National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

4.6
#4 of 23 in Museums in Canberra
Opened in 2008 and conveniently located on King Edward Terrace, National Portrait Gallery displays nearly 400 portraits of prominent Australians who have helped shaped their nation. Portraits exhibited here represent a variety of media and are displayed in several galleries, each symbolizing a different era of the country's history. The venue often hosts temporary exhibitions from around the world, as well as lectures and seminars by well-known art scholars and historians. Visitors have access to several public areas inside or next to this building, including a small cafe, an events room, a theater, a well-stocked bookstore, and secure parking. Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Canberra using our trip planner.
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National Portrait Gallery Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,516 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It was nice to see the portrait gallery but it wasn’t my favourite. Some lovely pieces of work in there and well worth a visit if you’re in Canberra  more »
  • I bet you learn something new every time you visit the Gallery if you take the time to read the notes  more »
  • Really enjoyed the gallery and although we didn't recognise too many we thoroughly enjoyed the visit. The staff were really nice and friendly. The gallery is free to enter but we weren't very happy wi...  more »
Google
  • Another well made and spacious gallery. Interesting seeing all various people's of influence in Australia's modern history from the 1780s up until today. I liked that there were public easels in the foyer, where you could sketch a portrait of the hired musician, very thematic
  • Enjoy breakfast or lunch on the deck overlooking the estate. Service is good, just one or two waiters that need to learn how to serve and clear tables. The gallery contains interesting historical portraits as well as some brand new ones. I can help but feeling that most of those portraits are there because the corporations don't want to hang them in their halls
  • A building worth seeing in its own right with a excellent, well managed collection with a few blockbuster visiting exhibitions a year. Good parking(free on weekends) and wifi. Sadly the food in the cafe does not equal the surrounding. As usual for Canberra, friendly knowledgeable staff
  • On the list of Canberra icons to visit, this often disappears off people's lists. A very interesting tribute to some important Australians and often has exhibitions on. Definitely worth coming to see!
  • Could get blissfully lost in here for days. The building interior so delightfully changeable with angles and light that every corner offers a new view, not just with the art.

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Where to stay in Canberra

To stay comfortably near most main attractions in Canberra, choose a hotel in the city's central district. If you're a bit more budget-minded, look for a guesthouse in a neighborhood farther away from the city center. Residential areas offer more parking and quieter rooms at a fraction of the price charged by big-name centrally located hotels. Rental apartments spread across Canberra serve as another cozy option and offer lodgings ranging from simply furnished to luxurious five-star properties.
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