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Where to Stay in Christchurch?
Tourists flock to Cathedral Square, the very heart of the Christchurch, and there is a delightful mix of hotels dotted in and around the area -- from backpackers to world-class 5-stars. Known simply as The Square, you can join the lunch crowd at one of the dozens of cafes and food stalls here, take in the variety of street performers and speakers, play a giant game of chess with the locals or brace the 133 steps up the north tower of beautiful Christchurch Cathedral.
West of The Square are vast green swathes of city land at north and south Hagley Park and the Botanical Gardens. Hotels hug the parks at each side and are a great base if you prefer some peace and quiet after a day’s busy sightseeing.
Just outside the centre, are the neighbourhoods of Merivale and Riccarton where you'll find a smattering of budget hotels in the form of motor lodges and inns, backpackers, and serviced apartments.
Christchurch Accommodation Options
A destination on many a backpacker’s itinerary, it’s no surprise that Christchurch is not short on budget accommodation. Cheap hotels can be found around Cathedral Square but they are most in concentration along the Papanui Road which heads north towards St Albans. That said, there are pricier options up this way – the luxury boutique Charlotte Jane Hotel is also on Papanui.
In and around Cathedral Square, there’s a mixture of starred hotels. Right on the square is the Heritage Christchurch, inside the restored Old Government Building, and just off it on Cashel Street there’s the four-star Hotel Grand Chancellor and Hotel So, both close to the nightlife of Sol Square. Hotel Off The Square on historic Worcester Street offers central luxury while the Hotel Ibis nearby delivers the same location at a fraction of the price. At Hagley Park there’s a hotel to suit most pockets.
Christchurch Hotel Recommendations?
Hotel So on central Cashel Street focuses on style and offering its guests sophisticated technology in its rooms without the high prices. For wonderful views over Christchurch, head for the Hotel Grand Chancellor, the tallest building in the city, from which you can see across to the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps. A short walk from Hagley Park is Merivale Manor Hotel which offers smart two bedroom apartments at reasonable prices, ideal for families and those who want to be near green space.
Transport in Christchurch
Christchurch airport is eight miles north west of the city centre and it takes about 20 minutes to travel by taxi from one point to the other, depending on traffic. Alternatively you can take one of the many shuttle buses that the hotels of the city provide. The cheapest way to get into town is by bus. There are three bus services that operate between the airport and downtown, the number 3 to Sumner via the city, Avonhead and Riccarton, the number 10 via Merivale and the number 29 Fendalton. All the buses will arrive and leave from the international coach park at the end of the International Arrivals Hall.
Use the tramway to see most of the city centre sights of Christchurch. It loops through the streets around Cathedral Square, starting at Cathedral Junction. To see the city from a river perspective, have a punt along the River Avon, starting at the Antigua Boatsheds next to the Botanic Gardens or at Worcester Boulevard Bridge.