Pros and cons of moving to Adelaide

Relocation to any city has its ups and downs, and expats will find that Adelaide is no different. That said, Adelaide remains a popular city with expats and has many pros which seemingly outweigh the cons.

Here are a few of our perks and pitfalls of moving to the South Australia capital.


Accommodation in Adelaide

+ PRO: Cheaper areas not too far from the city

Although Adelaide has over a million inhabitants, few people live in the actual city centre. Most live in the eastern suburbs or on the coast, where it is sometimes actually cheaper than inland neighbourhoods. These areas are still close enough to Adelaide's city centre that expats will be able to reach the centre by bus or tram easily in under 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 expense. This means that expats will need a good job 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 food, spicy food 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 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, bills for eating out tend to sting a little.


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

Fresh off the plane expats in Adelaide require determination and dedication to get the ‘Holy Grail’ of 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 their 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 around Adelaide along the 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, which make driving around the state of South Australia even more enjoyable, with plenty of opportunities to pop into a wine farm for a tasting.

Dominique Liard Our Expat Expert

Hi! Salut! Oi! I am Domi, a bubbly Frenchie who loves everything about travel, culture, food (especially smelly cheeses!) & street art. Being an expat is now my new way of life and it is constantly enriching. In other words, the world is my new home!