A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Napier vs. Christchurch for Beaches, Families, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Napier or Christchurch?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Napier and Christchurch can help you decide which place is right for you.

Napier

Napier is a relaxed, character-filled, and coastal town. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Christchurch

Christchurch is a cultural, outdoorsy, and adventure-filled city. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Napier and Christchurch: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Very walkable


Is there more to do in Napier or Christchurch?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Napier than Christchurch. While Christchurch is larger than Napier, Napier has more sights and attractions for tourists. Napier is very popular for its beaches, while Christchurch attracts visitors for its shopping and impressive beauty. Napier is more touristy than Christchurch and is popular for its many art deco buildings, its beautiful vineyards, and the area's long sandy beaches. It is also well known for the art deco architecture. Christchurch is famous for its outdoor beauty and relaxing, scenic atmosphere.

How is Napier different from Christchurch?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Christchurch and Napier. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Napier or Christchurch?

Napier
Christchurch

Spend time exploring the great sights and museums in either Napier or Christchurch.

Many visitors head to Napier specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Considered an "Art Deco capital", there are many interesting buildings around town and it's worth taking an Art Deco Walk. The National Aquarium of New Zealand is also impressive as is the MTG Hawke's Bay, which is a museum, gallery, and theater in one. For something a little outside the box, you can visit the Napier Prison, which is New Zealand's oldest place of incarceration, dating back to 1862.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Christchurch can be an interesting and educational experience. The city is filled with street art and local galleries. There's also Canterbury Museum, the International Antarctic Centre, the Arts Centre, and the Riccarton House & Bush.


Is the Food Better in Napier or Christchurch? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Napier
Christchurch

Both Napier and Christchurch offer a number of great restaurants to choose from.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Napier. With its many wineries and big mix of fine dining restaurants, there is plenty for a foodie to enjoy around town. You'll find restaurants that serve up New Zealand favorites as well as those that experiment with modern and trendy recipes.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Christchurch. There's a mix of cozy cafes and casual eateries around town. You'll also find some fine dining restaurants as well as international flavors.

Is Napier or Christchurch Better for Nightlife?

Napier
Christchurch

The great nightlife scene is relatively similar in Napier and Christchurch.

Napier has a large number of nightlife venues. The nightlife scene is diverse and fun. Whether you're looking for a wild party or just want to relax with a drink and some friends, there are plenty of places where you can hang out.

Christchurch is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The city has its share of dance clubs, live music venues, and laid back bars. You'll find a number of popular hangout spots around Oxford Terrace or on the historic New Regent Street.

Is Napier or Christchurch Better for Beaches?

Napier
Christchurch

Napier is terrific for the beache. Also, Christchurch is still popular, but not quite as popular for the beach.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Napier. It's a popular beach destination and you'll find plenty of beaches for swimming, sunbathing, and playing with the kids. You'll want to head out of town to find the best and most beautiful beaches. For hidden beaches and some of the area's best surf, head to Mahia Peninsula. To escape the tourists and hang out with the locals, go to Waipatiki Beach. And for a picnic, Westshore Beach is a favorite. Waimarama Beach is another favorite in the area as well.

Christchurch is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. There are sandy beaches in the area with water sports and various amenities. The summer months are the most popular time for hanging out at the beach, and you'll find local families playing in the sun or enjoying a picnic.


Is Napier or Christchurch Better for Hiking?

Napier
Christchurch

You'll find great hiking in both Napier and Christchurch.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Napier. Hawke's Bay is filled with wonderful walks and hikes. There are easy coastal paths as well as mult-day treks around Lake Waikaremoana. It's not hard to find somewhere to stretch your legs and explore the scenery.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Christchurch. There are many beautiful hikes in the area that take you along the coastline or past local historic sights. The landscape is diverse and you'll find many amazing parks in the area. Hooker Valley Track is one of the best hiking routes nearby.

Is the Shopping Better in Napier or Christchurch?

Napier
Christchurch

Christchurch is a very popular place for shopping. Also, Napier is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Christchurch. There's a mix of boutique shops, outlet malls, and open air markets. Some of the best shopping places include the Tannery and the Colombo.

Napier offers some nice shopping areas. You'll find all of the standard New Zealand retail chains as well antique and boutique shops. With its many Art Deco buildings, the city has character and personality.

Is Napier or Christchurch Better for Families?

Napier
Christchurch

Christchurch is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Napier is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Christchurch is one of the most popular family destinations. The International Antarctic Centre is a thrilling and fun experience. There's also the Orana Wildlife Park or Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. For adrenaline junkies there are the ropes courses at the Adrenalin Forest. There are also many indoor playgrounds and rock climbing facilities.

Napier is a very kid-friendly town. This coastal city has a waterpark, a waterfall walk, and plenty of beaches where the family can hang out. There's also a waterfront promenade that is filled with water features and playgrounds where the kids can run around. You can also check out Hawke's Bay Farmyard Zoo or on a rainy day head to the Faraday Museum of Technology.


Is Napier or Christchurch Better for Couples?

Napier
Christchurch

Both Napier and Christchurch are great destinations to visit as a couple.

Napier makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Surrounded by vineyards and lined with beaches, this is a great place for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon. Hop on a bike and explore the wineries or enjoy a beautiful hike through nature. There are also adrenaline-filled activities for thrill seekers or fine dining restaurants for the foodies.

Couples visit Christchurch frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Punting on the Avon River is one of the most romantic activities in the city. There are also botanical gardens, parks, and natural areas that are fun to explore. Nearby, you can do a wine tour, or there are cocktail bars and charming restaurants in town. The city also has a nice theater and many other date night activities.

Is Napier or Christchurch Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Napier
Christchurch

Napier and Christchurch are both great destinations for backpackers.

Napier is very popular with the backpacker crowd. There are a couple of hostels around town and plenty of fun activities like mountain biking or white water rafting that you can enjoy.

Christchurch is a great town to visit for backpackers. There's no shortage of hostels around town, and many backpackers pass through Christchurch on their epic New Zealand adventure.

Is Napier or Christchurch Better for Students?

Napier
Christchurch

Christchurch is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Napier is not popular with students.

Christchurch is very popular with students. It's the largest city on the South Island and there are plenty of activities and nearby trips that you can enjoy.

Napier is not popular with students.


Is Napier or Christchurch Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Napier
Christchurch

Christchurch is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Napier is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Christchurch has some public transit options. While it's not a diverse transit system, the buses are well connected and offer the cheapest way to get around town.

Public transit is generally limited in Napier. Public transit to most of the beaches is limited or nonexistent, so you really need a car if you want to get around and see everything.

Is Napier or Christchurch a more walkable city?

Napier
Christchurch

Christchurch is a very popular place for its walkability. However, Napier is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Christchurch is very walkable. The city center is relatively flat and easy to explore on foot.

Napier is generally not very walkable. If you stay in town you can walk to cafes and restaurants, but you really need a car if you're planning to visit beaches or explore the area in depth.

For even more information, also check out Is Napier Worth Visiting? and Is Christchurch Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Christchurch or Napier?

How long in Napier or Christchurch?

It's fun to spend time in either Napier or Christchurch. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Christchurch due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Napier, and 2-4 days is enough time in Christchurch.

Families should spend more time in Christchurch than Napier. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Christchurch, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Christchurch than Napier. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Christchurch that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Christchurch than Napier if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Christchurch.


  • How many days in Napier or Christchurch? Ideal Length of Stay
    Napier 2-3 
    Christchurch 2-4

One day in Napier or Christchurch?

In Napier, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this character-filled town offers. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Christchurch. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Napier or Christchurch?

Napier is a fun place to experience. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Lots of people come for the beaches. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Christchurch is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Napier or Christchurch?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the relaxed destination of Napier. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the beaches. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Christchurch. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Napier or Christchurch?

Napier is a popular place to visit. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the adventure-filled destination of Christchurch. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


Which place is cheaper, Christchurch or Napier?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Napier is $174, while the average daily cost in Christchurch is $99. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Napier and Christchurch in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Napier $105
    Christchurch $51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Napier $210
    Christchurch $102
Compare Hotels in Napier and Christchurch

Looking for a hotel in Napier or Christchurch? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Napier


Hotels in Christchurch


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Napier Hotel Prices and Christchurch Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Napier $31
    Christchurch $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • Private Transfer from Lyttelton Port to Christchurch Airport CHC: $30
  • Private Transfer from Lyttelton Cruise Port to Christchurch City: $30
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch City to Lyttelton Cruise Port: $30
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch City to Akaroa Cruise Port: $54
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch Airport CHC to Lyttelton Port: $30
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch Airport (CHC) to Akaroa Port: $54
  • Departure Private Transfers from Christchurch to Airport CHC in Luxury Van: $92
  • Departure Private Transfers from Christchurch to Airport CHC in Business Car: $66
  • Christchurch to Christchurch Airport(CHC)- Departure Transfer: $32
  • Christchurch City Hotels to Airport Transfer - Lowest price 1 to 9 Passengers: $81
  • Christchurch City Hotels to Airport Transfer - Lowest price 1 to 4 Pax & 2 Bags: $56
  • Christchurch Airport: 1-Way Private Transfer to Christchurch: $70

Is it cheaper to fly into Napier or Christchurch?

Prices for flights to both Christchurch and Napier change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Napier $38
    Christchurch $32
Typical Food Prices in Napier

For Napier, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casural Lunch
    $8.67

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Napier $28
    Christchurch $18

Tours and Activities in Napier

For Napier, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Self-Guided Earthquake Audio Tour: $14
  • Art Deco Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $14
  • Hastings Earthquake Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Napier Art Deco Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Napier Earthquake Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Napier Prison Self-Guided Audio Tour: $19
  • Hawkes Bay Wineries Self-Guided Bike Tour: $36
  • Hawke's Bay: Coastal Winery Cycle Tour - self-guided: $49
  • Cape Coast Wineries Self-Guided Scenic Bike Tour from Napier: $50
  • Cape Kidnappers Gannet, Nature & Sightseeing Tour: $59
  • 2.5-Hour Napier Art Deco Tour: $59
  • Small Group 2.5-Hour Napier History and Art Deco Tour : $59

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

Here are a few actual costs in Christchurch for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Christchurch Gondola Ride Ticket: $25
  • (MT) Mount Cook Return Day Tour Via Lake Tekapo from Christchurch: $186
  • Akaroa Day Tour From Christchurch: $116
  • Akaroa Day Tour From Christchurch: $112
  • Akaroa Full Day Sightseeing Tour from Christchurch: $156
  • Akaroa Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch: $212
  • Arthur's Pass Day Tour - TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch: $259
  • Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour: $241
  • Arthurs Pass Day Tour With Jet boat Ride : $224
  • Arthurs Pass Day Tour With TranzAlpine and Jet Boat Ride : $237
  • Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti- Guided tour from Christchurch: $249
  • Cave Stream & Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti guided tour from Christchurch: $280

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Napier $17
    Christchurch $12
Typical Alcohol Prices in Napier

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Napier are as follows:


  • Wine
    $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Napier

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Napier:

  • Half Day Small-Group Hawkes Bay Wine Tour: $97
  • Wine Tour and Tastings in Hawkes Bay: $171
  • Private Sightseeing Tour + Wine Tasting: $528

Sample the Local Flavors in Christchurch

Also in Christchurch, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • From Full-Day Wine Tour with Lunch: $103
  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion - Waipara Wine Tour With Lunch: $106
  • All-Inclusive Waipara Region Wine Tour from Christchurch: $109
  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion - City Highlights & Waipara Wine Tour : $121
  • From Guided Local Wine Tours in Waipara: $122
  • Akaroa Craft Distillery HeliGin Experience: $546


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Napier and Christchurch, we can see that Napier is more expensive. And not only is Christchurch much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Christchurch would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Christchurch and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Napier would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Napier than you might in Christchurch.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Napier Expensive? and Is Christchurch Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Napier or Christchurch?

Christchurch has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Napier. When comparing the sizes of Napier and Christchurch, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.