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Canberra, as a city, has undergone a massive transformation in the last few decades. All the pieces of its design puzzle, which were once a little scattered, are now locked in place. These days, it has a clutch of top-rated cultural attractions, and increasingly appreciated wide-open spaces, and a 'big-outdoors' feel.
The National Museum of Australia is probably the cream of the crop of attractions, with its bold design, cleverly laid-out exhibits, and enthusiasm for breaking the mould.
Less obviously exciting, but acting as vital guardians for Australia's historical culture, are the National Archives Of Australia – where history is counted in the millions of its accessible documents and records – and the National Library Of Australia, whose books form only part of the collection. Thousands of posters, maps, theatre programmes and photos, collected over more than a century, make it a living multimedia resource.
Canberra's most popular museum isn't actually one. Questacon, the National Science And Technology Centre, throws away the glass-cases and fusty printed-labels for a fully-immersive, totally interactive experience, taking you to the wilder fringes of science and technology. The National Gallery of Australia lets you get a little more contemplative, with a set of unequalled collections, when it comes to Australian and Aborigine sculpture and paintings.
The central masterpiece of Canberra these days, though, is its Parliament House. Big, bold and full of Australian brash (as well as its politicians), it dominates the centre of Canberra. Its gigantic Australian flag, and long low 'boomerang' building, are cleverly integrated into the city's important viewpoints. Here is where you can see democracy in action, as much of the building, is accessible to the public.
If you want to see the political stage of a bygone era, the nearby Old Parliament House has been preserved and turned into a Museum of Democracy. Only ever meant as a temporary home for Australia's politicians, its no-nonsense design (and approach to politics) won it a special place in the Aussie heart. That's also something that can be said of the Australian War Memorial, which is an equally poignant place of remembrance for New Zealanders. A sombre reminder that capital cities sometimes have to play that worthy role, as well as the flashy one.
Located in City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Canberra Centre, Canberra Theatre Centre, and Australian National University.
This family-friendly Canberra hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of City Hill, Canberra Centre, and Lake Burley Griffin. Australian War Memorial and National Museum of Australia are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Manuka Shopping Centre and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Parliament House. Manuka Oval and Kingston Shopping Centre are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Northern Canberra, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Canberra and Region Visitors Centre and within 3 mi (5 km) of Australian War Memorial and Australian National Botanic Gardens. Canberra Stadium and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Northern Canberra, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Canberra and Region Visitors Centre and 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Australian War Memorial. Kamberra Function Centre and Canberra Centre are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manuka Oval, Old Parliament House, and Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Capital Hill, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Archives of Australia, Old Parliament House, and Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in City Centre, this aparthotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Canberra Museum and Gallery and within 3 mi (5 km) of Australian War Memorial and National Museum of Australia. Australian National Botanic Gardens and Old Parliament House are also within 3 mi (5 km).