Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia and is the largest city in the area, resting happily on the island of Tahiti. While this port is more of an industrial and governmental center, it has much more to offer the curious traveler.

The waterfront is the best place to start your Papeete adventure.  Recently revitalized and transformed into a gathering place offering a great meal and drink options, the waterfront is known as the Paofai Gardens.  In addition to a range of activities, each evening les roulottes (the food carts) set up in the large square and serve a tasty variety of French, Chinese, and Tahitian cuisine.  If you’re a foodie this is a great place to experience the cultural foods of the area first-hand.

For more historical and cultural experiences of the city and the island, the Robert Wan Pearl Museum is on the list. This museum has exhibits covering pearl farming and the island’s pearl history. The museum’s pearl shop sells the black pearls the island is famous for. The Assembly of French Polynesia is the seat of the legislature in French Polynesia and is more than a government building. It includes gardens and an impressive pond, and throughout the gardens, there are plaques telling the history of when it was once a royal palace.

Papeete is filled with the charm and history of Tahiti, not to mention its breathless beauty.  Tahiti has long been a bucket-list item, and Papeete sets the stage for an unforgettable experience.

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