I recently went to the capital of Australia, Canberra for a weekend away. The main reason I go is that I have friends who live there but I also really enjoy the city!
You might have heard that Canberra recently made #3 in a Lonely Planet for Top Cities, along with Seville, Detroit, Hamburg and Oslo. However, it’s for those cities they believe is up and coming. (Unsure about why Oslo is there? It’s probably because of a) the cost to get there B) then cost to stay there. I don’t think that’s reason enough but hey, I’m not LP.)
The reason I’m doing this post is that whilst in Canberra we got talking about lists why you should go there. I’m not going to link the list, but the last reason was that “you can pet a cheetah.” Can you do it? Yes. Should you do it? Probably not.
Anyways, these are my favourite things in Canberra to do and thus What you should do when you go to Canberra!
Getting to Canberra.
|✈ F L Y:
💰average: $200 AUD return.
TigerAir has the cheapest flights and you’ll be looking at around $200+ return. You’ll have a no-frills flight with limited leg room. 7kg is the max weight for carry on (they’ll weigh it.)
|🚌 B U S:
⏰ 8h 30m
💰 average: $40 AUD return.
Greyhound Bus is one of the main bus companies in Australia. It’s the best bet to get to Canberra either one-way/return for cheap[er] than a flight. I’d recommend a night bus so you can sleep.
|✈ F L Y:
💰 average: $300 AUD |
Unless you’re a Politician on tax funds, a business person on the card or using frequent flying points – it’s probably not worth it to Fly from Sydney due to the cost.
|🚌 B U S:
⏰ 4h 15m
💰 average: $40 AUD return.
Murray’s Bus is what those recommend coming from Sydney, although I’ve never personally taken it they’re up there with Greyhound as reputable and often have great deals if you can grab ’em.
🚃 T R A I N: ⏰ 4h 57m 💰 average: $50 AUD return.
The train might be a tad more comfortable to take – but in the end, the bus will drop you in a more convenient location. I guess it’s about what you personally like and your budget.
Getting around in Canberra.
Canberra is very spread out, and their public transport isn’t fantastic but they will be upgrading to a “light rail” aka a tram. For the time being, here’s how to get around.
🚐 U B E R: Download the UBER app and it’ll get you from A – B in no time.
🚕 T A X I: You can book a Taxi online, via sms or phone. Check out the information here.
🚗 C A R: A car is going to be your best bet at getting around the city. There are a range of rental car places in Canberra, you’ll just need to do a search.
🚲 B I K E – You can rent bikes here and have a range of locations. There are a lot of people riding around Canberra in the city.
🚌 B U S: The bus is your best bet. Grab a ‘My Way’ ticket at one of the many convenience stores located around and top up & tap. It’s capped at around $10 daily. Check here for more information and even a trip planner.
MY TOP CHOICES!
⏰ Mon-Sun 07:00 – 17:30
💰 FREE*, however, parking costs.
The National Arboretum has 250 hectares containing over 44,000 trees from over 100 countries. This makes it the largest collection in the world. In 2014 it won the World Architecture Festival Landscape Award.
Canberra always has fantastic markets on when I’m there. The only thing that doesn’t like these markets is my bank account. Check out Trip Advisors’s best recommended Flea & Street Markets here.
⏰ Mon-Sun 09:00 – 17:00
💰 Free + ranging costs for the exhibitions.
With a Museum Shop & Cafe, The National Museum of Australia offers a range of different exhibitions as well as their permanent works. Offering maps and tours in different languages, free wifi and free baggage storage.
Food & Drink.
The coffee in Canberra is in competition to Melbourne and it is wonderful. The food here has something for everyone and I’ve never been disappointed going out for brunch. I struggle with food & drink photos because I normally just want to eat it.
|Cafe / Brunch
– The Cupping Room
– Rye Cafe
– Ona Coffee House Cafe
– Sweetbones Bakery & Cafe
|Dinner / Bar
– Akiba *try the eggplant!
– Hippo Co.
WHERE TO STAY
You can have a shared room, private room or entire house depending on how you’re travelling or your budget. Never used Airbnb before? Click here (affiliate) to get $50 AUD off your first trip!
Hostels are a great way to meet people. I would recommend searching HostelWorld and then comparing reviews on Tripadvisor.
I use the website Agoda anytime I’m looking up resorts/hotels.
If you’ve got a lot of time, there are other things people recommend to do in Canberra:
- ACT HISTORIC Places.
- War Memorial
- Old Parliment & Parliment House
- Telstra Tower
- Canberra Zoo
- Australian National Botanical Gardens
- The National Dinosaur Museum
WHAT I DID
Each time I’m in Canberra, it’s for a different reason. Whether it’s just because I miss my pals, there’s an art exhibition on or someone’s birthday, we’re generally trying to do different things.
Last time I was up we checked out “Gibraltar Falls” – which is a short drive out of Canberra. It’s a great spot to have a picnic, a little dip (the water was pretty cold actually) and have a walk around.
Have you been to Canberra? Have any spots I should check out next time? Let me know!
As always, stay cool.