Papeete Downtown Tour (Self Guided), Papeete

When tourists think of Tahiti, they imagine beautiful islands with a dreamy blue sea and miles of white sandy beaches, but Papeete is in reality part of a modern-day bustling city. Though a fairly young city, Papeete has several beautiful places which are a must visit including City Hall, the museum and the gorgeous waterfront. Take the walking tour below to explore the most exciting tourist hotspots of downtown Papeete.
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Papeete Downtown Tour Map

Guide Name: Papeete Downtown Tour
Guide Location: Tahiti » Papeete (See other walking tours in Papeete)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: karenl
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Presidential Palace
  • Territorial Assembly
  • Waterfront
  • Le Musee de la Perle
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Marche Municipale
  • Tahiti Pearl Market
  • City Hall
  • Place Vaiete
Presidential Palace

1) Presidential Palace (must see)

Newly built, the edifice is both the working area and the living quarters of the president. Since Mr.Temaru came into this building as President of the Government of French Polynesia in May, 2004, taking his position from Mr. Gaston Flosse, it has created the opportunity for all to visit inside the former President's Palace. Gaston Flosse's presidential palace is situated near the chic shopping district Center Vaima.
Territorial Assembly

2) Territorial Assembly (must see)

Built in 1960, the building is the main part of the Polynesian government and includes the Territorial Assembly edifice, the High Commissioner's residence and a once popular clubhouse of Paul Gauguin. The edifice is built in a traditional style and replaces the former building that was suffering from termite damage. It was also the royal residence and palace of Queen Pomare IV of Tahiti, who ruled from 1827 to 1877.

3) Waterfront

Stretching from the Place To'Ata to the Place Vaiete, the waterfront is the perfect place for a romantic evening. The waterfront has a holiday atmosphere and is always buzzing with activity. The great flavours of caramel popcorn and candies fill the air. Along the waterfront you can also see a park with a wonderful landscape and admire the Moorea Island which is a very scenic view from the promenade. You'll find various shops selling local food and a very festive atmosphere.
Le Musee de la Perle

4) Le Musee de la Perle (must see)

Built in 1998 by Robert Wan, a very famous black pearl specialist, the Pearl Museum not only covers the history of pearl cultivation, but also cultivation techniques and the business aspect of pearl trading. Enter the amazing world of pearls and jewels. It showcases a great number of special pearl elements on its display, the highlight being the world’s largest Tahitian pearl. Art, history, mythology, philosophy and religion are presented as well as technical explanations.
Notre Dame Cathedral

5) Notre Dame Cathedral (must see)

Started in 1856 and opened in 1875, the cathedral is one of the oldest and largest churches in this town. Situated in the centre of town, it was set up with stones brought from Australia and granite from the Gambier Archipelago in 1875. After hitting a financial crisis, the project was shut down. The official opening took place in 1869 and the final product is what you see today. When the church is opened, go inside where it is quiet and cool, and look at the paintings of the Crucifixion.
Marche Municipale

6) Marche Municipale (must see)

Situated right in the centre of the town, this market is part of a highly economical shopping area and is considered to be the heart of all local activities. It is a two-storey, contemporary building with an escalator where the first floor is filled with fresh food, while on the second floor you will find crafts, pearls, unique souvenirs and local arts. The perfect time to visit here is Sunday mornings, when residents from all over the island come to shop.
Tahiti Pearl Market

7) Tahiti Pearl Market

Situated not far from the Papeete Market, this pearl shop is a newly opened store and offers Tahitian cultured pearls like none other. Here you will be treated to some of the finest jewelry in town. The shop is popular for its wonderful pearl creations and the prices quoted are highly competitive. The designs are a unique mix of local craftsmanship with a touch of modernistic style. The clients are given a free hand in picking pearls of their choice and are also involved in the design process.
City Hall

8) City Hall (must see)

Inaugurated in 1990, the town hall is one of the most beautiful structures that is a re-creation of the original palace and royal residence of Queen Pomare IV of Tahiti. The city hall architecture is of Neoclassical style and the pink exterior catches the eye. When you enter inside the building you will see beautiful sculpted glass, Roco lifts and other pieces of historical significance. City Hall is surrounded by a beautiful garden which has several sculptures and artifacts.
Place Vaiete

9) Place Vaiete (must see)

The place is an exciting, modern square with benches, a waterfall and public toilets that are very clean and open all day; there is even a security guard. In the evening, the space for food stalls and musical events of all kinds is put to goo duse. Here you can enjoy a lovely day until about 3 am, where you can have a cheap meal at one of the roulottes (mobile dining vans).

Walking Tours in Papeete, Tahiti

Create Your Own Walk in Papeete

Create Your Own Walk in Papeete

Creating your own self-guided walk in Papeete is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Papeete Introduction Walking Tour

Papeete Introduction Walking Tour

Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, is renowned for its beautiful natural setting. Still, other than lush green areas and stunning beaches, the city boasts a number of man-made attractions as well, worth checking out. Just take a stroll down Boulevard Pomare and see for yourself or follow this orientation walk to discover some of the most loveliest sights of Papeete.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles