Travel

Think Outside the Buckingham Box With This London Itinerary

It's much more than fish and chips.

Sylvain Sonnet/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Sylvain Sonnet/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Sylvain Sonnet/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Like New York City or Disney World, London is a destination so major, so epic, and so iconic that it can be downright daunting to distil it down to a few paragraphs, especially when the London bucket list is a mile long. As the most visited city in Europe, and one ingrained in global culture from every vantage point-the food, the fashion, the museums, the theatre, the London-set films, etc.-this is a metropolis that can be all too easily overwhelmed by its big-ticket attractions and quintessential sights. Because at the end of the day, whether visiting London for the first time or the 15th, with a city of this scope, it’s tempting just to curl into the fetal position and stick with what you know-or, rather, what you’ve seen in a Disney movie or a Sherlock Holmes iteration.

Sure, sights like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye, and Westminster Abbey are all as worthy of an international bucket list as the Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids, but there’s so much more to see, do, and eat in this immense global hub. By all means, snap your palatial selfies and ride a double-decker bus; buy a wizarding wand at Platform 9¾, and go on a fish & chips-fueled pub crawl; line up for last-minute tickets to Les Miserables; and spend way too much money at Harrods.

But don’t be intimidated to venture off the well-trod path and discover the many sides of London, all of which are backdropped by industrial age brick buildings, white mansion-like row houses, homey pubs on every corner, and plants tumbling off windowsills of tree-lined streets. As busy and bustling a metropolis as London is, it’s an old and pretty city, no matter which alley you look down.

Whether modern and glossy-new or an under-the-radar classic, these are some of the shops, restaurants, bars, museums, and sights you should check out in London to discover a new side of one of the world’s most iconic cities.

I Wei Huang/Shutterstock
I Wei Huang/Shutterstock
I Wei Huang/Shutterstock

Visit the requisite sights for first-timers

When it comes to touristy big-city fanfare, you can do a lot worse than giant clock towers and literal palaces. Like the Statue of Liberty, the Hollywood sign, and the Space Needle in the US, London has its fill of world-famous bucket list hits. While you might not visit these swarming tourist magnets on every London trip, they definitely merit a stop for first-timers. After all, Big Ben looks even bigger in real life than it does in Peter Pan.

For any inaugural trip to London, start with a walking tour through Westminster. Begin by Westminster Bridge and make your way to the base of Big Ben-the 16-story Gothic clock tower is closed to visitors and under a years-long refurbishment, but the gilded monolith is definitely ripe for gawking (and selfies). A couple blocks away is Westminster Abbey, a Notre Dame-sized cathedral that’s been crowning royalty for more than a millennium. The Abbey is open most days for verger-guided or self-guided tours, but keep in mind it closes for special ceremonies, so check ahead that you’re not crashing a royal wedding.

From here, head towards Buckingham Palace (passing the Winston Churchill statue on the way) via The Mall. The gorgeous, tree-lined route goes directly through swan-filled St. James Park, culminating with an elaborate marble and bronze monument. Behind is Buckingham Palace, a vast royal residence literally fit for a Queen-the ornate palace is so large, at 828,000-square-feet, it makes the White House (a measly 55,000-sq.-ft.) look like an NYC studio apartment. While most visitors simply stand outside the gates and marvel from afar or watch the famous Changing of the Guard, tickets to enter and tour parts of the palace are available in the months when the Queen is OOO (i.e. she’s at her summer residence in Scotland), July 22-October 2.

George W Johnson/Moment/Getty Images
George W Johnson/Moment/Getty Images
George W Johnson/Moment/Getty Images

Just northwest of Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park is the largest-and most famed-of London’s Royal Parks. What Central Park is to Manhattan, Hyde Park is to London, featuring 350 acres of lush greenery, shimmering waterways, fountains, rose gardens, and memorials, including the sombre yet serene Diana Memorial Fountain. Simply strolling through is a lovely way to experience it, but the park also hosts periodic events, Serpentine Bar & Kitchen serves wood-fired pizza on the shores of Serpentine lake, and sporting options include football fields, tennis courts, and horseback riding.

On the south bank of the River Thames, you can test your fear of heights at the London Eye-at 443 feet, it’s the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, with each massive pod large enough to hold 25 people. If you need a little liquid courage, reserve a spot in the Jubilee Pub Pod, specially decked-out for the Queen’s Jubilee with regal seating, flowers, and spritzy cocktails. In case this isn’t adrenaline-pumping enough, you can get even higher at The Shard, a pointy skyscraper that rises 72 stories and 1,016 feet on the south bank. It’s the tallest building in the UK, with mile-long views from galleries on floors 68, 69, and 72. There are also several bars and restaurants in the jagged tower, including modern British spot Aqua Shard and cocktails with a staggering view from GŎNG on the 52nd floor.

For something closer to Earth, visit nearby Shakespeare’s Globe. William Shakespeare’s most seminal works-like Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and Hamlet-were performed in a round, timber-clad theatre that put actors on a stage surrounded by 3,000 spectators. While the Globe Theater was built in 1599, it burned down in 1613, and has since been re-built to approximate the original, but with less flammable materials and fewer seats to adhere to fire code. Located near the original site, with a roofless open-air stage in the central yard, the Globe 2.0 is still the best place in the world to see productions like Henry VIII, King Lear, and The Tempest.

Diliana Nikolova/Shutterstock
Diliana Nikolova/Shutterstock
Diliana Nikolova/Shutterstock

Hit up the museum musts

Beyond the big, splashy towers and palaces, London’s world-class museums are the perfect middle ground between tourist attractions and cultural keystones-and most are free. There truly are so many utterly fantastic museums in London, from the National Gallery to the Imperial War Museum, and even modern white cube galleries, so you’ll have to plan out your choices wisely.

One can’t-miss is the British Museum, a temple to art and culture that’s so vast it dwarfs even Buckingham Palace at 990,000-square-feet. Snag a map (you’ll need one) and mosey through exhibitions depicting the past 2 million years, including Roman gladiators, Stonehenge, Egyptian mummies, Hindu goddesses, and even the Rosetta Stone. Then savour the culinary arts at Great Court Restaurant for afternoon tea, butter scones, and Yorkshire rhubarb tarts.

FenlioQ/Shutterstock
FenlioQ/Shutterstock
FenlioQ/Shutterstock

If you like wandering into old rooms fully reconstructed from a different era, you’ll want to see the Victoria & Albert Museum, aka the V&A. You’ll also find royal jewels here, as well as gowns, the intersection of art and fashion, hallways of stained glass windows, and enormous rooms packed with columns and sculptures, for 360 degrees of wandering in a world of 3D art. It’s also right next door the Natural History Museum, where you can see colossal elephant skulls and dinosaur bones in a magical, cathedral-like setting.

For fantastic contemporary art, the Tate Modern sits in an industrial warehouse building and always manages to intrigue with light shows, audio visual displays, and generally boundary-pushing art. The museum is free for the majority of art, like Picasso and Surrealism to Aboriginal art from Australia, though sometimes tickets are required for special exhibits, like for one of Yayoi Kusama’s immersive Infinity Mirror Rooms.

Fitz's bar
Fitz’s bar
Fitz’s bar

Drink somewhere that isn’t a pub

Beyond Buckingham Palace and Shakespearean lore, if there’s one thing London is known for, it’s pubs. This is a drinking town, and for centuries, most of that swilling has taken place at corner pubs typified by polished wood, cozy corners, and pints of bitter British IPAs. As charming as that is, they’re a dime-a-dozen in London, and you won’t have to look hard to check that off your list every single day. Even if you start at the pub, it’s worthwhile to advance onward throughout the night or on different evenings to explore some the more offbeat drinking destinations in a city teeming with singular bars.

On the newer front, Hithe & Seek is a beautiful wine bar overlooking the north bank of the River Thames. The chic spot is basically the antithesis of a pub, swapping sudsy pints for esoteric natural wines, veggie-centric small plates, and plush furniture in date-night-worthy digs. The curated wine list is divvied into two sections: one with more familiar varietals, and the other containing undiscovered novelties like Canadian rosé, Welsh Blanc de Noir, Slovenian Sauvignon Blanc, and Chinese Cabernet Sauvignon. The shareable food menu follows suit with adventurous bites like mackerel tartare with black garlic ketchup, charred baby corn with funky huitlacoche mayo, and buttery burrata with pickled wild strawberries and 25-year-aged balsamic vinegar.

For a sensory cocktail experience, linger at Fitz’s Bar, a glam lounge inside the castle-sized Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel in Bloomsbury. The decadent Gatsby-worthy bar-boasting 18th-century stained glass, ostrich feathers, and a Jazz Age mirrorball-offers inventive rotating themes, with the current list spotlighting cocktails inspired by emotions and colours. The menu is like a drinkable Rorschach test, featuring different pages of distinct colours and patterns designed to connect with customers. You’re given a small blacklight to flash over the pages, above each drink description, which unveils hidden personality traits. For instance, if you order the floral and rosy Bodice Ripper-made with rum, passion fruit, kumquat liqueur, tomato wine, and pomegranate-you’re a passionate romantic. But if you’re ordering something called Bodice Ripper, you probably already knew that.

Yard Bar
Yard Bar
Yard Bar

London is also known as one of the most queer-friendly cities in the world, rife with LGBTQIA-friendly bars from late-night clubs to jovial gay pubs. One of the most unique, though, is The Yard Bar, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it courtyard hidden down an alley in Soho. Bedecked with fountains and Grecian-style statues, the queer-centric space feels more mature than most nearby alternatives, with friendly bartenders shaking up expert espresso martinis.

For craft beer in a non-pub setting, it doesn’t get any more un-pub-like than The Birds, a modern East End tavern that leans into whimsy with Alfred Hitchcock-themed decor, dog shows, and quiz nights. The family-friendly beer bar, equipped with a tented Aviary Garden, even offers vegan riffs on pub staples like banana blossom “fish” and chips, seitan and ale pie, alongside a lineup of rotating beers mostly from nearby Laine Brew Co.

Mallow Restaurant
Mallow Restaurant
Mallow Restaurant

Trade fish & chips for doughnuts, tempeh, and watercress soup

From fish & chips and meaty Sunday roasts to black pudding and shepherd’s pie, London isn’t lacking in timeworn culinary traditions, nor in celebrity chefs, tasting menu temples, and contemporary restaurants shifting the paradigm of English dining traditions. But to limit yourself to a fried slab of haddock and heap of chips would be to miss out on the international culinary capital that London is.

Take Mallow, an entirely plant-based restaurant that serves up dazzlingly inventive, Insta-worthy plates in a boho-chic space. The menu is seasonal and internationally inspired, from labneh with walnut kataifi and leek-cheddar croquettes with black butter ketchup to buttermilk “chicken” sandwiches with cacio e pepe mayo and tempeh pad woon sen with peanut dust.

Just across the river, 14 Hills is a sexy stunner on the 14th floor of Fen Court, decked out like an indoor jungle with tropical plants and pops of pink and turquoise. The intricate dishes are just as vibrant, like harissa-seasoned tuna with lime yogurt, chorizo-crusted pork chops with piperade, and miso-glazed eggplant with pickled shallots. Don’t sleep on the cocktails, either, like the Gentleman’s Club, made with Woodford Reserve bourbon fat-washed with salted butter, maple syrup, barrel-aged oak bitters, infused with spiced smoke, and topped with a chocolate cigar.

14 Hills
14 Hills
14 Hills

Any restaurant called Art|Yard Bar and Kitchen is bound to be aesthetically pleasing, and indeed, this seasonally driven modern British spot traffics in dishes that are as visually appealing as they are delicious. Quieter and more underrated than most contemporary British restaurants in town, this sleeper hit slings walnut hummus crudites, supergrains salads with vegan feta, burrata with Spanish black truffles and honey, and potatoes gussied up with nasturtiums and purple broccoli.

For something sweet, London’s doughnut scene is popping. This is especially true of the fluffy, sugar-dusted and custard-filled varieties. Taste for yourself at Bread Ahead Bakery at Borough Market, where the famed, freshly fried fritters come stuffed with buttery praline, lemon curd, vanilla custard, and sea salt caramel with honeycomb. Then there’s St. John Bakery in Neal’s Yard, owned by the same folks behind arguably one of the most famed and influential restaurants in London, St. John. The tiny bakery and bottle shop features bread and other pastries, but it’s particularly known for its filled-to-order doughnuts-order the velvety chocolate custard and risk having all other doughnuts ruined for you forever.

@bricklanevintage
@bricklanevintage
@bricklanevintage

Hunt for under-the-radar shops

Shops abound beyond mega-destinations like Harrods, the retail-lined stretch of Oxford Street, and the adorable Apple Market in centrally located Covent Garden.

After you’ve gorged on doughnuts at Bread Ahead, amble around the rest of Borough Market, a sprawling outdoor food market that’s been in operation for centuries. Located in Southwark on the south bank of the River Thames, this place is like a farmers’ market on steroids, featuring a dizzying array of vendors, prepared foods, sundries, and samples. It’s the perfect place for a foodie to get lost following the fragrance of risotto, olive oil, seafood, bread, cheese, tacos, and so much more. For Londoners, it’s the dreamiest place to shop for dinner-for the rest of us, it’s like an edible treasure hunt.

If you’re shopping for something to wear, London abounds with vintage wares that are at once vibrantly unique and economical. Soho and Shoreditch are two neighbourhoods particularly populated by thrifty storefronts. In the former, check out shops like Beyond Retro, Reign Vintage, Cow, and Rokit for everything from flame-printed capes and sequined berets to zebra jackets and faux fur shawls. In Shoreditch on the East End, Brick Lane is a prime stretch of vintage shops, street art, and restaurants. Each block boasts another funky storefront, like Brick Lane Vintage, Hunky Dory, Cream Vintage, and Here After.

London is also a great place to be a bookworm. Bibliophiles should spend time at Foyles‘s flagship Charing Cross store. Basically the FAO Schwartz of books, it was once the largest bookstore on Earth, boasting five massive floors filled with enough books to make the Beauty and The Beast library look paltry. There’s also a cafe, stocked with wine and beer, on the top floor.

Southwark Playhouse
Southwark Playhouse
Southwark Playhouse

Finish your visit with fringe theatre

Along with food, museums, and palatial meccas, theatre is another well-known facet of London’s cultural landscape. But while heavy-hitting productions like Les Miserables and Sweeney Todd are all worth the hassle and cost, there are so many other lesser-known performances that are just as epic-at a fraction of the price.

Tucked off the main drag of London’s glowing theatre district is one of the city’s longest running shows: The Mousetrap. An Agatha Christie whodunnit, this fun murder mystery show will keep you giggling and guessing over the course of two hours, as actors shuffle around on a stage set in a wintry B&B. Housed in the historic and impossibly charming St. Martin’s Theatre, it’s an ideal way to spend an afternoon matinee while sipping Prosecco from the on-site bar.

You’ll also find a number of smaller and excellent performances at places like Southwark Playhouse, Finborough Theatre, and The Vaults (located in underground tunnels). In fact, small theatres are almost as abundant as pubs, and a must-experience in London is fringe theatre. You’ll be lucky if you catch one done in the upstairs space above a pub, like Upstairs at the Gatehouse or Theatre503, where guests often sit on cushions in a circle around actors who can easily engage with the audience. Just don’t be late to any shows in London; there’s a strict lock the door policy as soon as the show starts.

The Westin London City (London, UK)
The Westin London City (London, UK)
The Westin London City (London, UK)

Beat the jet lag at this wellness-minded hotel

With travel restrictions dwindling, that means international trips are ramping back up, but that also means jet lag is ramping back up as well. Which is why the wellness-oriented The Westin London City hotel might be your best bet for a trip to London.

The hotel’s all-day restaurant, Mosaic, specifically focuses on healthful dishes and ingredients-like a broccolini-clad quinoa salad and fresh pasta filled with silken pumpkin puree-that naturally help with jet lag. Also, turn-down service involves nightly teapots and nourishing snacks that promote restful sleep, like roasted chickpeas and kiwi-filled fruit salads.

On-staff “run concierges” guide guests on morning jogs along the river, there’s an elegant indoor pool designed like a modern Roman bath house, and the hotel is home to the UK’s first Heavenly Spa. There you can experience unique treatments like the Meridian Flow Golden Facial, wherein gold coated micro-magnetic pearls are part of a gilded facial treatment designed to plump the skin.

Sure, London is home to iconic hotels like Claridges, The Ritz, and The Savoy, but there’s only one place in town willing to slather your face in gold for the sake of your well-being.

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Matt Kirouac is a recent transplant to Oklahoma City after two and a half years of RV living, Matt Kirouac is a travel writer working on a memoir about the epic ups and downs from life on the road as a gay couple-and the lessons learned along the way. Follow him on IG @mattkirouacofficial.

Travel

Find Volcanoes, Wine Islands, and Thrills in Auckland

One minute you're on a ferry to wine island, the next you could be bungy jumping off of New Zealand's tallest tower.

things to do auckland
Photo: Natasha Bazika

The city of Auckland is a free spirit. It is easily the most geographically blessed city in New Zealand. Within an hour, you could be tasting wines on an island, chasing more than 50 volcanoes, or leaving footprints on a black sand beach. Keep in mind, that Auckland is the country’s most populous city but certainly doesn’t feel cramped.

Instead, the city is buzzing with trendy eateries, boutique shops, quiet streets, and expansive green parks. Around every corner, you’re never too far from something beautiful to see.

From world-class wines to kickass thrills, here’s where to find what you’re looking for in Auckland.

things to do auckland

Seek the thrills

If you thought Queenstown was the home of the adrenaline rush, wait until you see Auckland. In the middle of the city, you can jump off a sky tower or a bridge, zip through the jungle, and scream on a high-octane jet boat ride. The Sky Tower, which can be seen from every corner of Auckland is more than just a landmark. Take a ride to the top and sign up for a Skywalk, where you can wander around the platform, which just so happens to be 192 metres above the ground. If that doesn’t get your heart pumping, you can always jump off it. It’s New Zealand’s highest jump, and can only be described as just like being a movie stuntman, or a superhero. 

The other iconic place to jump off of is the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Unlike the Sky Jump, this one will have thrill seekers dipping their hands and head in the ocean. It’s a 40-metre Bungy, and a great experience. Although, if you’d rather still take advantage of the bridge views, book a climb, which takes you right to the top for sweeping views of the city.

Another way to take in the city is via Auckland Adventure Jet, which takes passengers for spins and tricks on the water.

Just a 35-minute boat ride from Auckland is Waiheke Island, where thrill-seekers will find Eco Zip Adventures. Across three separate lines, you will zip high above a working vineyard and lush, ancient forest canopies, soaking up incredible views back to the city and beyond.

things to do auckland
Photo: Natasha Bazika

Sip wine on Waiheke Island

Whether you want to spend a weekend or a day, Waiheke Island is a must-visit. It’s around a 35-minute ferry ride to the island from Auckland, and once there you can hop from winery to winery. The island is quite large and the terrain is rugged, so trust the experts and book a tour with Ananda Tours. The small, family-run business is owned by Jenny who has been on the island since before the vines were planted and she’s the best person to seek out when getting the Waiheke Island experience. You can book a private tour or group tour, and they can be catered to your preferences and tastes. A few standout stops include Kennedy Point, where they produce fully certified organic Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay wines. You can also state estate-grown olive oils, which the island has plenty of. Enjoy a tasting on the deck with views of Kennedy Bay, or enjoy a picnic under the olive grove.

For the best views on the island, head to Batch Vineyard. As the highest vineyard on Waiheke, you will be treated to panoramic views of the rolling hills, blue waters, and even Auckland city. Their sparkling wine, Blanc de Blancs is a must-try.

When it comes to lunch, there are two spots to choose from. The first is Stonyridge, which is also where you can taste premium award-winning wines, including a Cabernet blend Larose—New Zealand’s cult wine. The second is Mudbrick, a romantic spot, set amongst beautiful gardens with even more spectacular views, and a bar and bistro serving up some of the best dishes on the island.

things to do auckland
Photo: Natasha Bazika

Eat your way through the city

Auckland’s dining scene isn’t pretentious, but the food quality is good enough to rival the best restaurants in New York—but the city doesn’t like to brag. Instead, it celebrates good food in every setting, from waterside restaurants to trendy Mexican eateries in a shopping centre.

Inca, is helmed by critically acclaimed chef, Nic Watt. Inspired by Watt’s travels to Peru, diners can expect to find Nikkei cuisine, including spicy chicken karaage, hand-pressed corn tacos filled with pork cheek and spicy tuna. You wouldn’t expect to find such a good restaurant in a shopping centre, but there it is.

Another great trendy restaurant is Hello Beasty, which is home to the famous, prawn and crab toast. This work of art starts with a slice of crispy deep-fried bread, smothered with prawn and crab mousse. On top, there are slices of wagyu, drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce. Although, there are plenty of other great dishes on the menu, including a Sichuan tuna tartare, Korean fried cauliflower, and potstickers swimming in chilli oil. Try the yuzu mandarin soda if you’re looking for something fizzy to go with dinner or lunch.

Deli De Bossi is a recent opening and already becoming a favourite breakfast spot. Apart from coffee, you can get all kinds of toasted sandwiches, filled with everything from mushrooms to hams and salamis.

Another iconic eat-hit list is Parade in Ponsonby. Here, the burgers are served in a pretzel bun and filled with chicken or beef.

Most of these restaurants are casual, but if you’re looking for something a little fancy, book a table at Kingi. Taking cues from Sydney’s own Josh Niland, the dishes at Kingi focus on sustainable seafood, caught locally by local fishermen. The blue cod wings are a must. They’re covered in burnt lime and served with a ranch sauce for dipping. The stracciatella with feijoa is also a standout dish, that’s light and a great start to a meal. Inside, the dining room is cosy with bench seats, fire heaters, and exploded brick walls.

After dinner, walk down the street and grab dessert from Miann. The flavour of the day is always chocolate, and they serve up seriously good desserts. Try the tasting platter for a piece of each pastry on the menu of the day, or pick one that is most desirable to you. Although, the tasting platter is only $23 and you’d be missing out on tasting a little of everything they offer if you didn’t get it.

things to do auckland
Photo: Natasha Bazika

Discover art, culture, and movie magic

One of the best ways to learn about a city or country is by visiting its top museums and galleries. The Auckland War Memorial Museum sits atop a hill in Auckland’s Domain, which also happens to be the city’s oldest volcano. This museum is one of the most important as it tells the story of New Zealand’s natural and military history. Take a self-guided walking tour to explore at your own pace. There are plenty of interactive features for the kids and adults. The museum also hosts exhibitions. An ancient Greek exhibition is currently on display and is one of the largest exhibitions the British Museum has ever loaned to Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Art lovers, spend a few hours wandering around the Auckland Art Gallery, Toi O Tāmaki. You will find artworks from around the world, including a Picasso or two. Although, the exhibitions are a real treat. Yona Lee’s, An Arrangement of Five Rooms is an incredible installation, spanning multiple rooms, which you can sit on and touch—to immerse yourself in the artwork. Declaration: A Pacific Feminist Agenda, is another must-see exhibition exploring the most pressing issues of our times: climate change and resilience, tino rangatiratanga (sovereignty), activism and social justice.

While art and history museums are insightful and a great way to educate a visitor, there are some other museum types that can be a lot of fun and interactive. Weta Workshop Unleashed is a new Auckland attraction and an incredible experience you don’t want to miss. Step into the world of filmmaking, explore how horror, sci-fi, and fantasy films are made and at times feel as if you’re in a movie. Comedic tour guides will introduce you to movies that are in production and explain every aspect, from prop making to effects, and more. There are even mysteries to be solved, making it fun for the whole family. It’s truly an unmissable experience in Auckland, and one of the best, unique tours you might ever experience.

things to do auckland
Photo: @sidwithlens

Walk on a volcano

Erupting over 100,000 years ago, Pukekawa is one of Auckland’s oldest and most popular volcanoes. Today, the Domain parkland is the remains of the explosion crater and most of the surrounding tuff ring of Pukekawa. Most days you will see people running around the park, families picnicking on the weekend, and tourists snapping photos by the pond or under a magnificent tree, grown from an experiment conducted by the Auckland Acclimatisation Society. Enter from one end, enjoy a picturesque walk, and exit through the historic Parnell shopping and restaurant area. On a sunny day, the atmosphere is charged with romance, but even in the rain, it’s a moody, beautiful sight to see. The Auckland War Memorial Museum’s large neo-Greek architecture is also a standout, commanding top-of-the-mountain views.

where to stay in auckland

Where to stay in Auckland

If you’re looking to sleep on top of the world, you can’t beat a room in Cordis Auckland’s new Pinnacle Tower. From the pillowy-cloud-like beds, guests have sweeping views of the city from the Sky Tower to Rangitoto and Mount Eden. Enjoy a breakfast buffet in the Eight restaurant downstairs, and canapes and drinks in the Cordis Club lounge on the 14th floor. There’s also a health club, spa, and swimming pool. The hotel is within walking distance to some of the best eateries in Auckland, making it a prime option.

Although, if you’re looking to stay in the heart of Britomart, Auckland’s hub of shopping, eating, and drinking, then The Hotel Britomart is where you want to be. From its exterior of hand-made bricks to its beautifully timber-lined rooms, The Hotel Britomart does detail like nobody else. Plus, the best of downtown waterfront Auckland is just outside your front door. With 5 Green Star Design and Build ratings from the NZ Green Building Council, The Hotel Britomart is the country’s ONLY 5 Green Star hotel, and has sustainability built in from the ground up. 

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