Papeete is not a tropical paradise. It is a gritty government center and industrial port with small doses of French and Polynesian charm. It has shopping, eating, and drinking, but very little sightseeing for a capital city and even fewer top-class hotels. The residents speak French and Tahitian -though English is spoken by many in the tourist trade- and the people-watching is superb.
Papeete features a tropical monsoon climate with a wet season and dry season. However, precipitation is observed even during the city's dry season. The city dry season is short, covering only the months of August and September. The rest of the year is wet, with the heaviest precipitation falling in the months of December and January. Temperatures are relatively constant throughout the course of the year, averaging around 25 degrees celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).
The waterfront esplanade
Bougainville Park (once named Albert Park, in honour of a former Belgian king and World War One hero, is now named for Louis Antoine de Bougainville, the first French explorer to circumnavigate the globe.
Cathedral of Notre Dame of Papeete
The Territorial Assembly is the heart of the Polynesian government and contains the Territorial Assembly building, the High Commissioner's residence and also a once popular clubhouse of Paul Gauguin. It was also once the site of the royal residence and palace of Queen Pomare IV of Tahiti, who ruled from 1827 to 1877.
The Monument to Pouvanaa a Oopa (a decorated World War I hero, Tahitian nationalist, and deputy to Paris for the Tahitian Territorial Assembly)
The Mairie (town hall)