Papeete is a good jumping-off point for exploring Tahiti and the other islands of French Polynesia. With a hybrid culture, delicious food, and beautiful nature, the city and environs have plenty to see and do. Read on for our top suggestions for a 2-day itinerary.
Day 1: Tour around town
**Morning:**Get an overview of the city on a guided walking, cycling, or Segway tour. You’ll stop by churches, gardens, museums, and hidden places you might otherwise overlook. Afterward, experience local culture and pick up a light lunch or some tropical fruit at the bustling Municipal Market.
**Afternoon:**Take a boat ride around the coast of Tahiti. Dolphin-watching cruises are fun for travelers of all ages, and you also typically get to swim or snorkel in a lagoon. Alternatively, relax over a long, leisurely lunch, then join a sunset cruise to take you into the evening.
**Night:**Every evening, Papeete’s waterfront comes alive with food trucks and, sometimes, live music. Sample delicacies that combine the best of Polynesian and French cuisine. If you want to get the party started, seek out some local punch made with Tahitian rum.
Day 2: Explore Tahiti
**Morning:**Tahiti is more than just Papeete, so head out to see the island. Guided tours lead you to more remote places, such as traditional meeting houses (marae), caves, waterfalls, and an iconic lighthouse.
**Afternoon:**After an active morning, spend the afternoon chilling out on one of Tahiti’s black-sand beaches. The one closest to Papeete, Bain Lot Beach, is within walking distance of the center of town.
**Night:**On your last night in Papeete, try some first-rate cuisine combining French and Tahitian ingredients and flavors. Freshly caught seafood features prominently on most menus, as does French wine. Or taste Tahitian wine, produced from grapes grown on neighboring Rangiroa Atoll.