10 things to do on a rainy day in Wellington

10 things to do on a rainy day in Wellington

I like Wellington. It has the advantage over other cities that it once saved me from a horrible road trip. The first time I arrived in the capital of New Zealand I was so happy to escape from some people who didn’t like me – and vice versa.  Wellington was the bright light at the end of a not-so-nice trip, the place where our roads would finally separate and therefore I will always love Wellington.

So that’s that, I like Wellington, Wellywood, that windy city in New Zealand. Not just because it was my saviour, but also because it is artistic, cute, friendly and last but not least: walkable.

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure to spend my birthday in Wellington. It was the third time I was there and I was very happy to discover the city a bit more. My last visit was limited to one day to see AC/DC perform in the stadium. This weekend I would take my time to visit a lot!

wellington visitAnd that’s what I did, with the help from my partner-in-crime. For my birthday Nico had made a list of all cute and cool cafes, bars and restaurants in Wellington. Places I would enjoy and that would be good for the blog. Perfect gift!

When we got off the plane it was raining like crazy. Big puddles everywhere, but that didn’t turn us off. It was a rainy, drizzling weekend, but we managed to amuse ourselves really well. Here’s a list of 10 great things to do on a rainy weekend in Wellington!

1. Have breakfast or lunch at Egmont Eatery


Egmont Eatery Wellington
Have a stylish lunch!

Egmont Eatery is quite new in Wellington. It is a young and modern spot with great food. You don’t notice it when you’re there, but until a year ago it used to be an old industrial carpark! It has been transformed into a multi-level, light-filled cafe. Great service and I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but all the waiters were pretty.

Of course the looks of the waiters is not the most important in liking a cafe or restaurant.. (right?) So let’s get back to business: the food! I ordered an avocado and bocconcini toast.  Everything with avocado does the trick for me, but this toast had just that bit more. They also care about serving it nicely and I appreciate that.

egmont eatery
Avocado + bocconcini = win

Nico had home made cornbread with spicy beans and an avocado salad. Good too, but my toast definitely won!

Where? 11 Egmont St, Wellington 6011

2. Visit the best museum in New Zealand: Te Papa

Te papa Wellington
Get lost in Te Papa exhibition

I love the Te Papa museum in Wellington. It is HUGE. There are so many different exhibitions about the interesting things in life. Everybody will find something in their alley. You can check out the underwater world with the colossal squid, you can discover the outdoor Bush City or you can learn more about the Maori culture and about the historical Gay and Lesbian protests. Don’t forget to go all the way upstairs, where you find the latest art exhibitions.

Te Papa has so much to offer and it is all FREE. It is great for kids and adults.

Where? 55 Cable St, Wellington 6011

3. Get stuffed in the cutest dumpling restaurant House of Dumplings


House of dumplings wellington
Love the interior at the House of Dumplings

This place has lots of character. The dark timber walls make you think you’re in an ancient Chinese shop, but instead of an old and bearded Chinese man you see a charming cook.

It is a very small place, not convenient to find a seat, but it adds to its charm. House of Dumplings has a large variety of choice and all dumplings are handmade in Wellington. Another plus is that the restaurant cares about the environment. All their ingredients are local and they use 100% natural, free range, and MSG free ingredients. And the majority of their packaging (90%) is biodegradable.

dumplings wellington
My own little boat of dumplings

I’m also a major fan of their sauces, self made with secret ingredients, but so good! This place manages to incorporate culture, quality, charm, ethics and taste all in tiny dumplings.

Where? 117 Taranaki Street, Wellington

4. Discover fun and colourful gadgets in Matchbox


Matchbox shop wellingtonCheck out this unique and vibrant shop in Cuba Street. There is a lot to discover in this little boutique. Funny postcards, DIY-packages, happy mugs, interesting books and stationary etc. The list is just endless. Time flies because there is so much you want to look closer at. It’s a great place to find inspiration too!

Matchbox shop wellington
Discover the latest art in their exhibition area

Definitely check out the back of the shop, it is an exhibition area. I love the mix this shop offers!

Where? 166 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

5. Have a cocktail or tapas in Havana Bar


Havana bar wellingtonThis is a cocktail bar and restaurant that refuses to give in to the big boys. You will find it ‘squashed’ between high rise. It’s such a unique sight. Havana Bar exists out of two cute little colourful houses.

Havana bar wellington

They went all the way in the decoration and it pays off.  It almost feels like you’re in Cuba! The houses used to be historic Te Aro workingmen’s cottages and date from the late 19th century. The Havana bar embraces all things Cuban: its decoration, history, music, rum, famous cigars and coffee.

Don’t be fooled, it might look small from the outside, but it is a big bar and restaurant. And that’s one of their strengths. You can just hop in for a beer and cocktail in the bar area or have a dinner in the fancier restaurant area.

Havana bar wellington


Where? 32a – 34 Wigan St, Wellington 6011

6. Catch a movie at Light House Cinema

lighthouse cinema wellington

I have a love for cute little cinemas, as you could read before on the blog. And in New Zealand there are many! Who would have thought?

Across the Havana Bar there is Light House Cinema. It is an independent, locally run Wellington business. Grab a glass of wine inside, get comfy with your lover in the double seats and enjoy the movie! This arthouse cinema is definitely a hidden gem for movie lovers!

Where? 29 Wigan St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

7. Have a French dinner in Boulcott Street Bistro


Boulcott bistro wellingtonDo you want to go on a quick holiday to France? Have dinner at Boulcott Street Bistro. The good food and wine makes up for its unoriginal name.

The restaurant is a bit outside the main area and almost hidden between high rise. It’s definitely a must if you’re looking for some fine dining in an intimate and charming atmosphere.

Where? 99 Boulcott St, Wellington, 6011

8. Watch a show in Circa Theatre


circa theatre wellington
Eye-catching theatre

On the waterfront, next to the Te Papa museum you find Circa Theatre. It is the leading venue for the theatrical arts. The building is an eye-catcher. I love the colours and the style.

Inside it is cosy and small with great noise control. When we were catching a show there was a music festival was on, right outside of the building. We didn’t hear a thing!

I can definitely recommending watching a show in Circa Theatre, it’s way more intimate than in the bigger venues.

Where? 1 Taranaki Street, Wellington 

9. Have a cocktail in The Library

pic by Wellington NZ
pic by WellingtonNZ.com

The library wellingtonI love it that when you google ‘the library Wellington’ a bar shows up and not the public library. But you’ll soon understand why.

Impress your friends and travel companions by guiding them to this hidden bar. The Library is located on busy Courtenay Place, but not easy to find. You enter by going through a small door and going up some stairs.

On the first floor you suddenly see a door full of books; that opens the door to another world. The world of books.  The interior

The cocktails are a bit pricey, but worth it!

Level 1/53 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

10. Stroll around


cuba street wellingtonThe best way to discover Wellington is by walking it. Even if the weather is a bit drooly, go for it! Take an umbrella, put on your warm coat and enjoy the city. This is one of my favourite things of Wellington, you can walk it! Everything is relatively close and the neighbourhoods are nicely attached to each other. Compared to Christchurch this is the walhalla.

Keep your eyes open on your discovery of Wellington. There’s a lot of graffiti, some of it hidden, some of it not.
cuba street wellingtonWhat do you like about discovering cities? Is there something you check out in every city you visit?

4 thoughts on “10 things to do on a rainy day in Wellington

  1. I love the library bar! What a great idea, would totally be my local spot if I lived in the area!!

    Also, for anyone visiting Pittsburgh, they have one too 😉

    1. Yeah it is such a cool spot!! Good to know Pittsburgh has one too 🙂 Is it also called The Library?

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