What you need to know about where to stay in Christchurch
The largest city on New Zealand’s South Island has proven to be a city of an indestructible spirit. Severely affected by the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the city, like a phoenix, is being reborn.
Christchurch, located on the banks of the River Avon, was first settled by the British in 1848 and became a city by Royal Charter in 1856, making it officially the oldest city in New Zealand.
Called the “Garden City”, Christchurch’s layout, architecture and atmosphere are more reminiscent of England than any other city in the country.
With one of New Zealand’s most important airports (the busiest on the South Island), Christchurch can be considered the gateway to this gorgeous region.
And, like all kiwi cities, the Garden City has a very low profile and an large urban sprawl, so finding the best area to stay in Christchurch is very important.
With regards to hotel fares, the city offers good news. Christchurch average rates are usually lower than those in Auckland or Queenstown, so this city is an excellent starting point for exploring the South Island.
The best areas to stay in Christchurch, New Zealand
1. Christchurch City-Centre
The Christchurch’s CBD, also known as the “Inner City” is the true heart of Christchurch.
The area suffered major damage during the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and it’s undergoing an extensive process of repair and reinvention.
Many businesses, attractions, cafes and accommodatipon properties have continued to operate without interruption. It is expected that the rest of businesses that are still closed will open their doors in the coming months.
To prove that there is no earthquake that can trump the city’s spirit, temporary shopping centres housed in cargo containers, keep the pulse of the city center going while providing a cool and alternative vibe to the central district.
The CBD is probably the best area to stay in Christchurch. If possible, select a hotel located in the rectangle bounded by the four main avenues: Deans, Bealey, Moorehouse and Fitzgerald, since this will allow you to walk to most of the attractions.
- City Centre Motel (from NZ$109/n)
- QUest Serviced Apartments (from NZ$129/n)
- Hotel 115 (from NZ$149/n)
- Fino Hotel & Suites (from NZ$119/n)
- The George (from NZ$249/n)
Why stay here:
- It’s the city centre
- You can walk everywhere
- Alternative, hip atmosphere
- Bars, restaurants and popup shops
- Great transportation options
The quintessential university district of Christchurch, Riccarton is west of Hagley Park, close to the city centre.
The area was not impacted by earthquakes as severely as the CBD and has become an important shopping and nightlife hub.
Riccarton has a huge shopping center, lots of Asian restaurants, stores, and heaps of cheap motels and cafes.
Riccarton offers some of the cheapest accommodation options in Christchurch.
The area between Riccarton and Fendalton is known as Ilam, and this is where the University of Canterbury is located.
- Aroha B&B (from NZ$89/n)
- McWilliam Serviced Apartments (from NZ$99/n)
- Annabelle Court Motel (from NZ$109/n)
- Lorenzo Motor Lodge (from NZ$149/n)
Why stay here:
- Close to the CBD
- Popular with students
- Nightlife and restaurants
- Shopping venues
- University of Canterbury
A yuppie neighborhood with a bit of a kick.
Located between Papanui and the city centre, Merivale is an attractive neighborhood, close to the heart of Christchurch.
It offers a good number of B&Bs and lodges along the famous “Motel Mile” which runs south along Papanui Road from Merivale Mall to Bealey Avenue.
It is a safe area and a nice place to stay, and you can walk here from the city centre in about 30 minutes.
- Diplomat Motel (from NZ$99/n)
- Milano Motor Lodge (from NZ$129/n)
- Amross Court (from NZ$159/n)
- The George (from NZ$189/n)
Why stay here:
- Upper class neighbourhood
- Relatively central
- Lots of accommodation options
- Restaurants and nightlife