Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia and is located on Tahiti Island. It is also the largest city in this group of islands. It is a typical tropical city that is hot and humid, so carry a bottle of water whenever you head out. The main languages spoken in the town are Italian and French, although most people who deal with tourists, like restaurant and shop owners or workers, will also know English. Being the capital of the French overseas country, there are a lot of government buildings and activities in the town. The city is small enough to reach everywhere without needing a vehicle unless you need to go to the outskirts.

Exploring Papeete

tahiti papeete intercontinental tahiti resort and spa aerial view

When early explorers first landed on this island, it was close to Papeete and realised that the place has a bay that is a natural harbor and is perfect for big boats and ships. Today, Papeete is a major harbor and port in the region.

The waterfront has been renovated to make a long walkway and promenade. Evenings are quite pleasant here with the sea breeze blowing in, and is a great time to go for a walk and enjoy the waterfront views.

Food and Restaurants in Papeete

The town can get really expensive when it comes to eating out at proper restaurants and fine dining establishments. There are places where you will have to shell out US$30 for just a hamburger and US$10 for a pint of beer. Microbreweries may charge close to US$35 for a small jug of their brew. Hinani beer pitchers will help you cut costs on drinks. Mid range restaurants charge between US$20-30 for a meal, with a lot of options in Chinese food.

Shops and Markets in Papeete

marchรฉ centrale de papeete

There are shops all over the town that sell black pearls. However, there are some shops that sell fake pearls made of glass or fiberglass as authentic black pearls, so beware. The best way to avoid being cheated by such shops is to look for authentication certificates at the entrance of the shops or refer to travel blogs and books for popular recommendations.