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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 county’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 artefacts 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

Top hotels in Canberra

Deco Hotel
Deco Hotel
4 out of 5
214 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, Braddon, ACT
The price is AU$140 per night from 7 Mar. to 8 Mar.

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

4.7/5Exceptional! (729 reviews)

"Very modern and clean hotel. I booked 2 rooms and they put us in 2 different floors"…"

Reviewed on 25 Feb. 2021

Deco Hotel
Crowne Plaza Canberra
Crowne Plaza Canberra
4 out of 5
1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
Free cancellation
The price is AU$158 per night from 21 Mar. to 22 Mar.

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! (958 reviews)

"Good service, friendly staff. Highly recommended! Thanks"…"

Reviewed on 17 Feb. 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 AU$116 per night from 21 Mar. to 22 Mar.

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

4.2/5Excellent! (1,928 reviews)

"Nice hotel with large atrium bar and good location."…"

Reviewed on 12 Feb. 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.

Holiday Rentals in Canberra

The Sebel Canberra Civic
The Sebel Canberra Civic
4.5 out of 5
197 LONDON CIRCUIT, Canberra, ACT
The price is AU$134 per night from 21 Mar. to 22 Mar.

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! (292 reviews)

"From check in to check out it was a great stay. Outstanding staff and a reallly comfortable room in a convenient location. The small kitchen was well provisioned for basic self catering and room had everything I needed. Highly recommend"…"

Reviewed on 17 Feb. 2021

The Sebel Canberra Civic
Pinnacle Apartments
Pinnacle Apartments
4 out of 5
11 Ovens Street, Kingston, ACT
The price is AU$166 per night from 8 Mar. to 9 Mar.

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

4.2/5Very Good! (1,351 reviews)

"Perfect location close to Kingston precinct and Foreshores. Really didn't have to use the car at all. Property is spacious and clean."…"

Reviewed on 22 Feb. 2021

Pinnacle Apartments
Abode Woden
Abode Woden
4 out of 5
10 Bowes Street, Phillip, ACT
The price is AU$138 per night from 7 Mar. to 8 Mar.

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! (1,372 reviews)

"It’s a cheap room and was lovely with mini kitchen. But view was average."…"

Reviewed on 15 Feb. 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

Top activities in Canberra

Reviews of Canberra

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
283
5 - Excellent 43.808049535603715%
4 - Good
311
4 - Good 48.142414860681114%
3 - Okay
43
3 - Okay 6.656346749226006%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 0.6191950464396285%
1 - Terrible
5
1 - Terrible 0.7739938080495357%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

14 May 2020

Great, underrated city

5/5 - Excellent

Ocean

5 Apr. 2020

I recommend this hotel if you have a trip to go to Canberra.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

16 Mar. 2020

Relaxing

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

13 Mar. 2020

Will stay at Nesuto again in November

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

9 Mar. 2020

We went for the enlighten festival which was amazing. Totally recommend

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

23 Feb. 2020

Beautiful city