Information, Shops & Services in Apia
Information, Shops & Services in Apia

Information, Shops & Services in Apia

© SamoaPocketGuide.com

What Services are Available in Apia?

Although many believe that Samoa is a rather undeveloped country, its capital, Apia, is essentially the main hub for all of the country’s information, shops and services. All the essential shops are available seemingly around every corner, as you don’t need to travel far to find multiple supermarkets, phone network providers, fuel stations and even internet cafes. Something the city does lack is free access to WiFi and it doesn’t have the most efficient postal service. Nevertheless, most of what you’re likely to need is here, as we go over in this guide to the information, shops and services in Apia.

If you need something as you’re travelling around Upolu, first note Apia is likely the best place for it. Second, you might want to check out the Information, Shops & Services on Upolu.

Useful Services for Tourists

  • Samoa Tourism Visitor Information Centre – Beach Road (next to the Government Building)
  • Car Rentals – See Upolu Car Rental Companies for listings
  • Taxi Services – See Taxis in Samoa for information
  • Bus Services – See Taking the Bus in Upolu for information
  • Restaurants – See The Food Guide to Apia for recommendations
  • Police Stations – Main HQ Apia (Beach Road & Ififi Street), Tuanaimato Police Station (Vaitele) and Maritime Outpost (Wharf, Beach Road).
  • Ports Authority – Apia Wharf, Beach Road.
Information, Shops & Services in Apia© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Food and Groceries in Apia

Not only is Apia home to some of Samoa’s largest supermarkets, but there are convenience stores every 200 metres or so to ensure you can grab some essentials when you need them. Note that although many supermarkets are closed on a Sunday, Chinese-run stores usually still operate.

Supermarkets and Convenience Stores

Apia is home to a couple of homegrown supermarket chains where you’ll find the most variety when it comes to food staples, baked goods and even takeaway food. The largest supermarkets are as follows:

  • Frankie Supermarket Fugalei, Fugalei Street
  • Farmer Joe’s Supermarket Fugalei, Fugalei Street
  • Frankie Supermarket Lelata, Lelata Road
  • Farmer Joe’s Supermarket Savalalo, Savalalo Road
  • Frankie Supermarket Lotopa, Papaseea Road
  • Frankie Hypermarket Vaitele, Vaitele
  • Farmer Joe’s Supermarket Vaitele, Vaitele Street.

Apia also has an abundance of convenience stores which are usually easily identifiable by the shop name sign printed in bold along with logos for Coco-Cola, Vailima or similar. A rule of thumb is that there is a convenience store stocked with at least staple foods and snacks. Many also have a bakery with fresh baked goods stocked every morning.

For more information on what sort of food to expect in convenience stores, see A Guide to Supermarkets & Food Shopping in Samoa.

Markets and Roadside Stalls

When it comes to fruit and vegetables, you have even more options in Apia. Roadside stalls usually stock a small variety of fruit and vegetables, usually found in the surrounding suburbs and villages of Apia. Needless to say, these vendors only accept cash.

On the other hand, the largest gatherings of fruit and vegetables in Apia can be found at a number of markets, which include:

  • Fugalei Market, between Fugalei, Saleufi and Savalalo Streets
  • Flea Market, between Mulinuu Road and the waterfront
  • Apia Fish Market, waterfront opposite the Flea Market
  • Vaitele Market, Vaitele Street (between Burger Bills and Frankie)
  • Taufusi Drive-Thru Market, Vaitele Street, Taufusi.

Markets are typically open from 6 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday.

Restaurants in Apia

Unsurprisingly, there are tens of cafes, restaurants and takeaways across Apia to make for an easy meal. You might want to download the Seki Eats app (the Samoan Uber Eats) to check out your options and even get meals delivered. Otherwise, we have listed some of our favourite eateries in The 10 Best Restaurants in Apia and the 10 Best Cafes in Apia & Upolu.

Information, Shops & Services in Apia© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Medication, Toiletries and Pharmaceuticals

While we always recommend having all the medication you need with you for your stay in Apia (see What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Samoa for advice), if there is anything you end up needing, you have some options for purchasing medication and healthcare products in Apia.

Medication at Supermarkets and Convenience Stores

Light medications (like painkillers), baby products, feminine hygiene products and toiletries are sold in supermarkets and convenience stores in Apia, as listed in the “Food and Groceries” section above.

Pharmacies

Independent pharmacies can be found across Apia and tend to be open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday with reduced hours on Saturday and closed Sunday. The pharmacy with the widest range of goods is Niu Pharmacy, while Maria’s and Samoa Pharmacy has more branches that may be more convenient.

  • Niu Pharmacy, signposted off Vaea Street
  • Maria’s Healthcare Pharmacy, Vaea Street, Taufusi
  • Samoa Pharmacy Sogi, Mulinuu Road, Mulinuu Peninsula
  • Samoa Pharmacy, Mulinuu Road (between the Mall and BSP Bank)
  • Alpha Cafe & Chemist, Ififi Street, Moto’otua
  • Maria’s Healthcare Pharmacy, Ififi Street, Moto’otua
  • Maria’s Healthcare Pharmacy, Vaitele Street (at Farmer Joe’s Complex), Vaitele-tai.

Medical Centres and Hospitals

Apia and Samoa’s main hospital is Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital at Motootua which offers specialist services, surgery and outpatient clinics. The hospital is open 24/7. There are also outlying medical centres around Apia offering basic services and facilities. Independent medical centres/clinics are usually open from 7 am to 4 pm Monday to Saturday.

  • Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, Motootu
  • Plaza Medical Centre, SNPF Plaza, Convent Street
  • Samoa Healthcare Medical Clinic, Convent Street (behind Immaculate Conception Church).

For more health and safety advice while visiting Apia, check out Samoa Safety Tips: Is it Safe to Travel to Samoa?

Information, Shops & Services in Apia© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Fuel Stations in Apia

Need to fuel up? Fuel stations in Apia tend to be open from 7 am to 6 pm except for Sundays. Note that fuel stations are fully serviced and an attendant will fill your vehicle for you; tell the attendant how much you want to fill up. Pay the attendant in cash.

  • Saleufi Service Station, Vaea Stree
  • T & N Toleafoa Co. Ltd, Fugalei Street
  • Queen Poto Service Station, Fugalei Street
  • Lynn’s Service Station, Salenesa Road, Moto’otua
  • Leifiifi Service Station, Ififi Street, Leififi
  • TNT Gas Station, Papaseea Road, Tulaele
  • Maota o Samoa Service Station, Talimatau Road, Vaitele
  • CBM Petrol Station, Vaitele Street, Vailoa.

For more tips for driving around Apia, take a look at How to Drive in Samoa + 10 Road Rules You Need to Know, as well as Apia Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Apia.

Information, Shops & Services in Apia© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Communication Services in Apia

When it comes to staying connected, Samoa’s phone networks provide the most reliable and convenient option, as you can pick up SIM cards from most convenience stores and supermarkets. Otherwise, expect to pay for an internet connection in accommodations and internet cafes. There is also a post office in Apia.

Phone Networks

There are two network providers in Samoa, Digicel and Vodafone, which have branches in the following locations:

  • Digicel – SNPF Plaza, Convent Street
  • Vodafone Matafele (main store) – Beach Road (opposite ANZ)
  • Vodafone Eveni – Convent Street (next to Eveni Store)
  • Vodafone Fugalei – Saleufi Street (inside Fugalei Market)
  • Vodafone Vaitele – Vaitele Street (opposite Farmer Joe’s)
  • Vodafone Office – 1 Logan Road, Maluafou.

These stores are typically open from 8 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays and 8 am to 12 pm on Saturdays. Otherwise, most convenience stores sell SIM cards for at least one of Samoa’s phone networks. Learn more about the network, prices and coverage in The Best SIM Card in Samoa for Travellers.

Post Office

Apia has one main post office in its city centre run by Samoa Post (between Togafu’afu’a Road and Beach Road). Services includes postage stamps, domestic and international mail, passport photos, photocopying, fax, laminating, stationery supplies, phone cards and more. Opening hours are typically from 8:30 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

Internet and WiFi

Free access to internet and WiFi is certainly limited in Apia. Public access to paid internet is mostly offered by resorts, hotels and internet cafes for a fee that’s certainly not cost-effective if you’re planning on using the internet often. For this reason, we recommend getting a local SIM card and using a data plan as the best way to access the internet. Otherwise, other options include:

  • Cornwall Cafe, Vaea Street (free WiFi)
  • 1905 Restaurant at Lava Hotel, Mulinuu Road (free WiFi)
  • Cyberbooth Internet Cafe, Lotemau Mall (internet cafe)
  • LTS Samoa, Falealili Street (internet cafe)
  • JJ Cyber Cafe, Pat Ah Him Building (internet cafe)
  • Talofa Inn, Vaea Street (free WiFi for guests)
  • Karl’s Getaway, Falealili Street (free WiFi for guests)
  • Lynn’s Getaway, Salenesa Road (free WiFi for guests)
  • Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Mulinuu Road (free limited WiFi for guests).

For more tips on staying connected, check out How to Get Internet & WiFi in Samoa.

Information, Shops & Services in Apia© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Banks and ATMs in Apia

Should you want to exchange currency or withdraw some cash, there are certainly a few options in Apia.

Banks

Banks in Apia offer services like foreign exchange, which you can learn more about in The Best Place to Exchange Money in Samoa. Note that banks tend to be open from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday and 8:30 am to 12 pm Saturday.

  • BSP Apia – Corner Beach Road and Vaea Street
  • BSP Vaitele, Main West Coast Road, Vaitele
  • ANZ Apia – Beach Road
  • ANZ Vaitele – Vaitele industrial zone
  • National Bank of Samoa (main branch) – Level 1 ACC Building
  • National Bank of Samoa Matautu – Matautu Street, Matautu
  • National Bank of Samoa Vaitele – Vaitele Street, Vaitele.

Note that the above branches also have ATMs accepting foreign cards – best to use Visa and MasterCard – see Can You Use Your Credit Card in Samoa?

ATMs

Other than at the bank branches mentioned above, BSP ATMs offer a way to withdraw cash in Apia. The list includes:

  • Business Systems Ltd, Taufusi
  • Frankie Supermarket, Lotopa
  • Frankie Supermarket, Matautu
  • Frankie Supermarket, Vaitele
  • Maota o Samoa, Siusega
  • Princessa Supermarket, Tanugamanono
  • R & J Mackenzie, Lotopa
  • Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Mulinuu Peninsula
  • Taumeasina Island Resort, Taumeasina.

Learn more about paying your way through Samoa in What is the Best Way to Pay in Samoa?

More About Information, Shops and Services in Apia

Now that you know about the Apia shops and services available, here’s more advice to help you plan a smooth trip to the island:

Finally, plan your whole trip to Samoa using The Best Samoa Travel Guide. Plus, find more helpful tips in the 30 Tips for Travelling in Samoa.

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with the Samoa Tourism Authority, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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