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Mum and daughter looking at portrait of Hugh Jackman.

Museums and Galleries

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

A couple walking through an Aboriginal sculptural piece.

Discover the Australian story at our Cultural Icons

Canberra 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.

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 woman looking at an exhibition of a war scene.

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

Women looking at art in the National Gallery of Australia, 2015

National Gallery of Australia

National Library of Australia building

National Library of Australia

front image

National Portrait Gallery

Q Lab

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

The spiritual home of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House

Museum of Australian Democracy

National Archives of Australia main entrance

National Archives of Australia

NFSA building - facade

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Creating memories

Royal Australian Mint

A couple looking at Sidney Nolan's works.

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

water jugs, cups and jewellery

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre

Wide shot of Gallery from This is now exxhibition

Grainger Gallery

photograph

Drill Hall Gallery

Pure pigment print on archival paper

Canberra Museum and Gallery

Framed prints on display at Scott Leggo Gallery

Scott Leggo Gallery

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

Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery

Hotshop

Canberra Glassworks

Exterior of the Gallery of Small Things

Gallery of Small Things

M16 Artspace

M16 Artspace

'Vanishing Point' 2019, exhibition installation view.

ANU School of Art & Design Gallery

Popular historic sites

Family in front of the historic homestead

Lanyon Homestead

Fenceline posts Blundells Cottage

Blundells Cottage

Calthorpes' House exterior

Calthorpes' House

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

Canberra Tracks - Self Drive Heritage Trails

Featured events

Robert Fielding's Graveyards in between
26 Mar – 31 Jul 2022

4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony

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An image of people inside the Connection experience, surrounded by colourful artwork projections
8 Jun – 9 Oct 2022

Connection: Songlines from Australia's First Peoples in a spectacular immersive experience

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William Shakespeare (detail) c. 1600-10 assoc. John Taylor, National Portrait Gallery, London.
12 Mar – 17 Jul 2022

Shakespeare to Winehouse: Icons from the National Portrait Gallery, London

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People by the pool at California Hotel, Hawthorn, Vic
27 May – 4 Sep 2022

Reception this way: motels – a sentimental journey with Tim Ross

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Painting of a brunette woman will a bowl-haircut in a green dress.
25 Jun – 9 Oct 2022

The Darling Portrait Prize

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Australians & Hollywood celebrates a constellation of talent in front and behind the screen
30 Jun 2022 – 31 Oct 2023

Australians and Hollywood: A tale of craft, talent, and ambition

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Storm over the Brindabellas, 2021
18 Jun – 17 Jul 2022

Anita McIntyre | A Survey 1970 - 2022

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