CanberraAustralia

Image for Parliament House which includes an administrative building

Visit Canberra

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

Capital Hill

Capital Hill

4.5/5Wonderful!(935 area reviews)

The grassy rise of Capital Hill is Canberra’s crowning feature. The perfectly circular hilltop locale is the core from which the rest of the city radiates.

Capital Hill

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
AU$88
per night
Jan 26 - Jan 27

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! (3,318 reviews)

"Price was very reasonable and a great spot for drinks and food if you don't want to go out."…"

Reviewed on 22 Jan. 2020

Pavilion on Northbourne
Novotel Canberra
Novotel Canberra
4.5 out of 5
65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
AU$132
per night
Jan 27 - Jan 28

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! (2,608 reviews)

"The indoor pool and spa area is great. You can sit outside on the balcony and get some fresh air in this area too, which was nice because there are no opening windows in the rooms (maybe an old office building repurposed for a hotel??) rooms were ok-good for the price-just not very clean. We ate ..."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan. 2020

Novotel Canberra
Crowne Plaza Canberra
Crowne Plaza Canberra
4 out of 5
1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
Free Cancellation
AU$133
per night
Jan 31 - Feb 1

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

4.3/5Excellent! (2,357 reviews)

"Staff was extremely helpful and friendly. We really enjoyed our short stay."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan. 2020

Crowne Plaza Canberra

Popular things to do in Canberra

National Gallery of Australia
Image for National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

4.5/5(809 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(1,000 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(831 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(619 reviews)

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

Old Parliament House
Image for Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House

4.5/5(380 reviews)

Tour this building to see where Australian politicians met and debated for over 60 years and learn about the history and workings of Australian democracy.

Telstra Tower
Image for Telstra Tower

Telstra Tower

4/5(298 reviews)

Climb to the top of this beloved landmark for unbeatable views of Canberra’s cityscape, plentiful parks, Lake Burley Griffin and the green hinterland beyond.  

Top activities in Canberra

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets
Image for Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

AU$12

Discover the world from a magical, bird's-eye perspective in Cockington Green Gardens, Canberra's enchanting park devoted to miniatures. Wander among tiny, meticulously crafted buildings and pint-sized replicas of beloved landmarks, all set within beautifully manicured gardens.

Daily Sightseeing Cruise
Image for Daily Sightseeing Cruise

Daily Sightseeing Cruise

AU$20

Our daily sightseeing tour is the best way to introduce you to Canberra and her monuments, museums and political battlegrounds. With an informative commentary and experienced crew, it’s a great way to see the sights.

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

Canberra Full-Day Tour from Sydney

AU$159

Explore Canberra's world class attractions on a splendid day tour of Australia's capital city. Understand and witness the vision of this of this modern designed city with tours as you take in exhibitions, galleries, architecture and visionary landscaping of Australia's bush capital.

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight
Image for Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

AU$330

Head up high into the sky in a majestic hot air balloon with this sunrise flight over the beautiful mountainous region of Canberra. A new day breaks over the picturesque capital of Australia, setting the city's top attractions aglow.

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

Australian Institute of Sport Tour

AU$11

Join this guided tour of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the precinct where many of the country's superstars have trained to become elite athletes. Go through the strict routine of a top competitor, you might catch some of Australia’s best athlete’s in training and even take on your own sporting challenge.

National Dinosaur Museum General Admission
Image for National Dinosaur Museum General Admission

National Dinosaur Museum General Admission

AU$16

Visit: National Dinosaur Museum, Cnr Gold Creek Road and Barton Highway, Nicholls, Canberra 2913 Australia Visitors to the National Dinosaur Museum can now get up close and personal with a giant animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex! The Museum offers an interactive insight into the Earth’s long and dynamic history through the dinosaur galleries.

Reviews of Canberra

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
271
5 - Excellent 44.13680781758958%
4 - Good
292
4 - Good 47.557003257328994%
3 - Okay
42
3 - Okay 6.840390879478828%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 0.6514657980456026%
1 - Terrible
5
1 - Terrible 0.8143322475570033%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 6, 2020

an under rted city that is a MUST on your travel destination

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 5, 2020

Would like to possibly move to Canberra, peaceful and easy to get around.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Dec 31, 2019

Bad time to go to Canberra with fire haze and almost reaching 40 degrees!

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Dec 29, 2019

People are rude. It was like a ghost town.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 22, 2019

I am from Canberra and it is only improving. The increases in population in Civic is making for a far my vibrant city.

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Dec 10, 2019

It’s okay

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