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.

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
HK$473
per night
1 Dec-2 Dec

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

4/5Very Good! (3,114 reviews)

"Bed excellent. Front desk staff so helpful with our two reservation . Thank you for free upgrade."…"

Reviewed on 9 Nov 2019

Pavilion on Northbourne
Novotel Canberra
Novotel Canberra
4.5 out of 5
65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
HK$645
per night
15 Nov-16 Nov

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 ...

4/5Very Good! (2,569 reviews)

"Slow check in, did not like to have my car located in a different area. Paid $25.00 for car park, expected to park at the hotel."…"

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2019

Novotel Canberra
Pacific Suites Canberra
Pacific Suites Canberra
4.5 out of 5
100 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
HK$708
per night
1 Dec-2 Dec

Located in Canberra City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canberra Museum and Gallery and Canberra Centre. Australian National University ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,246 reviews)

"Didnt like the energy saving color of the lights just made the rooms look dull and gloomy. Maybe use the warm yellow enwrgy savers"…"

Reviewed on 3 Nov 2019

Pacific Suites Canberra

Popular things to do in Canberra

National Gallery of Australia
Image for National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

4/5(3 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(9 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(3 reviews)

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

Old Parliament House
Image for Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House

4.5/5(3 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

3/5(1 review)

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

Canberra: Small Group Wildlife and E-bike Ride Tour
Image for Canberra: Small Group Wildlife and E-bike Ride Tour

Canberra: Small Group Wildlife and E-bike Ride Tour

HK$526

Climb aboard a comfortable 8-seater passenger van with your local guide for a picturesque 45-minute drive to Canberra’s southwest, crossing the mighty Murrumbidgee River and venturing into the mountains beyond.

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

Australian Institute of Sport Tour

HK$60

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.

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets
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Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

HK$64

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.

Canberra Discovery Tour - Australia's Capital
Image for Canberra Discovery Tour - Australia's Capital

Canberra Discovery Tour - Australia's Capital

HK$1,023

Discover Australia's capital city, Canberra, on this day-trip from Sydney. Offering a mix of city and country, Canberra boasts both an ultra modern exterior within the compounds of an outer region filled with rugged mountains and rolling hills.

Daily Sightseeing Cruise
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Daily Sightseeing Cruise

HK$108

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.

New Brighton Farmer's Market Tours
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New Brighton Farmer's Market Tours

HK$183

Go Byron to New Brighton Farmers Market Tour - Tuesday mornings only Mullumbimby Farmers’ Market, every Friday morning 7am-11am, is where you’ll see Mullum at its colourful best.

Reviews of Canberra

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
3
5 - Excellent 60%
4 - Good
2
4 - Good 40%
3 - Okay
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5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

10 Jun 2019

Lots of things to do with kids!

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