Photo of Canberra

About Canberra

With a well-ordered layout planned by a single architect, leafy Canberra is unlike most capital cities. The result of a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne as to which city would become Australia’s capital, this is a rare, purpose-built community. Set around an artificial lake and boasting large pockets of green space, Canberra may be a fascinating example of urban planning — but it’s also a slightly tricky city to navigate by public transport, so a bicycle or car comes highly recommended. Luckily, most of the best places to stay in Canberra are very central, allowing you to explore on foot with ease.

Parliament House, surrounded by a park on the south side of Lake Burley Griffin, is the seat of political power in Australia. Amble around the area to spot striking architectural landmarks, and to pop into excellent museums, including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the National Library and the Science Museum. The Australian War memorial, a little further away, is also well worth visiting. Pick up fresh produce and artisanal crafts at the Old Bus Depot Markets, and take a boat trip on the lake to see the city from the water.

Nature-focused travellers will adore the Australian Botanical Gardens and the National Arboretum, whilst families should make a bee-line for the National Zoo & Aquarium, which also play host to one of the best places to stay in Canberra. Hike up Black Mountain, Red Hill or Mount Ainslie for lovely views before returning to the city’s bustling centre for lively cafes, eateries and bars. Canberra is fast becoming a foodie hotspot, so you can expect to sample and savour sensational seasonal cuisine and Australian wines whilst in the capital, too.

The Best Places to Stay in Canberra

For City Style

  • Peppers Gallery Hotel has modern rooms with Bang & Olufsen TVs, original artworks and refreshing rain showers. The bar and library are lovely, and the Bicicletta Restaurant's authentic Italian fare draws a local crowd in addition to the hotel's guests. Showcasing pieces by Australian artists, this restored heritage building also boasts a wonderful sculpture garden.
  • QT Canberra has a fresh, youthful feel, which makes it popular with hip urban holidaymakers as well as business travellers. The modern Australian fare at Capitol Bar & Grill is superb, as are the sommelier's wine pairings. The top floor is reserved exclusively for meetings and events, making this a top-notch Canberra conference choice.
  • Little National Hotel, close to the Parlimentary Triangle, has minimalist rooms and suites with monochrome interiors and lots of natural light. A reasonably priced offering with stacks of style, this hotel promises access to the Realm Precinct's many eateries, bars, gym and spa. The onsite Ritual Café is relaxed and welcoming.

For Romance

  • Ovolo Nishi is another stylish city pad, this time with just 68 guest rooms and a particularly romantic ambiance. Understated interiors have a hip Japanese feel, with earthy tones, an extensive collection of modern artwork and a great buzz. Tour the Nishi Gallery, tuck into largely plant-based cuisine at Monster Kitchen and catch a show at the onsite Palace Electric cinema with a glass of prosecco or two.

For Families or Groups

  • East Hotel & Apartments is brilliant for families, with bunk rooms for little ones and apartments offering kitchens and dining spaces for those wanting to self-cater. Groups of all ages will love the bright, funky design elements and sense of fun. Dine at Muse or Agostinis, sip cocktails at Joe's Bar and borrow bicycels to zip around town. A playful pick.

For Luxury

  • Hyatt Hotel Canberra sits in a long, low building just below Parliament Hill. One of the oldest properties in the city, this Art Deco landmark now boasts 252 luxurious rooms and suites, many offering glittering chandeliers, marble bathrooms and elegant furnishings. A heritage gem with live jazz nights, a sophisticated tea lounge and manicured gardens.
  • Hotel Kurrajong is another Art Deco hotel fusing classic elegance with contemporary elements. Open since 1926, the property has been expanded to house 147 rooms and suites, many decorated in sleek grey and white tones, complete with blue accents. Chifley's Bar and Grill is a gourmet favourite, and the events spaces are ideal for big weddings.
  • Hotel Realm sits just moments from Parliament House. A sleek haven of white-on-white decor with pops of red and lots of glass and chrome, this is a brilliant five-star hotel. Highlights include the state-of-the-art spa, and multiple hip bars and eateries for well-heeled city types and keen foodies.
  • Midnight Hotel, an atmospheric urban bolthole in the regenerated Braddon neighbourhood, has moody chacoal and deep purple interiors, with striking modern art pieces. The whole hotel is suffused with a sense of late-night cool — including the bold Australian restaurant and wine bar. The heated indoor pool is a great touch.

For Safari Lodge

  • Jamala Wildlife Lodge, set within the National Zoo & Aquarium, is a fabulous luxury lodge with African-inspired bungalows and treehouses crafted from wood, glass and stone. Rooms border wildlife enclosures, so you're metres from lions, giraffes and bears whilst in big sink-into bathtubs or on cosy sofas. Expect fantastic fare, too.


  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner


  • Fly to Canberra Airport, just a short drive from the city centre by car or bus. Alternatively, travel to the Canberra by train from other hubs including Sydney.
  • If you would like to hire a car, we recommend visiting our online partner Rentalcars.
  • Visit between August and November, for pleasant temperatures, perfect for exploring the city.



Monthly Weather in Canberra

Best Hotels in Canberra

  • Little National Hotel Canberra (Australia) 120 rooms from £98

    Business meetings  -  Close to the Parliamentary Triangle, this slick city spot also has a 24-hour workspace, ideal for business travellers
    Great walks  -  Guided walking tours offer an intriguing insight into Canberra's past as well as its lively modern character
    Museums  -  Catch fascinating exhibitions at the National Museum and the National Gallery of Australia
    Value chic  -  The Little National aims to offer the trappings of a luxury hotel without the price tag
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Set near to the Parliamentary Triangle, Canberra's political heart. Expect understated contemporary style, with echoes of Japanese minimalism in rooms with four-poster beds & earthy tones. Very reasonably priced & promising access to the bars, eateries, spa & gym of the five-star Realm Precinct. See More

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  • Ovolo Nishi Canberra (Australia) 68 rooms from £103

    Romantic Break  -  Easily Canberra's coolest hotel, making this a great pick for couples dreaming of a hip, romantic stay
    Mountain biking  -  If you’re feeling really adventurous, the hotel can organise mountain biking on Mount Stromlo
    City Style  -  A stylish city pad with an impressive art collection, bold modern architecture & a great buzz
    Hotel Entertainment  -  Catch a show at the hotel's hip Palace Electric cinema, complete with prosecco bar!
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    Japanese inspired & minimally elegant, this is one of the hippest hotels in Canberra. A strong emphasis is placed on chic design, with natural materials, moody tones & an extensive art collection adorning the walls. A top-notch bar & restaurant, plus quirky onsite cinema add to the appeal. See More

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  • Peppers Gallery Hotel Canberra (Australia) 85 rooms from £104

    Value chic  -  A great value choice for a trip to Canberra, in a convenient central location & with a great restaurant
    Great walks  -  Take scenic strolls or go jogging along the waterfront paths which wind around Lake Burley Griffin
    City Style  -  A smart, affordable hotel in New Acton, with swish, art-filled modern interiors
    Golf  -  Play a round or two at the Royal Canberra Golf Club
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantDisabled accessNo pets

    A heritage building turned boutique hotel in the heart of Canberra. Contemporary rooms feature Bang & Olufsen TVs, rain showers and original artwork on the walls. The popular Bicicletta Restaurant, laid-back library bar & charming courtyard with sculpture garden complete the picture. See More

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  • QT Canberra Canberra (Australia) 205 rooms from £108

    Foodies  -  An acclaimed grill restaurant & a series of regular food and wine-focused events make this a great choice for sociable foodies
    Cycling  -  Hire bicycles to explore the city on two wheels, with a plethora of excellent galleries, museums & green spaces within reach
    Business Hotel  -  The entire top floor is exclusively reserved for meetings and conferences and boasts one of the best views of Canberra
    City Style  -  QT is next door to a cluster of excellent restaurants and bars, plus the Nishi Gallery and an art-house cinema
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Luxury design hotel in the centre of the political capital. With strong design themes, merging 1930s speakeasy elements with hipster details, popular with both city slickers and business people. Serving top-notch cuisine and particularly known for its gourmet breakfast spread. See More

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  • Hotel Kurrajong Canberra (Australia) 147 rooms from £113

    Weddings  -  Exclusive wedding packages will delight those looking to celebrate at a fabulous heritage venue in the heart of Canberra
    Cycling  -  Speak to the team about hiring bicycles, perfect for zipping along Canberra's many trails - especially near the lake
    Local exploring  -  As close as you’ll get to the action, with the ‘Parliamentary Triangle’ just a 10-minute walk away
    Museums  -  Easy walking distance to the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsNo pets

    Opened in 1926, this Art Deco landmark fuses classic elegance with swish, contemporary elements. The 147 rooms & suites include heritage options as well as sleek white-and-grey guest rooms with big garden views & blue accents. A gourmet restaurant, chic bar & event spaces are ideal for weddings. See More

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  • East Hotel & Apartments Canberra Canberra (Australia) 140 rooms from £116

    Families  -  Decorated in a fun and quirky style, the hotel has bunk rooms for little ones & family-friendly apartments
    Groups  -  A lively, sociable spot for groups of friends who will love the bar and eateries, as well as the fun vibe
    Cycling  -  Bicycles are available at the hotel, an ideal way to explore the city with its many cycle trails
    Museums  -  Just 5 minutes' drive from the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery
    Air conditioningTennisRestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Chic well-equipped apartment-style rooms in the heart of the city. Every detail has been considered from on-point contemporary design to well placed electric sockets and woollen rugs to curl up in. Featuring a vibrant bar and restaurants, popular destinations in themselves. A cool city spot. See More

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  • Hyatt Hotel Canberra Canberra (Australia) 252 rooms from £154

    Business meetings  -  A smart boardroom, 24-hour business centre and mulitpl events spaces make this an excellent choice for Camberra business trips
    Museums  -  The National Gallery of Australia and the National Library are both fantastic and well worth visiting
    Hotel Entertainment  -  Expect live jazz on Friday evenings at the tea lounge, and regular events for guests
    Romantic Break  -  A wonderfully romantic luxury hotel, perfect for an elegant city break
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Housed in one of Canberra's oldest buildings, this five star luxury hotel boasts large rooms with marble bathrooms and extensive gardens in the heart of the city. The style is Art Deco but all the mod cons are distinctly 21st century. A luxury option for exploring the capital. See More

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  • Hotel Realm Canberra (Barton) 163 rooms from £222

    Local exploring  -  Located next to the Parliamentary Triangle, it is within walking distance of many of the city's highlights
    City Style  -  A sleek modern five star hotel with minimalist white-on-white interiors and notable artworks
    Great walks  -  The National Arboretum Canberra has over 44,000 rare & endangered trees on 250-hectares of grounds — guided tours are excellent
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance to icons including Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, and the National Library of Australia
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsNo pets

    A sensational five-star hotel moments from Parliament House, Realm is a sleek haven of white-on-white decor, with crisp linens, big bathrooms with sink-into tubs & modern artwork. Multiple hip bars & eateries, plus a state-of-the-art spa with sauna, indoor pool & gym make this a luxury favourite. See More

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  • Midnight Hotel Canberra (Braddon) 199 rooms from £228

    City Style  -  A stylish urban bolthole with sleek interiors & a moody colour scheme, plus a great restaurant & wellness centre
    Close to nightlife  -  Lively Braddon is a regenrated inner-city neighbourhood with a collection of hip bars, eateries and clubs
    Business meetings  -  Business travellers will appreciate the event space, hip modern design & nearby bars for post-work drinks
    Designer  -  The hotel has its own signature scent, HUTWOODS x Midnight Hotel, which is also available for purchase
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    The regenerated Braddon neighbourhood plays host to this sleek urban bolthole. Moody charcoal & deep purple interiors, a signature scent & hip modern art pieces carry the slick essence of late night cool throughout. Expect a bold modern Australian restaurant, wine bar & heated indoor pool, too. See More

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  • Jamala Wildlife Lodge Canberra (ACT) 18 rooms from £855

    Families  -  A fabulous lodge for families with older kids, who will be fascinated by the zoo & adore flexible room options
    Hideaway  -  A one-of-a-kind hideaway in Canberra, set within a family-owned zoo with a focus on conservation & education
    Wildlife Area  -  Hotel guests are offered two free guided walks through the zoo, which surrounds the lodge itself
    Restaurant  -  The Cave, with a feel of a private dining room, offers delicious breakfasts & three-course dinners close to the animals
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A fabulous & highly unusual family-owned lodge set within the National Zoo & Aquarium. African-inspired bungalows, treehouses & a main lodge feature carved wood, earthy tones & big bathtubs. Rooms border enclosures so guests are metres from lions, giraffes & bears. A real gem for wildlife fans. See More

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