CanberraAustralia

Image for Parliament House which includes an administrative building

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

Top Hotels in Canberra

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Pavilion on Northbourne
Pavilion on Northbourne
4.5 out of 5
242 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, ACT
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
CA $72
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

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

4.1/5Very Good! (3,389 reviews)

"Location is good. Prperty and rooms are getting a bit tired"…"

Reviewed on Feb. 16, 2020

Pavilion on Northbourne
Novotel Canberra
Novotel Canberra
4.5 out of 5
65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
CA $106
per night
Mar 22 - Mar 23

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 ...

3.9/5Very Good! (2,621 reviews)

"Great stay, short walk to everywhere and public transport at the door. Excellent facilities at the hotel and the pool was a savior on a 43 degree day"…"

Reviewed on Feb. 3, 2020

Novotel Canberra
Mercure Canberra
Mercure Canberra
3.5 out of 5
39 Limestone Avenue, Braddon, ACT
CA $83
per night
Mar 22 - Mar 23

Situated in Braddon, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canberra Centre and Australian War Memorial. National Convention Centre and Australian National ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,752 reviews)

"Location, facilities are very good."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 21, 2020

Mercure Canberra

Popular things to do in Canberra

National Gallery of Australia
Image for National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

4/5(6 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

4.5/5(10 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(12 reviews)

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

National Museum of Australia
Image for National Museum of Australia

National Museum of Australia

4.5/5(7 reviews)

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

Questacon
Image for Questacon

Questacon

5/5(2 reviews)

Join the kids for a day of learning about the wonders of science and technology at Australia’s national science centre.

Manuka Shopping Centre
Image for Manuka Shopping Centre

Manuka Shopping Centre

4.5/5(2 reviews)

Make a stop at this suburban shopping oasis in Canberra’s inner south region, for gourmet foods, fashion, coffee and specialty stores. 

Top activities in Canberra

Australian Institute of Sport Tour
Image for Australian Institute of Sport Tour

Australian Institute of Sport Tour

CA $10
Per adult
Cockington Green Gardens Tickets
Image for Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

CA $11
Per adult
Canberra Discovery Tour - Australia's Capital
Image for Canberra Discovery Tour - Australia's Capital

Canberra Discovery Tour - Australia's Capital

CA $170
Per adult
Canberra Full-Day Tour from Sydney
Image for Canberra Full-Day Tour from Sydney

Canberra Full-Day Tour from Sydney

CA $143
Per adult
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight
Image for Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

CA $297
Per adult
National Museum of Australia - Highlights Tour
Image for National Museum of Australia - Highlights Tour

National Museum of Australia - Highlights Tour

CA $9
Per adult

Reviews of Canberra

3.7

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
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2
4 - Good 66.66666666666667%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 33.333333333333336%
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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

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