November 30th, 2018
Canberra: 24 Hours in Australia’s Capital City

Though the capital of Australia, Canberra often falls short on the list of cities to visit. According to Tourism ACT in a March 2018 snapshot, the last year has seen a 16 per cent increase in overnight international visitors—a nod to the plethora of boutique hotels, trendy speakeasies and chic cafes that have opened in recent years.

Here’s what you should do with 24 hours in #3 on the list of Lonely Planet’s Top Cities – Best in Travel 2018.

Heading to Canberra? Check out our exclusive deal at Ovolo Nishi!

Words by Shylie Rimmer

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The National Museum of Australia in Canberra

National Museum of Australia

Morning: Get Acquainted

9am – Breakfast at Elk & Pea: For a local favourite that serves up a mean Mexican-style breakfast head to Elk & Pea Bar and Dining on trendy Lonsdale Street. It serves up an all-day breakfast that’ll have you chowing down on anything from huevos rancheros to smashed avo with dukkah and bocconcini cheese.

10am – Stroll along Lonsdale Street: Only a few minutes’ walk from the city centre, Lonsdale Street in Braddon is a trendy strip that attracts visitors, locals and Melbourne-style hipsters. Here you’ll find unique homeware stores, stylish cafes, boutique roasters and trendy watering holes.

10:30am – Coffee break: Though it might pale in comparison to Melbourne’s coffee culture, Canberra boasts its fair share of top-notch coffee spots. For arguably the best in town, stop at Lonsdale street’s Barrio Collective Coffee for a signature ice latte: Double espresso and house-made nut milk, shaken and strained.

11am – National Museum of Australia:  It’s not a trip to Canberra without a visit to at least one museum. Consistently showcasing exhibitions that appeal to all ages, the National Museum of Australia is a go-to attraction that focuses on the history, people and culture that has defined the country. Enjoy free general admission every day between 9am – 5pm.

Heading to Canberra? Check out our exclusive deal at Ovolo Nishi!

The Mount Ainslie Lookout in Canberra

The view from Mount Ainslie

Afternoon: It’s All About the Views

1pm – Lunch at Kingston Foreshore: Hitting the Canberra dining scene a few years back with an abundance of high-end restaurants, overflowing bars and laid-back eateries, the waterfront Kingston Foreshore will have you taking your pick of anything from a poached chicken nourish bowl at 7th & Bake Patisserie Cafe to a burger high tea at Beef and Barley.

2pm – Stroll along the Foreshore: Boasting beautiful lake views, the waterfront Kingston Foreshore provides a great people-watching stroll thanks to its lakefront apartments and strip of buzzing cafes and restaurants. The waterside hub showcases quaint harbour views and a local hang-out spot that’s bustling on a warm summer’s day.

3pm – Mount Ainslie Lookout: After lunch, take a short ten minute drive to the bottom of Mount Ainslie—located in north-eastern Canberra—and take the one-hour, uphill path to Mount Ainslie Lookout for impressive views over the city below. Tip: If you’re short for time, you can drive up to the lookout.

Ovolo Nishi stairwell, Canberra

Image courtesy of Ovolo Nishi

Evening: Check Out the Nightlife

5pm – Check in at Ovolo Nishi: Reflecting the contemporary style of its neighbourhood New Acton (home to cool bars, glamourous eateries, art galleries and quirky entertainment venues), Ovolo Nishi is the embodiment of designer cool. Bringing some of the best artists, designers and visionaries together, the hotel is bejeweled with exceptional artworks, artisan-made pieces and fitted in stylish 20th century restored Australian furniture.

Heading to Canberra? Check out our exclusive deal at Ovolo Nishi!

6:30pm – Grab a drink at Molly Bar: With a selection of over 300 whiskeys, a fit-out reminiscent of a 1920’s Parisian speakeasy that might have Hemingway nestled in the corner and a website address in GPS coordinates (35°16’44.5″S 149°07’42.0″E), Molly Bar will take you back to the Roaring Twenties, in utter style.

7:30pm – Have dinner at AKIBA: It’s East Asian dining at its best. Adding local produce and a modern-day pallet to traditional Asian barbecue and exotic cocktails, AKIBA is high on Canberra’s list of restaurants to visit. We recommend the Japanese fried chicken with lemon-braised onions, parmesan, kewpie and sriracha; and for dessert, always the lemon tofu cheesecake with ANZAC crumb and pandan jelly.