3 hotels in this place
Papeete is the largest city in and capital of French Polynesia on the island of Tahiti.
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Points of Interest in Papeete
- The waterfront. Papeete has redeveloped its waterfront into a long park, with foods and carnival-like attractions. It's still partially under construction as of August 2008, but will surely be good for a scenic stroll someday.
Popular events in Papeete in the near future
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.
You can go broke eating in this town. 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 XPF 1500 for your whole meal.
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 Chaplain. 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 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. Watch out for aggressive she-males. 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.
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.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Papeete on Wikivoyage.