National Library of Australia

National Library of Australia, Canberra

National Library of Australia

National Library of Australia
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Libraries • Government Buildings
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Welcome to the National Library of Australia – the home of Australian stories. Whether you are a culture lover looking to visit an exhibition, a researcher uncovering new knowledge from our 10-million-items-and-counting collection, or you need a gift from the Bookshop, followed by a coffee at Bookplate cafe, plan your visit today. Our exhibition galleries are free to enter and open from 9am to 5pm every day. The National Library Bookshop is open daily, as is Bookplate Cafe. The Reading Rooms are open daily except on public holidays. In accordance with our COVID-safe regulations, during your visit, please follow all precautions that are in place to protect you, other visitors, and our staff, including checking in, physical distancing and personal hygiene. Please stay home if you’re unwell – visitors exhibiting symptoms of illness may be asked to leave. Visit our website, nla.gov.au, or follow us on social media for more information about our opening hours and what’s on.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Popular mentions

4.5
694 reviews
Excellent
396
Very good
235
Average
46
Poor
12
Terrible
5

Bec
Brisbane, Australia1,002 contributions
Beautiful Building
Jun 2021 • Family
Such a beautiful building. Went in and felt a little lost, had to find a map too look around. Nice cafe but unfortunately the bookshop was closed.
Written June 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Andrew Q
Sydney293 contributions
Always something on
Jun 2021
You don't have to visit the library justread the books, there is always an exhibition of some kind on near the entrance.
Written June 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jfairser2018
Sydney, Australia12 contributions
Great resource
May 2021
The staff at the Library in general and especially in Special Collections were impressive in their knowledge and assistance.
Written May 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Thomas’s
Levanto, Italy345 contributions
Great art galleries
Apr 2021
I didn't use the library as a library, but the galleries and their artwork attached are fantastic. The Australian impressionists gallery was my favourite.
Written May 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Skiiers_18
Adelaide, Australia62 contributions
Not just books
Mar 2021
Totally amazed at the size of the Library. There was a display in one area on the growth of Australia from discovery to current time - very interesting. Loved to wander through the books
Written April 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wayne C
Sydney, Australia67 contributions
There is always something interesting at the NLA
Oct 2020
There are two exhibitions at the NLA at the moment: Ellis Rowan's Birds of Paradise & Built Australia. Ellis Rowan was one of the best bird & plant painters ever. It was a treat to see so many paintings & learn a bit more about her. Built Australia is a beautifully curated group of prints, paintings & photographs showing a great variety of Australian buildings. There could have been ten times more items on display so I'm hoping for further exhibitions on this subject.
Written November 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ian S
London, UK716 contributions
A standout
Oct 2019
LEAVING AUSTERITY BEHIND
I should fess up initially. This is my favourite building in all Australia; ahead of the lauded Opera House, Perth’s gorgeous post office, any number of Melbourne’s favourite’s and, take your pick of Hobart’s Battery Point. The National Library does it for me.
At Lake Burley Griffin it’s the standout. You can’t help but notice its austere lines across the waters from Commonwealth Park or, if you’re lucky and the weather’s right, see colourful balloons drift across it in the early morning airs. It has a powerful steadfast presence like it was always there and, for most people these days, it always has been, though it wasn’t opened until 1968. Said to have been influenced by the Parthenon in Athens, its style is described as 'Late-Twentieth Century Stripped Classical'. The building was planned to have the same amount of columns (17 x 8) but the National Capital Development Commission cut one row of columns (to 16 x 8) to save $250,000. Such a bureaucratic thing to do! I wonder what the main architect, Walter Bunning, thought of that.
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lori L
6 contributions
Cafe not worth it.
Mar 2020 • Friends
Tried 2 days in a row, on a weekend, which happened to be a long weekend hosting the Enlighten Festival to have a drink at the cafe on the balcony, overlooking the lake. Both days we were told balcony would be closed within the next 15-20 minutes of arriving (even though we arrived at different times of the early afternoon). And both days they had run out of Cider. Very, very disappointed in organisation, accommodation and sympathy shown by the staff.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sorbell
Melbourne, Australia76 contributions
A great secret - wonderful balcony over looking the lake for lunch
Feb 2020 • Solo
The library itself is wonderful but this is the place to walk to for lunch when visiting the National Gallery. You can sit and look at the lake and mid afternoon, despite the beautiful sunshine, it was surprisingly quite and peaceful. The food is fine and the view great.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

westy54
Sydney, Australia6,776 contributions
The Treasures Gallery is worth a look. The Library though is not a must see unless there is a good exhibition.
Feb 2020
The current Library building on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin was opened in 1968 and, including its two offsite collection storage centres, has a collection of over ten million books, manuscripts and other items.

We visited here out of interest on a wet Saturday, having been to many other attractions on our previous visits to Canberra and not wishing to revisit them again.

I was surprised by the Treasures Gallery, which houses a wide variety of items of interest from the days of Cook through to more recent times including early maps and manuscripts to paintings and even the Olympic torches from both the Melbourne and Sydney Olympics.

There was a separate exhibition on called Story Time - Australian Children's Literature which was also very good but I believe now finished.

We also went into some of the reading rooms which housed masses of computers looking for a particular book. Unfortunately it was not on the shelf but they could have it there on the Monday morning if we liked. Great service.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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