A visit to Christchurch is a must on any New Zealand trip. As the oldest and largest city on the South Island, Christchurch is both resilient and charming. While the city was hit in 2010 and 2011 with back-to-back earthquakes that caused major destruction, the city rallied together and Christchurch was rebuilt stronger and better than ever.
There are countless things to do in Christchurch to keep visitors entertained both in the city and beyond with numerous Christchurch day trips that are worthy of visiting, such as Kaikoura, Arthurs Pass, Mount Cook National Park, and the Waipara. Plan a 1 or 2 day Christchurch itinerary but don’t be surprised if you plan to stay in Christchurch for longer.
Best Areas to Stay in Christchurch
There’s no need to sweat when it comes to picking the top place to stay in Christchurch, these neighbourhoods are constantly raved about by both locals and tourists.
- Christchurch City-Centre: Where to stay in Christchurch for first-time visitors
- Riccarton: Where to stay in Christchurch for shopping & nightlife
- Merivale: Where to stay Christchurch for foodies & local living
Best Places to Stay in Christchurch
Find your ideal place to stay in Christchurch based on your travel wants, needs, and budget with these hand-picked Christchurch hotels, Airbnbs, and hostels.
Best area to stay in for first-time visitors
The city centre is the heart of Christchurch that is filled with an abundance of shops, museums, monuments, cafes, restaurants, and bars (basically everything a traveller could want). If this is your first stay in Christchurch, finding accommodation in the city centre will put everything at your fingertips, make your life easy, and require minimal transport to get around.
Top Picks for Christchurch City Centre
Luxury: Sudima Christchurch City
This boutique hotel is perfectly located in the Christchurch CBD, close to Hagley Park and all the best shops, restaurants, and cafes that the city centre has to offer. The hotel is devoted to sustainability using locally sourced products whenever possible. Each room features a flat-screen TV, room service, housekeeping, a coffee and tea station, as well as a refrigerator and dishwasher for your convenience. Plush, comfortable bathrobes and bedroom linens will make you feel like you’re snuggled up in a cloud.
On-site you can find a wealth of health and fitness facilities including yoga classes, massage, and spa treatments including manicures and pedicures. Sudima also has a restaurant and bar, Vices and Virtues, with a menu created around ingredients that are locally grown and sourced.
Mid-Range: Hotel 115
Hotel 115 is conveniently located just a short walk from Cathedral Square and is another short walk to the top restaurants, cafes, boutiques, museums and so much more. Hotel 115 has a city tram that runs through its property, which is a unique feature that no other Christchurch hotel offers. Built and styled in a chic European decor, all rooms come with a flat-screen TV, private bathrooms complete with bathroom linens and luxe toiletries. All rooms also come standard with refrigerators and a coffee/tea making station. There are various room sizes to choose from, with some featuring a balcony.
Guests staying at the hotel have free access to a gym, pool, and spa facilities to use between Christchurch sightseeing. For an added bonus, there are also loads of local restaurants that are partnered with Hotel 115 and allow you to charge your meal to your hotel account.
Airbnb: Central City Apartment
You’ll have this sun-filled apartment all to yourself. Sleeping up to 2 people comfortably, this second-floor apartment features a small kitchenette with a bar fridge and microwave. Bed and bathroom linens are provided for you as well as extra blankets for cozy nights in. Free street parking is available for guests who are doing a New Zealand road trip.
Floor to ceiling windows in the living room provides you with an excellent view of the city skyline as well as picture-perfect sunsets. This apartment is in the ultimate spot, close to all the best attractions and dining establishments, bars, and other nighttime hotspots. Hagley Park, the Botanic Gardens, and the Christchurch Art Gallery are all right around the corner.
Budget: Kiwi House Hostel
Kiwi House Hostel has two properties, both with great locations and quite close to each other. Both sites include private and mixed dorm-style options. There is a standard shared kitchen and lounge with a TV and sauna for all guests to enjoy as well as a terrace and garden, board games and laundry services. Lockers are also available for guests to protect their belongings and there is a big collection of books and movies for guests to enjoy on a rainy day.
Less than a mile from the heart of Christchurch, Kiwi House is definitely a Christchurch favourite when it comes to a budget-friendly option for staying in heart of the city. Cardboard Cathedral, the Arts Centre, and the Art Museum are all within walking distance. Victoria Street, with all the best shopping, adventure headquarters, restaurants and bars are also close to Kiwi House.
Kiwi House is open for long term stays and always employs helpful staff that know all the secrets to the best things going on in town.
Best area to stay in for shopping and nightlife
Home to one of New Zealand’s largest shopping malls, Westfield Riccarton was first opened in the mid-1960s and has since been updated and redeveloped to match the growing and ever-changing trends of a large city. If you like to shop until to you drop, or you prefer a solid night out on the town, Riccarton is your ideal spot.
Top Picks for Riccarton
Luxury: The Establishment Boutique
This luxury bed and breakfast pulls out all the stops when it comes to pampering its guests. The Establishment provides airport pickup and dropoff and/or valet parking, an indoor and outdoor lounge area with a fireplace and a dining area for guests to enjoy. There is also a sun deck, terrace and garden with BBQ facilities, and an on-site coffee shop. Guests are doted on with a mouth-watering breakfast of crepes, fresh fruit, pastries, a variety of cereals, bread, and spreads.
The rooms in this boutique hotel are sophisticated and comfortable, decorated with a spacious sitting room complete with satellite TV. The bathrooms are large and are stocked with luxe bathroom linens a plush bathrobe and slippers for cozy evenings and mornings.
Mid-Range: Chateau on the Park
Chateau on the Park has been voted the “best place to stay in Christchurch” by numerous guests and it’s easy to see why. Tucked away on 5 acres of lush land, this gorgeous chateau features beautiful, vibrant gardens and a private vineyard for guests to enjoy. The Chateau also offers a restaurant, Garden Court Brasserie, which provides an al fresco menu and garden views during the warm summer months. There is also a bar, The Den, where you can cozy up to the fire with a cocktail and snack. Guests are also welcome to use the fitness center and pool between sightseeing adventures.
You’ll be spoiled in the guest rooms at the Chateau that are adorned with soft and comfortable bed and bathroom linens, and organic toiletries. Sattelite TV, a work desk, a coffee/tea making station, and a refrigerator are in all rooms for your convenience.
Airbnb: Retro Mancave
Close to the massive Westfield Shopping Mall and across the street from the legendary Christchurch Saturday Farmer’s Market, this Christchurch Airbnb is close to plenty of Christchurch attractions. Free street parking is available for guests who as driving, as well as a kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator. There’s a garden and backyard where you can enjoy your morning coffee or an evening glass of wine.
Budget: Jailhouse Accommodation
Originally built in 1874, this former prison has been given a new life as a top Christchurch hostel. All guests can enjoy a shared lounge with a movie projector, an on-site cafe, free parking, another lounge with a TV and pool table, kitchen and laundry facilities.
Both dorm rooms that include mixed as well as female-only dorms and private rooms are available. The staff at Jailhouse Accommodation are exceptionally friendly and know all the best places to shop, party and where to seek out adventure.
Best area to stay in for foodies and local living
If you’re a traveller that likes to mix and mingle and live like the locals do, Merivale is your home away from home. Merivale has quaint, narrow streets lined with one of a kind boutiques, local bars and restaurants.
Top Picks for Merivale
Luxury: Eliza’s Manor
This gorgeous manor has a private inner courtyard with a dining area, BBQ area, and a garden for guests to enjoy between seeing the sights. There is a bar and restaurant on-site that serves delicious breakfast options of french toast, eggs benedict, and pancakes daily.
The property is close to a gorgeous golf course as well at the city centre. Eliza’s Manor offers a peaceful place to stay in Christchurch in an area that will make you feel at home.
Mid-Range: Pavilions Hotel
This lovely Christchurch hotel is one of the best in the city. Close to Hagley Park and the all-encompassing Victoria Street for shopping, Pavilions Hotel is in an ideal location. It is also only a short walk to the casino and just a 15-minute drive to the Christchurch Airport.
Guests at the Pavilions Hotel can enjoy the outdoor heated pool, a spa pool as well as a fully-equipped fitness center, sauna, and steam room. Each room is equipped with a coffee and tea making station, refrigerator, and 24-hour room service for when you want to treat yourself.
Airbnb: Little Villa
This cute and cozy villa sleeps up to 4 people comfortably with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Bright and sunny, this villa was decorated with rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation in mind. There is a fully loaded and stocked kitchen as well as a laundry room. You have access to an outdoor patio and BBQ space to enjoy.
Free parking is included, and the location of this alluring little villa is perfectly situated within walking distance to Merivale Village and Victoria Street where all the best shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are.
Budget: Kiwi Basecamp Backpackers
This Merivale hostel is a favourite for backpackers and solo travellers. There is a gorgeous view of the city skyline and free Wi-Fi throughout the entire building. Amenities include 24-hour front desk help, library and game nights, a shared kitchen, lounge, TV area, and laundry services.
While all bathrooms are shared, there are options for private, semi-private, and dorm-style rooms. Each room also comes with a locker to keep your valuables safe.
Enjoy your trip to Christchurch!
Continue planning your trip to New Zealand!
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which I earn a small commission from and are at no additional cost to you. All images for accommodation used are from Booking.com or Airbnb.