Stay a while and see there's more to Canberra than just politics and portraits, with terrific local markets, a thriving cafe culture and outlying wine country.

A selection of north side stays

The purpose built and efficiently designed city of Canberra is split down the middle by the iconic Lake Burley Griffin, bridged by Commonwealth Avenue. On the north side of the lake is the main shopping, dining and commercial district, known as "Civic", which also hosts a fantastic assortment of Canberra accommodation.

Around London Circuit you will find the 4-star offerings of Rydges Lakeside, BreakFree Capital Tower, Waldorf Apartment Hotel and the Crowne Plaza – all within walking distance of the city sights, bars and boutiques. More choices on the north side include the Novotel, Quest and Adina Apartments, still just minutes from the heart of town.

Cosy up near Capital Hill

If you're visiting Canberra with the intention of popping in to Parliament House, visiting the National Library and National Gallery or taking a tour through the Royal Australian Mint, consider staying on the south side and book your accommodation in the suburbs or Barton or Kingston.

Frequented by Australian and international politicians and embassy representatives, the hotels surrounding Capital Hill range from 3 to 5-stars. If you're looking to stay in style, consider the cosmopolitan 4.5-star East Hotel and Apartments, the newly refurbished Rydges Capital Hill or the stylish Burbury Hotel. For space and comfort, the heritage Hotel Kurrajong, Pinnacle Apartments and The York have a range of rooms to suit every traveller.

Decadence fit for a dignitary

Australia's capital city Canberra is used to catering to out-of-towners with a penchant for the VIP treatment. The city has you covered for all the extra add-ons and amenities, boasting a handful of 5-star hotels and countless 4-star stays.

The Hotel Realm, found in the Parliamentary triangle, takes creature comforts to a new level, with L'Occitane products, Nespresso coffee machines and Apple Mac in-room systems included. On the other side of the lake, the Design Icon Apartments are tastefully decorated with design in mind, while the Diamant Boutique Hotel lives up to the 8Hotels reputation as a beautifully themed boutique property.

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