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Papeete

(3.4/5 based on 3,800+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: shopping, parks, museums
The capital of French Polynesia, Pape'ete amounts to little more than a medium-sized town by Western standards, but it is still a thriving hub of culture and commerce. Colorful architecture, a little faded and peeling in the humid air and tropical sun, lends the town a ramshackle charm. The waterfront makes for a pleasant stroll in the daytime and comes alive with spirited nightlife in the evening. The real heart of the town, however, is the bustling market, selling black pearls, traditional Polynesian handicrafts, colorful sarongs, souvenirs, and everything in between. With its busy port, Pape'ete makes a great base from which to set off exploring the nearby islands, reefs, beaches, and lagoons. Make your own Papeete vacation itinerary, with a little help from those that know the place like the back of their hands, by using our French Polynesia holiday planner.
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Where to stay

The best selection of hotels in Pape'ete is concentrated in the vicinity of the docks--a vibrant area with plenty of nightlife, and in close proximity to the bustling market. Options range from pricey international hotels to very affordable bed and breakfasts and family-run boarding houses. A little farther afield (and much higher up the price range), luxurious five-star resorts offer private beaches, pools, and bungalows above the gently lapping waves of the lagoon.
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