Much of Christchurch’s original English heritage may have been reduced to rubble in the 2011 earthquake, but, despite the devastation, the city is recovering in style. The South Island’s largest metropolis is now a hive of shipping-container malls, pop-up bars and food trucks. Explore this ever-changing city from one of the best hostels Christchurch has to offer.
You can’t travel far in New Zealand without spotting a Jucy campervan. Now, the colourful company has also branched out into the hostel world, offering ensuite rooms and sleeping pods near Christchurch airport. Jucy Snooze is perfect for an early flight since it’s located just a 10-minute walk from the terminals. There’s a hammock-filled space with a kitchen, and their budget-friendly pods come with blinds, charging stations and lockers, providing more privacy than your average dorm.
All Stars Inn is a modern hostel built with socialising in mind, set 20 minutes from Christchurch central. There’s a kitchen that can seat up to 30 people, a TV lounge, a games room with a pool table, and a BBQ. Guests can also get deals and enjoy live entertainment at neighbouring Bealey Ale and Steak House, one of the South Island’s top restaurants. Stay in a private or shared room – there’s even a separate four-bed female-only dorm.
If you’re planning a longer stay in Christchurch, Kiwi House has weekly rates, and guests often stick around for a few months. That means there’s a university-halls feel with communal cooking facilities and regular BBQ parties. Take advantage of the supreme location, 15 minutes from Cathedral Square, and the free sauna on Thursday evenings. Kiwi House has bunk-bed dorms and private rooms, as well as bike rentals and a secure car park.
The heritage-listed Jailhouse hostel served as a prison until 1999 and has retained its distinctive, gothic-revival architecture. Set in the trendy suburb of Addington, it’s a pick-up point for the Kiwi Experience Bus and has speedy transport links to the airport and city centre. Choose from private or six- to ten-bed rooms, and relax in the award-winning hostel’s coffee bar and lounge, which comes with a pool table and dartboard.
You know what to expect with a YMCA hostel: clean, functional rooms and a handy location. YMCA Christchurch is no exception, set next to the Botanical Gardens, Canterbury Museum and Hagley Park, with free off-street parking. Although the YMCA has dorm rooms and a guest kitchen, it has more of a hotel feel, thanks to the health and fitness centre, restaurant, private rooms and apartments.
If you prefer the beach to the city, then book a stay at Point Break Backpackers. The ocean-side building sits near New Brighton Beach, so you can easily head out for a morning surf or afternoon sunbathe. Plus, Christchurch centre is just a 15-minute bus ride away. Point Break offers private and family rooms, as well as bright two- to eight-bed dorms, and has its own laid-back cafe where you can grab a bite to eat.
The Old Countryhouse is a one-of-a-kind hostel, created by travellers for travellers. Its country villas have been carefully renovated to honour their original character while adding contemporary comforts. This makes for a homely feel, with large wooden dining tables, wide verandas and a garden with a lemon tree and organic herbs. Guests can enjoy games nights and chill in the outdoor sauna-spa area. There’s even a resident dog, Max, to pet.
Around the World Backpackers is one of Christchurch’s best small hostels, boasting quiet four-bed dorms (one female only) and a double and a twin room, all with a shared bathroom. With its hammocks in the garden and a BBQ area, it’s great for travellers who want tranquillity. If you’re hanging out, watch some Netflix, check out the book exchange, or shoot some pool. Location-wise, you’re only 10 minutes from the city centre, and there’s off-street parking.
Bealey Avenue Motel is made up of individual units, giving it less of a hostel feel – ideal if you’re after some privacy or travelling in a group. The chic motel sits on Bealey Avenue, a 5-minute drive to Christchurch’s main square. Each unit has its own kitchen, Sky TV, living area and bathroom. The fancier deluxe studios even come with spa baths and private courtyards.
This American-style motel is in a fantastic location, right next to Hagley Park where you can walk or go punting when you want a break from sightseeing. There’s a choice of private units, including a family, twin or triple studio, and all are self-catering and have ensuite bathrooms and large TVs. It’s a short stroll to Canterbury Museum, and the motel has plenty of free parking if you have your own rental car.
Looking for a plush place to stay in Christchurch? Check out our pick of the best hotels in Christchurch, New Zealand, bookable on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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