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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.


Guide to Exploring Canberra


Top Hotel Deals

See all 101 Hotels in Canberra
P3,667
Capital Executive Apartment Hotel

Capital Executive Apartment Hotel

108 Northbourne Ave, Braddon
3.5
of 5, from 187 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

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

P7,817
Novotel Canberra

Novotel Canberra

65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra
3.9
of 5, from 384 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Canberra hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of City Hill, Canberra Centre, and Lake Burley Griffin. Australian War Memorial and National Museum of Australia are also within 2 mi (3 km).

P4,798
Pavilion on Northbourne

Pavilion on Northbourne

242 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson
3.9
of 5, from 357 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Northern Canberra, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Canberra and Region Visitors Centre and within 3 mi (5 km) of Australian War Memorial and Australian National Botanic Gardens. Canberra Stadium and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).

P5,140
ibis Styles Canberra

ibis Styles Canberra

203 Goyder Street, Narrabundah
3.5
of 5, from 236 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Manuka Shopping Centre and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Parliament House. Manuka Oval and Kingston Shopping Centre are also within 3 mi (5 km).

P5,883
Burbury Hotel & Apartments

Burbury Hotel & Apartments

1 Burbury Close, Barton
4.3
of 5, from 241 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manuka Oval, Old Parliament House, and Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).

P7,028
Pacific Suites Canberra, an Ascend Hotel Collection

Pacific Suites Canberra, an Ascend Hotel Collection

100 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon
4.4
of 5, from 269 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in City Centre, this aparthotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Canberra Museum and Gallery and within 3 mi (5 km) of Australian War Memorial and National Museum of Australia. Australian National Botanic Gardens and Old Parliament House are also within 3 mi (5 km).

P5,161
Tall Trees Canberra Hotel

Tall Trees Canberra Hotel

21 Stephen Street, Ainslie
3.8
of 5, from 201 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Northern Canberra, this motel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Canberra and Region Visitors Centre and 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Australian War Memorial. Canberra Centre and Kamberra Function Centre are also within 3 mi (5 km).

P6,291
Little National Hotel

Little National Hotel

21 National Circuit, Barton
4.5
of 5, from 118 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Archives of Australia, Old Parliament House, and Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).