Your Trip to Papeete, the Capital of Tahiti

The capital of Tahiti, Papeete, is unique in the South Pacific: it presents visitors with a sophisticated mix of French lifestyle and Polynesian hospitality on the most populated and commercial island of French Polynesia.

As the gateway to Tahiti and the 118 islands of French Polynesia, the experience of many foreign visitors to the South Pacific begins in the capital. Papeete is where planes land at Faa'a, French Polynesia's only international airport, and where cruise ships like Paul Gauguin board and end their island itineraries.

Discover The Best of Papeete, A Complete Paradise to Visit!

Spending time in Papeete

Some visitors treat Tahiti as a starting point for the rest of French Polynesia, spending time between flights and ferry trips in Papeete. Keep in mind that almost 100 percent of Papeete residents speak French, so you may want to improve your language skills or invest in a translation app before traveling here.

In the center, the capital attracts visitors day and night with shops, restaurants, and nightclubs. At night, Vai'ete Square and Papeete's dock area are transformed into an open-air park and carnival, lively with music, dancing, and gourmet food trucks along the esplanade, offering a variety of items. Affordable including crepes, fried steaks, fresh Chinese fish. food and pizza.

Back to nature

After a long flight, you may want nothing more than to stretch your legs. It is a good time to visit the Paofai Gardens. There are many picnic tables in this serene green space, where you can watch the boats dock in the harbor and watch the locals in canoes. Couples also enjoy Vaipahi's lush water gardens. Stroll through them to see a splendid variety of local flora. In the center, there is a lake with a waterfall. Also, the small Bougainville park is a good place for a picnic.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about the Tour of Papeete in Tahiti

Source: Erick Tseng

Shopping in Papeete

The best shops in French Polynesia are concentrated in the center of the capital, near the Marché Municipale (city market). The marché itself, an elegantly sky-lit indoor game room, delights boaters and negotiators.

Lovers of fine jewelry will find that the Robert WAN Pearl Museum stimulates their desire to own the real gem. Use French Polynesian francs for deals on black Tahitian pearls, gardenia-scented "monoi" beauty oil, and handcrafted Polynesian tchotchkes with shells and wood. The streets around Papeete are lined with luxury pearl boutiques and shops.

Culture and more in the capital of Tahiti

Couples who enjoy collecting art when traveling should visit Manua Tahitian Art Gallery in Papeete. The focus of the diverse collection of contemporary and ethnic art is the sculptural items by talented artists from French Polynesia. It also sells many smaller items that you can take home with you.

The urban attractions of the capital of Tahiti include several valuable museums. As of this writing, the Paul Gauguin Museum, which honored the visionary French painter who lived in Tahiti in the 1880s, is closed. Next door is the Harrison W. Smith Botanical Garden, planted by an MIT physics professor who moved to Tahiti. and became a botanist.

Know your story

Before Tahiti became synonymous with mesmerizing blue waters, pristine beaches, and romantic overwater bungalows, its atolls were used as a testing ground for atomic weapons. There is a monument on the edge of Papeete to the victims of the French nuclear tests that took place both in the atmosphere and underground.

And just beyond the capital, Polynesian villages encompass inviting coves, including Matavai Bay, where the real Bounty Riot took place against the abusive Captain William Bligh in 1788. Today, Tahiti's crystal-clear coastal lagoon offers safer water sports of all types.

Beauty involves Papeete

Beyond the coast of the capital, the emerald hills rise to tower peaks. "Mountain safaris" and eco-tours attract adventurers to discover Tahiti's lush valleys, rivers, waterfalls and wildlife.

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