The historic 1920s shopping centres of Manuka and Kingston precincts are hotspots for dining, boutique shopping, sporting events as well as the arts and cinema.
The neighbouring suburbs in Canberra’s inner south offer a variety of boutique shops, cool cafes, restaurants and bars.
On the weekends they are one of the most popular spots in Canberra for bite to eat or a cup of coffee; Ona Coffee, Public or Urban Pantry in Manuka and Idelic Cafe and Silo Bakery in Kingston are always buzzing.
In Kingston, try swanky Ox Eatery with its fabulous rotisserie, or Wild Duck in the burgeoning Kingston Foreshore precinct. Visit a Canberra favourite, Brodburger at Canberra Glassworks, for mouth-watering burgers and service with a smile. A new addition to the foreshore, C Dine Bar places a strong emphasis on local seasonal produce, exceptional prime cuts and perfectly prepared seafood. Lonsdale Street Roasters, Mork’s and Max Benner are also joining the new precinct.
In Manuka, Abell’s Kopi Tiam offers home-style Malaysian food. Grab a bite to eat at Urban Pantry or enjoy an upmarket take on pub grub at Public Bar.
Manuka Swimming Pool is the Art Deco public swimming baths that has cooled summers of the capital for many years. The original facade and fittings surround the pool and with its extensive lawns it is a perfect place to take the family for a swim or relax with a great book for a few hours.
In autumn, wander along the adjacent Telopea Park for a kaleidoscope of autumn colours. At the lake end of the park you will find the Kingston Foreshore.
During winter, StarTrack Oval in Manuka transforms into a sea of orange when the GIANTS play a series of games as part of the AFL Premiership season. In summer Manuka Oval hosts the annual Prime Minister’s XI cricket match against a touring international team. (January).
These established inner south precincts are known for their diverse night scene, from upmarket and sophisticated to understated and relaxed. In Green Square in Kingston try the Durham for a friendly pub experience. On Kennedy Street, check out the up tempo lounge bar at the Kennedy Room. In Franklin Street, Manuka, if you’re looking for an intimate venue with table service and a political twist, head upstairs to the Polit Bar for a classic cocktail and enjoy a shared plate of eclectic edibles.
Australia's leading Glassworks
Take the opportunity to interact with and learn about glass making at Australia's only cultural centre wholly dedicated to contemporary glass art. Canberra Glassworks provides artists with state-of-the-art equipment, studios and mentorship programs, as well as an unusual context to explore, develop and realise new work. But the Glassworks also provides diverse opportunities for visitors to meet artists, see glassmaking as it happens, view exhibitions, take tours and have a hands on experience working with glass.
Entry to the Canberra Glassworks is by donation and but charges apply to workshops, special guided tours and special events. Young visitors to the Glassworks can hunt for the clues in our Lightbulb Moments or purchase a Passport to the Past for just $5 at the front desk and tour the building stamping your passport along the way.
Iconic weekend market
The multi award-winning Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston is a weekend institution for Canberrans and visitors alike. Held each Sunday (and also Saturdays in December in the lead up to Christmas), the markets, celebrating 20 years, are held inside an industrial building that was once the city’s original bus depot. They are renowned for handcrafted jewellery, art, clothing, furniture, toys as well as regional food and wine with plenty of food vendors providing tempting treats such as fresh bread, coffee and sweet delicacies.
While you're in the area, be sure to visit the Barton precinct to discover 5 star hotels and great dining in one of Canberra's leafiest precincts.