Papeete Travel Guide

  • A view over Papeete, seen from the port.
    A view over Papeete, seen from the port.
    by petwouters
  • View over Papeete, taken late afternoon...
    View over Papeete, taken late...
    by petwouters
  • Sunset in Papeete - Moorea in the background
    Sunset in Papeete - Moorea in the...
    by petwouters

Papeete Highlights

  • Pro
    Helga67 profile photo

    Helga67 says…

     Nightlife, shopping, eating 

  • Con
    Helga67 profile photo

    Helga67 says…

     Noisy traffic jams 

  • In a nutshell
    Boomer69 profile photo

    Boomer69 says…

     If you arent' going there for your honeymoon, just keep on going to OZ or NZ 

Papeete Things to Do

  • Place Vaite

    An empty square during the day that hosts the very helpful visitor's center, at night this is transformed into a vast open air food court by vehicles known as Roullettes that roll up set up tables and chairs and serve a variety of Local and chinese food.

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  • Parc Bougainville

    This small park is across for the Territorial Assembly and has a nice stream and pond in it. Its a great peaceful place to hang out.

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  • War Memorial Park

    This is a memorial to all the Polynesians who served in WWI and WWII and gave there lives. Teh buildings behind used to be barracks for french troops.

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  • Town Hall (Mairie)

    The town hall is on Rue Paul Gaugin. It was built in 1990 and intended as a replica of the old Queen's palace

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  • To'ota Square

    This square is used for public performance including the yearly Hevia festival. It contains numeorus Tiki's also

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  • Territorial Assembly

    The seat of government for French Polynesia this building is both modern and unimposing. Its done in a traditional style and was built in the 1960's to replace the former building that was suffering from termite damage.

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  • Cathedral L'Immaculee

    This Catholic church was started in 1856 and completed in 1875 and is the main catholic church in French Polynesia.

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  • rent a car go exploring and snorkling

    Rent a car before you are in the Polynesan islands via internet(much cheaper) cars are limited.We used National car rentals.Papeete is the largest city of the islands , hairy driving ,but once out of the city beautiful.Many beaches to explore, great golfing, snorkling safe and excellent.rent a boat and guide of the pier 50 per person 4 hrs snorkle...

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  • rent a car go exploring and snorkling

    Rent a car before you are in the Polynesan islands via internet(much cheaper) cars are limited.We used National car rentals.Papeete is the largest city of the islands , hairy driving ,but once out of the city beautiful.Many beaches to explore, great golfing, snorkling safe and excellent.rent a boat and guide of the pier 50 per person 4 hrs snorkle...

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Papeete Hotels

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Papeete Restaurants

  • Good Bar in the Middle of Papeete

    This is a French pub near the ferries in downtown Papeete. Good place to sit around and people watch. Its also near the well known market where you can purchase any number of goods you might like. We just got some bar food, which was as good as we would have liked. But we tried a couple of the beers that they had on tap and they were all very...

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  • E mea maita'i roa teie!!

    Une expérience gastronomie during our last night in Papeete.We met up with Henri again and he recommended a taste of Asia at Restaurant Jimmy.It was a great local joint that served yummy Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese cuisine. It was a definite hit with the locals as the place was packed the night we were there.Spring rolls, curries.....everything...

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  • Great Chinese Food

    This restaurant was right next to our hotel. I was a bit skeptical about eating at a Chinese restaurant in Tahiti, but the food and atmosphere were wonderful. This restaurant also serves European cuisine, if you prefer that.

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  • A way to make time pass waiting for your...

    If you were like us...you transferred thru papeete to get to another island. Our flight left at 1 in the morning...and we caught the last flight from Moorea...which gave us 6 hours to spend in papeete!!!Not knowing where to go...we asked a local...and they suggested Coco's...and it was an excellent find. The restaurant is in Punaauia just outside...

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  • cheap eats

    Eating out on Tahiti and Moorea can be expensive but there is away around that. Roulottes are little carts, like lunch carts, that are set up in permanent spots. You can get ANYTHING at a roulotte depending on what they specialize in. Some specialize in Italian food and pizzas. Others seafood, and local cuisine. You can get a gourmet meal at a...

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  • Roulotte

    Every day around sunset time about 30 roulottes arrive at the Place Vaiete . These are mobile dining vans that serve hot meals until the wee hours of the morning. They provide good, fast food at reasonable prices. Some of them place tables and chairs beside the roulotte for more comfortable dining. You can order barbecue steaks, chicken and...

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Papeete Nightlife

  • Paradise by Night

    Papeete is considered to have French Polynesia's only urban scene. We made the most of our one night stay in this urban playground, and when the sun set and the lights came up....we observed a very interesting change in mode around the city.After spending weeks lounging in nothing but our pareos on the outer islands, it was time to put on the party...

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  • Papeete's nightlife

    Most of the bars, nightclubs and casinos are located in the heart of Papeete, along the waterfront street of Boulevard Pomare.The nightclubs usually charge an entry fee for men, which includes one drink, and unescorted ladies get in free most of the time. The nightclubs and casinos require proper attire. This means that women cannot wear shorts...

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  • Papeete Hotels

    16 Hotels in Papeete

    442 Reviews and Opinions

Papeete Transportation

  • Le Truck

    Le truck is a brightly painted wooden cabin mounted on the rear of a flatbed truck. In de cabin you will find wooden benches along each side of the cabin and sometimes one in the middle.Each Le Truck has a specific route, with the destination usually painted on the top or sides of the vehicle.The minimum fare is 120 CFP (1 EUR).They have started to...

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  • Taxi

    A taxi ride between the airport and downtown Papeete is 1500 CPF (12.50 EUR) during the day and 2500 CPF (21 EUR) between 8 pm and 6 am.In downtown you can find a taxi stand at the Vaima Center and at Mana Rock Cafe.

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Papeete Shopping

  • The best place to buy something to bring...

    a visit must be done, better very early in the morning when there are many flowers or for lunch time as there is a restaurant inside.I found lovely and delicius fruit there, I forgot the name...Sure, I must go back :-) Monoi oil has to be bought here.

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  • Public Market

    The public market is a great place to spend some time. It's a covered building with 2 floor.Downstairs you will find Tahitian mamas selling flowers, vegetables, fruit, fish and meat. Upstairs you mostly find the locally made products (pareos, seashells, woven hats and bags, ...).

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  • Shop till you drop

    Papeete is a good place for shopping. The entire downtown is full of shops and shopping centers. You can easily spend a whole day here for your last shopping before going home. Black Pearls, souvenir shops, arts and crafts, vanilla beans, Tahitian music, monoi oil, soaps and perfumes and much more. French Polynesia is expensive, but in comparison...

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Papeete Local Customs

  • Fire Show

    The fire shows range from dancing with torches and lit bolas to some shows that demonstrate fire walking.

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  • Even the dogs are laid back!

    Our time spent on Papeete reminded me so much of my days living in Hawaii. That local-style, laid back culture was something I had missed for so many years.On Papeete, time just goes so slowly.....even throughout all the traffic and tons of people on the streets, you still get a feel of that easy going, friendly, island culture.We were even...

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  • Flower

    People use having tiare flower at their ears and there is a meaning.A woman with a flower at left side means she is engaged and on right side means she is free.Equal for men BUT the flower must be facing back. Men who put the flower like a woman means to be looking for man.You can see flower anywhere, among the street, at restaurant and ... at...

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Papeete Warnings and Dangers

  • Helga67's Profile Photo
    Boulevard Pomare

    by Helga67 Updated Jun 12, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Trying to cross the five lanes of traffic, especially on Boulevard Pomare, can be quite tricky. There are pedestrian zones and a few traffic lights, but watch out!

    But I must admit, in comparison to crossing the street in Paris, they do stop to let you cross. Or was it just because of a lovely blond wanting to get on the other side hahaha

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Papeete Off The Beaten Path

  • Geisha_Girl's Profile Photo
    Vrooom! Vrooom!  Now how do I work this thing??!!! 4 more images

    by Geisha_Girl Written Aug 25, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the best ways to see the island.....AND get away from the congested roads.....is to get on an ATV! Henri Eskenazy is the man to see at "D-Tour" Tahiti.

    Henri took us on a backroads adventure, His company, D-Tour Tahiti, based out of the lovely Hotel Beachcomber in Papeete, rents ATVs and guides you through these half-day or full day tours. If you'd prefer to enjoy your views on the crystal blue waters, Henri also rents Jet skis!

    We had a great time touring the island on these bikes. Henri and Syb gave me a quick lesson on how to maneuver this big honker........since I had never ridden one in my life!!

    All Henri had to say to me in his deep, sultry French accent was: "Just remember, YOU have the POWER!" That did it for me. I was ready to rock (not roll!) on the ATV!

    It was a great trip through the island as we toured through beautiful coastal beaches, and lovely waterfalls....

    D-TOUR" Tahiti
    Henri ESKENAZY
    BP 41640, 98713 PAPEETE
    Polynésie Française

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Papeete Favorites

  • Happy Isles

    To the flower market. The tropical flowers and huge slabs of red tuna is a great sight. Just walking around Papeete and people watching is great too. The women wear wonderfully large pieces of jewelery made from beautiful shells and everyone seems to float on air! It's astounding beauty.

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  • watching the sunset

    My favorite evening pastime on Moorea was watching the sunset. They were always beautiful and I didn't even get the best one.

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  • Full of life

    Papeete is a busy and bustling town on the north coast of Tahiti. The town is spread along the waterfront, facing the island of Moorea across the Sea of Moons. It's an excellent place to end your vacation in French Polynesia. Papeete has lots of shops, restaurants and a good nightlife. After spending some time on the remote islands, just relaxing...

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Explore Deeper into Papeete
Public Market
Things to Do
Cathedrale de l'Immaculee Conception
Things to Do
Bougainville statue
Things to Do
Place Tarahoi
Things to Do
Town Hall
Things to Do
Public Market
Things to Do
What's in a name?
Local Customs
Monument at Bougainville Park
Things to Do
Bougainville park
Things to Do
Harbour
Things to Do
Yacht quay
Things to Do
Tahiti Manava Visitor's Bureau
Things to Do
MacDonald's
Restaurants
Place Vaiete
Things to Do
Map of Papeete

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