. Are you more of a snow person or do you prefer sunny cities?

Pro: Adelaide is sunny!

Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate, meaning our summers are dry and warm, while our winters are moderately rainy. We don’t experience snow here, so there’s no need to shovel your driveway during the winter. 

During the summer, from December to February (Christmas is always hot!), we usually spend our free time by the beaches, just 20 minutes from the CBD. Personally, it’s always a treat to lay back and enjoy a cone of ice cream during the summer.

Con: There are heat waves in the summer

If you’re from a continental or polar country like Canada or Finland, be wary of the heat waves in Adelaide. Occasionally, we get temperatures reaching nearly 38 °C lasting up to a week!

Such temperatures aren’t the norm, so there’s no need to worry. Still, bringing a water bottle is never a bad idea, especially if you’ll be frolicking in the city while the sun is out.

Adelaide’s Food Culture

After considering the climate, we now turn our attention to the grub in Adelaide! It’s one of my priorities when checking a city. 

The good news is that our restaurants have an eclectic approach to food, highlighting native food resources while incorporating foreign cuisines.

Pro: Our food is diverse 

Adelaide is home to almost a thousand restaurants and cafes, and the inspiration behind their menus comes from all over the world! May it be Greek, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, or American—the city has a lot to offer. 

One of the best spots to expand your food palate is the Adelaide Central Market. Here, you can buy fresh local produce and eat from award-winning restaurants while on a budget!

Con: Some restaurants can be pricey

Alas, a foodie should always come with a hefty budget. Eating in Adelaide’s top spots can put quite a dent in your wallet.

You should check the menus beforehand to see if it matches your expectation. Also, note that tipping is not required (but it’s certainly appreciated!).

Adelaide’s Public Transportation

Now that we’ve talked about their food, another thing I recommend you to consider before moving is transportation.

The good news is that one of the things we’re most proud of as Adelaideans is our transportation system! It’s a breeze to go to work and visit different spots in the city because of it! 

Pro: Public transportation is managed by one company

Our transportation is convenient because it’s owned and managed by Adelaide Metro. It covers trams, buses, and trains.

You can ride all of Adelaide Metro with the metroCARD. They even offer free trips for transportation services near the city center! 

Pro: Short travel time

One of the things I like most about Adelaide is that almost any major point outside the city center can be reached in under an hour. In fact, it was possible to do this in just 20 minutes.

Frankly, it’s more than 25–30 minutes nowadays, especially with the rising number of private car owners in the city. Still, it’s an impressive feat that shows the city’s excellent urban planning.

Inside the CBD, you can walk to reach the following spots within minutes:

  • Rundle Mall
  • Adelaide Zoo
  • University of Adelaide
  • Hindmarsh Square
  • Adelaide Botanic Garden
  • Adelaide Oval

Con: There are higher fares during peak hours

A downside of public transportation in Adelaide is that the fares are pricier during peak hours. Peak hours are from 9 AM to 3 PM on weekdays and the whole day during weekends.

Those coming from cities with no different rates for peak hours, such as in Japan and the Philippines, should note this.

Education in Adelaide

If you want to continue your education outside of your home country, you’ve come to the right place. Adelaide has great universities and is very welcoming to international students. 

Pro: Adelaide is home to many international students

In 2023, Adelaide has over 35,000 international students from over 120 countries according to StudyAdelaide. It’s not surprising, given how convenient it is to transfer here. 

To start, you need to apply for a student visa and check your qualifications under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Pro: Adelaide has some of the top universities in the world

Another thing we’re proud of in our city is the University of Adelaide, which is ranked 109th in the whole world by QS World Universities. Aside from this, some of the top universities of the city include:

  • University of South Australia
  • Flinders University
  • Torrens University

Employment in Adelaide

Employment is the next step after education for many, and it’s the next focus of our list.

Before moving to Adelaide, I advise you to secure employment first. Unfortunately, the job market here isn’t as secure as in other capital cities of the country. 

Pro: Work-life balance in Adelaide is good

Strive for good work-life balance

With the dependable public transportation and excellent urban planning of the city, grabbing a drink or going to the beach after work is easy. It’s no wonder the city consistently ranks high in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability ranking.

Con: Adelaide’s unemployment rate is high

Con Adelaide’s unemployment rate is high

Unfortunately, Adelaide is plagued by high unemployment rates, reaching 7% in 2022. The cities trailing behind are Brisbane (4.2%), Melbourne (4.1%), and Hobart (3.8%). 

Part of the reason for the high unemployment rate is COVID-19, which led to the closing of international borders. This then led to a lack of skilled migration in the city.

Adelaide’s Demographic

Now that you know how employment works in Adelaide, you may be interested about the people you’ll be interacting with in the city. 

The community of Adelaide is a mix of Adelaide-born locals, expats, students, retirees, and more. We’re one of Australia’s most laid-back and relaxed people, so it’s easy to make friends here.

Pro: Adelaide has a diverse population

Pro Adelaide has a diverse population

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the city has great ethnic representation. The top ancestries include Chinese, English, Australian, Irish, and Scottish. 

It’s no wonder why the city is culturally diverse. From architecture, food, to arts, you can see how the city takes inspiration from various cultures. 

Pro: Adelaide has high religious tolerance

Pro Adelaide has high religious tolerance

In line with being culturally diverse, Adelaide also accepts many forms of religion, hence its title of “City of Churches.” Almost every major religion has a place of worship in the city. 

According to Informed Decisions, the religions with the most members in Adelaide are Western Catholic, Anglican, Buddhist, Hindu, and Islam.

Con: It’s the second-least populated state capital

Con It’s the second-least populated state capital

Adelaide is second to the last in terms of population among state capitals—with 1,828,701 residents. It’s followed by Hobart, which has a population of 571,873.

The city’s population makes it less attractive if you’re looking for a livelier environment. For this, Sydney and Melbourne are better choices.

Entertainment in Adelaide

When it comes to partying, we Adelaideans know how to do it right! Whether you’re a music geek, a film buff, or a raver, we’ve got you covered! 

Pro: There are more than 400 festivals held in Adelaide annually! 

The best part about having 400 festivals is that you’re sure to find one that best matches your interests. In Adelaide, there are festivals for live music, dance, food, and more!

Fringe Adelaide is one of the most awaited festivals here, and it’s the largest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere. I attend it yearly, yet I’m always pleasantly surprised by the creativity of the performers I see here!

Con: Shopping centers are few

A minor downside I’ve seen with Adelaide is our limited shopping centers. The biggest one is the Rundle Mall, and you’ll need to travel to the CBD to reach it.

It’s not like some cities where there are rows of shops everywhere. That said, we make up for what we lack in shopping centers with cafes and restaurants!

There are many dining spots in every corner of the city, each with its own spin on cuisines worldwide. A foodie will always be energized traveling the city for their next meal!

Con: You may take a while to get accustomed to the dates of the festivals

It’s always a surprise for many newcomers to know that our winters are during June and summers during December. Because of this, it may also be weird to experience Christmas displays when it’s hot.

Based on some of my immigrant friends’ experiences, you may adjust quickly. Some even move to Adelaide in December to spend two summers in one year (first, in their home city or country and second, here!

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