Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Wellington?

Should you spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Wellington?

Most people spend two to three days in Wellington during their visit. The funky city offers amazing highlights such as the beaches, the cuisine, the nightlife scene, and the many shops.

Wellington is the small and vibrant capital city of New Zealand. It's located on the southern end of the North Island, and many visitors pass through it on their way from one island to the other. The city is surrounded by rolling hills and there are many beaches in the area.

Do you have 3, 4, or 5 days to visit Wellington? Here's our comprehensive breakdown of how much time you might need for your trip along with some suggestions for things to do.


Is 3 days enough time in Wellington?

With its wealth of sights and attractions, Wellington is a top choice for tourists. Three days is just right for checking out pretty much everything in Wellington. Most visitors prefer to spend two to three days here, and we have a few suggestions of things to do while you're visiting. Also, Wellington is popular with families and backpackers which enjoy visiting because the city offers activities specifically for them.

How to spend 3 days in Wellington

The beautiful beaches await you in Wellington, so spend the day (or several, if you can) relaxing on the sand or swimming in the water. There are nice beaches within walking distance of the city center. There are also beaches that are well worth the drive if you're looking to get a bit out of town. In the summer months, there are swimming beaches, and year around they have nice views and a good atmosphere.


A few tour suggestions include:

  • Private Transfer from Wellington Cruise Port to Wellington Hotels ($26)
  • Private Transfer from Wellington hotels to Wellington Cruise Port ($26)

The restaurant and food scene here is top notch, so make sure you spend time at one of the local restaurants where you can taste the delicious cuisine. There are waterfront restaurants and a vibrant cafe scene around town. You'll also find local markets and many diverse eateries that you can explore.


A few tour suggestions include:

  • Martinborough Full Day Wine Tour ($175)
  • 1/2 day Martinborough Chefs Wine Tour with lunch from Wellington ($156)
  • Walking Food Tour Of Wellington ($156)

Wellington is a walkable city and easy to explore on foot. With only a day in the city, you'll have no trouble seeing the local sights. This is one of New Zealand's most walkable cities and it has a compact city center.

Shopping in Wellington is very popular, and it's easy to see why. Spend time exploring the many shops and boutiques to find the perfect gift, souvenir, or outfit. For the city's best shopping, head to the "Golden Mile". This is the area defined by Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street and Courtenay Place. There are boutique designers and high end fashion outlets throughout the area. The city also has many great markets and local shopping areas.


A few tour suggestions include:

  • Ladies Wellington to Greytown Gin Shopping & Lunch Expedition ($250)

The nightlife scene is very popular here. After dark, head out to one of the many venues around town. The best nightlife scene is found along Courtenay Place. There you'll find nightclubs, pubs, and cocktail bars. Cuba Street is another fun area with a bit more of a local vibe, and the waterfront is another great nightlife district in the city.

The public transit in Wellington is fast and efficient. Over the course of a few days, you should be able to explore the city quite easily and affordably. There are city buses, trains, and ferries that are popular with tourists and locals alike.

Perhaps the most famous spot in Wellington is Zealandia Ecosanctuary, so make sure you set aside some time to check it out. It might not be at the top of your list, but it's worth experiencing during your trip.

There are plenty of restaurants you haven't tried yet, so don't miss another amazing meal at local places for lunch and dinner. Try to go out of your way to find the small, locally owned places that offer the charm and ambiance that can only be found in Wellington.

Is 4 days enough time in Wellington?

Four days is more than enough time to see everything that Wellington has to offer. After all, it's not such a huge city. Many visitors prefer to spend two to three days here, so you'll be able to take in all of the beaches, the cuisine, the nightlife scene, and the many shops at your own pace. We have a few suggestions of things to do while you're visiting, and then you can take a day trip if you're looking to explore further around the area.

Wellington, New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand

How to spend 4 days in Wellington

Having 4 days in Wellington will provide you with more time to take in the best activities in the city.

You'll find a few good museums and historic landmarks here, so it's worth your time to spend a day exploring a few of them. As the capital city, you'll find a number of museums and sights around town. Check out the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Beehive, the Wellington Museum, and the City Gallery.


A few tour suggestions include:

  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Mana Māori Tour ($14)
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Small Group Guided Tour ($14)

Because the nightlife scene is so popular here, you'll want to take full advantage of it more than once. From the bars and pubs to the nightclubs, there's something for everyone. Or, get some tickets to another show at the theatre such as a ballet or opera.

Is 5 days enough time in Wellington?

Five days is more than enough time to see pretty much everything in Wellington, as it's not as large as some other cities. You can move at your own pace and relax in your hotel. Swim at the beach, dine out at amazing restaurants, take advantage of the local nightlife, and go shopping. You could also use Wellington as a base for exploring the nearby destinations. You'll find some great day trips in the region.

How to spend 5 days in Wellington

With 5 days in Wellington, you'll have a bit more time to enjoy everything that the city has to offer.

Known for it's hiking, Wellington sees plenty of visitors looking to get outdoors. Spend a day exploring the natural beauty and scenery on a nearby hike. The area has rolling hills and beautiful coastlines that are filled with walking trails and scenic views. Some of the more popular trails in the area are the Red Rocks walk and the City-to-Sea walk.


A few tour suggestions include:

  • Small Group Daytime 2-Hour Eco Wildlife Tour at Zealandia ($37)
  • Zealandia Small Group Eco Wildlife Night Tour ($59)
  • Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket ($16)

There are plenty of restaurants you haven't tried yet, so don't miss another amazing meal at local places for lunch and dinner. Try to go out of your way to find the small, locally owned places that offer the charm and ambiance that can only be found in Wellington.

More Info

If you're looking for more information about Wellington, we have even more advice to help you plan your journey.

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