For a city that packs around half a million people into a beautiful harbourside location that is renowned for its easy-to-walk-around size, there is no wonder Wellington bars find themselves in every nook, cranny, alleyway and attic available. Far from feeling like you are on an overcrowded pub crawl, discovering bars in Wellington is more like an inner city treasure hunt where the prizes are top rate cocktails, wines and beers (most likely locally brewed too).

From waterfront bars with picturesque views of the harbour, to hidden rooftop gems in the heart of Cuba Street, to the bustling Courtenay Place scene that comes alive with party-goers on the weekend, bars in the capital provide a range of environments that any late night enthusiast can appreciate.

It pays to do your research before you head off, as some Wellington bars pride themselves on their hard-to-find nature, but that just makes settling in with a drink there even more exciting. Got a date to impress? Find your nearest cocktail bar and let the atmosphere and gracious bartenders do half the seducing. Heading out with mates who like a beer? The sheer number of local Wellington breweries, filleries, tasting and tap rooms should mean you have no trouble finding something to suit your taste, and what is better than drinking Wellington beer in the very city that is home to the people who made it? Consider yourself a wine connoisseur? Then you’ll be pleased to hear Wellington has its very own urban winery and every self-respecting bar in the area will also be serving up a fine selection of local and international drops.

Never a shortage of things going on, the common complaint here is simply ‘there’s too much to do, too little time’. Keep an eye out for music gigs, slam poetry nights, comedy and quiz nights - all hosted within the Wellington bar scene.

Loud or hushed, dancing or sitting, bars in Wellington cater to all the different facets of big city life, and so whether you are out for a good time, a long time or a bit of both, start your night (and maybe end it too) at some of the capital’s friendly evening joints where you are likely to feel right at home from the minute you take your first sip.