Destination guide: Papeete, Tahiti

Papeete is the capital of Tahiti, an island located in the middle of the South Pacific and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Polynesia. Its beaches are unique, blending in with the greenery of the mountains and creating scenery of rare exotic beauty.

On arriving in Papeete, visitors are welcomed with a traditional flower lei and the sound of ukuleles and they are given shell necklaces as farewell gifts. On touring the city, you’ll see how multicultural this corner of the world is, with inhabitants of European, Polyneisan and Oriental descent.

Fly with LAN to Papeete and discover all the charm this destination has to offer.

  • Papeete - Practical Information


    Pacific Franc


    Tahitian, French, English


    UTC/GMT -10

    Weights & Measures



    Everyone needs a passport to visit French Polynesia. The regulations are much the same as for France: if you need a visa to visit France then you’ll need one to visit French Polynesia. Anyone from an EU country can stay for up to three months without a visa, as can Australians and citizens of a number of other European countries, including Switzerland.

    Citizens of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the USA and some other European countries are able to stay for up to one month without a visa. Other nationalities need a visa, which can be applied for at French Embassies. Apart from permanent residents and French citizens, all visitors to French Polynesia need to have an onward or return ticket.

    Visa Extensions

    It’s possible to extend a month-long visa exemption for two more months. Tahiti’s Immigration Department states it’s best to get an extended visa at a French Embassy before arrival try at the Police aux Frontières (Frontier Police; [tel] 42 40 74; pafport@mail.pf; [hrs] airport office 8am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Fri, Pape’ete office 7.30am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Fri), at Faa’a airport and next to the Manava visitors information centre in Pape’ete, at least one week before the visa or exemption expires.

    An extension costs 3500 CFP. Stays by foreign visitors may not exceed three months. For longer periods, you must apply to the French consular authorities in your own country for a residence permit; you cannot lodge your application from French Polynesia unless you have a sponsor or get married.


    The duty-free allowance for visitors entering French Polynesia includes 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 2L of spirits or wine, two cameras and 10 rolls of unexposed film, one video camera and 50mL of perfume. No live animals can be imported (if they’re on a yacht they must stay on board) and certification is required for plants.

    Business Hour

    The opening hours for banks vary from branch to branch but are typically from 8am to noon and 1.30pm to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 8am to noon and 1pm to 3p|m on Friday. Shops and offices normally open around 7.30am, close for lunch from 11.30am to 1.30pm and shut around 5pm, Monday to Friday.

    On Saturday, shops are typically open between 7.30am and 11.30am; almost everything (except a few grocery stores and boutiques on the more touristy islands) is closed on Sunday. Restaurant hours vary according to the type of food served and the clientele. Most places open around 10.30am, however, and stay open until about 11pm.

    Electricity overview

    European plug with two circular metal pins

    Electricity overview (european)