Old Parliament House, Canberra

4.6
#6 of 23 in Museums in Canberra
Built in the 1920s, Old Parliament House is a beautiful national heritage-listed building and a treasured icon. Every part of the building tells a story. Today, it is home to the Museum of Australian Democracy unpacking the secret of our greatest national success story. The story of Australia’s democracy, what it is now, how it got to be this way and what it might become in the future is told in bold and arresting fashion through a range of engaging exhibitions, family activities, tours and events. Inside Old Parliament House is also the Terrace Café and Hoi Polloi restaurant. Take a look at our Canberra driving holiday tool to schedule your visit to Old Parliament House and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Old Parliament House Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
980 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Liked the cartoons downstairs. Did a tour but found it a bit dry and our teenage boys could not follow what the tour guide was talking about. Liked the place overall.  more »
  • The Museum is close to just about everything that you intend to visit in Canberra, then ends up being easy to visit him. If it compensates for the trip is another story ...
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  • There is so much to see and do here not to mention the great free tour available. We particularly enjoyed having access to rooms that would not have been open to the public when the building operated ...  more »
Google
  • Came for a visit with family from interstate, enjoyed the exhibition of political cartoons the most. Loved the interactive displays and had fun looking at the timelines. Fascinated by the display of Barton’s coat, and enjoyed learning about the history through the fashion of the time. We also were able to take a break, have a coffee and go back for more. Well worth the visit to learn about the development and history of democracy.
  • always good to see Australia's historic parliament house and longest servicing parliament house in Australia's history. Although less space to explore than the present parliament house, it has beautiful rooms and architecture nonetheless. The Australian Museum of Democracy is also worth a visit, detailing Australia's long democratic history, particularly from federation in 1901 to today, and how the Australian political system and mechanics works.
  • Inside the old parliament house is the museum of Australian democracy. It was a nice place to visit as a tourist for a quick introduction to Australian government. Admission was a reasonable $2, and I think you could spend about 2 hours inside looking at the exhibits. The old parliament chambers are also open to walk though.
  • Photography friendly museum. The staffs are super friendly. Everything is presented in so great detail and well preserved. There are not a lot of people so you can take your time and stroll around the museum.
  • A nice quiet environment to see the Australian ways of politics and history. Staffs are friendly and very helpful. Wa happy to pay $5 entry but then realised there are other exhibitions that requires more payment which we gladly skipped. Parking outside was only 1 hour so beware of the time you spend there. Overall a good experience.

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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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