Planning a visit

Banner featuring red Christmas baubles and text "Christmas comes to Parliament House".

Parliament House is the meeting place of our nation. It offers a dynamic experience just by visiting the building. The unique blend of impressive architecture, a stunning art collection and beautiful landscape makes Parliament House one of our nation's most important buildings. A visit to the working building of Parliament House offers you the chance to be a part of democracy in action. Parliament House is open to the public throughout the year, with the exception of Christmas Day.

 

Opening Hours

The Great Verandah

Visitors are welcome to wander the public areas at Parliament House at their leisure or take a guided tour (details below). Parliament House is open to the public every day of the year, including weekends and public holidays, (except Christmas Day) at the following times:

Sitting days: From 9:00am on Monday and Tuesday and from 8:30am on Wednesday and Thursday.

Non-sitting days: From 9:00am till 5:00pm

Information about sitting dates can be found here.

Getting Here

Aerial view of roads to  Parliament House

Free parking is available to visitors in the underground public car park – three hour time limit. There are additional surface car parks located between Parliament House and the rear of Old Parliament House.

Visitors are advised that car parking may be limited on parliamentary sitting days and that minor delays may occur during major events including official visits and functions.

Public bus stops are located on the House of Representatives and Senate side of Parliament House. Visitors wishing to enter Parliament House can do so via the public entrance at the front of the building.

*Newsflash*  

From 1 October 2014 the ACT Government will introduce paid parking in the Parliamentary Triangle. Plans are underway to implement paid parking arrangements in the underground car park at Parliament House later in 2014. Parliament House anticipates high demand for parking spaces in the underground car park over the coming months, and requests that only visitors to the building and precinct use the car park. Visitors to Parliament House are advised to allow additional time to find suitable parking. A three-hour free parking limit applies. Please note the Parliament House car park is monitored by ACT parking inspectors.

Parliament House Walk

The Parliament House Walk, linking the building to Canberra’s city was officially opened on 21 November 2013.

The 3.4 kilometre path runs from the Jolimont Centre in the City’s centre and features 13 interpretive signs, which provide information about cultural institutions and the history of the Parliamentary Triangle.

If you’re interested in taking a picturesque walk through central Canberra, the Parliament House Walk is a perfect way to start your journey to the home of Australia’s Parliament.

Public Galleries

House of Representatives Chamber

Visitors to Parliament House may view the proceedings of both the House of Representatives and the Senate from the Public Galleries in the Chambers whenever the Houses are in session. At other times when Parliament House is open visitors may visit the public galleries.

 

Question Time

Tony Abbott during question time in the House of Representatives Chamber

Question time tickets for the House of Representatives can be booked during office hours by telephoning the Serjeant-at-Arm’s Office on (02) 6277 4889 up until 12.30pm on the day required. Tickets can be collected between 12.50 pm and 1.30 pm from the Cloak Room on the first floor near the House of Representatives Chamber. Bookings are not required for Question Time in the Senate.

Tours

Guided tour within the Senate Chamber

A guided tour is a great way to explore this iconic building and learn about the Australian Parliament. There are several different tours available to visitors, for more information click here.

Visitor facilities

Parliament Shop

Queens Terrace Café

The Queen’s Terrace Cafe provides delicious meals and snacks and is a great resting point for those taking their time to wander this beautiful building. The Queen’s Terrace offers magnificent views of Canberra to the North, South and East and is a great place to enjoy lunch or a leisurely Sunday brunch.

The Parliament Shop

The Parliament Shop offers a range of gifts including politically themed books, coffee mugs featuring your favourite Prime Minister, local region wines, and beautiful samples of the building’s timber marquetry.

WiFiParliament

To access free WiFi at Parliament House, simply search for WiFiParliament on your device. You will need to accept terms and conditions.

ATM/EFTPOS

Visitors can access the ATM located on the first floor near the Presiding Officers' Exhibition Area. EFTPOS facilities are also available in all retail outlets at Parliament House.

Mothers Room

A baby change room and mothers’ room are both located on the first floor.

Private Functions and Venue Hire

Visitors have access to 14 versatile event spaces on site. Managed by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), these private areas can cater for events of all sizes, from intimate dinners for 20 guests to cocktail functions for 1000 attendees. Equipped with the latest audio visual technology, capable of providing customised themes and menus and set in one of Australia’s most iconic buildings, Parliament House is an unrivalled event choice.

For further information and bookings, please contact IHG on 02 6277 5309 or visit www.parliamenthousecateringbyihg.com.au

Accessibility

Accessible Parking

Accessible parking is available to visitors in the underground public car park close to public lifts.

Public bus stops are located on the House of Representatives side and the Senate side of Parliament House. Visitors wishing to enter Parliament House must do so via the public entrance at the front of the building. The front of Parliament House is approximately 500 metres from the public bus stops and the public entrance is a further 100 metres over loose gravel.

Courtesy Wheelchairs and Strollers

Courtesy wheelchairs and strollers are available for loan, at no charge, from the information desk in the Marble Foyer. Visitors should contact Visitor Services on (02) 6277 5399 before arriving at Parliament House to ensure that equipment is available for loan.

First Aid

First Aid is provided to visitors by the Nurses Centre and Parliamentary Security Service. Parliamentary Security Service officers and Visitor Services officers are located at various  within the building, should you require first aid assistance please let them know. For more information on first aid services within Parliament House please click on the link below:

Parliament House Nurses Centre Policy

Building Accessibility

Visitors to Parliament House should be aware that depending on the purpose of your visit, distances to various locations within the building will vary. Parliament House has a high pile carpet in some of the private areas of the building. 

Visitors with specific accessibility requirements or concerns should contact Visitor Services on (02) 6277 5399.

Public tours run for approximately 45 minutes to an hour and cover both public levels of the building. Visitor Services Officers can direct visitors to the nearest rest stops and accessible amenities as required and visitors may leave a tour at any time.

Hearing Loops

Hearing loops are available in the Chambers when Parliament is sitting, the main committee room, committee rooms; 1R3, 2R2 and 2S2, the Theatre and some of the galleries. These can be used in conjunction with hearing aids.

Assistance Animals

Guide dogs and assistance animals are permitted inside all public areas of Parliament House. Any questions regarding assistance animals should be referred to Visitor Services on (02) 6277 5399.

Conditions of Entry

Ceremonial Pool in the Forecourt

All visitors to Parliament House are required to enter via a security screen. The screening process provided by the Parliamentary Security Service offers both visitors and staff working in the building a safe and protected environment.

If you require any assistance with the security screening process, please ask a Parliament House Security Officer for assistance. If you have any specific accessibility needs or concerns with security screening please notify visitor services ahead of time so we can best accommodate your visit.

Feedback

Parliament House Garden

If you have any feedback on your visit to Parliament House please email Visitor Services at visitor.services@aph.gov.au.

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