Papeete, as the administrative and
economic capital of French Polynesia, is first and foremost a port city
making it possible for Tahiti to open up to the outside world.
The city has only 25,769 inhabitants within its limits.
While Papeete has not much character from the architectural viewpoint, visitors should not fail to pay a visit to the marketplace. The liveliest day of the week is Sunday morning, between five and seven thirty, before the various church services.
The waterfront, which has been rearranged, is an invitation to voyage since, next to the local yachts, boats from all over the world have dropped anchors to discover "Paradise". Not far from the wharf, towards the western exit of the city, the Black Pearl Museum and the Paofai Protestant Church are places of interest for visitors.
Downtown, in the commercial area, between the large and attractive city hall building and the cathedral, shopping lovers will be able to buy all kinds of souvenirs, ranging from plain flowered pareos to the most sumptuous sets of black pearls.
And at night, the wharf turns into a lively place when the "roulottes", or vans operating as mobile restaurants, prepare for their evening activities: local specialties as well as French, Chinese, specialties, etc., are proposed to suit all tastes and proved tasty, inexpensive meals.