There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Papeete each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year (national)
The opportunity to experience the Tere Fā'ati the annual Polynesian ritual of shared happiness. Programme: Island tour in ‘trucks' (traditional bus covered with flowers), music, dance, swimming, food tasting and local fruits.March 5: Day of the Gospel or Day of the Missionaries (local)
Religious festival and public holiday in French Polynesia, commemorating the arrival of Protestant missionaries from the London Missionary Society in Matavai Bay (5 March 1797).Late March – early April: Easter Monday (national)
Christian religious festival whose date varies. On the programme: chocolate treasure hunt in the city, games and workshops for children.April 28: Commemoration of the arrival of the Bounty (Bounty Day)
Large annual gathering: descendants of the Bounty mutineers, the British frigate that landed on April 28, 1789, gather on the island of Tubuai. Books and archival footage tell the story of the first Europeans who arrived on the island.May 1: Labour Day (national)
Holiday in all French territories.May 8: Victory of 1945 (national)
May 8, 1945 was the date of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe.June 29: Day of autonomy (local)
This civil celebration in French Polynesia is the day in 1880 when King Pomare V donated his States to France.July 14: French national holiday (national)
Soldiers and officials parade to celebrate the storming of the Bastille and the end of the French monarchy. July 14 in Papeete is also the occasion for the Heiva i Tahiti celebrations. On the programme: songs and traditional dances in honour of the island.November 1: All soul's day (national)
The custom of All Saints (Turamara'a) is required under the sun. This is the day when the Tahitians pay homage to their ancestors. The graves are flowered, and brightened with paint or white sand.November 11: Armistice of 1918 (national)
The 1918 Armistice ended the fighting in the First World War, the victory of France and the defeat of Germany.December 25: Christmas (national)
The Christmas holidays are celebrated all over the island, houses are decorated and the children eagerly await the opening of their presents. A large Christmas market is held in downtown Papeete.December 31 New Year's Eve (national event)
On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Nice, with families and friends celebrating the new year.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||23 / 73.4||33 / 91.4||251 / 9,88||Not the best period to go|
|February||23 / 73.4||33 / 91.4||243 / 9,56||Not the best period to go|
|March||23 / 73.4||33 / 91.4||423 / 16,6||Not the best period to go|
|April||23 / 73.4||33 / 91.4||141 / 5,55||Not the best period to go|
|May||22 / 71.6||32 / 89.6||101 / 3,98||Not the best period to go|
|June||22 / 71.6||31 / 87.8||75 / 2,95||Good period to go|
|July||21 / 69.8||31 / 87.8||52 / 2,05||Good period to go|
|August||21 / 69.8||31 / 87.8||42 / 1,65||Good period to go|
|September||22 / 71.6||31 / 87.8||52 / 2,05||Good period to go|
|October||22 / 71.6||32 / 89.6||88 / 3,46||Good period to go|
|November||23 / 73.4||32 / 89.6||149 / 5,87||Not the best period to go|
|December||23 / 73.4||32 / 89.6||248 / 9,76||Not the best period to go|
The Tahiti International Airport of Fa'a'ā is located about 5 km southeast of Papeete.
The car is the ideal mode of transport to explore the island, though some sites are not accessible by vehicle, at which point it is possible to rent a bike or even a horse. Public transportation exists but unfortunately, they are not widespread and poorly organised; buses and trucks, however, are the most commonly used means of transport by the population. Hitchhiking is also very common.
The best way to travel around Tahiti is by car. Several car rental agencies are available in the city centre (from XPF 3,000 per day). Public parking facilities are available all around the centre (from XPF 150 per hour).
Twenty bus lines serve the city and outlying areas. The buses have no specific stops; just make a sign to the driver and they will pick you up. The main station is located right in downtown Papeete, in front of the Bank of Tahiti. A ticket costs about XPF 200.
‘Trucks', for their part, are a typical means of transport in the Pacific Islands. They are colourful bus trucks equipped to transport about forty passengers. For reasons of safety and pollution, the government has decided to gradually replace them with buses.
Additional information from the Department of Land Transport (www.transports-terrestres.pf)
There are many taxi ranks in Papeete. There is an initial charge of XPF 1,000. Add XPF 130 per kilometre.
To visit an island (motu) or a pearl farm, you can hire an outboard skiff, small launches or even a pirogue that you can rent by the day locally. Apart from Tahiti and Moorea, ferries also connect some nearby islands.
Once in Papeete, do not hesitate to connect with tourism professionals to advise you and organise your stay.Tahiti Tourism Office
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Papeete counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.List of obligatory and recommended vaccinations
No vaccination is required to stay in Papeete, except for nationals from risk areas.
But it is better to be up to date with the universal vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B.
Other recommended vaccinations:
- hepatitis A
- Possibly rabies.
For more information, contact your Air France centre for international vaccinations:
Beware of ‘ciguatera' food poisoning due to algae, which is contracted by consuming certain carnivorous fish from the lagoon. For more information: http://www.ciguatera-online.com/index.php/en/Food safety
Beware of 'ciguatera' food poisoning due to algae, which is contracted by consuming certain carnivorous fish from the lagoon. For more information: http://web.ciguatera.pf/index.php/en/Water
Tap water is drinkable in Papeete and throughout Bora Bora island. It is however recommended to drink bottled water.
Contrary to other overseas departments, overseas territories are not part of the Schengen area. An identity card is therefore not sufficient for European residents. You will need a passport valid for a period of at least 6 months after leaving French Polynesia.
If you are from a country with which France has signed visa waiver agreements (see list), you must present a valid passport and regulatory documents indicating the purpose of your stay, your financial means while in French Polynesia and your repatriation guarantee (e.g. adequate and valid travel insurance certificate, a valid return ticket to the country of residence, etc.).
If you are not affected by any of the previous cases: you must present a valid passport, a valid short-stay visa expressly mentioning its validity in French Polynesia (common Schengen visas are not accepted since the territory of French Polynesia is not part of the Schengen area), regulatory documents indicating the purpose of your stay, your financial means while in French Polynesia and your repatriation guarantee (e.g. adequate and valid travel insurance certificate, a valid return ticket to the country of residence, etc.).
For more information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/requesting-a-visa/ as well as the one of the French Polynesian State:
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Tahiti, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Tahiti a little easier:
In restaurants and cafes, a supplement for servers is already included in the bill. However, as in France, it is customary to leave a tip when you are satisfied with the service.