Top 10 Things To Do In Apia, Samoa

things to do in apia
| 5 min read

Apia, Samoa’s harbor city and a charming colonial-style town in the South Pacific, is a beautiful destination for travelers looking for something off the beaten path. Apia is not only the capital but also the South Pacific island nation’s biggest city. Travelers can delight in traditional food and revel in lilting Samoan music. Shake a leg to the traditional dance as the warriors weave their magic and the local storytellers drift you away to a time gone by. Apia is a wonderful blend of the old world and modern. This enigmatic city has one of the largest clusters of clubs, restaurants, shops, markets, and cultural attractions. This harborside capital is undoubtedly a paradise for adventurers and offers plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and water sports. Check out the top things to do in Apia, Samoa, during your visit.

1. Explore the traditional Old Apia Market

Apia Market in Samoa
Source: Photo by Flickr user UN Women Pacific used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Explore the traditional Old Apia Market and satiate the shopaholic in you as you scrounge for little handmade treasures! This flea market not only offers a wide range of products at the best price but is a great spot to get the vibe of the city. As a tourist, you can buy some really interesting and traditional Samoan handicrafts to take back home. You would come along friendly sellers selling mats or handicrafts, fruits, veggies, eatables, and more. This flea market is surely a one-stop center for all sorts of items. The market is just a 10-minute walk from the food market and a great place to snag souvenirs!

Old Apia Market

Address: Beach Road, Apia, Upolu Samoa

Opening hours: Sat: 6:15am - 1:30pm; Mon - Fri: 6:15am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free entry

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2. Check out the architecture of Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Apia Landmark (30469573920)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Coghlan used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Affiliated with the Catholic Church in Apia, this cathedral is the true example of Samoan architecture. Standing tall since 1857, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral has suffered cyclones and epidemics pre- and post-construction, as well as in 2009. An earthquake damaged a significant part and it took five years to restore before it was opened to the public in 2014. This massive construction is the pride of Apia and is a popular tourist attraction courtesy its beautiful stained glass windows and architecture. Marvel at the beautiful timber crafter ceilings and soak in the serene atmosphere when in Apia.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Address: Beach Rd, Apia, Samoa

Website: Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Opening hours: 5am - 6:30pm (daily)

Price: Free entry

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3. Explore Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

Robert Lewis Stevenson Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Stephen Glauser used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you loved reading Treasure Island then you cannot miss a visit to the abode of Scottish poet and author Robert Louis Stevenson’s beautifully restored residence in Apia. Built in 1890, it has been converted into a museum and is located in the midst of a sprawling lush green courtyard. A popular tourist spot, people come here to know the poet’s life. This museum has well been maintained for years and has been a great source of knowledge and inspiration for many. The graves of the Scottish author and his wife are located in the vicinity i.e. Mt. Vaea Scenic Reserve.

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

Address: Vailima, Cross Island Rd, Apia, Samoa

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat: 8am - 12pm (closed on Sun)

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4. Adventure reloaded at Palolo Deep Marine Reserve

Moorish Idol At Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, Apia
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dave Lonsdale used under CC BY 2.0

For the adventure freaks, Palolo Deep Marine Reserve is the best destination offering a lifetime of memorable experience diving amongst the tropical fishes and corals. It offers tourists snorkeling and swimming opportunities. Its magnificent stretch of shallow reef offers some of the best breathtaking scenes. This place is a wonder during the high tide as the divers are able to see the coral-encrusted, deep hole. Put on the flippers and enjoy the dive.

Palolo Deep Marine Reserve

Address: Beach Rd, Apia, Samoa

Website: Palolo Deep Marine Reserve

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 3 USD (adults); 2 USD (child)

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5. Discover the unforgettable Samoa Cultural Village

Traditional Samoan  Dance
Source: Photo by Flickr user Francesco used under CC BY 2.0

Open every day, tourists at Samoa Cultural Village love to be a part of the interactive sessions. In addition to this, the tourists are escorted by extremely affable and knowledgeable hosts who share in detail every aspect of the Samoa cultural village. It showcases the interesting Samoan culture and the traditional life of the people. Once here, you can explore the workshops on woodworking, weaving, and cloth making. Tap to the lilting traditional music as you sway along with the graceful dancers. You can also enjoy umu here - a hot stone oven lunch.

Samoa Cultural Village

Address: Beach Rd, Apia, Samoa

Website: Samoa Cultural Village

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: Free entry

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6. Recall the bravery of Samoans at Apia Town Clock Tower

Apia clock tower, Samoa - August 2016
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rickard Törnblad used under CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the prominent and unmissable landmarks of Apia is its clock tower, which stands tall as a reminder of the past. The Apia Town Clock Tower commemorates the participation of Samoa-born boys in World War I. The inscription on the Apia Town Clock Tower honors the sailors and soldiers born in Samoa, who fought for allied forces. The names of the deceased are mentioned on a marble plaque. This landmark draws tourists by the drove and is situated just next to the Central Bank of Samoa. The beautiful tower is white with yellow accents and is also near the local fish market.

Apia Town Clock Tower

Address:Beach Rd, Apia, Samoa

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free entry

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7. Breathtaking view of art forms at EFKS Fine Arts Museum

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum Apia Samoa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user amanderson2 used under CC BY 2.0

Another famous and popular tourist spot is the EFKS Fine Arts Museum. Located just halfway from Apia and the airport in Malua, this museum is run by Congregational Christian Church. It has a mind-boggling collection of interesting and exciting local traditional artworks, wood carvings, and many local items. It houses an array of artifacts that date back to Samoa’s early missionary days and give a glimpse into its rich history and culture. There is a beautiful outdoor turtle pond outside the museum, which is a popular spot to take pictures.

EFKS Fine Arts Museum

Address: Main West Coast Rd, Malua - 42967

Website: EFKS Fine Arts Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 4:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 10 USD (adults); 5 USD (12 - 18 year old)

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8. Soak up nature's bounty at Vailima Botanical Garden

Samoa Tourism Office, Apia, 2009
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Stephen Glauser used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you are a nature lover and then Vailima Botanical Garden is a paradise that awaits you. The sprawling gardens have a plethora of different flora you can explore and marvel at. With various species of plants collected from the Pacific Basin, this botanical garden runs some of the best conservation and research programs. There is hardly any plant that a visitor won’t find - from shrubs to trees, everything is present.

Vailima Botanical Garden

Address: Robert Louis Stevenson Rd, Apia, Samoa

Opening hours: Sat: 8am - 12pm; Mon - Fri: 9am - 3:30pm (closed on Suni)

Price: Free entry

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9. Explore the Vanya Taule'alo Gallery

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Vanya Taule'alo Gallery is a paradise for art lovers and is a five-minute drive from the center of Apia. This gallery houses some of the best and breathtaking art forms, the works of artists from Samoa and other Pacific Islands. You can explore the woodcarvings, paintings, prints, and jewelry. Apart from this, it houses other handicrafts of top-quality from the artists. These are also available for sale.

Vanya Taule'alo Gallery

Address: Apia, Samoa

Website: Vanya Taule'alo Gallery

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 3pm (closed on Sun)

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10. Pray at Baha'i House of Worship

Bahai Temple Samoa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Stefan Krasowski used under CC BY 2.0

Located at Cross Island Road, Baha'i House of Worship - or Baha'i Temple - is one of the eight structures in the world having a similar architecture. The temple’s dome is quite mesmerizing and stands 28 meters (91.9 feet) high. The auditorium has a peaceful atmosphere and the temple itself has nine entrances, which are symmetrical. The temple welcomes people from all religions. It is symbolic of the basic unity of all religions and people following them. Easily accessible by bus and taxi, one can offer Sunday prayer at 10am. You can simply pray or meditate here as you soak in the serene atmosphere.

Baha'i House of Worship

Address: Cross Island Rd, Apia, Samoa

Website: Baha'i House of Worship

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free entry

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Discover the charm of Apia

Apia has a lot to offer first-time travelers as well as frequent visitors. The stunning beach is perfect for those looking for a relaxing stay and while away their time. Whether visiting with family or planning a romantic holiday this list of the best things to do will surely assist you on your next trip.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Anupama Passary has contributed to various online publications, showcasing a particular fondness for all things tech and travel-related. She is also a chocoholic, stargazer, and dreamer....Read more

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