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).March or 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)
On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!May 8: Victory of 1945 (national)
Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.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)
This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution. It plays as a symbol of the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Papeete, it 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 Day (national)
On this day, citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.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 Papeete, 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 is located about 5 km (about 3 miles) 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).
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
In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus
Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire
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.
No vaccination is required to stay in Papeete, except for nationals from risk areas.
However, it is better to be up to date with universal vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B.
Other recommended vaccinations:
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: https://www.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/
Contact information for the embassies and consulates of your country is accessible in the directory of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/
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 Papeete like in all French Polynesia, restaurants and cafes, a supplement for servers is already included in the bill. However, it is customary to leave a tip when you are satisfied with the service.