Papeete, French Polynesia

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Papeete, French Polynesia

Region: Papeete

Geographic Coordinates: -17.533400, -149.567000
Temperature Range: 24.0°C to 30.0°C (75°F to 86°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with warm temperatures and high humidity year-round, and a rainy season from November to April.
Population: 131695
Language: French

Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia and can be found on Tahiti Island. The city is a bustling hub for transportation and commerce, With a population of around 26, 000 people. One of the most striking features of Papeete is its beautiful harbor. The harbor houses countless boats and yachts, Providing visitors with stunning views of the water and surrounding mountains. Travelers can take a boat tour or rent their own vessel to explore nearby islands or go fishing. The city also boasts several historic landmarks that are worth visiting.

One such landmark is Notre-Dame Cathedral, Constructed in 1875 featuring beautiful stained glass windows and intricate wood carvings. Another notable site includes the Papeete Market that offers an array of local crafts, Fresh produce, Seafood, And souvenirs. For those interested in exploring French Polynesian culture and history, Papeete has several museums to offer. The Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands showcases exhibits on traditional Polynesian life as well as contemporary art from across Oceania while Robert Wan Pearl Museum displays some of the world’s finest pearls. Visitors seeking outdoor adventure will find plenty to do in Papeete as well.

They can hike up Mount Aorai for breathtaking views over Tahiti’s lush rainforest or take a dip in one of many nearby waterfalls such as Fautaua Falls or Vaiharuru Falls. no trip to Papeete would be complete without experiencing its vibrant nightlife scene where numerous bars offer live music performances from local musicians playing traditional instruments like ukuleles or drums. In conclusion, Papeete provides visitors with an unforgettable experience by combining stunning natural beauty with rich cultural heritage and vibrant nightlife making it an ideal destination for everyone seeking adventure, Relaxation or cultural immersion

Important Landmarks

  1. Marché de Papeete (Papeete Market)
  2. Place Vai’ete
  3. Cathedral of Our Lady of Papeete
  4. Musée de la Perle (Pearl Museum)
  5. Black Pearl Museum
  6. Arahoho Blowhole
  7. Point Venus Lighthouse and Beach
  8. Tahiti Iti (Small Tahiti)
  9. Faarumai Waterfalls
  10. Vaipahi Gardens

Primary Industries

  • 1. Tourism
  • 2. Pearl farming
  • 3. Fishing
  • 4. Agriculture (especially vanilla)
  • 5. Government services

  • Noteable History

    1. Captain James Cook’s arrival in 1769, who named the Society Islands.
    2. The establishment of a French protectorate over Tahiti and its surrounding islands in 1842.
    3. The construction of a deep-water port in Papeete in 1906, which turned the city into a major commercial center.
    4. American author Jack London’s visit to Papeete in 1907 that inspired his novel The Cruise of the Snark.
    5. Papeete’s role during World War II as a base for American forces fighting against Japan in the Pacific theater.
    6. Air Tahiti Nui’s establishment as a major airline based out of Papeete in 1996.
    7. Notable people linked to Papeete include Queen Pomare IV, who ruled over Tahiti from 1827 to 1877; artist Paul Gauguin, who lived on Tahiti from 1891 to 1893; and musician Bobby Holcomb, who was born and raised on Tahiti known for his fusion of traditional Polynesian music with contemporary styles.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Musée de Tahiti et des Îles: This museum showcases the history and culture of French Polynesia through exhibits of artifacts, art, and photography.
    2. Papeete Market: This bustling market is a great place to experience the local culture and shop for souvenirs, fresh produce, and handicrafts.
    3. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Papeete: This beautiful cathedral is a must-visit for its stunning stained glass windows and impressive architecture.
    4. Place To’ata: This public square hosts cultural events such as dance performances, concerts, and festivals throughout the year.
    5. Black Pearl Museum: Learn about the history and significance of black pearls in French Polynesia at this unique museum.
    6. Monument aux Morts de Papeete: This war memorial honors those who fought in World War I and II from French Polynesia.
    7. Vaima Shopping Center: A popular shopping center with a variety of stores selling clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, electronics etc.
    8. Tahiti Art Museum: It showcases some amazing contemporary arts created by local artists.
    9. Tomb of Pomare V: The tomb belongs to a monarch who was one of the last kings of Tahiti.
    10. Jardins Paofai: A beautiful garden with lush greenery offering views over Moorea island.

    Sports Teams

    • Papeete, French Polynesia doesn’t have any professional sports teams.
    • However, there are amateur and recreational teams in various sports such as:
      • Soccer
      • Volleyball
      • Basketball
      • Outrigger canoe racing
    • The island of Tahiti has a national soccer team that competes in international competitions and is known as the Tiki Toa.

    • Cultural Events

      1. Heiva i Tahiti is an annual cultural event held in July, celebrating traditional Polynesian dance, music, and sports.
      2. The Tahiti Pearl Regatta is a sailing regatta that takes place in May and attracts sailors from around the world to race around the islands of French Polynesia.
      3. The Te Rara’a Festival celebrates the culture and traditions of the Marquesas Islands with traditional dances, music, and crafts.
      4. The Tiurai Festival takes place in July-August and features a variety of events including dance competitions, beauty pageants, and sporting events.
      5. Aroha Fest is a new festival that celebrates love through music and art featuring local musicians and artists.
      6. The Matatini o te Ra’au Festival celebrates traditional medicine practices with workshops on healing plants used by ancient healers.
      7. The Hura Tapairu Festival is another cultural event celebrating traditional dance performances held around November-December showcasing upcoming talent for Heiva i Tahiti competition next year.
      8. Tahiti Fashion Week is a week-long fashion event where designers from all over showcase their latest creations inspired by Polynesian culture and designs.


      • 1. Poisson Cru – a dish made with raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime juice, often served as an appetizer or main course at many restaurants.
      • 2. Le Souffle – a restaurant known for its French-inspired cuisine, including soufflés and other classic dishes.
      • 3. Les Roulottes – a collection of food trucks that offer a variety of local and international cuisine, including crepes, Chinese food, burgers, and more.
      • 4. La Vague à la Bouche – a seafood restaurant that specializes in fresh fish caught daily by local fishermen.
      • 5. Snack Mahana – a casual eatery that serves traditional Polynesian dishes like taro chips with poisson cru dip and grilled meats with coconut milk sauce.
      • 6. Le Coco’s Restaurant & Bar – an upscale dining establishment located on the waterfront that offers French-Polynesian fusion cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.
      • 7. Chez Remy et Coco – another popular seafood restaurant located on the harborfront that serves fresh fish prepared in various ways along with other traditional dishes like chicken curry or steak frites.

      • Suitcase

        Go Where The Road Takes You.

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