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Photo of Canberra

About Canberra

With its layout planned by a single architect, green and open Canberra isn’t like most capital cities. Firstly it’s an artificial creation, resulting from a fight between Sydney and Melbourne over who would be capital, built around an artificial lake, with many of its roads and suburbs pre-planned to allow for large pockets of green space. This looks nice, but it makes Canberra almost impossible to get around if you don’t have your own transport. A bike is OK, but a car is better. So more than in other capitals, it’s important that our list of the best places to stay in Canberra are relatively central to the action. While Canberra isn’t the most charming of cities, it does have some excellent facilities and plenty of money to run them.

What Not To Miss

  • Firstly there are the two parliament buildings, the new one which is built into a hill and the Australian Botanic Gardens,
  • There’s also plenty of galleries and museums including the National Art Gallery, National Library, National War Memorial, the Science Museum (Questacon), National Film and Sound Archive, the National Portrait Gallery, the Canberra Museum, the Royal Mint, and all the embassies.
  • Then there are the natural pleasures, the walks up Black Mountain to the lookouts, or Red Hill to the cafe or Mount Ainslie.
  • There’s also the man made lake with its many gardens and island - complete with Carillon and the Captain Cook Memorial water jet - which is a big fountain.
  • In spring there’s Floriade, the flower Festival and there’s an annual Folk Music Festival. And there’s several theatres with plenty of funding, so there’s often a quality of production which seems grand considering the city’s population.
  • The same can be said for some of Canberra’s restaurants. And of course outside of town there are some wonderful national parks to explore.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Canberra range from charming boutique in a heritage building to sleek contemporary accommodation in a hip district.

The best places to stay in Canberra

For heritage buildings

  • Canberra’s Hyatt Hotel occupies one of the city’s oldest buildings, a long, low structure just below Parliament Hill. This is a large hotel, with 252 rooms and suites and an extensive garden. The rooms have marble bathrooms and there’s plenty of Art Deco era marble in the public areas too. They also do a lovely afternoon tea.
  • Peppers Gallery Hotel is a boutique hotel in Canberra’s ‘city’. Rooms are modern, with all the mod. cons. and there’s original art work on the wall. The restaurant has a great reputation and there’s also a bar, library and a lovely courtyard.

For contemporary style

  • Hotel Hotel is uber modern, with lots of exposed concrete with Jenga block decor. There’s original art on the walls, bike hire, complementary yoga classes, a gym and cinema, and even a hair salon.

For an apartment

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option this holiday - don't hesitate to visit our online partner, Booking.com for a great selection of properties ideal for enjoying the city's sights.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Canberra Airport located 7.3km (4.5 miles) from Canberra with a range of flights across Australia and to International destinations including New Zealand, Singapore and Qatar.
  • Alternatively, catch a train to Canberra with regular trains to Sydney amongst other destinations.
  • If you want to rent a car to explore the city - click here for prices and booking with our online partner, Rental Cars.
  • Best time to visit - the spring from September to November for pleasant temperatures for exploring the city.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Canberra

  • Hotel Hotel 68 rooms from $164

    Canberra (25 Edinburgh Ave)

    A stylish addition to Canberra's hip NewActon precinct. Rooms feature contemporary decor and original Australian artwork. Bikes available, a cinema, gym and even a hair saloon. For a slick city stay.

    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Spa
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Hyatt Hotel Canberra 252 rooms from $195

    Canberra

    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.

    Sights nearby  -  Located in Parliamentary Triangle, close to Parliament House, Australian War Memorial and National Museum
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Spa
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
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  • Peppers Gallery Hotel 85 rooms from $135

    Canberra

    Heritage building turned boutique hotel in the heart of Canberra. Contemporary rooms feature Bang & Olufsen TVs, rain showers and original art work on the walls. Renowned Bicicletta restaurant, library bar & charming courtyard complete the picture.

    Sights nearby  -  Within walking distance to Australian War Memorial and Parliament House
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Spa
    Check prices