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Travel Guide

Telstra Tower which includes landscape views and a sunset

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

Pacific Suites Canberra
Pacific Suites Canberra
4.5 out of 5
100 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
The price is ¥12,948 per night from Jun 6 to Jun 6
Located in Canberra City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canberra Museum and Gallery and Canberra Centre. Australian National University ...
4.2/5Excellent! (2,511 reviews)
"Great location, friendly staff-enjoyed our stay"

Reviewed on May 4, 2021

Pacific Suites Canberra
Pavilion on Northbourne
Pavilion on Northbourne
4.5 out of 5
242 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, ACT
The price is ¥9,602 per night from May 16 to May 16
Located in Dickson, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra Centre, and Australian National University. National Convention ...
4.2/5Excellent! (1,917 reviews)
"Liked that you could enter from the park park without going through the lobby"

Reviewed on May 3, 2021

Pavilion on Northbourne
Madison Capital Executive Apartments
Madison Capital Executive Apartments
3.5 out of 5
108 Northbourne Ave, Braddon, ACT
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥8,759 per night from Jun 1 to Jun 1
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! (1,098 reviews)
"The property is an older hotel showing its age but with great features. Large rooms, nice balconies, well located, park views and cooking equipment in the room. The major let down was the single lift broke down. But as it is only three stories this was not a deal breaker. The positives outweigh the ..."

Reviewed on May 5, 2021

Madison Capital Executive Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Capital Country Holiday Park
Capital Country Holiday Park
3 out of 5
47 Bidges Road, Sutton, NSW
The price is ¥9,645 per night from May 23 to May 23
Situated in Sutton, this cottage is within 6 mi (10 km) of Mount Majura Vineyard, Tulip Top Gardens, and EPIC. Canberra Centre and Kamberra Function Centre are ...
3.9/5Good! (214 reviews)
"Location and overall property was great! You can tell they care about the environment and looking after the place. Could do with a few minor updates in tbe bathroom and bedroom visually, however functionality wise everything was convenient. It feels like you're staying rural but only staying 20mins ..."

Reviewed on Mar 29, 2021

Capital Country Holiday Park
Alivio Tourist Park Canberra
Alivio Tourist Park Canberra
4 out of 5
20 Kunzea Street, O'Connor, ACT
The price is ¥9,644 per night from May 24 to May 24
Located in O'Connor, this campground is within 1 mi (2 km) of Canberra Stadium and Australian Institute of Sport. Australian National University and University ...
4.2/5Very Good! (991 reviews)
"Great facilities and cabin was in fantastic condition"

Reviewed on Apr 9, 2021

Alivio Tourist Park Canberra
One of a Kind Apartments
One of a Kind Apartments
4 out of 5
43 Stockdale Street, Dickson, ACT
Located in Dickson, this apartment building is within 3 mi (5 km) of Canberra Centre, Mount Ainslie, and Canberra Stadium. Parliament House and National Gallery ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (54 reviews)
"Nice homey feel. Everything was clean and it was a nice little unit. Short walk to shops. Quiet neighbourhood. Will definitely stay next time we're in Canberra."

Reviewed on Apr 17, 2021

One of a Kind Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Canberra

Top things to do in Canberra

Reviews of Canberra


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 50%
4 - Good
4 - Good 45%
3 - Okay
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5/5 - Excellent


Sep 11, 2019

Love visiting Canberra.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Apr 15, 2019

We enjoyed Canberra. We wish we could have stayed a little longer so we could have seen more of the sights. We were able to go to the Arboretum, the zoo, and the Parliament.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 11, 2019

Wee worth a visit. The public bus network is particularly good

5/5 - Excellent


Oct 12, 2018

I have always liked to visit Canberra..