My favourite city and my home. To say I love Wellington would be an understatement. There is no place in the world I would have rather grown up in and I so many people I know feel the same way.
There is something very special about our very pretty city so when I found a few old photos I had, I wanted to give you all a glimpse.
Vibe: It’s perceived as a very arty, ‘hipster’ kind of place and to be fair, it probably is. Relaxed, stylish and friendly. Very liberal, there are so many artists and musicians. Everyone is a coffee snob. Lots of pedestrians and cafes and cool clothes shops. Surrounded by water. Everyone sitting outside enjoying their own company. Pretty go with the flow, it’s not a ‘big city’ kind of place but most people in Wellington are pretty proud to be there.
Highlights: “Nothing beats Wellington on a good day.” – Historical Quote
It’s true. When the sun is out and wind dies down a bit the city is out of this world. Everything in central city is easy to reach via foot. If you feel like venturing out, the suburbs have some excellent cafes, a good beach and amazing op-shops so still worth the trip. There are so many cafes and cheap eats and places to get a good meal. Beaches! So many beautiful spots! Free galleries and museums to go and look at. Everywhere makes a good coffee. The library is really good which is something I didn’t value until I moved away. A lot of places with a good view. There’s always some art show or performance or gig or just something on. Colour! In the streets and the clothing and the vibe. The people as a whole are relaxed and hospitable.
Lowlights: Everybody lives up a mountain so have fun walking. It is cold a lot of the time – like really cold. Also windy so say farewell to umbrellas and figure out a way to adapt to the phenomena of horizontal rain. People tend to know each other – which is good or bad depending on who it is. Narrow roads and shitty parking – it definitely caters to pedestrians. It doesn’t really have big city attractions – you’re probably not going to get all the international headliners or big festivals passing through. No super malls if you’re a mall kind of person.
I asked everyone I am sitting with right now for help and that is literally all we could come up with.
Must Do If Visiting:
- Climb Mount Victoria for the best views.
- Go for a drive around the coast and spot surfers.
- Walk around the waterfront (at night is v pretty too)
- Listen to some live music at the Laundry or the Matterhorn or like anywhere on the street tbh.
- Go to the Night Markets! !!! ! !!
- Have a nice stroll through the Botanical Gardens.
- Te Papa is actually quite a good time if you want to be a tourist.
- Best Café – Floraditas, which coincidentally I also wrote about here.
(though Nikau a close second)
- Best Cocktails – Chow (also my fav place for dinner)
- Best High Class spot: Charley Noble
- Best Fish and Chips – Mount Vic Chippery
- Best Cheap Eats:
Malaysian – I like Satay Kingdom on Left Bank but this is strongly contested.
Satay Village is popular with my friends.
The Me Kong for Vietnamese, so good if you’re feeling run down and want a healthy pick me up!
Sushi from Yoshi (half price after 3!)
Dumplings are really, really good at HK BBQ.
- Best Hot Chocolate – Scopa (also $10 Margarita on Tuesday delicious!)
- Most Reliable Café to have brunch and catch up – Fidel’s in the city, Baobab in Newtown or The Larder in Miramar.
(please note these are just my favourites, there are many, many more places to eat.)
New World not Countdown (unless its the new one in Newtown).
The Public Library is in the middle of the city. It has bathrooms, water fountains, power points, wifi and couches. Also books! If you’re waiting for someone or you’re in need of any of these necessities 10/10 recommend.
Left Bank looks shabby but it has the best cheap Malaysian eateries (in my opinion).
Go on foot or catch the bus. It’s a better way to see the city.
Moore Wilsons does whole roast chickens, lambs and peking duck that you can pretend you made yourself to impress people. Also the best orange juice and fresh produce.
Cuba Street for specialist fashion, one offs and op shops. Lambton Quay for designer and chain stores.
Dress warm. DRESS WARM. DRESS. WARM.
There are night markets on Friday and maybe Saturday nights. They’re cheap and delicious and I went every week for almost a year when I lived there and it was such a good time.
Support Wellington Phoenix FC xx
Admittedly Wellington is not everybody’s cup of tea. Personally I’ve had some of the best times of my life but also it’s where I’m from so I am probably biased towards loving it. I think the thing to take away is:
Embrace the people, not matter how much they differ from you. Embrace the fact you will spend too much money on coffee and food and beverages. Embrace that the weather is cold and awful more than half the time. Embrace spending time in your own company. Embrace and enjoy.
My favourite thing about Wellington is no matter how much of shit day it is, there will always be people having a good time. Outdoor festivals and events will still be packed with people wearing rain jackets and somehow managing to balance their kids and umbrellas and food. People are struggling to walk against the wind but they’re still sipping their coffee and smiling.
It takes more than a spot of rain to ruin a good day and that’s the kind of energy I want to take with me through the rest of my life. It’s the kind of collective emotion and feeling you don’t learn to describe until you have to leave it.
My advice: Go and experience it for yourself.
Probably catch you there.