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Canberra
Travel Guide

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

Deco Hotel
Deco Hotel
4 out of 5
214 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, Braddon, ACT
The price is CA $124 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15

Located in Braddon, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Canberra Centre, Australian National University, and National Convention Centre. Australian War Memorial ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (739 reviews)

"Felt very safe as a female traveller, and staff were very nice and recommended some place to see and places to eat."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 4, 2021

Deco Hotel
Crowne Plaza Canberra
Crowne Plaza Canberra
4 out of 5
1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
The price is CA $140 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22

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! (961 reviews)

"Generally pleased with stay and room, we were lucky and got parking but doesnt have many spots"…"

Reviewed on Mar. 8, 2021

Crowne Plaza Canberra
Pavilion on Northbourne
Pavilion on Northbourne
4.5 out of 5
242 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, ACT
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $86 per night from Apr 5 to Apr 6

Located in Dickson, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra Centre, and Australian National University. National Convention ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,924 reviews)

"Loved the reception/cafe/sitting area and the parking facilities."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 8, 2021

Pavilion on Northbourne
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
The Sebel Canberra Civic
The Sebel Canberra Civic
4.5 out of 5
197 LONDON CIRCUIT, Canberra, ACT
The price is CA $119 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22

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

4.2/5Excellent! (300 reviews)

"Generally it is a nice hotel and good value, the downside is the lack of parking especially no ability to park outside temporarily when checking in."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 4, 2021

The Sebel Canberra Civic
Pinnacle Apartments
Pinnacle Apartments
4 out of 5
11 Ovens Street, Kingston, ACT
The price is CA $147 per night from Apr 1 to Apr 2

Located in Kingston, this apartment building is within 2 mi (3 km) of The Cusack Centre, Parliament House, and National Gallery of Australia. Commonwealth Park ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,313 reviews)

"Pros - large spacious apartment with separate lounge, dining areas a d two large balconies, close to shops, restaraunts, pubs, activities. Super location. Have stayed here before and would stay here again. Cons - parking is tight for large vehicles and limited, first in first served. Note - Being ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 7, 2021

Pinnacle Apartments
Abode Woden
Abode Woden
4 out of 5
10 Bowes Street, Phillip, ACT
The price is CA $122 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15

Located in Phillip, this aparthotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Canberra Hospital and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Royal Australian Mint. National Zoo and Aquarium and Parliament ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,356 reviews)

"Everything was good, it was clean & quiet. Parking is off site, but free on weekends."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 28, 2021

Abode Woden
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Canberra

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Reviews of Canberra

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5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 17, 2020

Canberra is an amazing city - lots to see and do. Parliament, War Memorial, Arboretum, Zoo and Botanical gardens. Incredible views from Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain and the Telstra Tower. Loads of shopping and restaurants to choose from

3/5 - Okay

Nic

Sep 9, 2019

Have lived here several times over past 30 years... great to see the changes, also great to leave