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Top 14 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Canberra

Best Places to Visit in Canberra

Overflowing with cultural treasures, Canberra in the Capital Region (ACT) is Australia’s carefully crafted capital. It is no coincidence that the city is located between Sydney and Melbourne. In 1908, the location of the capital was chosen as a compromise between two rival cities. American architect Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin won an international competition for the city’s design, which includes large Green belts and geometric shapes.

Lake Burley Griffin downtown is Canberra’s shining jewel. Many of the city’s top attractions and events are located along the waterfront, including the National Gallery of Australia, Questacon, and the National Library. The Houses of Parliament, along with some of the city’s other top tourist attractions, is located within the Parliamentary Triangle, which consists of King’s Road, Commonwealth Avenue, and Lake Burley Griffin.

Canberra is also known for its wonderful festivals, including the famous Floriade, which celebrates the city’s many spring flowers. Find out more about the best places to visit in Australia’s bustling capital with our list of the best places to see and do in and around Canberra.

Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Canberra and make your trip enjoyable.

14 Best Places to Visit in Canberra

Here are the top 14 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Canberra:

1. Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial is Canberra’s most touching attraction. This colossal Byzantine monument is Australia’s World War II memorial to commemorate those who died in the war. It was opened in the middle of World War II. But this is not just a war memorial. The site brings together an excellent museum, archive, art gallery and library.

The Memorial Courtyard at the entrance of the monument is an unforgettable entrance. The columnar walls are engraved in bronze with the names of every Australian killed in war since 1885, an eerie long list.

Beyond the entrance, different galleries follow the story of Australia’s armed conflict from colonial times to the present. The exhibits are constantly evolving, but highlights include a collection of vintage aircraft and a children’s exploration area filled with interactive displays.

If possible, you should set aside a few hours to admire this thought-provoking monument, and if you visit later in the day, try to leave the last post to commemorate the deceased at 4:55 PM each day. the monument is one of the best in Canberra. One of the best free things to do, I highly recommend the 90-minute tour.

Address: Treloar Crescent (peak of the ANZAC Parade), Campbell

Official website:

2. New Parliament House

When architect Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for Canberra finally came true in 1912, the new House of Parliament is a marvel of modern architecture. Nestled comfortably on Capitol Hill, the boomerang-shaped structure was designed to replace the temporary Capitol at the base of the hill that is now the Old Capitol.

A New York architect won an international competition to design a new building, and on May 9, 1988, the Queen officially opened the Houses of Parliament. The May date was chosen to commemorate the first session of the Federal Parliament in Melbourne in 1901 and its first session in the Old Parliament House in 1927.

You can enjoy panoramic views of Canberra from the wide grassy walkway that forms the roof and see how the municipality has become the central focal point of the city’s street layout.

Highlights of the building include two large circular walls of granite that reflect the curves of the hill, a soaring 81-meter flagpole, and a ceremonial pool. In the foyer, 48 bright green-gray marble columns give the impression of a eucalyptus forest. In public spaces, exhibits showcase important documents (Magna Carta is a highlight) and trace key events in Australian history.

From the galleries around the ground floor, you can enter the traditionally red-clad public galleries of the Green House and Senate. Visiting during your break is a great way to see firsthand how parliament works, and free guided tours provide fascinating details about the building.

After the visit, you can take the 3.5 kilometer Capital Walk to the city center and learn about the Capitol Triangle through interpretive signs along the way.

Address: Parliament Building, Canberra

Official website:

3. Democracy Museum

A short walk from the new Houses of Parliament at the foot of Parliament Hill, the former Houses of Parliament now houses the Australian Democracy Museum. You will not only learn about the history of this National Heritage listed building but also the important foundations of the Australian government.

The Duke of York (later King VI) in 1927. Formerly known as the Provisional Parliament House, it did not stand until a permanent structure was designed and built – a feat finally achieved 61 years later.

The museum is like a time capsule. You can learn about past Australian Prime Ministers, sit in the former Prime Minister’s home, do relatively modest work, visit the press room and read important historical documents. The chambers of the House of Representatives and Senate are modeled after the British House of Commons and the House of Lords, with panels and furniture made of Australian wood and wall hangings depicting Australian plants. Parents will appreciate the kid-friendly exhibits and free daily production activities.

After touring the buildings, you can take a walk through the National Rose Gardens. Free guided tours help you make the most of your time, and you can also participate in an engaging Democratic Aboriginal experience.

Address: 18 King George Terrace, Parkes

Official website:

4. Cruise on Lake Burley Griffin

Beautiful Lake Burley Griffin is the heart of Canberra. The artificial lake, named after the city architect, was included in the original plans in 1912 but was not completed until 1958. Today, it is picturesque and suitable for any outdoor activity.

Tourists and locals alike come here to bike and ride the coastal paths, picnic along the park-lined beach, fish in the sparkling waters, sail or paddle. Looking for something to do at night in Canberra? Book the MV Southern Cross Dinner Cruise and see the city twinkling lights as you glide alongside the lake as you dine.

At its center are six islands, the largest of which is Aspen Island, a gift from the British government and home to the National Carillon with 55 bronze bells.

Some of Canberra’s top attractions and events are scattered around the lake, including the National Gallery, National Library, Questacon, and National Museum.

Standing on the banks of the Central Basin, you can see the Captain Cook Memorial Jet, a 147-foot fountain that opened in 1970 on the 200th anniversary of Cook’s discovery of Australia. A globe sculpture depicting Cook’s journey path is located on the lakeshore at Regatta Point.

Located on the north side of the lake, Commonwealth Park is a great place to visit with kids. Here you will find playgrounds, children’s pools, waterfalls, an amphitheater and paths that wrap around the park.

5. National Gallery of Australia

On the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the National Gallery of Australia houses the largest art collection in Australia. Queen Elizabeth II in October 1982. The cubic concrete structure opened by Elizabeth consists of 11 main galleries on three floors, a large sculpture garden arranged according to the four seasons and a fern garden.

Acquisition of the extensive collection began in 1968 and includes the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art alongside works from Australia, Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Pacific. Among the museum’s assets is Jackson Pollock’s Blue Pole, which was purchased in 1973 and is now one of the gallery’s most famous paintings.

Media ranges from oil and watercolor to sculpture, decorative arts, drawing, book illustration, sketchbooks, photographs, films, ceramics, clothing and textiles. Locals and tourists alike will enjoy the many special exhibits.

After touring the galleries, you can visit the adjoining Supreme Court of Australia with its beautiful fountains, Carrara marble floors and frescoes.

Address: Parks Parks Plaza

Official website:

6. Questacon

Traveling with children? Questacon is one of Canberra’s top family-friendly attractions. Between the Supreme Court and the National Library at Lake Burley Griffin, it is an interactive national center for science and technology, offering a variety of hands-on science demonstrations and do-it-yourself experiments designed to delight and inspire.
The exhibits are designed to promote an understanding of the importance of science and technology in everyday life. Science fairs, special events and guest lectures round out the 200 hands-on exhibits.
In the Technology Learning Center, emerging innovators can attend workshops, develop and play with technology. Highlights of the permanent exhibits include water-related entertainment, a free-fall slide and Earthquake House, and the H2O-Soak up the Science room. No wonder this is one of the top events for families in Canberra.
Address: Parkes King Edward Terrace
Official website:

7. National Portrait Gallery of Australia

Located near the Supreme Court of Australia and the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia displays nearly 400 portraits of the country’s most influential figures. You can easily spend an hour or two face-to-face with Australia’s movers and shakers brought to life by painting, photography and sculpture.
Multimedia presentations reveal fascinating details of the lives of the people who helped shape the country, and special exhibits offer something new. Visiting the galleries is a breeze: parking is free, and the popular café and bookstore are a great way to end the tour.
Address: Parkes King Edward Terrace
Official website:

8. National Library of Australia

Opened in 1968, the National Library of Australia is a treasury of Australian books, manuscripts, newspapers, historical documents, oral histories, music and pictures. His most prized possessions are the diaries of Captain Cook (1768-71) and the diaries of Wells’ voyages with Burke in 1860-61.

Architecturally, the building contrasts with the National Gallery and Supreme Court. Built in the style of a Greek temple, its classical influence is emphasized by the heavy use of marble and travertine on the columns and walls. Marbles from Greece, Italy and Australia were also used for interior decoration.

The foyer features beautiful stained glass windows by Leonard French and three Aubusson tapestries woven from Australian wool.
Downstairs, the Treasure Hall showcases highlights of the library’s collection, and the Exhibition Hall hosts special visiting exhibits that often require prior reservations.
Address: Parks Parks Plaza
Official website:

9. Mount Ainslie Lookout

To truly appreciate the layout of this carefully planned capital, head to the Mount Ainslie lookout at 843 meters above sea level. This is one of the city’s most popular viewing points. A well-paved walking/bike path winds and turns just over two kilometers behind the Australian War Memorial. Along the way, you can stop by a commemorative plaque, learn about the historic Australian war, and even spot some kangaroos as well as a number of beautiful birds.

It is also possible to drive to the lookout. Thanks to Walter Burley Griffin’s visionary vision, the watchtower blends perfectly with the elegant lines of the Anzac Parade, Lake Burley Griffin, the old Houses of Parliament and the new House in the background. On windy days, be sure to bring a jacket.
Other popular lookout points include Red Mountain to the south and Black Mountain to the west.
Address: Mount Ainslie Drive, Canberra

10. Australian National Botanical Gardens

About a kilometer west of the city centre, the 50-hectare National Botanical Gardens are a must-see for green thumbs. Spread across the slopes of the Black Mountains, these manicured collections showcase a wide variety of habitats and showcase all the major species of Australian flora. Kids will also love running wild here.

Rainforest valleys are particularly impressive. Look for water dragons among the lush leaves. Other highlights include the Red Center Garden, with its crimson fields and thorny countryside, and the Children’s Discovery Trail. The garden is also a haven for birds and butterflies.

Curious about other Canberra gardens to visit? You can also explore the Canberra National Botanical Gardens, about 6 minutes’ drive away. This 250-hectare scenic area features a forest of rare native and exotic trees, a national bonsai and bonsai collection, garden galleries, panoramic picnic areas, and a wonderful children’s playground.

If you are looking for cheap activities in Canberra, this is a great option. Entry to the garden is free, but you will have to pay a small fee to park in the on-site car park.
Address: Clunies Ross Street, Acton
Official website:

11. National Zoo and Aquarium

Australia’s only zoo and aquarium in one, this private property is popular with families and anyone who loves animals. Just five minutes from the city centre.
The National Aquarium showcases a wide variety of marine life, from tiny inhabitants of coral reefs to gigantic sharks.

At the nearby zoo, you can see all the major species of Australian fauna along with exotic species such as lions, tigers, cheetahs, bears and more. Animal encounters are very popular and allow visitors to go behind the scenes and interact with an array of exotic creatures. You can meet a meerkat and get up close with animals such as cheetahs, giraffes, sun bears and rhinos at this popular Canberra Zoo.

Address: 999 Lady Denman Drive, Western Creek, Yarralumla
Official website:

12. Australian National Museum

Located on the Lake Burley Griffin peninsula, the Australian National Museum focuses on the country’s social history. Contemporary architecture is a talking point in itself, with beautiful lake views. Inspired by puzzles, it aims to highlight the interconnected stories that helped shape the nation.

The main theme of the exhibition is the cultural history of Indigenous Australians. Other highlights include exhibits on the Gold Rush, Australian industry, apparel and immigration. Kids will also find some interactive displays to keep them busy.

Address: Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula
Official website:

13. National Carillon

The white carillon tower on Aspen Island in Lake Burley Griffin was a gift from the British government on Canberra’s 50th birthday in 1963. The 50-metre-high tower consists of three straight columns wrapped in opal scales and quartz. Inside the tower are 55 bronze bells weighing between 7 kg and 6 metric tons.

You can bring a picnic and relax on the surrounding grass. Better still, visit during recitals (Wednesdays and Sundays, from 12:30 am to 1:20 pm) because the bells are ringing across the lake. The tower looks especially beautiful when illuminated at night.
Location: Kings Park, Aspen Island, Canberra

14. Black Mountain Nature Park

Black Hills Nature Park is a wonderful wildlife experience to combine with a visit to the adjacent Australian National Botanic Gardens. It is located west of the city centre.
The hiking trail passes through the bush where you can spot many native bird species and other wildlife, including wallabies. The Black Mountain Summit Trail is a popular 2.7 km (one-way) hike that takes you to Telstra Tower, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

At the foot of the Black Mountains, the Australian Institute of Sport is a training center for Australia’s top athletes, with a swimming pool and tennis centre.
Address: Black Hills Avenue, Acton


Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Canberra. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Canberra, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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