Canberra

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

Where to stay in Canberra

Kingston showing a bridge and modern architecture

Kingston

Kingston is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Lake Burley Griffin and The Cusack Centre while you're in town.

Kingston
Acton showing modern architecture and a city

Acton

Unique features of Acton include the restaurants and gardens. Make a stop by National Museum of Australia or Lake Burley Griffin while you're exploring the area.

Acton

Top hotels in Canberra

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Deco Hotel
Deco Hotel
4 out of 5
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is HK$617 per night

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

4.7/5Exceptional! (509 reviews)

"Really nice and spacious 2 bedroom apartment. Staff was super friendly however the wifi wouldn't connect in the room and asked reception on day 1 of our stay but it was not fixed."…"

Reviewed on 8 Jul 2020

Deco Hotel
Novotel Canberra
Novotel Canberra
4.5 out of 5
65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
The price is HK$646 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 ...

3.6/5Good! (991 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
Burbury Hotel & Apartments
Burbury Hotel & Apartments
4 out of 5
The price is HK$765 per night

Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Manuka Oval, Parliament House and National Gallery of Australia. Commonwealth Park and ...

4.3/5Excellent! (985 reviews)

"Lovely spacious apartment, excellent location, nice and quiet. Very handy to Manuka shops and restaurants."…"

Reviewed on 7 Jul 2020

Burbury Hotel & Apartments

Popular places to visit in Canberra

National Gallery of Australia
Image for National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

4.5/5(4 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(14 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(17 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 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(1 review)

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

National Library of Australia
Image for National Library of Australia

National Library of Australia

4/5(2 reviews)

Explore the collections of Australia’s biggest reference library to find books from all over the world, early European maps and documents from the first explorers. 

Top things to do in Canberra

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets
Image for Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

Cockington Green Gardens Tickets

HK$106
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight
Image for Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight

HK$1,777
Per adult
National Zoo & Aquarium Family Tour
Image for National Zoo & Aquarium Family Tour

National Zoo & Aquarium Family Tour

HK$458
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

HK$5,386
Per adult
Full-Day Pebbly Beach & Batemans Bay Tour with Kayaking
Image for Full-Day Pebbly Beach & Batemans Bay Tour with Kayaking

Full-Day Pebbly Beach & Batemans Bay Tour with Kayaking

HK$1,212
Per adult
Thursday Dinner Cruise
Image for Thursday Dinner Cruise

Thursday Dinner Cruise

HK$476
Per adult

Reviews of Canberra

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5
5 - Excellent 71.42857142857143%
4 - Good
2
4 - Good 28.571428571428573%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Dec 2019

There are a lot of free exhibitions and children’s activities. We particularly enjoyed the National Gallery where my children participated in weaving jewellery and drawing. The Questacon was also a highlight.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

10 Jun 2019

Lots of things to do with kids!

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