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A mother and daughter in front of a portrait in a gallery

Museums and galleries

Family and tour guide in a gallery

Discover the Australian story at Canberra's national museums

Canberra is well-known for its national attractions, but culture lovers also thrive within the city's local arts scene and heritage sites.

The city is home to 12 of Australia’s most iconic cultural attractions, museums and galleries. Each showcases a unique perspective of Australia's story from First Nations history to contemporary times. 

See the largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the National Gallery of Australia and discover where the big decisions are made at Australian Parliament House. Pay your respects to those we lost at a Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial and explore the treasure trove of rare books, maps, manuscripts and photographs at the National Library of Australia.

Family on free tour of National Museum of Australia looking at termite mound

There are exhibitions, events and experiences to interest anyone at the National Museum of Australia. See famous Aussies at the National Portrait Gallery and learn about the wonderful world of science at Questacon. Laugh at the best political cartoons of the year at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and watch coins be made at the Royal Australian Mint. Catch a classic film at the National Film and Sound Archive and learn intriguing stories from Australian history at the National Archives of Australia

Many attractions offer free entry to their impressive permanent exhibitions. Make time to refuel at their cafes and pick up a souvenir to remember your trip at their beautifully curated stores.

A young child and an older man placing a poppy into the wall of names of fallen soldiers.

Australian War Memorial

Bringing together a world-class museum, shrine and research centre, the War Memorial tells the stories of men and women who have served, and continue to serve our nation in war, conflict and operations. Through exhibitions, artworks, large technology objects and personal records, we share personal experiences of military service.

Visitors to the Australian War Memorial need to book free, timed tickets to view their galleries and to attend the daily Last Post Ceremony.

Australian War Memorial

Cultural icons

An aerial view of the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.

National Museum of Australia

National Library of Australia building

National Library of Australia

Connections Gallery digital wall

National Archives of Australia

Gallery building at night

National Portrait Gallery

A tour guide and a family in front of a framed artwork in a gallery

National Gallery of Australia

The spiritual home of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House

Museum of Australian Democracy

family of 4 walk up the Questacon ramp by the ticket desk

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

NFSA building - facade

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Visitors entering the Mint building

Royal Australian Mint

Family exploring a heritage site

Uncover Canberra's art scene, local history, and heritage sites

From immersive heritage trails to intimate galleries where you can see the makers in action, discovering Canberra's history and creative community is a must on any trip to the capital.

Will you watch glassmakers create masterpieces in the hot shop at the Canberra Glassworks or see Sir Sidney Nolan's iconic paintings at the Canberra Museum and Gallery? Take time to explore the art galleries nestled throughout the suburbs that specialise in everything from photography to screen printing. With exhibitions regularly changing, there's always something new to see. 

A city with a rich heritage, Canberra’s local history is on show at more than just museums. Take a self-drive tour of historic sights, visit original cottages and homes, and see the city plans come to life with augmented reality.

Artwork on display at Canberra Glassworks.

Canberra Glassworks

Canberra Glassworks is Australia’s leading centre for contemporary glass art, craft and design - the only one of its kind in the nation. Housed in the historic Kingston Power House, visit the hot shop to see glass artist in action before seeing masterpieces in the gallery and shop.

Why not try your hand at making a glass tumbler or paperweight at an interactive workshop? There's event school holiday programs for young aspiring glass artists. 

Canberra Glassworks

Must-see local galleries

Craft + Design Canberra Shop

Craft + Design Canberra

TripAdvisor rating3 reviews
Canberra, ACT
Wide shot of Gallery from This is now exxhibition

Grainger Gallery

Fyshwick, ACT
Image: installation of Backwash, ANU Drill Gallery, 1 Sept - 22 Oct 2023.

Drill Hall Gallery

TripAdvisor rating12 reviews
Acton, ACT
Watercolor painting of a bush camp with tents and a small shack

Canberra Museum and Gallery

TripAdvisor rating158 reviews
Canberra City, ACT
Scott Leggo Gallery Kingston

Scott Leggo Gallery

TripAdvisor rating29 reviews
Kingston, ACT
Large, colourful paintings by Kubbitji Kngwarreye on exhibition at Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery

Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery

TripAdvisor rating5 reviews
Nicholls, ACT

Canberra Glassworks

TripAdvisor rating388 reviews
Kingston, ACT
Gallery of Small Things (GOST)

Gallery of Small Things

TripAdvisor rating6 reviews
Watson, ACT
M16 Artspace

M16 Artspace

Griffith, ACT
'Vanishing Point' 2019, exhibition installation view.

ANU School of Art & Design Gallery

Acton, ACT
Showroom gallery

Humble House gallery

Fyshwick, ACT

Popular historic sites

Fenceline posts Blundells Cottage

Blundells Cottage

Woman holding smart phone in front of image on sign located in the bush

Canberra Tracks - Self Drive Heritage Trails

Family in front of the historic homestead

Lanyon Homestead

Featured events

tour guide with tour group looking at cartoon images on a wall
13 Dec 2023 – 30 Nov 2024

Behind the Lines

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MoAD’s Truth Power and a Free Press exhibition entry with three visitors looking at displays
3 May 2022 – 3 May 2024

Truth, Power and a Free Press

Next on today

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