Canberra

Travel Guide
Parliament House showing a sunset, an administrative buidling and landscape views
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

Pavilion on Northbourne
Pavilion on Northbourne
4.5 out of 5
242 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, ACT, 2602
The price is $83 per night from Aug 21 to Aug 22
Stay at this 4.5-star business-friendly hotel in Canberra. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the convenient ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,604 reviews)
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Reviewed on Aug 7, 2022

Pavilion on Northbourne
Deco Hotel
Deco Hotel
4 out of 5
214 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, Braddon, ACT, 2612
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $118 per night from Aug 28 to Aug 29
Stay at this 4-star hotel in Canberra. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and free airport drop-off. Our guests praise the breakfast and the clean rooms in our reviews. ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (1,077 reviews)
"Quiet safe easy to walk anywhere"

Reviewed on Aug 14, 2022

Deco Hotel
Ramada Encore by Wyndham Belconnen Canberra
Ramada Encore by Wyndham Belconnen Canberra
4 out of 5
110 Benjamin Way, Belconnen, ACT, 2617
The price is $103 per night from Aug 18 to Aug 19
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Canberra. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,000 reviews)
"In a good location"

Reviewed on Aug 12, 2022

Ramada Encore by Wyndham Belconnen Canberra
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.
Abode Belconnen
Abode Belconnen
4.5 out of 5
3 Grazier Lane, Belconnen, ACT, 2617
The price is $100 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 17
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury aparthotel in Canberra. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool, and breakfast. Our guests praise the clean rooms in our reviews. Popular ...
4/5 Very Good! (149 reviews)
"Great location, clean comfortable apartment"

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2022

Abode Belconnen
Pacific Suites Canberra
Pacific Suites Canberra
4.5 out of 5
100 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT, 2601
The price is $116 per night from Aug 28 to Aug 29
Stay at this 4.5-star business-friendly aparthotel in Canberra. Enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the helpful staff and ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (2,821 reviews)
"Great room. Nice, clean, spacious"

Reviewed on Aug 13, 2022

Pacific Suites Canberra
Abode Woden
Abode Woden
4 out of 5
10 Bowes Street, Phillip, ACT, 2606
The price is $107 per night from Aug 21 to Aug 22
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly aparthotel in Canberra. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (1,555 reviews)
"Viewing from our room was a blank brick wall after booking request for a pleasant view! Parking was confined to public payment area - all this at a premium price! Pp"

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2022

Abode Woden
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.

Getting around Canberra

With its wide roads and abundant places to park, Canberra is a driver’s dream. Indeed, this is how most of the locals get around. But there are other options too. The ACTION bus network covers most of the city and is reasonably priced. Jump on the Hop On Hop Off Bus for a tour of the major sights. Or, simply get in a taxi. Alternatively, take advantage of the cycling infrastructure with a rented bike. Visit the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate website.Browse Canberra rental cars.

Best time to visit

Unlike some other Australian destinations, Canberra almost never has very extreme temperatures. January is the warmest month, with daytime temperatures in the low to mid 80s F (25-30 C), while July is the coolest, with temperatures in the low 50s F (10-20 C). For the most pleasant weather, aim to visit in the Australian spring, between September and November. Bring a jacket for cool evenings.

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