If you have read any of my previous travel guides you would know I love to spend my time eating, drinking, going to local galleries and flower hunting at any opportunity when travelling. My trip to Canberra last week was no exception. The trip may have been short but it was so sweet & exceeded any expectations I had of our capital city. So let’s break it down…
Accommodation & Travel
The great thing about Canberra is that nearly everything we wanted to see was at most a 15 minute drive away which meant getting around super easy. I would recommend getting a hire car while in town, but if you love riding a bicycle I think this would be the place to do it due to the wide & flat streets. We visited in spring which meant we were treated by seeing so many flowers & blossom trees in bloom.
If you’re wanting to stay close to things on this list I would recommend staying in suburbs like Braddon or Barton. We stayed at Little National Hotel over in Barton. It is the nicest little boutique hotel that I would say has the comfiest hotel bed I’ve ever slept in. If you are someone who rides, they have cute bikes for hire & the hotel is a stones throw away from the Galleries.
Eat & Drink
Highroad Cafe. A really lovely cafe with a menu that has little surprises eg. Vegemite Ricotta!
KYO Coffee Project. Hidden in a little laneway off Lonsdale St this place is the perfect stop for good coffee
Sonoma Bakery. Stop in here to get some baked treats for the hotel room or on the road!
The Cupping Room. Stop in for breakfast or lunch or even just an amazing cup of coffee. They seriously know their coffee. Since we were there while Floriade is on, they had specialty floral inspired coffee - which of course I had to try!
Penny University. Super close to Little National, so I’d pop in if you need breakfast or lunch & visiting the galleries.
Lazy Su. Our Must Visit! Probably our favourite meal of the trip. If you like bubble tea you must try their cocktails with popping pearls!
Monster. Especially convenient if you’re staying at the Ovolo Hotel but either way it is worth booking in for dinner.
Grease Monkey. It’s the place to go when you want a good burger or deep dish pizza.
Bar Rochford. If you’re wanting a really cool vibe for dinner & drinks, this is the place to go.
Where to visit
Floriade. I might be bias but I think Late September - Early Oct is the perfect time to plan your trip to Canberra for one big reason - Floriade. Floriade is Canberra’s flower festival that takes place at Commonwealth Park from September 14 to October 13 this year. It is a one stop shop to take in as many flowers (and bees) as possible. They also have some great little stalls so that you can make a day out of it.
National Gallery Of Australia. Even though it was in-between exhibits while we were in town, it was still one of the highlights of our trip. Inside we were able to see Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, David Hockney & Mark Rothko to name a few. The star of the gallery for me is actually outside. Within Without by James Turrell was absolutely breathtaking. I could have stayed in there all day and probably filled up an entire SD card with images. It is one of my absolute must-sees.
National Portrait Gallery. Situated just down the road from NGA, this should also be on your list. Unfortunately we just missed seeing the Women in Vogue exhibit that starts October 11 until November 24 2019. You can not only see the amazing photography featured in Vogue but see archived copies of the magazine. What a dream.
Pialligo Estate. This also fits into Eat & Drink but if you’re someone who loves to make an experience out of eating and drinking then a winery should definitely be on your list. You can make a booking for a wine tasting or visit their pavilion to enjoy lunch and order your favourite wines from their winery.
Bison Home. We stumbled across Bison home while strolling Lonsdale St and instantly I was glad I bought a big suitcase to Canberra with me. They have stunningly designed ceramics and glassware which make the perfect gift to self while in town. I bought a bulb shaped vase to remind me of our time in the capital city. They also have a location near Pialligo Estate if you’re over that way.
Before signing off I wanted to thank Visit Canberra for truly collaborating with me on this trip. We explored the city like we would any other trip and had such an amazing couple of days.