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  • The Ultimate 3-Day Guide to Maximising Your Time at the Adelaide Fringe Festival

The Ultimate 3-Day Guide to Maximising Your Time at the Adelaide Fringe Festival

To make sure you don't miss a beat, we've crafted an 3-day itinerary to guide you through the highlights and help you make the most of your Fringe adventure.

East End Unleashed (Photo credit: Joeyjoenes)

Each year the Adelaide Fringe Festival draws visitors from all corners of Australia to revel in its eclectic and diverse offerings. From jaw-dropping acrobatic shows like Limbo - The Return to shows that invite audiences to explore taboo topics like the intimate stories shared at Private View- there's no shying away from the creativity and innovation on display. 

Beyond the stages and performances, the city transforms into a bustling hub of energy and excitement. The centre of Adelaide, especially, becoming a hive of activity with popular restaurants filled to the brim. Main streets around the festival are also shut down to allow restaurants in the area to offer alfresco dining. 

To help you make the most of everything that Adelaide Fringe Festival has to offer, we’ve pulled together the ultimate 3-day itinerary to maximise your time in Adelaide during Fringe.

From where to dine each evening to the buzzy coffee spots to hit up in the morning. Plus, discover the day trips that lie just a short journey from the city’s heart.

Adelaide Central Market

Day One: Explore Adelaide's Iconic Spots Before Diving into Fringe

We happen to believe that the best way to get to know a city is through its food scene. And lucky for us some of Adelaide's best producers can all be found under one roof. So, if you're looking for something to do or an affordable bite to eat between Fringe Festival shows, look no further than the historic Adelaide Central Market. Featuring over 80 vendors, this iconic market offers everything from fresh produce to meats, dairy, flowers, baked goods, and health foods - so you're guaranteed to find something to suit every taste.

Once you've satisfied your taste buds, why not indulge in another affordable activity? The AGSA (Art Gallery of South Australia) is a gem not to be missed. With a vast collection of over 47,000 works, it's undoubtedly one of Adelaide's—and possibly Australia's—best galleries. Trust us when we tell you you'll want to take some serious time to soak it all in.

Sleep's Hill Tunnel

Moving on to the main event: the shows! Just a short drive from Adelaide you'll find Sleep's Hill Tunnel, an example of Adelaide's past tucked away along the historic Adelaide to Melbourne rail line. This Adelaide Fringe Festival experience offers a rare opportunity to step back in time. As you explore the tunnel, you'll be immersed in the works of multiple artists, each installation breathing new life into the tunnel's history with stunning visuals and plenty of mushroom-inspired artwork—an element we believe is sorely lacking in today's world.

If all that exploration has worked up your appetite, we suggest heading back into Adelaide to treat yourself to a feast at Golden Boy. Located on the vibrant North Terrace, Golden Boy is a botanical paradise that instantly enchants with its unique blend of style and sophistication. The best way to experience Golden Boy is by opting for their set menu, priced at $55 per person. This menu is not only an amazing price but it also offers flexibility, allowing for personal preferences to ensure you don't miss out on any desired dishes. We recommend trying their signature kingfish sashimi with coconut cream and kaffir lime, and conclude with a serving of roti accompanied by pandan custard. 

Maho Magic Bar

Wrap up your first day in Adelaide with a trip to Maho Magic Bar, nestled in the lively heart of The Garden of Unearthly Delights. With its neon hues and Tokyo-inspired ambience, this bar offers a fantastical escape. Let the magicians dazzle you while you sip on some of the Japanese-inspired cocktails. Afterwards, extend your evening with a stroll around the Garden of Unearthly Delights, perhaps treating yourself to one final sweet indulgence before calling it a night.

Exchange Coffee (Image credit: South Australian Tourism Commission)

Day Two: Explore Adelaide Like A Local

Now that you've got the lay of the land, ease into the morning with a visit to one of Adelaide's most-loved coffee shops, Exchange Coffee. Pull up a chair at one of their tables in the sun and enjoy your coffee with a side of people watching. After fuelling up, take a stroll through the quaint streets surrounding Exchange Coffee, where you'll stumble upon charming boutiques and alleyways.

Carrick Hill

For lunch, venture slightly beyond the CBD to the idyllic Springfield area and explore the wonders of Carrick Hill. It's a must for anyone looking to soak up art, history, and nature all in one go. Whether you're checking out the art, strolling through the gardens, or wandering the bushland, a visit to Carrick Hill is sure to charm!

Feeling peckish? Then swing by Rozelle’s, the new restaurant just down from Carrick Hill. With its inviting atmosphere and stunning views from the sprawling veranda, it's the perfect spot to recharge before diving back into the Adelaide Fringe fun.

Paper Tiger

Once you've returned to the CBD, drop by Paper Tiger, an Asian fusion restaurant, for a delightful pre-show dinner. Located in one of the liveliest streets at Fringe, this spot is perfect for immersing yourself in the festival atmosphere. Indulge in delectable dishes inspired by flavours from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Be sure to sample their kombi-cured tuna sashimi and Singapore chilli soft-shell crab – they're absolute must-tries! And whatever you do, save room for dessert; their The-tarik panna cotta is simply irresistible!

Natural Wonders

Finish off the day by diving into the world of LIMBO - The Return. This show has been wowing crowds from Brisbane to Brussels since its debut at the Adelaide Fringe over ten years ago. Picture heart-stopping stunts, cabaret, and mind-blowing acrobatics, all set to the beat of live music. And there's truly no such thing as a bad seat at this show!

If all that excitement has you buzzing, wind down with a stroll through the Adelaide Botanic Gardens for ‘Natural Wonders. Experience the gardens in a whole new light as they're illuminated for the Fringe Festival event. This self-guided event offers you the freedom to wander the gardens at your leisure, allowing you to linger as long as you please or simply take a quick peek before moving on.

E-Bike Tour

Day Three: Explore the Charms of South Australia's Surrounding Regions

For a refreshing change of pace on your final day in Adelaide, immerse yourself in the beauty of the Adelaide Hills region with one of Bike About's guided tours. Set out bright and early for a 5-hour guided e-bike ride that showcases the region's absolute best. Picture yourself plucking fresh strawberries at Beerenberg Farm or savouring wine flights at The Lane and Shaw and Smith – and the best part? You won't even break a sweat! This tour is jam-packed with all the highlights, making it a top choice for experiencing the Adelaide Hills. And don't forget to carve out some extra time at the end to wander along Hahndorf's charming main street.

Bar Lune

When it's time to refuel for lunch, make your way to Bar Lune for some share plates and maybe a cocktail or two! This charming neighbourhood wine bar is just the spot to relax after your morning adventure in the Adelaide Hills. 

To keep the good times rolling into the afternoon, head over to Sôl Rooftop Bar & Restaurant. Perched atop Adelaide's bustling city centre, Sôl offers one of the best views of Adelaide. Ascend to the 9th floor and be greeted by breathtaking 180-degree panoramas of Adelaide's skyline. From sweeping views of the Adelaide Hills to the meandering River Torrens and the iconic Adelaide Oval.

For your last night at Fringe, why not wander into both Gluttony and The Garden of Unearthly Delights to see what catches your eye? With plenty of last-minute tickets available for shows, half the excitement of Fringe lies in the element of surprise. You never know what hidden gem you might stumble upon!

Loving our pick of what to see at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2024 and want to discover more of what South Australia has on offer? Do yourself a favour and check out our pick of the best free things in Adelaide and top date ideas to suit every couple

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