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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

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

Gallery of Small Things (GOST)

Gallery of Small Things

TripAdvisor rating6 reviews
Watson, ACT
Exterior view of Beaver Galleries

Beaver Galleries

TripAdvisor rating33 reviews
Deakin, ACT
Watercolor painting of a bush camp with tents and a small shack

Canberra Museum and Gallery

TripAdvisor rating158 reviews
Canberra City, ACT

Canberra Glassworks

TripAdvisor rating391 reviews
Kingston, ACT
Craft + Design Canberra Shop

Craft + Design Canberra

TripAdvisor rating3 reviews
Canberra, ACT
M16 Artspace

M16 Artspace

Griffith, ACT
Large, colourful paintings by Kubbitji Kngwarreye on exhibition at Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery

Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery

TripAdvisor rating6 reviews
Nicholls, ACT
Bungendore Fine Art Gallery

Bungendore Fine Arts Gallery

Queanbeyan, NSW
Aarwun Gallery frontage

Aarwun Gallery

Nicholls, ACT
Entering the Gallery from the foyer

Burrunju Art Gallery

TripAdvisor rating5 reviews
Canberra, ACT
Showroom gallery

Humble House gallery

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

Drill Hall Gallery

TripAdvisor rating12 reviews
Acton, ACT
Wide shot of Gallery from This is now exxhibition

Grainger Gallery

Fyshwick, ACT
gallery facade

Nancy Sever Gallery

TripAdvisor rating1 reviews
Canberra City, ACT

Popular historic sites

Family in front of the historic homestead

Lanyon Homestead

Fenceline posts Blundells Cottage

Blundells Cottage

Group of cyclists going past the R G Menzies statue on the Lake Burley Griffin foreshore

R G Menzies Walk

Inside the historic Mugga-Mugga cottage

Mugga-Mugga Cottage

Calthorpes' House exterior

Calthorpes' House

Family taking the Australian of the Year Walk. Photo by Jinkyart

Australians of the Year Walk

The museum main entrance

Canberra Railway Museum

Deep Space Station 34 Deep space communication antennas

Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

Darter on a birdwatching tour

Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Views from the bush walk

Black Mountain

Lone cyclist in the wide open spaces

Canberra Centenary Trail

Tall granite cliffs at dusk

Booroomba Rocks

Featured events

Detail of scroll depicting four Egyptian  figures with hieroglyphics running along the top section
15 Dec 2023 – 8 Sep 2024

Discovering Ancient Egypt

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Vincent Namatjira in his studio in front of paintings
2 Mar – 21 Jul 2024

Vincent Namatjira: Australia in colour

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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 – 30 Jun 2025

Truth, Power and a Free Press

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A painted portrait of Queen Mary of Denmark, wearing a brown skirt and shirt, looking out a window.
15 Mar – 27 May 2024

Ralph Heimans: Portraiture. Power. Influence.

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Plate, The Australian War Memoial  c. 1965 Dish, Lake Burley Griffin Canberra ACT 1964 – 1970
5 Jan – 23 Dec 2024

Canberra/Kamberri, Place & People

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image of AI generated art part of the Friend or Foe
24 Jan 2024 – 23 Jan 2025

Friend or Foe – The Rise of Artificial Intelligence Exhibition

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