Lonely Planet named Canberra one of the top three cities to visit in the world in 2018

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Our very own national capital was named in Lonely Planet’s 2018 top three world cities to visit. With an abundance of outdoor adventures, art galleries, history hot-spots and a burgeoning café culture, it isn’t hard to understand why.

The Mitchell family are our resident Canberra experts, featuring on our Families of Australia web series. So what did the Mitchells have to say when we quizzed them on their top picks in Canberra?

  1. The Arboretum

This unique attraction could be described as a museum of trees, but its calling card is its awesome playground. “The play equipment is broken into different age groups from toddlers to teens,” said the Mitchells. “There is a café and a coffee shop, but you can bring a picnic too. Fly a kite, take a walk, look at the Bonsai, check out the forests and the sculptures and buy nice things in the gift shop.”

Image Credit: National Arboretum L Muldoon

  1. The National Museum of Australia

The Mitchells love the National Museum because it is suitable for all ages. “It has fantastic seasonal exhibits so there is always something new to see.” The Museum tells stories about the land, people and history of Australia, and the onsite K-Space is a virtual adventure designed for children.

Image Credit: Philip Minnis

  1. The National Gallery

“We love the National Gallery because there is so much to see and do,” say the Mitchells. “You can go back again and again and still feel you haven’t seen everything. It also has a lovely café and gift shop. Don’t miss the James Turrell Sky Space at dawn or dusk – it is magical.”

You’ll also find NGA Play at the gallery, a dedicated kids’ space that is open daily with activities related to current exhibitions. Next door to the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery is well worth a peek.

Image Credit: Tony Ng

  1. The War Memorial

The War Memorial exhibits tell an interactive and informative story of Australia’s military history, from the ANZACs to Afghanistan. Read up on everything you need to see with this War Memorial guide.

Image Credit: Bound Round

  1. Bus Depot markets and Local Cafes

The Bus Depot Markets are a lovely Sunday morning outing, and the Mitchells recommend you stop in at Brodburger for lunch afterwards. The Kingston foreshore and suburb of Manuka are perfect for a brunch or a coffee. “Braddon is a great place to wander around with lots of quirky little clothing stores, homewares and vintage fashion houses.” According to the Mitchells, you should definitely stop at Fruggi for a delicious dessert. “You cannot go wrong with the Salted Caramel ice cream!”

Image Credit: Tony Ng

  1. Mountain Madness

The Mitchells recommend Mt. Ainslie for awesome views of the whole city, and Mt. Stromlo and Mt. Majura for their network of mountain biking trails.

Image Credit: Greg Brave/Shutterstock