Last updated: 09:05 AM ET, Wed January 12 2022
Beautiful sea and resort in Moorea Island at Tahiti PAPEETE, FRENCH POLYNESIA. (sarayuth3390 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)


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Papeete (FRAVEQ / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
PHOTO: Papeete (FRAVEQ / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The salty aromas of the ocean, the rich scents of culinary specialties, and a sultry atmosphere make Papeete, Tahiti a fascinating destination. Here, strangers become friends welcoming you with melodious accents to indulge in--everything Papeete --from world-class shopping to a pulsating nightlife. As the bustling capital of the French Polynesia, the city echoes the industriousness of its natives, while embracing a softer side with a striking waterfront. With such a grand entry into the unique treasures of Tahiti, it is no wonder why many flock to Papeete to require a taste of this tropical paradise lapped in French flair.

Papeete is the location for a complete cultural experience. It has effortlessly transformed from its “water gathering” origins into an enriching city, where tourists can frolic or explore its playground. The Black Pearl Museum highlights the history and influence of the Tahitian Black Pearl. The Manapearl is also a great place to learn about the journey of the spectacular gem; you may want to purchase some for yourself or a loved one. Also, enjoy the beautiful scenery of Papeete via a water cruise along its pristine waterfront. Papeete has just what the doctor order to make your vacation dreams come true.

For 155 years the Le Marché (public market) has seduced shopaholics with its décor of Tahitian treasures. Travelers from near and far are smitten by the market’s authentic souvenirs where they can purchase everything from handicrafts and fruits to clothing and wood carvings. The Tahiti Pearl Market is among the best in the world for genuine pearls, and Papeete’s array of boutiques is filled to the brim with merchandise fit for the budget.

The nights of Papeete can be enjoyed by basking in the tropical atmosphere while sinking your teeth in its exotic cuisine. Whether dining in a restaurant or sampling a treat from a food van, you will find a plethora of French, Italian, American as well as Chinese dishes prepared just the way you like it. After a hearty meal, the rhythms of local music and aromatic vintages make Papeete a Tahitian hotspot for the passionate partygoer.

Papeete’s weather is characterized as a tropical monsoon climate which means idyllic temperatures year-round. During January to April (summer) it experiences highs in theupper-80s and lows in the mid-70s. From June to September (winter) the weather fluctuates between the mid-80s and decreases to the low-70s.

Papeete as well as the rest of Tahiti is serviced by Faa’a International Airport. Once you are in the city, its local bus transportation (Le Truck) provides travel throughout Papeete and its neighboring communes. Taxis are conveniently accessible from your hotel, but should be handled by its concierge. However, the best way to explore Papeete’s downtown area is by simply using your foot power.