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Papeete

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Ahitea Lodge
Ahitea Lodge - dream vacation

Avenue du Chef Vaira\'atoaPapeete

Tiare Hotel Tahiti
Tiare Hotel Tahiti - dream vacation

627 Boulevard PomarePapeete

Hotel Le Mandarin
Hotel Le Mandarin - dream vacation

51 rue Colette, B.P 302Papeete

Fare Arearea Sweet Studio
Fare Arearea Sweet Studio - dream vacation

Immeuble Le Regent - avenue du Regent Paraita - Apt 21 - 1er etage - PapeetePapeete

Fare Suisse Tahiti
Fare Suisse Tahiti - dream vacation

Rue des poilus tahitiens Quartier Buillard Paofai 98713 Papeete

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Papeete is the largest city in and capital of French Polynesia on the island of Tahiti.

Understand

Papeete is not a tropical paradise. It is a typical government center and industrial port with small doses of French and Polynesian charm. It has shopping, eating, and drinking, but very little sightseeing for a capital city and even fewer top-class hotels. The residents speak French and Tahitian, although English is spoken by many in the tourist trade. The people-watching is superb.

Get in

Papeete International Airport (PPT IATA) is located in the district of Faaa. Air Tahiti is in the main building and Air Moorea about 100 m away. The following services are available at the airport: bar, self-service and gourmet restaurant, bank, ATM, post office, telephone, boutiques, newspaper stand, car rental agencies, baggage lockers and public restrooms. There is a taxi stand and a truck stop at the airport.

International

  • Air Caledonie International operates flights from Noumea, New Caledonia to Papeete on Fri.
  • Air France has flights from Paris/France to Papeete on Thu, Fri and Sat via Los Angeles, arriving in Papeete at 03:55.
  • Air New Zealand offers flights from Auckland/New Zealand to Papeete on M Th F Sa, flight time ~5 hr, from [Los Angeles] on Tu Th F Sa, flight time ~8hr 20min, operated by Air Tahiti Nui, from London via Los Angeles on Tu, flight time 24 hr, Los Angeles - Papeete operated by Air Tahiti Nui.
  • Air Tahiti Nui has flights from Auckland on M W F Sa Su (flight time 8hr 20min), Los Angeles, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo.
  • Air Tahiti has flights from Raratonga on the Cooks Islands on Tue (and an additional flight on Sa in Jul and Aug). Flight time: 2hr 40min.
  • LATAM flies from Santiago via Easter Island

Domestic

Minimum connecting times

Minimum connecting times for Papeete Ariport:

  • International flight to Air Tahiti domestic flight or Air Moorea: 90 min
  • Air Tahiti domestic flight or Air Moorea to international flight: 120 min
  • Air Tahiti domestic flight to another Air Tahiti domestic flight: 45 min
  • Air Tahiti to Air Moorea: 45 min before 18:00, 90 min after 18:00
  • Air Moorea to Air Tahiti: 45 min

Get around

Papeete is a walking city. It's really too small to bother with any other form of transport, unless you are going out to the fringes, or would simply like to experience the famous le truck for fun (hop-on, hop-off, anywhere in the city centre for about 100 CFP) Bring a water bottle: it can be quite hot and humid.

Don't bother with taxis: they're extremely expensive and very hard to find after 18:00, apart from two taxi stands along the waterfront. Meters are unheard of, so confirm the fare (in French, if possible) before getting into a taxi, and don't be afraid to protest or refuse if you think the fare too high; as a general rule, you should never have to pay more than 1500 CFP for a journey from one side of the city centre to the other. Many drivers distribute calling cards when you disembark; if you'll be relying on taxi transport for whatever reason during your stay, it's worth becoming a repeat customer with a driver you trust and who will give you a good deal.

Le Truck will take you to other parts of the island and around town quite cheaply.

See

  • The waterfront. Papeete has redeveloped its waterfront into a long park, with foods and carnival-like attractions.

Do

Buy

Black pearls abound. There is just about every kind of store here, including some (particularly near the Marché) who have no problem selling you imitation balls of black glass or fiberglass at market prices. Be sure to look for a certificate of authenticity on the wall of the shop, and trust your guidebook for recommendations.

Eat

Eating out can be very expensive. There are some fine restaurants but expect to pay US$30 for a hamburger at a hotel restaurant or other proper sit-down establishment.

There are a lot of midrange places where you can expect to pay US$20-30 for your whole meal. French and Chinese are well represented here. Look for the word "Snack" in the name of the restaurant. There is also a conveyor belt sushi place that's very good, and the chefs are quite friendly there.

The best deal in town is the Roulottes, the food trucks that set up shop every evening in the big square in the waterfront park. Every day they begin setting up around dusk. Chinese, French, and Tahitian cuisine are all well represented. You can get chow mein, poisson cru, crepes, pizza, ice cream, and because this is France, everything comes with bread. Expect to pay about 1500 CFP for your whole meal.

Drink

You can expect to pay upwards of US$10 for a pint of beer. A (small) jug of microbrew will run you US$35. Buy pitchers of Hinano to keep the costs down.

  • Chaplain's (Downtown on the waterfront). The decor is a tribute to silent film star Charles Chaplin. Expect loud French rap. Keep an eye on your tab.
  • Mana Rock Cafe (Downtown on the waterfront). This open-air pub is a good place to sit outside in the shade and have a cold beer on a hot afternoon.
  • Les 3 Brasseurs (Downtown on the waterfront). The only microbrewery in French Polynesia. The beer is certainly better than Hinano, but you do pay a premium for it, and it pales in comparison to U.S. microbrews. US$35 for a 3.5 L glass jug.
  • That tiki-bar near Les 3 Brasseurs (Downtown on the waterfront). Its name doesn't really matter; it's the only other bar along this stretch. Some sidewalk seating and very limited indoor seating. There's a sweet little dog that hangs out here. If you pet her, she will bark at anybody who gives you trouble for the rest of the night. Also remember to tip the bouncer extra when you want to get into the bar's "underground" club every night.

Sleep

Connect

Go next

By plane

See #Get in.

By boat

If you have the time, take the ferry over to Moorea.


Lonely Planet Tahiti & French Polynesia (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Tahiti & French Polynesia is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Sit under a warm dome of stars with a cold Hinano, mingle with grey reef sharks, or explore the atoll lagoons by boat; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Tahiti and French Polynesia and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Tahiti & French Polynesia Travel Guide:

Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries show you the simplest way to tailor your trip to your own personal needs and interests Insider tips save you time and money and help you get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, and prices Honest reviews for all budgets - including eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, and hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer and more rewarding travel experience - including customs, history, art, literature, cinema, politics, landscapes, wildlife, and religion Over 40 local maps Useful features - including Month-by-Month (annual festival calendar), Diving, and Travel with Children Coverage of Bora Bora, Pape'ete, the Marquesas, Rangiroa, Maupiti, Huahine, Mo'orea, the Gambier Archipelago, Teahupoo, the Papenoo Valley, Rurutu, the Australs, the Tuamotus, and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Tahiti & French Polynesia, our most comprehensive guide to Tahiti and French Polynesia, is perfect for those planning to both explore the top sights and take the road less travelled.

Looking for more coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's South Pacific guide for a comprehensive look at what the whole region has to offer.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Celeste Brash, and Jean-Bernard Carillet.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

French Polynesia Flag Journal: French Polynesia Travel Diary, French Polynesian Holiday Souvenir Book, lined Journal to write in

Country Flag Journals

Travel Diary Journal, Traveler's Notebook, French Polynesia Flag Diary for Fans of French Polynesia and for French Polynesian Patriots Great French Polynesia Gift, Present, Souvenir Book Blank neutral wide-ruled paper with a line at the top for the date to write down all of the magic moments and exciting adventures of your trip to French Polynesia. The blank diary contains 132 lined pages to write in your holiday experiences, unforgettable impressions and thoughts. No matter whether you're planning to visit Tahiti or Bora Bora or Papeete, discover coral-fringed lagoons, or enjoy over-the-water bungalow hotels - write your own travel diary and capture the happy moments of your trip to French Polynesia! The Travel Diary to write in is the perfect travel gift for friends and family planning a trip to French Polynesia, for anyone with French Polynesian roots or simply a great souvenir from your holiday or honeymoon in French Polynesia.

Blank Lined French Polynesia Flag Journal to write in for women and men, kids and teens. The small portable blank book with lined pages (6"x9") is light enough to carry in a bag or a backpack.

Perfectly sized at 6"x9" 132 Pages Softcover bookbinding Flexible Paperback Glossy cover design, Retro Look Flag Neutral wide-ruled paper with a line at the top for the date Ideal for taking notes, dreams, thoughts, memories, writing in as a diary, or giving as a gift

In Search of Tusitala: Travels in the Pacific After Robert Louis Stevenson

Gavin Bell

A travel book with a literary theme, an odyssey that explores the remote haunts of a 19th-century figure. In 1993, Gavin Bell followed Stevenson's voyages from San Francisco through French Polynesia, then on to Hawaii, the Gilberts and Samoa.

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