Established in 1927, the City is also fondly known as Civic after Walter Burley Griffin designed the CBD as a Civic centre. A bit confusing having a city in the City! Imagine what it would have been like to have the commercial centre dominated by the colonnaded Sydney and Melbourne Buildings with its cafes, grocers and clothing shops  surrounded by paddocks and other construction sites – Parliament House and Manuka Pool for example.

Within living memory the CBD has emerged from the paddocks, beside a lake filled in the 1960s, and constantly bettering itself with Australia’s first shopping mall in the mid 1960s and now the best Mall between here and Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall. Interpretative signs in City Walk and the colonnades of the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings tell you more about our history.

Appreciate the strong point of difference that the City has compared to other town centres. There are extensive pedestrianised spaces and places with many cafes and bars. Another difference is that the City has a cap on building height which is equivalent to the base of the flagpole on Parliament House.

Visit the City at night for a different perspective of Canberra culture.

Walk through Glebe Park via Dirrawan Gardens and Geerilong Gardens to the Australian War Memorial.

Photos below from Visit Canberra.

Walk, run, ride, park and bus

Almost complete, the dedicated cycle loop links City East and City West with the southern parklands and connect with Marcus Clarke, Rudd or Bunda Streets. If you live in one of Canberra’s outer suburbs catch a City bound ACTION bus with cycle racks.

Glebe Park officially opened in 1989 on the corner of Akuna and Binara Streets and was once a part of the Parsons Farm associated with St John’s Church in Reid. Some of the elms are suckers from original trees. Find the ground markers representing the rail lines that originally passed through the park, Mort Street and the adjacent CIT. While you’re there make sure you check out the artwork and enjoy a picnic, barbecue, touch footy, or lunchtime and parent retreat whilst watching the kids on the playground. The stage and rotunda all support Community events and weddings.

Check out the street art at the City Skate Park on Cooyong Street and participate in the action.

For fitness enthusiasts the Canberra CBD boasts several nationally branded indoor gyms.

City Hill is the corner point of the Parliamentary Triangle. Imagine the landscape before Walter Burley Griffin designed the national capital and Charles Weston designed the layout of the trees like spokes on a wheel in 1921. Accessed from Northbourne Avenue, walk to the summit via the Canberra Centenary Column and Time Capsule.

Ride the merry-go-round which was created in 1914 and transported to Canberra in 1974. Most of the hand-painted horses and elephants have names. The Canberra CBD yearns for a more appropriate enclosure for this special piece of Canberra’s history.

Admire the summer flowers and fairy lights throughout the city.

Veterans Park is rich with commemorative acknowledgements, particularly the Special Air Services. Join many office workers as they soak up the sun and picnic on the grass during their lunch breaks.

Admire the Mediterranean inspired architecture of the Sydney building with colonnades that became a planning standard for many city buildings.  A Fire in February 2014 led to a partial roof collapse almost 10 years after the London Circuit fire. Join community comment regarding revitalising the laneway and colonnades when in multiple ownership.

Watch the sunset from the top of the Canberra Centre or City Hill.

The City Bus Interchange is equipped with the first phase of real time information.  Halfway through this year, you should be able to download the Nxtbus App so you know exactly when your bus will be at the interchange and when it will reach key stops beyond.

For those that have lived in Canberra for a while, parking outside your destination is increasingly problematic. The city is evolving and more people are working, visiting and living here competing for kerbside and public car parks. Check out Parkopedia for the locations and numbers of parking in the city. The least popular, and therefore easier to find a spot for the car, are further away or relate to unoccupied buildings because of refurbishments.  Outdoors – try the London Circuit car park opposite 1 Constitution Avenue near the Theatre or the parking near Civic Pool. Indoors – try the Convention Centre, the Canberra Centre (rooftop is $11 all day) or streets in Reid noting that there is no parking during lunch hours 11AM – 2PM.

Learn and be entertained

Enrol in the Canberra Institute of Technology for fun courses like Thai Cooking for Beginners or serious career changing qualifications.

Visit the City library for drivers licence and proof of age government services.

Visit the Griffin Centre for a broad range of community services.

Download the CityART app and find and learn about the multitudes of public and privately owned art in the City.

Celebrate significant Canberrans on the Honour Walk in Ainslie Place between Civic Square and the Canberra Centre.

Civic Square is a cultural hub. Learn more from exhibitions at CMAG and Craft ACT, pop into the City library and take a look around the Canberra Theatre complex.

Check what’s on at the Royal Theatre in the National Convention Centre. Visit their website for more information on upcoming conferences and support Canberra CBD Limited as we petition to have the Centre relocated and enlarged.

The Canberra Casino is a hub of entertainment for the high and low rollers.

Towards the end of the year we could share public Wi-Fi and a new Garema LED screen.

Eat, drink and shop

Look no further for fine wine and dining because right in the CBD is the highest concentration of restaurants and cafes in Canberra and many are award winning. Check out the accolades on the Canberra guide App, Out in Canberra and websites such as the ACT and New South Wales Restaurant and Catering Awards.

Embrace your inner owl and be nocturnal. The City centre  is the night club scene of the capital region. There are music and crowds to suit the young and young at heart.

The Handmade Canberra markets in the Convention Centre are an insight into a clever and crafty community.

Thursday markets take place at the lower end of City Walk.

Stroll City Walk and its places and plazas, walk Bunda Street and the indoor walkways in the Canberra Centre. With a broad range of internationally recognised brand names, shopping in Canberra has really hit its stride.

Live and stay

Many Canberrans are increasingly attracted to the easy lifestyle. Most real estate agents have listings for the City so check out Allhomes to see what’s on offer.

Swim in the civic pool complex.

There’s accommodation for everyone ranging from the YHA, serviced apartments to five star hotels. A short stroll up Ainslie Avenue offers two alternatives. For any tourist queries go to the Visit Canberra website.

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