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Where to Stay in Christchurch When You Visit (Updated 2024)

A vintage street car near the Bridge of Remembrance in Christchurch, New Zealand

Posted: 2/10/24 | February 10th, 2024

The second-largest city in New Zealand (and the largest on the South Island), Christchurch is filled with cool markets, funky bars, and lots of new and trendy restaurants. It’s a relaxed destination perfect for a couple of days of exploring and taking in the pace of local life.

Having been severely damaged by earthquakes between 2010 and 2012, it is revitalized now. And, while there’s not a whole lot to see and do here (only 380,000 people live here after all), it’s by no means a boring destination. There’s fun nightlife, many museums, and tons of green space where you can lounge away the day or go hiking.

To help you decide where to stay in Christchurch, I’ll highlight the best neighborhoods below as well as some of my favorite hotels in each area. (That said, Christchurch is pretty compact and you can easily walk around most of it.)


First-Time Visitors


Outdoor Enthusiasts


Where to Stay in Christchurch for First-Time Visitors: Christchurch Central

This is the heart of town, also known as City-Centre or the CBD. You can walk to many of the main sights from here, including the botanical gardens, the Canterbury Museum, the sprawling Hagley Park, and the historic hop-on/hop-off vintage tram. It’s also where you’ll find the most restaurants. While many of Christchurch’s main hotels and much of its shopping is here, the majority of hostels are here too, making it a fun and affordable district in which to stay.

Best places to stay in Central:

  • BUDGET: Urbanz Christchurch – This lively, social hostel has a bar with some of the cheapest beer in town, making it a fun place to stay if you want to meet people. There’s a large kitchen, as well as a big common area (with a fireplace) where you can watch movies or play pool. The beds don’t have privacy curtains, but they do have really thick mattresses. There are lockers and plenty of outlets in the dorm rooms too. It’s one of my favorite hostels in the country.
  • MIDRANGE: Carnmore Hotel – This is a modern, stylish four-star hotel within walking distance of everything in the neighborhood. The rooms are bright and spacious, with colorful wallpaper and a simple, minimalist design. The beds are comfy, and the rooms include a TV, desk, and coffee/tea maker. The showers have excellent water pressure.
  • LUXURY: The Observatory Hotel – This luxe five-star hotel is located in a massive, palatial building once home to an actual…

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