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Old Parliament House
Vacation Travel Guide

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.

Old Parliament House was constructed in the 1920s as a provisional base for the national parliament. It was designed in a stripped classical style with little ornamentation, but is decorated with numerous artworks and Australian timber panelling. Today it’s home to the Museum of Australian Democracy, hosting exhibits about the evolution and workings of the Australian political system.

Make your way up the front steps and into King’s Hall. You’ll see a large statue of King George V and reliefs of key figures in the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia. Turn left to reach the House of Representatives, decorated with green leather and carpets in the style of the British House of Commons. On the right are the Senate chambers with red leather and carpets after the House of Lords. Visit the old Prime Minister’s Office or step outside to walk among rose gardens.

Inside the Museum of Australian Democracy, learn about the people and events that have made Australian politics what it is today. There are also artifacts from around the world, including a piece of the Berlin Wall. Move on to Living Democracy to read stories about people who’ve campaigned for voting rights, equality and social change in Australia.

Visit the Opposition Party Room to brush up on the intricacies of the Australian two-party system. Kids can learn about democracy, its history and how it relates to them in Hands on Democracy. The museum also holds regular special exhibitions; check the website for details.

Museum of Australian Democracy is on King George Terrace, between Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin. ACTION buses from Canberra’s central business district service the house and other attractions in the area. Parking is limited, but where available it is generally free.

The museum is open every day except Christmas Day. There’s a small admission fee, but you can join a guided tour and visit the museum for no extra cost. It’s also free to enter on special occasions and anniversaries. Check the website for these dates.

Top things to do in Old Parliament House

Top Hotels Close to Old Parliament House

Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
5 out of 5
Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla, ACT
The price is $199 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26

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

4.6/5Wonderful! (983 reviews)

"This was our first stay at the Hyatt Canberra hotel and we absolutely loved our trip We were greeted at reception and Sumodh helped us with our luggage We booked two rooms and they were very spacious. I was celebrating my 40th birthday and they bought chocolates and a bottle of complimentary wine ..."…"

Reviewed on Apr 5, 2021

Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
Crowne Plaza Canberra, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Canberra, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $121 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19

Located in Canberra City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Glebe Park and National Convention Centre. Canberra Centre and Commonwealth Park are ...

4.2/5Excellent! (946 reviews)

"Can be very noisy. Building is getting old and in need of renovations. Lifts with no / limited stair backup is frustrating and time consuming."…"

Reviewed on Mar 21, 2021

Crowne Plaza Canberra, an IHG Hotel
Burbury Hotel & Apartments
Burbury Hotel & Apartments
4 out of 5
1 Burbury Close, Canberra, Barton, ACT
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $124 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19

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

4.2/5Excellent! (972 reviews)

"The Burbury always delivers the goods! Excellent hotel"…"

Reviewed on Apr 2, 2021

Burbury Hotel & 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.

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Best Lodging Options Near Old Parliament House

Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
5 out of 5
Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla, ACT
The price is $199 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
Crowne Plaza Canberra, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Canberra, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
The price is $121 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19
Crowne Plaza Canberra, an IHG Hotel
Burbury Hotel & Apartments
Burbury Hotel & Apartments
4 out of 5
1 Burbury Close, Canberra, Barton, ACT
The price is $124 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19
Burbury Hotel & Apartments
Little National Hotel Canberra
Little National Hotel Canberra
4 out of 5
21 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
The price is $124 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19
Little National Hotel Canberra
Hotel Realm
Hotel Realm
4.5 out of 5
18 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
The price is $152 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19
Hotel Realm
Hotel Kurrajong Canberra
Hotel Kurrajong Canberra
4.5 out of 5
8 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
The price is $145 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Hotel Kurrajong Canberra
Brassey Hotel
Brassey Hotel
4 out of 5
Belmore Gardens & Macquarie Street, Barton, ACT
The price is $103 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Brassey Hotel
Rydges Canberra
Rydges Canberra
4.5 out of 5
Corner Canberra Ave & National Circuit, Forrest, ACT
The price is $117 per night from May 2 to May 3
Rydges Canberra
Forrest Hotel and Apartments
Forrest Hotel and Apartments
3.5 out of 5
30 National Circuit, Forrest, ACT
The price is $71 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
Forrest Hotel and 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.