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Updated by Joanna James on May 19, 2020
Headline for Top 5 Museums in Adelaide – Embrace Culture and History
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Museums in Adelaide – Embrace Culture and History

The cultural scene in Adelaide has been on the rise for the past few years and has now reached quite the fever pitch. This is in large part due to the many amazing museums dotted around the city. Some of these are among the best museums in the whole of Australia – here are five of them.


Art Gallery of South Australia

Harbouring over 40,000 works of art – from grand paintings and sculptures to illustrative sketches and prints – the Art Gallery of South Australia is one of the most well-stocked and feature-rich art museums on the continent. The sheer volume of visitors the gallery attracts every year – a sizeable portion of which are international – is a testament to this fact. Additionally, the building itself displays stunning architectural techniques and intricate designs that'll leave you mesmerised before even stepping in! If you're staying at one of the major apartment hotels Adelaide has to offer – for example, the Oaks Adelaide Embassy Suites – the gallery is just a short stroll down the road, so make time for a quick visit at least.


South Australian Museum

Located right next to the art Gallery, the South Australian Museum contains one of the largest collections of ancient Aboriginal artefacts in the world. This, in essence, allows visitors the best opportunity to delve into what life was like in those times for the continent's native population. It also has a separate section that showcases the natural history of Australia. Here you can learn about the extinct megafauna that once rules Australia and observe the fossils they've left behind. These include a wombat that was a large as a rhino, massive carnivorous lizards that dwarf their modern relatives and giant kangaroos that stood 8 feet tall!


State Library of South Australia

This building alone is something to marvel at, being a resplendent construct of chiselled stone. But inside, the State Library of South Australia is just as impressive. In a bid to "keep the memories of the state alive", the library houses one of Australia's largest collections of research papers, news publishing and old-time records. This makes it not only one of the best museums in Adelaide, but one of the greatest sources of information and knowledge the city has to offer.


Migration Museum

Migration and settlement have always played a big part in Australian history. Whether it was the first Aboriginal ancestors arriving on the continent for South-East Asia, to the mass immigration of European settlers during colonial times. The Migration Museum, found just behind the aforementioned State Library of Australia, aims to preserve this history for generations to come. By observing these exhibits and touring through its hallways, you'll learn all there is to know on how Australia grew to be the diversely multicultural nation it is today.


Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute

Named after the Kaurna word for the red kangaroo, the Tadanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute is the largest and oldest museum that's dedicated solely for the exhibition of traditional aboriginal art. Here you can learn all about the creative works and cultural history of Australia's first people.