Where to Shop in Tahiti
The public market: “Le Marché”
The public market in Papeete is in every sense the heart of the city. “Le Marché”, as the municipal market is called, is the perfect place to find local Tahitian products and produce, while you shop in Tahiti, and it is located just one block inland from the waterfront.
On the ground floor of the spacious building are many stands with displays of luscious ripe fruits, Tahitian and Chinese vegetables, “monoi” oil and scented soaps, vanilla beans, cakes and pies, fruit preserves, dance costumes, woven hats and bags and shell necklaces.
Strings of brightly colored fish are brought from the fishing boats to the market each afternoon around 4.00 pm, which is an excellent time to visit. “Le Marché” is open daily from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm (Sundays until 9 am), and reaches its peak of activity very early on Sunday mornings, when Tahitian families come to shop for their Sunday feast.
Be sure to stop at the flower market on the ground floor where you will find brilliant displays of lovely floral arrangements of orchids and anthuriums, and daisies, red ginger, and jasmine as well as shell necklaces, woven hats and baskets.
The upstairs section is reserved for artisans selling pareos, carvings, tifaifai wall hangings or quilts, embroidered cushion covers and other handicrafts. All around the exterior of “Le Marché” are more vendors of pareo, Tahitian vanilla, table sets, shell jewelry, monoi oil products, leis and crowns of “Tiare Tahiti” flowers.
The Centre Vaima in Papeete is the Tahitian version of a mall. Tourists can find a variety of goods, services, pearls, and books at reasonable prices.
Shopping on the island of Tahiti should undoubtedly include a visit to the famous Robert Wan Pearl Museum. At the museum, tourists can, not only learn about pearls, but also shop for pearls. Robert Wan operates several shops in several hotels on Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora.
Collin’s flagship store is located on the island of Moorea, and she has outposts on Tahiti and Bora Bora. Call and arrange transportation from your hotel. Collins won awards for her original designs, which incorporate Tahitian pearls with 18-karat gold and pavé diamonds. The store is located near Le Petit Village in Papetoai, Moorea.
Tahiti Pearl Market
Family-owned Tahiti Pearl Market has shops on Tahiti and Bora Bora and sells loose pearls as well as readymade settings. You can choose your pearls and have them set into one of the designs within hours. The market is located at 23 rue Colette in Papeete, Tahiti.