Papeete Travel Guide

The political heart of Tahiti and her islands, the bustling capital of Papeete lines the Boulevard Pomare waterfront, spreading several blocks inland. Most of the key services can be found in Papeete, including government and police offices, hospitals, banks and telecommunication centres. Down at the lively waterfront of Papeete, luxury liners and yachts share the Papeete harbour with freighters, and a myriad of outdoor cafes and sidewalk vendors selling local crafts create a vibrant atmosphere.

Papeete is growing rapidly, but is still small enough to explore on foot. A good place to begin is Papeete Market, or Le Marché, with its profusion of flowers, produce and crafts. At night, Papeete earns its reputation as the heart of hedonism in the South Seas, with nightclubs offering everything from disco to 'tamure' - Tahiti's sensual national dance. Beyond the city, visitors can go walking in the Papenoo Valley, visit Lake Vaihiria or climb Mount Marau for stunning views of the islands. Other activities include scenic flights, 4WD safaris, walking tours and lagoon excursions.

Take a travel holiday/vacation to Papeete and discover the political heart of Tahiti.

Population: 80,000 
Area: Papeete occupies a narrow coastal strip on the north-west coast of Tahiti Nui 
Climate: Sunny and pleasant year-round. Average daytime temperatures are about 26ºC
Hot season: November to March.
Rainy season: Most rain falls during the most humid months from December to February.
Cooler season: April to October.
Major attractions: Papeete Market, Tahiti Festival, Tomb of Pomare V, Chinese Temple, Lagoonarium, Pearl Museum, Museum of Tahiti & The Islands, Nightlife The Belvedere, Taharaa Saddle, Point Venus Lighthouse 

  • Heiva! Tahiti (Tahiti Festival)
    The city's lively festival is held annually in July, when a carnival atmosphere presides all month. Polynesian competitions are combined with European sports and Asian arts, and there are traditional demonstrations. Mini Hevia events are held on other islands in August.
  • Le Marché (Papeete Market)
    The heart of the city, this colourful market features flowers, tropical fruits and Tahitian and Chinese vegetables. Local crafts include dancing costumes, hats, bags, shell necklaces, pareos (sarongs) and wall hangings.
    Open daily from 5am-6pm.
  • Les Roulottes
    Eating al fresco at Papeete's famous mobile diners is an ideal way to take in the nightlife of the waterfront Boulevard Pomare. The vans line streets from the car park to the Moorea ferry quay, and have become a city icon.
  • Te Fare Tahiti Nui
    This Polynesian cultural centre on Blvd Pomare stages regular exhibitions and events.
  • Pearl Museum
    The world's only pearl museum explores the history of the black pearl, with unique pieces from the collection of Robert Wan. Rue Jeanne d'Arc, Papeete.
  • Chinese Temple
    A classic oriental temple dedicated to Kan Kung, a legendary war chief. Opposite the Mamao Territorial Hospital, Papeete.
  • Nightlife
    Papeete swings into action at night, with plenty of sidewalk bars and nightclubs to choose from. Some clubs close at midnight during the week and stay open until 4am at the weekends.
  • Lagoonarium
    This underwater observatory has four fish parks featuring tropical fish, sharks, turtles, moral eels and coral. There are shark feeding shows daily at noon. PK 11, 4 Punaauia.