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Adelaide, Australia

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 01, 2023

Summary: The population of Adelaide is 1.3 million people. Adelaide is a vibrant, friendly, and culturally diverse city. Expats love the relaxed lifestyle, the beautiful beaches, and the abundance of outdoor activities. The weather in Adelaide is generally mild with temperatures ranging from an average low of 50°F (10°C) in the winter to an average high of 80°F (27°C) in the summer. The average cost of living in Adelaide for an expat is estimated to be around $2,000 USD per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is estimated to be around $1,500 USD per month, and the cost of a two bedroom apartment is estimated to be around $2,000 USD per month.

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What are medical services in Adelaide like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Adelaide, they replied:

"Medical services in Adelaide are widely accessible, with a variety of public and private health care providers offering a range of treatments, including general practitioner services, specialist services and hospitals. The city is home to several world-renowned hospitals and medical centres providing advanced medical care, many of which are also research institutes, and the surrounding regions of South Australia also provide excellent medical services. Adelaide also has a thriving medical tourism industry, with people from all over the world coming to Adelaide to receive medical treatments at lower costs than those from their own countries. Other medical services such as telehealth and dental healthcare are also widely available in Adelaide, with a variety of practitioners specialising in different areas," explained one expat living in Adelaide.

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Why do people move to Adelaide?

When we asked people why foreigners move to Adelaide, they responded:

"Adelaide offers its residents an easy, enjoyable lifestyle. With a temperate climate and a relaxed atmosphere, Adelaide is a perfect place for families and professionals alike. As a major city, Adelaide boasts plenty of employment opportunities, world-class educational institutions and a range of cultural attractions. The cost of living is lower than other capital cities, which makes it accessible to a range of households. Adelaide offers its residents access to beautiful parks, playing fields and beaches, making it an ideal location to enjoy the outdoors. The city is also known for its energy efficient policies and the production of renewable energy," said another expat in living in Adelaide, Australia.

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What do I need to know about living in Adelaide?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Adelaide, they said:

"1. Adelaide has a diverse culture, so you should become familiar with the customs and traditions in the area before settling in. 2. There is an excellent public transport network in Adelaide, with buses and trains connecting the city’s major areas. 3. Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate, with an average temperature ranging from 15°C to 25°C. 4. The cost of living in Adelaide is lower than in many other major cities in Australia, making it a great choice for budget-minded retirees. 5. The city has plenty of parks, beaches, and other outdoor attractions for those who enjoy spending time in nature. 6. Health care is of a very high standard in Adelaide, with both public and private hospitals available. 7. Taxation laws in Adelaide may differ from those of other countries, so be sure to consult an accountant before moving," added another person living in Adelaide, Australia.

"There is always something going on here, no matter the time of year. Coming to Adelaide is an adjustment just like moving anywhere else would be, but there are plenty of opportunities to meet people and do things," explained one expat living in Adelaide.

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What do I need to know before moving to Adelaide?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Adelaide, they said:

"Before moving to Adelaide, it is important to familiarize yourself with the climate, lifestyle and transportation options. The climate in Adelaide is dry and hot in summer, mild in Autumn and Winter, and can be rainy in Spring. The city has a relaxed and safe lifestyle and is known for its festivals and events throughout the year. Public transportation options in Adelaide include an extensive bus network, the O-Bahn system, trains and trams. There are also many options for leisure and entertainment, including popular tourist attractions and numerous restaurants, cafes and bars throughout the city. Additionally, it is important to research housing options and the job market before moving to Adelaide," replied an expat in Adelaide.

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How do I find a place to live in Adelaide?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Adelaide offers a variety of housing options, so it can be a bit daunting to decide where to live. A great place to start is to consider your budget and lifestyle preferences. For example, if you need to stay within a specific budget, you can start by searching for rental housing. Adelaide has an abundance of rental properties available, ranging from studio apartments to entire houses. For those looking to buy property, Adelaide has plenty of suburbs to choose from, each offering a unique lifestyle experience. Popular suburbs to consider include Norwood, Unley, Glenelg, and Henley Beach. No matter what your budget or housing needs are, Adelaide has a wide variety of options to choose from," remarked another expat in Adelaide, Australia.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Adelaide?

"Expat homes and apartments in Adelaide are generally contemporary and comfortable. The buildings are well-maintained, often featuring modern design elements such as an open plan layout, plenty of natural light, and airy balcony spaces. Many apartments have access to swimming pools and other communal amenities, while most homes are within easy reach of public transport, shopping, and local attractions. Expat homes and apartments come in a variety of sizes and styles, ranging from chic inner city abodes to sprawling suburban estates," replied an expat in Adelaide, Australia.

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What is the average cost of housing in Adelaide?

If you are thinking about moving to Adelaide, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Adelaide is generally quite reasonable, relative to other cities in Australia. Prices vary depending on the suburb and size of the property, but typically, a single-family home in Adelaide can cost anywhere from $275,000 to $500,000 AUD. Renters can expect to pay between $160 and $400 AUD per week, depending on the area and size of the property. Overall, living in Adelaide can offer a great quality of life at a reasonable cost," replied an expat in Adelaide, Australia.

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How do I meet people in Adelaide?

When we asked people living in Adelaide about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Expats in Adelaide often join local clubs, associations and activities such as sporting clubs, volunteer groups, and outdoor activities. There are also many international societies and Meetup groups that connect expats from similar backgrounds or areas of interest. Additionally, Adelaide has a large live music scene and many pubs and bars, so it is a great way for expats to meet other people and enjoy the city. For those looking for more structured activities or group events, there are a variety of Meetup groups, expat central events, and language exchanges that can help build the expat community. Finally, expats living in Adelaide can use online platforms such as LinkedIn and Couchsurfing to meet people with similar interests and backgrounds," explained one expat living in Adelaide, Australia.

"Expats in Adelaide have an abundance of clubs and activities to join, such as local photography clubs, walking and jogging groups, pickleball and other recreational sports, cycling clubs, and music jam circles. Additionally, there are a variety of cultural events and festivals, as well as language groups, that expats can join to meet like-minded people. Expats in Adelaide can also meet people through word-of-mouth or by attending community gatherings, meet-ups, and networking events. Making intentional efforts to get involved in local activities, such as volunteering or going to performances, will also help expats meet more people in the city," said another expat in Adelaide, Australia.

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What should I bring when moving to Adelaide?

People living in Adelaide were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"When packing for a move to Adelaide, one should consider the climate and plan accordingly. Depending on the season, clothing appropriate to the weather should be packed; in the summer months, light, breathable clothing and an umbrella for protection from sun and rain might be necessary, while warm clothing and a raincoat may be needed in the winter. If travelling in the spring or autumn, packing clothing suited to mild and unpredictable weather is advised. Additionally, basic comfort items such as bedding and toiletries should also be included. Sunscreen, insect repellent and hats might also be necessary to protect from the sun and keep insects at bay. Finally, remember to bring prescription medications, if needed," explained one expat.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Adelaide?

We asked expats in Adelaide what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"Adelaide's climate is ideal for retirees, with a Mediterranean climate featuring warm summers and mild winters. Expats should be aware that health care in Australia is not free, and therefore should ensure that they have access to the relevant health care coverage for their stay. There are also many legal considerations for expats to be aware of, such as visa requirements and tax obligations. Additionally, Adelaide is known for its cultural diversity and as such offers a wealth of opportunity for expats to engage with locals in a variety of activities and events. As always, it is important to discuss any insurance needs with a trustworthy financial advisor," said another person in Adelaide, Australia.

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Will I be able to find a job in Adelaide?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Adelaide, they reponded:

"Foreigners often work in Adelaide, in positions such as hospitality staff, nurses, IT professionals, customer service staff, retail workers, construction workers, and manufacturing and production workers. Additionally, many foreigners also intern and volunteer in Adelaide," said another person in Adelaide, Australia.

"http://www.seek.com.au is the best web site for job hunters. There are many recruitment agencies, although finding the initial job can be difficult if you are not a native speaker of English. Preparation is key," remarked another expat in Adelaide.

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What is life like in Adelaide?

When we asked people living in Adelaide what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Adelaide is a dynamic city that appeals to expats and digital nomads. Expats enjoy the excellent quality of life, convenient transport, low costs of living, and abundance of outdoor activities. Digital nomads appreciate that Adelaide has excellent connectivity with both wifi and unlimited access to co-working spaces. As an added bonus, the city also has numerous cafes and bars for socialising and professional networking. The warm climate, excellent beaches, casual vibe, and friendly locals also make Adelaide a great place for expats and digital nomads to live," remarked another in Adelaide, Australia.

"Adelaide is a great destination for expats and digital nomads, as it offers a relaxed lifestyle, beautiful landscapes and a temperate climate. The city itself is packed with colorful culture and history, and provides plenty of exciting entertainment options. Expats and digital nomads can enjoy the city’s well-developed public transport, making getting around easy and affordable. Adelaide also has a thriving local food and drink scene, so those searching for some delicious authentic experiences won’t be disappointed. There are also plenty of opportunities to explore the beautiful national parks, beaches, and rural areas that surround the city," explained one expat.

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What do expats in Adelaide appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Adelaide appreciate the city’s relaxed, laid-back lifestyle, with friendly locals and a moderate climate. There is a growing appreciation for the diverse cultural cuisine available in Adelaide; the city features many excellent restaurants, as well as eateries that offer authentic international dishes. Adelaide is also renowned for its vibrant nightlife, bustling markets, and parks. Expats also appreciate that the city is an affordable, safe, and clean place to live," explained one expat living in Adelaide, Australia.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats in Adelaide often find it difficult to adjust to the more relaxed pace of life compared to their home countries. The expectation of social politeness and respect for formal structure can also be challenging to understand at first. Additionally, the reliance on public transport rather than cars as the primary form of travel can take some time for expats to get used to. Communication styles can also be a hurdle to overcome, as Australians often speak quite informally and rely heavily on slang and joking," explained one expat.

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Is there a lot of crime in Adelaide?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Adelaide is considered a very safe city to live in overall. In general, the crime rate in Adelaide is considered low compared to other metropolitan areas in Australia. While incidences of property crime do occur, violent crime is rare in the city centre and inner suburbs. However, some of the outer suburbs are associated with higher crime rates than the Average for the city," said another person in Adelaide, Australia.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Adelaide accepting of differences?

"Adelaide is a very diverse city with a range of cultures and communities. People in Adelaide are generally accepting of differences, with plenty of cultural events and festivals celebrating the arts and music of many different traditions. The rich cultural mix of Adelaide makes it a very vibrant and welcoming city to visit and live in," remarked another expat in Adelaide, Australia.

"The size of Adelaide can be a pro or con, based on your personal preference. It's a small city which operates more like a large town and while it is diverse, it can be a bit insular. It takes patience to break through and settle in," explained one expat living in Adelaide.

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What are the schools in Adelaide like?

"Adelaide is home to a variety of international schools and bilingual schools. The International School of South Australia is a full-time international school located on 30 hectares of picturesque grounds in Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley. It offers students from K-12 core academics covering literacy, numeracy, science, technology, humanities, art, music and French. The school is proud of its cultural diversity allowing students to learn about different cultures. The St Peter's College, Adelaide is a prestigious multicultural private school and an early adopter of the IB curriculum. This school offers a diverse range of co-curricular activities, technology-enriched learning and a supportive learning environment. The Adelaide Japanese Supplementary School is a Japanese Saturday school in the inner suburbs of Adelaide. It provides students the unique opportunity to learn the Japanese language and culture, which includes calligraphy, origami, arts and sports. The British International School (BIS) provides high quality, British style education for international students up to Year 12. The school combines academic rigour and extensive extra-curricular activities taking advantage of Australia's multicultural learning environment. Students can participate in sports, music, drama, excursions and trips within Australia and abroad. The Arabic Language School of Adelaide provides Arabic language education to the young generation of Arabic-Australians, children in Arabic-speaking countries and children of parents who speak Arabic. The school offers a comprehensive learning program covering traditional Arabic language and grammar, the Qur'an and Islamic studies," said another expat in Adelaide, Australia with children at .

"Places can be difficult to obtain without advance planning, however if you are able to secure one, grab it," remarked another parent with kids at Scotch College in Adelaide.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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