WebsitePhone: (02) 6277 7111Address: Parliament Dr, Canberra ACT 2600
Open Hours: 9 am–5 pm, closed Christmas Day

Parliament House is one of Canberra’s tourist attractions. It is open for free to the public to see Australian democracy at work. If you like politics, this place is worth a visit. If not, the architecture itself is amazing with some impressive features. You don’t need to book a free ticket online prior visiting. 

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are available via the Public Galleries in the Chambers when the Houses are in session. 

How to get there?

Parliament House is open from 9 am to 5 pm on non-sitting days and 9 am to 6 pm on sitting days, closed on Christmas Day. Sitting Calendars are available from the Parliament House Website.

You can park in the Forecourt Basement car park most days. Parking is free for up to 1 hour or if you spend $25 or more in The Parliament Shop. 

Guided tours are thoroughly recommended to get a better understanding of the place. You can take a free 25-minute Heart of the House guided tour for a short introduction to the architecture, one of the chambers, and political events at Parliament House. 

Bookings are essential. This free tour is available every hour from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm. 

The architecture

The forecourt reflects Australia’s ancient beginnings. It stands for this place where all people come and meet together. These Dreamings are part of this country that we live in. 

The Marble Foyer features 48 marble columns that evoke the muted pinks and greens of the Australian landscape as well as the colors of the two Parliamentary Chambers. 

The Great Hall is the venue for large formal receptions, dinners, and significant national major events.

The House of Representatives, or lower house, has 151 members and is the house in which the government is formed. The color scheme of the House reflects the green associated with the British Parliament’s House of Commons and the eucalypt green of the Australian landscape. 

The Senate, or upper house, has 76 senators: 12 from each state and two each from the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. The Senate reflects the red of the British Parliament’s House of Lords and the shades of ochre red in the Australian landscape. 

It’s interesting to see the different portraits of Australian Prime Ministers.

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