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The Best of Papeete

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Colorful and chaotic, at least by Tahitian standards, Papeete is Tahiti's capital city and a cultural hub worth exploring. It's undergoing a bit of a renaissance these days, with an infusion of graffiti street art brightening once gray buildings. Sip cappuccino at a chic sidewalk café while soaking up a rapid-fire French soundtrack, shop the vibrant market for everything from flawless pearls to bright parae, or catch a world-class dance and music performance.
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Pape'ete, French Polynesia
The perfect place to shop for anything and everything from all the islands is the 155-year-old public market called Le Marché. Located two blocks from the waterfront in the heart of Papeete, the market covers two stories. The lower level is...
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The islands of Tahiti have given the world a lot of popular ideas: This is the birthplace of the overwater bungalow, of surfing, the tattoo, and also . . . the food truck? Yep! Well, maybe not officially, but dozens of years before food trucks...
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Avenue du Maréchal Foch, Papeete, French Polynesia
Inside Papeete's Vaima Center, the new Museum of Street Art Tahiti is dedicated to graffiti and other street art. Sarah Roopinia and Jean Ozonder curated the museum. The duo also founded Festival Ono’u, Tahiti's international street art event,...
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Avenue du Général de Gaulle, Papeete, French Polynesia
Bougainville Park is a tranquil, tropical oasis in the middle of the Papeete's concrete jungle. Stretching from Boulevard Pomare to Rue du General de Gaulle, it makes for a lush and cool picnic (or roulettes take-away) spot. If you're traveling...
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Rue Cook, Papeete, French Polynesia
If you are planning a visit in July, make sure it corresponds with the annual Heiva, which started back in 1881. The festival, which runs for a week and is held at Place To'ata in Papeete, is an iconic Polynesian cultural event showcasing dance,...
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Pīra'e, French Polynesia
Set on a hill some 2,000 feet above Papeete, with impossible views of the sea and Moorea beyond, O Belvédère is the place locals take visitors for thrilling sunsets and good food. The restaurant and bar have the air of a tree...
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Pape'ete, French Polynesia
Café Maeva serves excellent French coffee, smoothies, pastries, and proper meals up on the second floor of Papeete's popular Le Marché shopping complex. Come for the good breakfast menu or wait for...