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.
Old Parliament House Reviews
The museum is located in the beautiful Old Parliament House, with lots to keep you occupied for a couple of hours. Volunteer guides are very knowledgeable and have lots of random trivia to impart! I l... more »
the place is left as it was when the politicians moved out to go to the new parliament house next door in the early 1990s and you are free to wonder from room to room. interesting side exhibits and so... more »
Wonderful historic building preserved like a movie set of 1960s Australian politics. Some fun interactive bits mixed in for kids, and other interesting exhibits and tour opportunities for those who want to spend more time. Situated on well-appointed grounds with some amazing views of the lake and war memorial.
This building and surrounding areas used to be the head of Australia, where all the big decisions were made. It was built initially on the bottom of Capital Hill because it was intended for the public to always be above the government, representing Australia’s open democracy. This was until the government decided to built the new and improved Parliament House on the top of the hill. The inside is very pleasant and reminiscent of Cold War-era government architecture (e.g Kremlin). There is a cafe and restaurant located inside, as well as a very nice and expansive garden outside the building. Definitely a recommended place to visit if you’re in Canberra and studying politics.
Plan your trip to Canberra
Get a personalised planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customise itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best activities
and find special offers
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Nature in Canberra
Hidden gems in Canberra
Parks in Canberra
Side trips from Canberra
Plans to Old Parliament House by other users
8 days in Canberra BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Australia BY A USER FROM NIGERIA August, culture, beaches, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, culture, beaches, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 25 days in Canberra, Melbourne & Sydney BY A USER FROM CANADA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 12 days in Melbourne, Australian Capital Territory & Sydney BY A USER FROM INDIA July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Canberra BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, culture, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Australian Capital Territory BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium