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Parliament House

Admire the scale, architecture and artwork of the building where Australia’s politicians make the big decisions. 

Australia’s Parliament House is the standout structure in the capital. It’s in the very centre of the city and has an impressive 62 acres (25 hectares)) of floor space. It’s the work of New York-based architectural firm Mitchell and Giurgola, who beat 329 entrants from 28 countries in a competition run by the Australian Government. Construction started in 1981, and it was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.

Take in the scale of the building as you make your way over the mosaic forecourt, an artwork in itself. The building is designed to sit below the crest of the hillside and contains 4,500 rooms. Look up to see a 246-ton (220-tonne) flagpole flying a 21 by 42-foot (6.4 by 12.8-meter)  Australian flag. Continue up the grassy slopes that cover the roof and look out over the city. There are great views of Lake Burley Griffin and the greater Canberra area. 

Make your way through the marble and timber Main Foyer and into the Great Hall. Here you’ll see a tapestry based on a painting by Australian artist Arthur Boyd. It depicts a eucalyptus forest and measures 65 by 29 feet (20 by nine meters), making it one of the largest in the world. Keep exploring the building to admire other artworks and see the rooms from which the country is governed.

Take a free guided tour to learn about the building and its history or visit the House of Representatives and Senate. These rooms are where politicians meet and debate, and are at the heart of Australian democracy. Fans of politics can sit in the public galleries and watch Question Time, a session in which members of parliament grill ministers with questions.

You’ll find Parliament House in the very centre of Canberra on Capitol Hill. It’s open every day except Christmas Day. Tours run throughout the day. Entry and on-site parking is free, and there’s a café and restaurant. ACTION buses from Canberra’s central business district stop here as well as other major attractions.


Guide to Exploring around Parliament House


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Parliament House

See all 194 Properties near Parliament House
Little National Hotel $79
Little National Hotel

Little National Hotel

21 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Capital Hill, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of National Archives of Australia and Manuka Oval. Parliament House and Old Parliament House are also within 1 mi (2 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 26 minutes by foot.

    Burbury Hotel & Apartments $79
    Burbury Hotel & Apartments

    Burbury Hotel & Apartments

    1 Burbury Close, Canberra, Barton, ACT
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Capital Hill, this luxury apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manuka Shopping Centre, Parliament House, and Old Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and Manuka Oval are also within 1 mi (2 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 26 minutes by foot.

      Rydges Capital Hill $94
      Rydges Capital Hill

      Rydges Capital Hill

      Corner Canberra Ave & National Circuit, Forrest, ACT
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Capital Hill, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Manuka Shopping Centre and Manuka Oval. Parliament House and Old Parliament House are also within 1 mi (2 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 26 minutes by foot.

        Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt $165
        Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt

        Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt

        Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla, ACT
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Albert Hall and Old Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Hotel Realm $98
          Hotel Realm

          Hotel Realm

          18 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Archives of Australia, Parliament House, and Old Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and Manuka Oval are also within 1 mi (2 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 26 minutes by foot.

            Forrest Hotel and Apartments $65
            Forrest Hotel and Apartments

            Forrest Hotel and Apartments

            30 National Circuit, Forrest, ACT
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Capital Hill, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Manuka Shopping Centre and Manuka Oval. Parliament House and Old Parliament House are also within 2 mi (3 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 29 minutes by foot.

              Hotel Kurrajong Canberra $78
              Hotel Kurrajong Canberra

              Hotel Kurrajong Canberra

              8 National Circuit, Barton, ACT
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of National Archives of Australia, Old Parliament House, and National Gallery of Australia. Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin are also within 1 mi (2 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 29 minutes by foot.

                Brassey Hotel $67
                Brassey Hotel

                Brassey Hotel

                Belmore Gardens & Macquarie Street, Barton, ACT
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Capital Hill, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of The Cusack Centre, Manuka Oval, and Lake Burley Griffin. Old Parliament House and National Gallery of Australia are also within 1 mi (2 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 21 minutes by foot.