Explore some of Canberra's freshest local culture this weekend.
A group of women toast with beer at Bentspoke Brewing Co. in Braddon, a popular precinct in Canberra.

A Cultural Capital

While the capital is abuzz with spring, it’s the perfect time to explore all the cultural pursuits Canberra has to offer. Urban Walkabout have curated this guide to a weekend spent well in Canberra, jam-packed with local flair, food, and design. After 48 hours here, you won’t want to leave.

Day 1: Saturday

Breakfast Bookplate 

Where better to start a day full of cultural activities than the library? Fuel up on lemon pancakes with mascarpone, honeyed nuts and passionfruit or smashed avocado and feta on sourdough before browsing the books.

Morning National Library of Australia 

Australia's largest collection of books, manuscripts, articles and more is a great place to spend a morning. Visit the Treasures Gallery where an ever-changing range of some of the most amazing items from the collection are shown. It's also fun to jump onto one of the many computer terminals hosting Trove to search for any family connections in the Australian National Collection!  

Lunch Waters Edge 

The perfect vantage point to admire the centrepiece of Canberra’s design: Lake Burley Griffin. Perched on the edge of the lake, the muted interiors and elegant menu is understated fine dining at its best. 

Afternoon BentSpoke brewing 

With over 18 different varieties of beer and cider to choose from and a bar menu that includes Grain Crusted Hot Wings and Smoked Mac ‘n’ Cheese, this is the perfect place to spend an afternoon tasting some of Canberra’s best brews. Make sure to ask about the seasonal offerings and one-off flavours.

Dinner Eightysix

Keep the party mood going and take all your friends to Eightysix. This bold venue’s food is designed to share, but get in quick before dishes are “eighty-sixed” off the blackboard menu.

Bar Hippo Co 

When your apple juice is squeezed right in front of you, you know your cocktail is going to taste deliciously fresh. So head to Hippo Co where they have been perfecting the delicate art of cocktail making for over 15 years.

Day 2: Sunday

Breakfast Stand By Me

As well as all the classic breakfast dishes and quality coffee, Stand By Me is serving up some more interesting dishes like the chicken and egg congee. The ever-changing daily French toast special’s past renditions have included everything from lemon meringue and lamington to pumpkin pie.

Morning Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Political Cartoons 

Take a walk through Australia’s recent political history and have a laugh while you’re at it. Gathering together cartoonists' powerful and thought-provoking images, these are the top cartoons that poignantly capture moments of Australian political history with clever wit and irony.

Lunch Muse

This restaurant-come-bookstore is the perfect place to while away an afternoon. The lunch menu focuses on vegetables, with the menu changing daily depending on what’s in season. Extend the afternoon with a coffee, or maybe a wine, and one of the many good books on offer.

Afternoon Australian National Botanic Gardens 

Take a guided tour through the glorious gardens in the Australian National Botanic Gardens to hear about the scientific collection of rare species, native birds and see seasonal flowers in bloom.