12 Free Attractions in Canberra

Canberra, the capital city of Australia, is not only known for its political importance but also for its rich cultural and natural attractions. The best part? Many of these attractions are completely free to visit, making it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. In this article, we’ll explore 12 free attractions in Canberra that offer a delightful blend of history, art, nature, and more.

1. Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial is a poignant and iconic site that commemorates the sacrifices of Australian soldiers. Visitors can explore its free galleries, pay their respects at the Roll of Honour, and attend moving commemorative ceremonies.

2. National Gallery of Australia

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the National Gallery of Australia, which boasts an extensive collection of artworks. Entry is free, allowing you to admire masterpieces by renowned artists from Australia and around the world.

3. National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia offers free access to exhibitions that tell the story of the nation. Engage with interactive displays and discover Australia’s diverse cultural heritage and history.

4. Parliament House

Marvel at the architectural grandeur of Parliament House, the center of Australian politics. Free guided tours provide insight into the nation’s governance, and you can explore public areas, including the impressive Great Hall.

5. Australian National Botanic Gardens

Nature lovers will find solace in the Australian National Botanic Gardens, where you can wander among native plant collections, enjoy picturesque landscapes, and stroll along walking trails—all for free.

6. National Library of Australia

The National Library is a haven for bookworms and history buffs. Explore free exhibitions, delve into cultural treasures, and visit reading rooms that house a wealth of knowledge.

7. Lake Burley Griffin

The picturesque shores of Lake Burley Griffin offer a range of free activities, from cycling and picnicking to paddle boating. The lake’s scenic beauty provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation.

8. Australian National University (ANU)

ANU is not just an educational institution; it’s also a hub of culture and knowledge. Attend free public lectures, exhibitions, and events that enrich the mind and spirit.

9. Mount Ainslie Lookout

For panoramic views of Canberra’s skyline, head to Mount Ainslie Lookout. The breathtaking vistas of the city and surrounding landscapes are absolutely free.

10. National Film and Sound Archive

Film and audio enthusiasts will enjoy the National Film and Sound Archive, where free exhibitions, screenings, and interactive experiences showcase the history of cinema and sound in Australia.

11. Australian National Portrait Gallery

Discover the art of portraiture at the Australian National Portrait Gallery, where you can explore iconic portraits and engaging exhibitions without spending a dime.

12. Australian Botanic Gardens at Black Mountain

The Australian Botanic Gardens at Black Mountain offer a serene escape into nature. You can explore diverse plant collections, relax, and enjoy the tranquil surroundings for free.


In conclusion, Canberra’s free attractions provide a diverse range of experiences for visitors. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or simply enjoying the city’s beauty, these budget-friendly options ensure that you can explore the best of Canberra without breaking the bank.

FAQs for Budget Travelers in Canberra

1. Are there parking facilities available at these free attractions?

  • Many of these attractions offer free or affordable parking options. It’s advisable to check each attraction’s website for parking details.

2. Can I take photographs at these attractions?

  • Yes, photography is generally allowed at these attractions for personal use. However, some restrictions may apply in certain areas, such as museums.

3. Are there guided tours available at Parliament House and other attractions?

  • Yes, Parliament House and some other attractions offer guided tours, many of which are free of charge.

4. Is there public transportation available to reach these attractions?

  • Canberra has a reliable public transportation system that can take you to most of these attractions. Check schedules and routes for convenience.

5. Are these attractions suitable for families with children?

  • Yes, many of these attractions are family-friendly and offer activities and exhibits suitable for children.

6. Do I need to make reservations for guided tours or events at these attractions?

  • Reservations may be required for guided tours and specific events, so it’s a good idea to check in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

7. Are these attractions open on public holidays?

  • Opening hours may vary on public holidays, so it’s recommended to check the attractions’ websites for holiday schedules.

8. Can I bring food and have a picnic at Lake Burley Griffin and other outdoor attractions?

  • Yes, many outdoor attractions, including Lake Burley Griffin, provide picnic areas where you can enjoy your own food.

9. Are there facilities like restrooms and cafes at these attractions?

  • Most attractions have restroom facilities, and some also have cafes or nearby dining options.

10. Are pets allowed at these attractions? – Rules regarding pets vary by attraction, so it’s advisable to check each attraction’s pet policy before bringing your furry friend.

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