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CanberraAustralia

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

Parliament House which includes landscape views and an administrative building

Capital Hill

4.5/5Wonderful!(999 area reviews)

The abundant dining options and interesting museums are top of the list for many visitors to Capital Hill. A stop by Parliament House or National Gallery of Australia might round out your trip.

Capital Hill

Top hotels in Canberra

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Little National Hotel
Little National Hotel
4 out of 5
21 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
The price is AU$109 per night

Located in Capital Hill, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of National Archives of Australia and Manuka Oval. Lake Burley Griffin and National Gallery of ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,241 reviews)

"Modern, lush and cosy. The rooms are small but comfy. The most comfortable bed I've ever been in. And so cool being in a bay window bed with electric blinds. The lounge and library are brilliant. I think the housekeeping service was a little lacklustre. Items weren't consistently replenished, we ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar. 2020

Little National Hotel
Madison Capital Executive Apartments
Madison Capital Executive Apartments
3.5 out of 5
108 Northbourne Ave, Braddon, ACT
The price is AU$99 per night

Located in Canberra City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Canberra Centre, Canberra Theatre Centre and Australian National University.

3.5/5Good! (2,140 reviews)

"Very good room, comfy bed, good bathroom and kitchen. Unfortunately no restaurant or any access to food"…"

Reviewed on 23 May 2020

Madison Capital Executive Apartments
Novotel Canberra
Novotel Canberra
4.5 out of 5
65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
The price is AU$140 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 ...

3.9/5Very Good! (2,677 reviews)

"The hotel is very well located and has most of the amenities that you expect. The staff were very helpful. The fridge in the room was very small and filled with mini bar items. This takes time to remove so our stuff can be put in the fridge. There is no ice draw in the fridge which meant we had to ..."…"

Reviewed on 24 Mar. 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(870 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(1,044 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(872 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(659 reviews)

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

Questacon
Image for Questacon

Questacon

4.5/5(448 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(421 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

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets
Image for Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

94% of travellers recommend
AU$20
Per adult
Questacon, Cockington Green & Australian Institute of Sport
Image for Questacon, Cockington Green & Australian Institute of Sport

Questacon, Cockington Green & Australian Institute of Sport

100% of travellers recommend
AU$48
Per adult
Australian Institute of Sport Tour
Image for Australian Institute of Sport Tour

Australian Institute of Sport Tour

96% of travellers recommend
AU$11
Per adult
National Zoo & Aquarium Family Tour
Image for National Zoo & Aquarium Family Tour

National Zoo & Aquarium Family Tour

AU$85
Per adult
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight
Image for Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

AU$330
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

AU$1,058
Per adult

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

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