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CanberraAustralia

Australia’s capital city is at the heart of Australian politics and where you’ll find some of the country’s best museums. 

Canberra is Australia’s political capital and the home of several national cultural institutions, many of which are free to enter. It was purpose built as the capital in the early 20th century. The circular layout was the idea of Chicago architects Walter and Marion Griffin, who won a competition run by the Australian Government to design the new city. Canberra is easy to navigate, and you’ll find many of the city’s main attractions within walking distance of one another. When it’s too far to walk, take a bus, or taxi, as the fares are reasonably priced.

Tour the building where Australian politicians tackle the big issues. About 20 percent of Parliament House is open to the public, and you can even watch politicians in action from the public galleries. Learn about the history of Australia’s democracy at Old Parliament House. Take a guided tour of the classical-style building or visit the museum to learn about key events in the country’s political history.

Wander across Queen Victoria Terrace to the National Archives, where you can see the original copy of the Australian Constitution. Browse the shelves of the National Library to find rare maps and historic publications. Cross Lake Burley Griffin to visit the National Museum, home to artifacts from pre-colonial Aboriginal tribes, old furniture and weapons, as well as inventions, vehicles and artwork.

The National Gallery is the country’s largest art museum. It has famous indigenous paintings, sculptures from across Asia, and a host of works by Australian, American and European masters. Head to the Australian War Memorial and be moved by the sombre atmosphere. Explore the on-site museum to read about battles and see all kinds of military equipment.

There are plenty of attractions in Canberra aimed at families with young children, including Questacon, the national science centre. Kids will love the interactive exhibits and exciting demonstrations by staff. Check out the Royal Australian Mint to watch coins being made and even press one of your own.

At night head to the bars and restaurants in the city centre to sample wines from local vineyards and fresh produce from nearby farms.

Canberra Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Canberra

Braddon, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Braddon

Abundant dining options and relaxing spas are well-reviewed features of Braddon. Make a stop by top sights like Canberra Centre while you're exploring the area.

Braddon
Kingston showing modern architecture and a bridge

Kingston

Kingston is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Lake Burley Griffin and The Cusack Centre while you're in town.

Kingston
Canberra which includes a lake or waterhole and a monument

Canberra City Centre

4.5/5Wonderful!(17 area reviews)

The ample dining options and fantastic lake views are top of the list for many visitors to Canberra City Centre. A stop by Canberra Centre or Canberra Museum and Gallery might round out your trip.

Canberra City Centre
Parliament House showing modern architecture, an administrative building and interior views

Barton

Barton is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Lake Burley Griffin and East Basin while you're in town.

Barton
Manuka Shopping Centre which includes autumn colours

Griffith

Griffith is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Manuka Shopping Centre and Manuka Oval while you're in town.

Griffith
Narrabundah, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Narrabundah

Visitors to Narrabundah appreciate its restaurants. A visit to Manuka Shopping Centre and Manuka Oval might round out your trip if you're looking to see more of the area.

Narrabundah

Top hotels in Canberra

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Deco Hotel
Deco Hotel
4 out of 5
214 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
The price is £69 per night

Situated in Braddon, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra Centre and Australian National University. National Convention ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (527 reviews)

"Welcoming, very comfortable clean and value for money. Convenient location Definitely will stay again"…"

Reviewed on 24 Jul 2020

Deco Hotel
Crowne Plaza Canberra
Crowne Plaza Canberra
4 out of 5
1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
The price is £77 per night

Located in Canberra City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Glebe Park and National Convention Centre. Canberra Centre and Commonwealth Park are ...

4.2/5Excellent! (985 reviews)

"We were happy with our stay. The bed was comfortable although the down/feather pillows were not. The set up of the room was great for relaxing and watching the TV. We paid a bit extra to include parking, it also came with breakfast which was a bonus."…"

Reviewed on 22 Jul 2020

Crowne Plaza Canberra
Novotel Canberra
Novotel Canberra
4.5 out of 5
65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
The price is £72 per night

Located in Canberra City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canberra Museum and Gallery and Canberra Centre. Australian National University ...

3.6/5Good! (979 reviews)

"Great location, lovely restaurant, great indoor pool especially nice during winter months. Great service. Highly recommended."…"

Reviewed on 18 Jul 2020

Novotel Canberra

Popular places to visit in Canberra

National Gallery of Australia
Image for National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

4.5/5(4 reviews)

Australia’s national gallery has objects from across Asia and the Pacific, European and American works, and indigenous, colonial and contemporary Australian art. 

Australian War Memorial
Image for Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial

5/5(14 reviews)

Wander the halls of this monument to learn about the battles fought by Australians, see military hardware and admire artworks.

Parliament House
Image for Parliament House

Parliament House

4.5/5(17 reviews)

Admire the scale, architecture and artwork of the building where Australia’s politicians make the big decisions. 

Commonwealth Park
Image for Commonwealth Park

Commonwealth Park

4/5(2 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Commonwealth Park, a popular green space in Canberra. Visit the shops and top-notch restaurants in this walkable area.

National Museum of Australia
Image for National Museum of Australia

National Museum of Australia

4/5(5 reviews)

Explore the vast collection of Aboriginal art and artifacts, learn about the country’s colonial past, and see maps, vehicles, weapons and jewelry. 

Lake Burley Griffin
Image for Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin

4.5/5(12 reviews)

Commune with nature and explore the great outdoors at Lake Burley Griffin during your travels in Canberra. Visit the shops and top-notch restaurants in this family-friendly area.

Top things to do in Canberra

Canberra Full-Day Tour from Sydney
Image for Canberra Full-Day Tour from Sydney

Canberra Full-Day Tour from Sydney

£79
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Cockington Green Gardens Tickets
Image for Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

£11
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight
Image for Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

£185
Per adult
Canberra Day Tour From Sydney with Guide & Private Transfer
Image for Canberra Day Tour From Sydney with Guide & Private Transfer

Canberra Day Tour From Sydney with Guide & Private Transfer

£546
Per adult
Canberra Private Day Tour - departing from Sydney
Image for Canberra Private Day Tour - departing from Sydney

Canberra Private Day Tour - departing from Sydney

£333
Per adult
8-9 hour Canberra Nature Tour
Image for 8-9 hour Canberra Nature Tour

8-9 hour Canberra Nature Tour

£102
Per adult

Reviews of Canberra

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5
5 - Excellent 71.42857142857143%
4 - Good
2
4 - Good 28.571428571428573%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Dec 2019

There are a lot of free exhibitions and children’s activities. We particularly enjoyed the National Gallery where my children participated in weaving jewellery and drawing. The Questacon was also a highlight.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

10 Jun 2019

Lots of things to do with kids!

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