The 10 Best Museums in Canberra

Canberra, Australia’s capital, is a treasure trove of national history and culture, with its museums holding the essence of the nation’s heart and soul. Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or science geek, there’s a museum in Canberra that will pique your interest. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that are a must-visit in this vibrant city.

First up is the National Gallery of Australia, a paradise for art lovers. Home to over 160,000 works of art, it boasts a collection that spans across Australian, Indigenous, Asian, and international art. The gallery’s exhibitions are always changing, so there’s something new to discover with each visit. Don’t miss the famous ‘Blue Poles’ by Jackson Pollock or the mesmerizing ‘Ned Kelly’ series by Sidney Nolan.

Australian War Memorial

For a poignant and moving experience, the Australian War Memorial is a place of remembrance and reflection. It’s not just a museum; it’s a tribute to the men and women who served in the nation’s conflicts. The exhibits are both educational and emotional, with the Hall of Memory and the Roll of Honour being particularly impactful.

National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia is where you’ll find the country’s social history brought to life. Interactive displays and high-tech exhibits make this museum a hit with all ages. From the heart-rending stories of the Stolen Generations to the iconic heart of Phar Lap, Australia’s legendary racehorse, the museum captures the spirit of Australia.

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

Science comes alive at Questacon with over 200 hands-on exhibits. It’s a place where you can experience an earthquake, challenge a robot to a game of air hockey, or free-fall down a six-meter slide. It’s educational fun for the whole family and a great way to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

At the National Portrait Gallery, you’ll come face-to-face with the people who have shaped Australia. The collection includes over 400 portraits, from politicians and celebrities to everyday Australians who have made their mark. The stories behind the faces are just as compelling as the artwork itself.

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Step back in time at the Museum of Australian Democracy, located in the historic Old Parliament House. This museum offers a unique glimpse into the country’s political past. You can sit in the Prime Minister’s chair, learn about the struggles for democratic rights, and even see where historic decisions were made.

Australian National Botanic Gardens

While not a museum in the traditional sense, the Australian National Botanic Gardens is a living collection of native Australian Flora. It’s a serene escape from the city where you can learn about the country’s diverse plant life and the importance of conservation.

The Canberra Museum and Gallery is the go-to spot for local history and art. With a focus on Canberra’s social history and visual arts, the museum offers a deeper understanding of the city’s unique story. The exhibits are intimate and engaging, making it a hidden gem in the museum scene.

ANZAC Parade Walk

ANZAC Parade is an outdoor museum of sorts, lined with memorials dedicated to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Each Monument tells a story of bravery and sacrifice, and the walk itself is a reflective journey through the nation’s military history.

Royal Australian Mint

Last but not least, the Royal Australian Mint is where Australia’s coins are made. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the minting process and the history of Australian currency. You can even mint your own coin as a unique souvenir.


  • Do I need to book tickets in advance to visit these museums?

    It’s always a good idea to check the museum’s website for ticketing information. Some museums may require advance booking, especially during peak times or for special exhibitions.

  • Are there any free museums in Canberra?

    Many of Canberra’s museums offer free general admission, including the National Gallery of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. However, special exhibitions may have an entry fee.

  • Which museum is best for kids?

    Questacon is a favorite among families with children due to its interactive and educational exhibits. However, many museums in Canberra have dedicated children’s sections and activities.


Canberra’s museums are more than just buildings with collections; they’re gateways to understanding Australia’s identity, history, and culture. From the vast artistic offerings at the National Gallery of Australia to the interactive scientific wonders at Questacon, each museum provides a unique and enriching experience. Whether you’re delving into the nation’s political past or reflecting on the sacrifices made in war, these institutions offer invaluable insights into the Australian story. So next time you’re in Canberra, make sure to immerse yourself in these top 10 museums – each one promises to leave you with a deeper appreciation of this great country.

Remember, these museums aren’t just for tourists; they’re a source of pride and learning for locals too. So, why not plan a visit this weekend? You might just discover something new about the place you call home. 🏛️✨

Kurby Team

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