The sights, sounds and smells of authentic Polynesian life are on offer at Papeete’s main market, also known as the Marche de Papeete. This is the commercial and social hub of Tahiti’s laid-back capital and the oldest surviving institution on the island, now housed in a large, open-sided modern building.
Vendors come from all over the island to sell traditional handicrafts, particularly baskets, hats and other woven goods, as well as brilliantly colored sarongs and other garments. If you can’t find a reasonably-priced souvenir here you’re just not trying. Naturally there is also a large range of tropical fruits and vegetables, with snack bars selling fresh cooked fish and other dishes.
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The market is right in the heart of Papeete, a short walk away from the shoreline. Nearby sights include the Musée de la Perle and the city’s cathedral.