Visiting the City of Sails soon? I’m so thrilled to help you plan your trip! I’m here to tell you all about where to stay in Auckland City!
I stayed in Auckland as part of my bigger New Zealand road trip and not only is it a great transportation hub, it is also a city worth visiting!
CBD (Central Business District) is the best area to stay in Auckland for first-timers! It’s where all the cool things are, including the iconic Sky Tower!
But that’s not all! I used my top-notch research skills and compared ALL the best Auckland districts and hotels!
Read this post to learn more about the 6 best neighborhoods for tourists to stay in Auckland and the best hotels for each of them. I personally hand-picked them for you to ensure all of them have good reviews. We are also covering all price groups so anyone can find something suitable for them!
In the end, all that’s left for you to do is read the article, book your favorite hotel, and pack your suitcases!
Book your accommodation in Auckland as soon as you find a suitable option! The city has more than 7 million guest nights per year, so the good spots are always the first to get booked.
If you are in a hurry
Explore the best hotels in the Central Business District, the best area to stay for first-timers:
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. CBD – where to stay in Auckland for first-timers
- 2. Ponsonby + Freemans Bay – best place to stay in Auckland for nightlife
- 3. Parnell – best for a laid-back stay in Auckland
- 4. Mt Eden – where to stay in Auckland with a family
- 5. Newmarket – where to stay in Auckland for shopping
- 6. North Shore (Takapuna) – where to stay for beaches
- BONUS: Where to stay in Auckland near the airport
- FAQs about where to stay in Auckland
Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:
Here’s a map of Auckland districts to help you choose the perfect stay for your travel preferences:
1. CBD – where to stay in Auckland for first-timers
The Central Business District (CBD) is the heart of Auckland! It’s where you should stay if you visit the city for the first time and are in town for sightseeing. This cosmopolitan area is 20 km (13 miles) from Auckland Airport.
CBD is an important cruise terminal in the city, notably the Princes or Queens Wharf terminals. For travelers coming to Auckland on a pre-cruise or post-cruise, CBD is the ideal area to stay in!
The main attractions include the Viaduct Harbour (the city’s hospitality hub), the Sky Tower, Aotea Square, and the Art Gallery, which dates from 1888. Walk along Queen Street or Karangahape Road to find friendly faces, nightclubs, bars, shops, and restaurants serving all types of cuisine!
Skydiving enthusiasts, check out the Skydive Auckland for an adrenaline experience on your trip! They offer 18k feet of skydiving in 75 seconds of free fall!
And for those who want to dive deeper into the city’s history, there is Britomart, the area around the port which still has old buildings mixed with modern boutique shops!
Did you know that the Maori term for Auckland, “Tamaki Makaurau,” means “Tamaki of a hundred lovers”?
If you’re looking for things to do in Auckland at night, visiting the bustling night markets is a top activity! Also, this area is home to some of the best party hotels in the North Island!
If you’re continuing your trip further, these are some of the coolest destinations on the North Island.
This is the closest to a 6-star hotel in Auckland! Enjoy the best views of the Viaduct Harbor from your spacious room, or spend a day in the luxurious spa, just living your best life! The 20+ restaurants are just a short walk away! This is also one of the most family-friendly hotels in Auckland!
Other accommodation options in CBD
Comfortable accommodation in the heart of the city, this hotel has modern rooms and a balcony
This lovely budget apartment is perfect for backpackers or anyone asking where to stay in Auckland for 2 nights
A cool place to stay that boasts city views and offers a kitchen and a shared hot tub
Things to do in CBD
- Enjoy the views in Albert Park or Silo Park
- Try sky jumping at the Sky Tower (or just enjoy the view)
- Catch an event or stroll to the Aotea Square
- Learn new things about Auckland’s history at the Art Gallery
- Spend a fun day at the Maritime Museum in Viaduct Harbor
- Play mini golf and drink cocktails at Holey Moley Auckland
2. Ponsonby + Freemans Bay – best place to stay in Auckland for nightlife
Ponsonby is one of the best suburbs for nightlife in Auckland! There are many fun things to do here, including bar hopping, fine dining, visiting art galleries, and partying all night.
This area is located less than 2 km (1.2 miles) west of downtown Auckland, so depending on where exactly you stay, you can even walk to the CBD!
One piece of advice: pack fancy clothes when visiting Ponsonby! This is not your hoodie-and-jeans type of situation. Ponsonby is one of the posh areas of Auckland, the high-class hipster heaven we all want to visit at least once!
The Western Park is an excellent option for walking and exploring Auckland’s cool sculptures or relaxing after a sleepless night!
East of Ponsonby, you’ll find Freemans Bay, one of the city’s most affluent districts with tons of dining options. It’s one of Auckland’s earliest settled districts that has chic homes at every corner. Stop by at Victoria Park Market on Sundays to enjoy the local vibe and stock up on some fresh produce!
Also, Auckland Zoo is only 10 minutes away by car from Ponsonby!
I love cozy hotels for tourists like this luxurious B&B! At night, you can go outside on the room’s private balcony and enjoy the city views where you can see the tip of the Sky Tower! The hotel also offers a delicious breakfast and a beautiful garden to chill in before hitting all the trendy clubs and shopping places.
Other accommodation options in Ponsonby
Your home away from home, this budget place built in 1865 has comfortable rooms and offers BBQ facilities
A hostel in Freemans Bay with private and shared rooms, large bathrooms, and fabulous views of the harbour
One of the most interesting places to stay in Ponsonby that has a beautiful backyard, a kitchen, and free wifi
Things to do in Ponsonby
- Go for a relaxing walk in Western Park
- Dine at Ponsonby Central, one of the best restaurants in the city
- Explore Auckland’s organic farm at Kelmarna Gardens
- Go bar hopping on Karangahape Road
3. Parnell – best for a laid-back stay in Auckland
If you’re looking for a laid-back area of Auckland where you can walk around and feel like a local, Parnell is where to go!
Located east of central Auckland, Parnell is considered the city’s oldest suburb, dating back to 1841! The Edwardian houses look amazing, and combined with the views of the Sky Tower, you get a movie-like scene where it looks as if you’re time-traveling through different eras.
If you’re wondering what to do in Auckland’s residential neighborhood, you’ll find some cool attractions here, too. A must-visit one is Auckland Domain, one of the city’s most important parks set in a volcanic crater. The park is also home to the Auckland War Memorial Museum!
This is another high-class area but a little more residential than Ponsonby. It’s really nice, and restaurants and bars are a bit more pricey. Here, you can also find the Holy Trinity Cathedral with stunning stained-glass windows.
Let’s not forget about the Parnell Rose Gardens, where you’ll want to spend the whole day! If you still have time left, you can always use public transport and visit Viaduct Harbour in the CBD area!
Spend a whole day at the swimming pool of this luxury hotel, or hit the gym if you’re in the mood! The apartments are super modern and have a small kitchen, but you can also order room service if you don’t feel like cooking.
Other accommodation options in Parnell
Enjoy the best views of the city from the comfort of your Parnell rooms, which also have a balcony and free Wi-Fi
Have a drink and admire the lovely Rose Garden located opposite the hotel; a slightly lower rating is due to the basic facilities
I love this private, cozy room set in a cool Parnell house; you’ll have a beautiful garden view and a refrigerator, too
Things to do in Parnell
- Explore the beautiful Dove Myer Robinson Park (Parnell Rose Garden)
- Cool off during a hot summer day at the pool at Parnell Baths
- Visit the War Memorial Museum Auckland
- Enjoy one of the best scenic rail journeys with the Northern Explorer
4. Mt Eden – where to stay in Auckland with a family
Mt Eden, or Maungawhau in Maori, is one of the most beautiful places in Auckland and beyond! It has some of the best sunset spots in Auckland because what can beat watching the sunset from the top of a dormant volcano?
You’ll find different walkways that all lead to the Mt Eden summit, where you can enjoy majestic views of Auckland!
Located south of the Central Business District, Mt Eden is another historic part of the city. The combination of serenity and beautiful nature makes Mt Eden one of the best places to visit with family.
Auckland has about 50(!) dormant volcanoes!
This area is quieter, so families might want to look for hotels here if they don’t want to be too close to Auckland’s hustle and bustle. There are a few great restaurants and chilled bars where you can have a drink!
And if you’d like to explore other places in New Zealand with stunning nature, you should try Rotorua’s shooting mud pools, stunning geysers, and natural hot springs! Here’s where to stay in Rotorua for the best experience!
Waitakere City and its surroundings also have beautiful nature!
This 4-star modern hotel has fabulous rooms, a city view, and all the modern amenities you need for a luxurious and comfortable stay! This family hotel also offers laundry services and a continental breakfast.
Other accommodation options in Mt Eden
A lovely and authentic guest house that offers a buffet breakfast and has bright and spacious rooms
This motel is good for those traveling on a budget, it has nice rooms with a private bathroom and free Wi-Fi
Enjoy some tranquility on the patio of one of Auckland’s best garden studios that has a backyard and a cozy room
Things to do in Mt Eden
- Go hiking and explore Mt Eden (map)
- Catch a sunset and enjoy the best views from the top of Mt Eden
- Enjoy a cup of tea in one of the many coffee shops in the area
- Have dinner in the best places to eat in Mt Eden, like Xoong restaurant
- Admire the beautiful old architecture of the buildings in the central area
5. Newmarket – where to stay in Auckland for shopping
Located 4.7 km (3 miles) southeast of Auckland CBD, this area is a dream come true for anyone who loves to raid all the stores while on holiday!
This area was created so people have an entire district just for shopping! Today, everyone says Newmarket is a smaller CBD that is not so crazy and chaotic!
Newmarket has everything, from local shops to boutique stores and the giant Westfield Mall. Broadway Street, the main avenue of this area, is where you’ll find all the action.
Also, a popular attraction in Newmarket is the Domain Wintergardens, a garden complex with structures designed by some of New Zealand’s leading architects. You can see rare plants like the corpse flower here!
They even have a mini Chinatown, where you can indulge in all the delicious dishes!
With great public transport connections and the train station close to the mall, it’s easy to get to other city areas if you want to visit the historic Parnell or enjoy the nightlife in Ponsonby.
Some nearby attractions with beautiful nature I recommend you see include Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill in Ellerslie-Greenlane, Sylvia Park or Manukau City (a 16-minute ride) if you’re into shopping.
The rooms of this hotel are very modern, and I love that you even have a small kitchen! Enjoy a nice sunset on the terrace, or take advantage of the BBQ facilities if you’re craving soul food!
Other accommodation options in Newmarket
Enjoy your stay in Auckland in this modern hotel that has family rooms with a small kitchen to use
This cute B&B has all the amenities any backpacker needs, including a good location
I love the design of this private loft with brick walls just steps from the Westfield Mall
Things to do in Newmarket
- Go bowling at Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq Newmarket
- Explore Broadway Street’s bustling bars and shops
- Go shopping at Westfield Mall
- Take a trip to Mission Bay
- Visit the Highwic historic building
- Check all the authentic eateries around the area and in Chinatown
6. North Shore (Takapuna) – where to stay for beaches
North Shore, and notably Takapuna Beach, is a famous place for beachgoers visiting Auckland. Here you can find accommodation north of Auckland city center but still easily accessible to the main attractions.
An interesting attraction here is the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum dedicated to celebrating New Zealand’s naval heritage!
To enjoy the Takapuna scenery, I highly recommend you take the Lava Trail from Milford to Takapuna! It’s free, suitable for all fitness levels, and you get to enjoy multiple beaches on your way. And I almost forgot the incredible views of Rangitoto Island and Hauraki Gulf!
Now, I’ll give you a quick rundown of each of the celebrated beaches here so you can find your perfect spot!
On the south part of the North Shore, you have Devonport, a small peninsula and one of the oldest areas of Auckland. Our first stop here is Cheltenham Beach, which is just a short walk from the ferry terminal. You can come here to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
For people traveling with families, I recommend Narrow Neck Beach, within walking distance from Devonport. The beach is quite long, very tranquil, and has a children’s playground!
Takapuna in the North Shore is one of the safest suburbs with a beach if you’re wondering where to stay with a toddler for cheap!
Finally, if you love huge crowds, head to Long Bay Beach, while Waiakea Beach is great for seclusion.
A 4-star hotel with extra large beds in Takapuna, just a short walk from the beach. Rooms have fabulous views of Auckland! You can also enjoy their gym, spacious living rooms, and top-notch service!
Other accommodation options in North Shore
One of the best motels in Auckland boasts incredible views of the harbor, and it has family rooms too
A 3-star motel with clean rooms, friendly staff, and free Wi-Fi, just a short walk from the beach
With garden access and a kitchenette, this secure en suite studio is perfect for your stay in Auckland
Things to do in North Shore
- Catch a sunset in Kennedy Park
- Enjoy a tranquil day on Cheltenham Beach
- Admire the Auckland Harbour Bridge at night
- Take the Lava Trail to explore the beautiful nature
- Explore the area around the North Head, a volcano forming a headland
- Discover the history of Auckland’s harbor in the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum
|👑 Luxury price:
|💵 Mid-range hotel:
|📍 Best Area:
|CBD (Central Business District)
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:
|The Grand by SkyCity
|🧳 Best mid-range hotel:
|👛 Best budget hotel:
|Cute Heritage Studio
BONUS: Where to stay in Auckland near the airport
Lodging near the airport in Auckland is a great idea if you:
- Have an early/late flight or a layover
- Have flown from the Northern Hemisphere and just want to relax before sightseeing (that was so me! You will really need it, trust me on this one!)
- Auckland is your port of entry only (in which case I suggest you rent a car from the airport, too)
What I did was stay in a hotel right after the long overseas flight to catch up on my sleep, and then we went to the car rental office and picked up our car to start the adventure!
Here’s my choice of the best hotels near Auckland Airport, sorted from the most to least expensive:
- Pullman Auckland Airport – This brand-new 5-star hotel is located at the airport and features a bar, a restaurant, and a fitness center. It also offers a 24-hour front desk, room service, and various daily breakfasts.
- Novotel Auckland Hotel – A 4-star hotel just next to the airport, you can literally walk to the Domestic Terminal in 5 minutes! They also serve great breakfast and have beautiful rooms!
- Heartland Hotel Auckland – This 4-star hotel is a 5-minute drive from the airport with a free 24-hour shuttle. You can spend all day by the outdoor pool enjoying the weather and relaxing after your long trip. There’s a restaurant and gym on site in case you want to work out; the rooms are super comfy and have space for families.
- Manha Hotel Auckland Airport – This 3-star hotel offers a clean, comfortable stay near the airport. The studios have extra-large beds, perfect for a good night’s sleep before or after your flight.
- Best Western BKs Pioneer Motor Lodge – This 4-star motel is located just a 7-minute drive from the Auckland Airport. It has spacious rooms and reasonable prices, making it perfect for families. They also offer a free airport shuttle and a really nice breakfast.
- Ibis Budget Airport Hotel – A budget-friendly stay with free Wi-Fi just a 4-minute ride from the Airport! Many shuttle buses are available as well, so you can catch a flight any time of the day. People here usually complain about small rooms, but this should be totally fine for short stays! It’s the closest budget hotel to the airport, after all!
FAQs about where to stay in Auckland
💚 What’s the best area to stay in Auckland?
The CBD (Central Business District) is the best area to stay in Auckland for first-timers. It has all the major attractions, great places to eat, and amazing hotels like the Grand by SkyCity.
🤔 How safe is Auckland at night?
Although Auckland has a low crime rate, you should avoid secluded areas in or outside the city center and be mindful of your belongings as you would in any other destination.
🇳🇿 Where should I stay in NZ?
Auckland, Wellington, and Rotorua are good places to stay in the North Island, while Christchurch, Wanaka, and Queenstown are good choices on the South Island.
🌆 What are the best places to stay in Auckland near Sky Tower?
💰How much does it cost to stay in a hotel in Auckland?
The luxury hotels in Auckland have an average price of US$220, the mid-range ones US$140, and the budget hotels US$80 per night.
🛫 Where can you sleep in Auckland airport?
Near the Air China office and at Gates 34-50 is where to sleep in Auckland Airport since many benches are available here, and the temperatures are warm. Alternatively, head to the “best hotels near the Auckland Airport” section above to find hotels nearby.
🌃 Where is the best place to stay in Auckland for 1 night?
The CBD is best for 1-night stays if you’re in town for sightseeing! I recommend the Cordis Hotel for the best value for money. If you aren’t interested in touristy things, just stay near the airport or near your train or bus station!
📅 How many days in Auckland is enough?
3 days is more than enough to explore Auckland if you plan your trip wisely! The CBD is where to stay in Auckland for 3 nights to make the most of your visit!
✖️ What areas to avoid in Auckland?
South Auckland (Onehunga and surrounding areas) is the most underdeveloped part of the city. It doesn’t have anything to offer tourists, so nothing would draw your attention here in the first place.
This was my ultimate guide on where to stay in Auckland! I have grouped the best areas and sorted the most highly rated accommodation options by budget to make planning your trip easier!
I have given you tons of options. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, here are my top 2 favorite hotels to help you decide:
- The Grand by SkyCity – A first-pick luxury hotel perfect if you’re wondering where to stay with a dog in Auckland
- Adina Apartment Britomart – A modern aparthotel with a bar, fitness center, and family rooms
That’s all from me! Please remember to book your accommodation in Auckland in advance, as the best spots tend to sell quickly!
If you have any questions about your upcoming trip, drop me a comment below! I’ll be quick to answer!
Have an amazing holiday,
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