An entertaining break in the nation's capital
A surprise contestant for the title of Australia’s centre of entertainment, Canberra’s love of music and theatre knows no bounds. Discover the best of what the nation’s capital has to offer with this entertainment lover’s guide to Canberra curated by Urban Walkabout.
Day 1: Saturday
Breakfast Cream Café and Bar
Serving up satisfyingly delicious breakfasts right in the heart of Canberra’s food scene, flawlessly complementing the café’s selection of robust coffees, Cream is the perfect place to get your weekend in Canberra started on the right foot. A casual, sun-drenched café adorned with an art deco finish, you’ll find dishes like Spanish omelette, Sicilian baked eggs, and croissant French toast on their menu.
Morning shopping The Hamlet
Forming a little urban village within the suburb of Braddon, The Hamlet is made up of a collection of up-and-coming local creatives and street food vendors. Housing jewellery and furniture makers, fashion and industrial designers, and even acting as the occasional site for exhibitions, there’s always something to keep you entertained at The Hamlet.
Lunch The Hamlet
Once you’re tuckered out from exploring the stalls dotted around The Hamlet, why not grab a bite to eat at one of the food vendors on site? Check out local food favourites Dream Cuisine, BrodDogs, Nookie Espresso, Mr Papa, Spit Shack or The Brathaus, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch some of Canberra’s local artists performing live.
Afternoon Canberra Theatre Centre
Once you’ve eaten your fill, head over to Canberra Theatre Centre, located in the heart of Canberra’s Civic Square. As Canberra’s premier performing arts venue, the theatre hosts regular performances, from drama, dance, theatre and circus, to comedy, cabaret and music. With so much going on at once, there’s bound to be something happening to suit every taste.
Dinner Marble & Grain
One of the newest restaurants on the block, Marble & Grain is a European style establishment that perfectly marries old-world charm with modern day sophistication. Decked out with bespoke leather interiors, the restaurant boasts a gigantic aged beef tomahawk steak on their menu, a rotating selection of craft beers on tap and a stellar list of Australian wines.
With an entrance hidden behind The Barber Shop, and an underground vibe to rival all others, Lucky’s Speakeasy is Canberra’s best-kept secret. Featuring a cheeky cocktail menu promising inventive creations like the Smoking Gun of Mezcal, as well as classics like the espresso martini, Lucky’s Speakeasy’s resident DJ will keep you entertained all night long.
Day 2: Sunday
Breakfast Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery
Reminiscent of a bygone era, with its old-fashioned wooden booths and red, carpeted floor, Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery is an internationally acclaimed live music venue offering a relaxed dining atmosphere both indoors and outdoors. Choose from the selection of hearty breakfast items on the menu, or give into the ultimate indulgence with their build-your-own-breakfast option.
Morning Dendy Cinema
Famous for setting a new world-class benchmark in the cinema experience, Dendy Cinema should be your last stop before leaving Canberra. With the latest in cinema technology, and housing over 1100 luxurious seats, including two Premium Class cinemas, Dendy shows all the latest blockbusters as well as everyone’s favourite cult classics.
Lunch Gus’ Café
With an inception story as vibrant as they come, including a battle with local bureaucrats and a petition to the Queen back in the 60s, Gus’ Café became Canberra’s first open-air, late night café in 1968. Head over for breakfast on day two of your Canberra adventure, and experience a slice of history while dining from their all-day menu. Try the mixed grill platter to share, the pancakes with mascarpone and berry compote, or the Herbivores on Rye Toast dish.
Afternoon The Street Theatre
Consider a trip to Canberra incomplete if you skip over this entertainment venue. With a far more offbeat offering to other performing arts centres, The Street Theatre plays host to alternative musicians, comedians, dance and theatre groups, both professional and independent, for those who enjoy entertainment that’s a little out of the ordinary.
If you’re planning on staying in Canberra for a little while longer, Roland Peelman, the Artistic Director of the Canberra International Music Festival, recommends the National Library of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, the High Court of Australia and the National Gallery of Australia as must visits.
Browse and research the most extensive listing of Canberra District accommodation we've put together for you. If you want to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable locals, call the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre on 1300 554 114.