The Best Shopping in Canberra
Canberra may not be top-of-mind for retail therapy but the nation’s capital has plenty to offer the discerning shopper. Easy-to-reach DFOs offer discounts of up to 70 per cent off retail prices and are popular with local bargain hunters while quirky boutiques and arts and crafts shops provide a cornucopia of classy couture and curios you won’t find in Melbourne or Sydney.
Canberra Centre on Bunda Street in the city is home to major retailers David Jones and Myer and other fashionable outlets such as Zara, Mimco, Saba, Country Road and Laura Ashley, as well as an Apple store, two food courts, restaurants and cinemas. Around hip and happening Lonsdale Street in Braddon you’ll discover creative and original fashion, handcrafted trinkets and stylish homewares.
Between the Ori Building, Canberra Outlet Centre, Lonsdale Street Traders, Craft ACT and The Hamlet, you’ll find everything from exclusive boutiques to high-street chain stores to bargain basements. Farmers' markets abound too, especially on weekends, and most focus on the unique cool-climate local produce.
Our top picks
Gather Gallery Shop, Canberra Glassworks
11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston Foreshore
Not only a great place to pick up exquisite handmade pieces, you can also see them being made or take an introductory course and have a go yourself. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm, this is the only glassworks of its kind in Australia and is housed in the historic Kingston Powerhouse, which showcases Canberra’s heritage. Gather offers beautiful artworks, colourful homewares and unique jewellery and every month features different products from Australia’s finest glass artists.
16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
A pop-up village in Braddon featuring live music and street-food vans – including local favourite BrodDogs, macaroons from Little Dreams, Peruvian tucker by Mr Papa and wood-fired pizzas from Custom Pizzeria – plus aspiring local artisan outlets selling jewellery, fashion, furniture, homewares and gifts. Don’t miss KIN Gallery – part jewellery store, part art gallery, part design workshop. Open Wednesday to Friday for lunch and dinner and Sunday for lunch.
Shop like a local
For fascinating and original boutique shopping, you can’t go past Lonsdale Street Traders in the Ori Building, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Up-scale yet affordable, the pick of an excellent bunch are Assemblage Project, Hive, itrip iskip, Rebel Muse, Handsomepretty and Timber & Tailor. And don’t miss Pink Ink just down the road for bright colours and personal styling in store.
In Manuka, one of Canberra’s most stylish suburbs, you’ll find lovely arcades and a variety of elegant shops offering Australian and international designer labels, jewellery, antiques and homewares along with plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars. Momento Dezigns is a must-do for fashionistas, with a wide range of straight-from-the-catwalk clothing, shoes and accessories.