7 reasons we’re not surprised Lonely Planet named Canberra one of the best cities in the world

Forget Sydney and Melbourne - ACT is where it's at.

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list is universally considered as the traveller’s bible and the bucket list creator’s best friend.

The list of 2018’s Lonely Planet Top Cities to visit around the world has been annoncned and, much to the shock 90% of Australians, Canberra has been listed at number 3.

Yep, that’s right. The experts have said Canberraranks in at number 3 for most visit destinations in not just Australia, but the whole world. Seville, Spain came in at number 1 and number 2 was Detroit, USA.

While we were surprised at first when we saw ACT’s position on the list and an introduction of “criminally overlooked”, we have to say, they have a point.

There are a lot of amazing things about Canberra, more than we can count on one hand.

Please enjoy these 7 activities, restaurants and locations that make us agree that Canberra is one of the top 3 cities in the world.

1. The Old Bus Depot markets

Free entry

21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston

The cities most popular market is well-known as the best way to spend a Sunday in Canberra. On offer are beautiful homewares, clothing, organic produce and food stalls, all of the things that make a market so great.

Open every Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

2. National Gallery of Australia

Free entry

Parkes Place, Parkes

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) is known for its international exhibitions along with its stunning permanent collection of Australian art. The NGA is also home to the magnificent TT Tsui-donated Chinese ceramics and the modern international collection, which make this gallery a must-see. Check the website to see what exhibitions are on when you’re visiting.

3. National Museum of Australia

Free entry

Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula

Set in a whimsically designed building on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the collections have divided opinion but no-one can deny the importance of the museum that represents Australian culture. Don’t miss the core National Historical Collection, which shows Australia’s history from indigenous people, through to colonisation and the nation today

4. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Day pass, $11.50 per vehicle

Paddy’s River Road, Paddys River

Another great outdoor option for active and wildlife-loving little ones, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve boasts more than 20 marked walking trails, from 15-minutes strolls to all-day treks. The site is also home to a large population of possums, wombats, echidnas, emus, platypuses and a wide range of birds and reptiles.

Open: 9am-5pm, all year

5. Eightysix

Lonsadale Street, Braddon

This restaurant is for the adventurous eater, who isn’t afraid of munching on a national animal. They offer modern Australian cuisine, and a special all-you-can-eat package for $86 per person.

6. Take to the skies in a hot air balloon

Float over the city and see its man-made landscape, beautiful lake and surrounding mountains in the hot air balloon with Balloon Aloft. Dawn flights, which will see you meet in the elegant lobby of the Hyatt Hotel, take off as the sun rises. Expect to be airborne for between 40-60 minutes or whenever the pilot finds a suitable place to land and then enjoy breakfast back at the hotel.

7. Cycling on Lake Burley Griffin

Adult $20 per hour, kids on request

2 Barrine Drive, Acton, (try: Damn Fine Bike Hire)

Get out in the fresh air and cycle off some of those freakshakes while taking in some of Canberra’s most beautiful scenery on a relaxing bike ride around Lake Burley Griffin. Damn Fine Bike Hire offers every combination of family bike packages imaginable, from pedal cars to bike trailers that securely carry up to two babies or children. If it’s winter, make sure you dress the little ones warmly because while you’ll be working up a sweat, they’ll be quite literally chilling in the back.

Open: 9am-4pm, Wednesday-Sunday.

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