Things to do in Tahiti

Things to do in  Tahiti

Go big in French Polynesia

With French Polynesia’s only international airport, the island of Tahiti is a transit hub for many people vacationing in the South Pacific nation. But with plenty of things to do in Tahiti, it’s worth sticking around. Capital city Papeete is a great place to find authentic Tahitian food. The volcanic black-sand beaches contrast dramatically with those found on other islands, and some incredible waterfalls and blowholes make a trip around Tahiti’s perimeter worthwhile before flying to Bora Bora or catching the ferry to Moorea.

Top 15 attractions in Tahiti

Arahoho Blowhole (Trou de Souffleur de Arahoho)

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Perched along the rocky coast of Tahiti and bordered by a scenic black sand beach, Arahoho Blowhole is one of the island’s most visited natural wonders. As waves crash against the shore, a powerful geyser-like eruption sends spectacular plumes of water into the air, wowing visitors and creating the opportunity for some impressive photos.More

Faarumai Waterfalls

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There are waterfalls all around Tahiti, but the most popular and accessible are the three waterfalls at Faarumai, also known as the Cascades of Faarumai. The three majestic falls are surrounded by tropical vegetation and are more easily reachable than other waterfall sites on the island. Although you may see visitors taking a dip in the pools, swimming here was outlawed after someone was injured.More

Marché de Pape'ete (Pape'ete Market)

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The sights, sounds and smells of authentic Polynesian life are on offer at Pape'ete’s main market, the Marché de Pape'ete (Pape'ete Market). The indoor market hall is the commercial and social hub of Tahiti’s laid-back capital and the oldest surviving institution on the island.More

Papetoai

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Located on the western side of Opunohu Bay, Papetoai (Papeto'ai) is frequented by visitors who want to explore the village's art and shopping center, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and art galleries along with historic attractions. The beaches here are also worth checking out, with calm, crystal clear waters, ideal for snorkeling.More

Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame)

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Recognizable for its sunny yellow façade, Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame) is one of the oldest and largest churches in Papeete. The Gothic structure was originally built between 1844 and 1875 but has been destroyed and restored several times, most recently in 1987.More

Vaima Shopping Centre

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The Vaima Shopping Centre is the largest and most modern shopping outlet in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia. You can shop for Tahitian souvenirs, such as black pearls and maps of the French Polynesian Islands, as well as international and French brands. It’s conveniently located on Tahiti near the Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the island’s top draws.More

Papeete Town Hall (Mairie de Papeete)

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This butter-cup yellow building is surrounded by palm trees, a pond, and manicured gardens. The Tahitian flag flies proudly atop Papeete Town Hall, while inside, crystal chandeliers, glass furnishings, historical artifacts, and pink Italian marble give the space an air of grandeur.More

Territorial Assembly (Place Tarahoi)

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Built in the 1960s on the site of Queen Pomare IV of Tahiti's residence, the Territorial Assembly (Place Tarahoi) is home to the Presidential Palace and French Polynesian Assembly. Its also surrounded by manicured gardens dotted with memorial statues.More
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Robert Wan Pearl Museum (Musee de la Perle Robert Wan)

Robert Wan Pearl Museum (Musee de la Perle Robert Wan)

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Established by local entrepreneur Robert Wan, Robert Wan Pearl Museum (Musee de la Perle Robert Wan) explores the role of the pearl in art, history, and literature. Exhibits reveal how pearls get from the sea to the display case and how ocean jewels were associated with religious rites and coveted as status symbols.More
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Paofai Gardens (Jardin de Paofai)

Paofai Gardens (Jardin de Paofai)

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Stretching from To'Ata Square to Vaiete Square, Paofai Gardens (Waterfront Esplanade) are ideal for scenic strolling. Watch boats sail by as you enjoy snacks from vendors selling fresh juices, popcorn, and French pastries, who enhance the Parisian feel of the park.More
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To'ata Square (Tahua To'ata)

To'ata Square (Tahua To'ata)

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To'ata Square (Place To'ata) is the main hub for cultural events, performances, rock concerts, and festivals in Papeete, including the annual Heiva Festival, the largest annual cultural festival in Tahiti. Anchoring the square is a 5,000-seat pavilion with an outdoor stage. Onsite snack bars sell light bites and drinks in the evenings.More

Museum of Tahiti and the Islands (Musée de Tahiti et des Îles)

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The Museum of Tahiti and the Islands (Musée de Tahiti et des Îles) represents one of the world’s most important repositories of cultural and natural studies about the Polynesian archipelago. It is divided into sections covering nature and anthropology, habitations and artifacts, social and religious life, and the history of French Polynesia. The permanent exhibition space has reopened after renovations, with a focus on Polynesian culture.More
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Vai'ete Square (Place Vai'ete)

Vai'ete Square (Place Vai'ete)

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Located in downtown Papeete, Vai'ete Square (Place Vai’ete) is a nice place to take a relaxing waterfront stroll during the day. At night, however, the atmosphere becomes much more lively as colorful food wagons (roulottes) offering local cuisine and decadent desserts open to the masses.More
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Bougainville Park (Parc Bougainville)

Bougainville Park (Parc Bougainville)

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This small park with a tranquil stream, benches, lush vegetation, and an enormous banyan tree providing shade to visitors was named after Louis Antoine de Bougainville, a French explorer who believed he had discovered Tahiti and claimed it for France, unaware that less than a year prior it had been discovered by Samuel Wallis.More
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Papaeari

Papaeari

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Tahiti is not overflowing with historic monuments, which makes Papaeari (or Papeari) stand out even more. It is the island’s oldest village, settled sometime between AD 400 and 500, and is also known by art lovers for its association with Paul Gauguin, who lived in the area. The setting is ideal for relaxing and enjoying island life on the quieter southern coast.More

Top activities in Tahiti

Tahiti island Tours
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Tahiti island Tours

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351
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$69.00
Unique Tahiti Tour - private, personalised, small group, west coast tour
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private Tahiti island discovery

private Tahiti island discovery

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68
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$384.89
per group
Private Island Tour
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Private Island Tour

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$320.00
per group
Diving day

Diving day

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$190.79
Papeete Food & City Tour

Papeete Food & City Tour

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$120.21
Blue Pearl Private Tour

Blue Pearl Private Tour

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$119.00
per group
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All about Tahiti

When to visit

The most popular time to visit Tahiti is from May through October, the dry season. You’ll get plenty of crowds this time of year, and it’s particularly busy in August when the French take their summer vacations. If you don’t mind a few showers, the wet season (September–April) is great for avoiding crowds, except for around Christmas and New Year’s.

Getting around

If you’re staying in the heart of Papeete, you won’t need a car as everything of interest is within walking distance. If you plan to head out for the day, there are local buses that cater primarily to area residents. However, if you don’t speak French, you may find it easier to rent a car or motor scooter or explore the island on a guided tour.

Traveler tips

While French wine is widely available in French Polynesia, you may be surprised to learn that the Polynesian nation produces wine of its own on, albeit on the island of Rangiroa. Fortunately, you don’t have to hop on a flight out to the winery to try French Polynesian wine. Look for it on the wine list at hotel restaurants right on the island of Tahiti.

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Tours
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People Also Ask

What is Tahiti known for?

Tahiti is known as a tropical South Pacific beach destination, with black sand beaches, waterfalls, and a blend of French and Polynesian culture. While Tahiti is sometimes used to refer to the whole of French Polynesia, it is the name of the island where the capital, Papeete, is located.

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How many days should I spend in Tahiti?

Many travelers find that one or two days is enough time to spend on Tahiti island. The capital, Papeete, is a transit hub for travel to or from other islands in French Polynesia. Tahiti’s black sand beaches, waterfalls, and blowholes are worth a visit.

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What type of recreational activities are found in Tahiti?

Like elsewhere in French Polynesia, recreational activities you can enjoy in Tahiti revolve around nature and the outdoors. Swimming, surfing, snorkeling, boating, and visiting waterfalls are popular recreational activities in Tahiti. You can also shop for black pearls and eat at day and evening markets in Papeete.

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Do they accept US dollars in Tahiti?

No, US dollars are not widely accepted in Tahiti. You may find some upmarket boutiques, restaurants, and hotels accept US currency, but it’s not the norm. Instead, rely on credit cards to get a cash advance from an ATM, or exchange US dollars for the local currency, the French Pacific Franc.

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What should you avoid in Tahiti?

For a safe trip, avoid eating raw or uncooked food, take precautions to avoid insect bites, and be aware of theft. Tahiti is generally safe, but it’s easy to fall ill to food poisoning, insects can carry diseases such as the Zika virus or chikungunya, and petty crime does occur.

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Is Tahiti safe for tourists?

Yes, Tahiti is generally a safe tourist destination. Violent crime rates are low. Like anywhere, take sensible precautions such as not walking alone in unlit areas at night and keeping your personal belongings close to you. Insects such as mosquitoes pose some risk, as do natural weather events like cyclones.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Tahiti?
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