Information, Shops & Services on Upolu
Information, Shops & Services on Upolu

Information, Shops & Services on Upolu

© SamoaPocketGuide.com

What Services are Available on Upolu?

Upolu is Samoa’s most populated island. However, the majority of information, shops and services are limited to its capital, Apia. A few small exceptions are that Upolu’s villages generally have good access to convenience stores, police stations, post offices and medical services. Then again, facilities and quality tend to be better in Apia… With that in mind, it’s best to get stocked up with what you need for your island visit to Upolu in Apia, and to a certain extent, at the Faleolo International Airport. Why? Find out in this guide to the information, shops and services on Upolu.

If you’re just sticking to the capital, check out the Information, Shops & Services in Apia instead.

Useful Services for Tourists

  • Samoa Tourism Visitor Information Centre – Beach Road (next to the Government Building), Apia
  • 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 Upolu for recommendations
  • Police Stations – Main HQ Apia (Beach Rd & Ififi St, Apia), Afega (Main W Coast Rd, Afega), Tuanaimato Police Station (Vaitele, Apia), Faleolo (Main W Coast Rd, Faleolo), Lalomanu (inland road, Lalomanu), Lotofaga (Main S Coast Rd, Lotofaga-uta), Maritime Outpost (Wharf, Beach Rd, Apia) and Poutasi (Main S Coast Rd, Saleilua)
  • Ports Authority – Apia Wharf, Beach Rd, Apia
  • Faleolo Airport – Main W Coast Rd, Faleolo.
Information, Shops & Services on Upolu© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Food and Groceries on Upolu

Although Apia is the most developed part of Upolu, you have plenty of supermarkets and convenience stores across the island as long as you’re near a village (which, if you’re on the coast, you are). Otherwise, restaurants are abundant in Apia, while resorts and beach fales outside of the capital will ensure you are well-fed.

Supermarkets and Convenience Stores

Upolu 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, Apia
  • Farmer Joe’s Supermarket Fugalei, Fugalei Street, Apia
  • Frankie Supermarket Lelata, Lelata Road, Apia
  • Farmer Joe’s Supermarket Savalalo, Savalalo Road, Apia
  • Frankie Supermarket Lotopa, Papaseea Road, Apia
  • Frankie Hypermarket Vaitele, Vaitele, Apia
  • Farmer Joe’s Supermarket Vaitele, Vaitele Street, Apia
  • Farmer Joe’s Supermarket Saleimoa, Main West Coast Road, Saleimoa
  • Frankie Supermarket Utualii, Main West Coast Road, Utualii
  • Frankie Supermarket Tanumalala, Cross Island Road, Tanumalala.

Upolu 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 in every village. 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 on Upolu. Small roadside stalls display baskets of coconuts, pineapples by the piece, taro and sometimes even fish in the early morning/late afternoon. If you approach one of these roadside stalls, its owner will likely come out to meet you. Otherwise, you can leave cash (ST$5 per large pineapple, for example).

You’ll also come across larger roadside stalls, which are always manned, and usually stocked with a variety of fruit and vegetables. These roadside markets can mainly be found along the main roads of the north and west coasts. Needless to say, these vendors only accept cash.

Finally, the largest gatherings of fruit and vegetables on Upolu can be found at a number of markets in Apia, which include:

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

Dining at Your Accommodation

Note that there are very limited accommodations outside of Apia with self-catering facilities. Breakfast and dinner are usually served at beach fales, while resorts have their own restaurants. Check out your accommodation options on Upolu in Where to Stay on Upolu: The Best Upolu Accommodations.

Restaurants on Upolu

Again, outside of Apia, restaurants are very limited. Check out your options for dining inside and outside Apia in The Food Guide to Upolu: Places to Eat & Food Tours.

Information, Shops & Services on Upolu© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Medication, Toiletries and Pharmaceuticals

While we always recommend having all the medication you need with you for your stay in Samoa and Upolu (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 on Upolu.

Medication at Supermarkets and Convenience Stores

Light medications (like painkillers), baby products, feminine hygiene products and toiletries are sold in supermarkets and convenience stores on Upolu, 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 and reduced hours on Saturday, closed Sunday. The pharmacy with the widest range of goods is Niu Pharmacy, while Maria’s has more branches that may be more convenient.

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

Medical Centres and Hospitals

Upolu’s main hospital is Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital at Motootua, Apia, offering specialist services, surgery and outpatient clinics. There are also outlying hospitals and medical centres in villages across the islands offering basic services and facilities. Hospitals are open 24/7. Independent medical centres/clinics are usually open from 7 am to 4 pm Monday to Saturday.

  • Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, Motootua, Apia
  • Poutasi District Hospital, Main South Coast Road, Saleilua
  • Leulumoega District Hospital, Main West Coast Road, Leulumoega
  • Saanapu Health Centre, Main South Coast Road, Saanapu-uta
  • Lalomanu District Hospital, inland road past the school, Lalomanu
  • Lufilufi Health Centre, just past the Piula Theological College and Cave Pool, Lufilufi
  • Faleolo Health Centre, down the inland road opposite Faleolo Airport, Faleolo
  • Plaza Medical Centre, SNPF Plaza, Convent Street, Apia
  • Samoa Healthcare Medical Clinic, Convent Street (behind Immaculate Conception Church), Apia.

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

Information, Shops & Services on Upolu© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Fuel Stations on Upolu

Need to fuel up? Fuel stations on Upolu 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.

Fuel stations can be found in and around Apia, as well as near Faleolo International Airport. Note that there are no fuel stations on the east side of Upolu, so be sure to fuel up before road-ripping on this side of the island.

  • Saleufi Service Station, Vaea Street, Apia
  • T & N Toleafoa Co. Ltd, Fugalei Street, Apia
  • Queen Poto Service Station, Fugalei Street, Apia
  • Lynn’s Service Station, Salenesa Road, Moto’otua, Apia
  • Leifiifi Service Station, Ififi Street, Leififi, Apia
  • TNT Gas Station, Papaseea Road, Tulaele, Apia
  • Maota o Samoa Service Station, Talimatau Road, Vaitele, Apia
  • CBM Petrol Station, Vaitele Street, Vailoa, Apia
  • Silva Gas Station, Main West Coast Road, Fale’ula, Apia
  • Gas Station, Main West Coast Road, Fasito’outa
  • MMT Petrol Station, Main West Coast Road, Leulumoega
  • Leaana Ronnie Posini Service Station, Main South Coast Road, Sataoa.

For more tips for driving on Upolu, take a look at How to Drive in Samoa + 10 Road Rules You Need to Know.

Information, Shops & Services on Upolu© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Communication Services on Upolu

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. Post offices also have a good presence on Upolu.

Phone Networks

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

  • Digicel – SNPF Plaza, Convent Street, Apia
  • Digicel Faleolo – Faleolo Airport (third office from the arrivals exit), Faleolo, Upolu
  • Vodafone Matafele (main store) – Beach Road (opposite ANZ), Apia
  • Vodafone Eveni – Convent Street (next to Eveni Store), Apia
  • Vodafone Fugalei – Saleufi Street (inside Fugalei Market), Apia
  • Vodafone Vaitele – Vaitele Street (opposite Farmer Joe’s), Apia
  • Vodafone Faleolo – Faleolo Airport (second office from the arrivals exit), Faleolo
  • Vodafone Office – 1 Logan Road, Maluafou, Apia.

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 Offices

Offering postal and secretarial services, there are several post offices across Upolu:

  • Samoa Post Apia – between Togafu’afu’a Road and Beach Road, Apia
  • Samoa Post Solosolo – Solosolo, northwest coast
  • Samoa Post Falefa – Main East Coast Road, Falefa
  • Samoa Post Lalomanu – inland road past the school, Lalomanu
  • Samoa Post Poutasi – Main South Coast Road, Poutasi
  • Samoa Post Siumu – Siumu, south coast
  • Samoa Post Lefaga – Main South Coast Road, Lefaga
  • Samoa Post Mulifanu – Main West Coast Road, Mulifanua.

Opening hours are typically from 8:30 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

Internet and WiFi

Internet and WiFi are certainly limited on Upolu, mostly offered by resorts and hotels for a fee. 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, Apia (free WiFi)
  • 1905 Restaurant at Lava Hotel, Apia (free WiFi)
  • Cyberbooth Internet Cafe, Lotemau Mall, Apia (internet cafe)
  • LTS Samoa, Falealili Street, Apia (internet cafe)
  • JJ Cyber Cafe, Pat Ah Him Building, Apia (internet cafe)
  • Talofa Inn, Apia (free WiFi for guests)
  • Karl’s Getaway, Apia (free WiFi for guests)
  • Lynn’s Getaway, Apia (free WiFi for guests)
  • Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Apia (free limited WiFi for guests).

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

Information, Shops & Services on Upolu© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Banks and ATMs on Upolu

Should you want to exchange currency or withdraw some cash, there are a few options on Upolu. We recommend getting the cash you need from Apia or Faleolo International Airport before exploring the rest of the island. Otherwise, your next best options are the ATMs mostly limited to Apia, Mulifanua Wharf and Faleolo Airport.

Banks

Banks can be found in Apia and its surrounding suburbs, as well as at Faleolo International Airport (only open when flights are operating). They offer services like foreign exchange, which you can learn more about in The Best Place to Exchange Money in Samoa. Note that banks on Upolu tend to be open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and 8:30 am to 12 pm Saturday.

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

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 are the easiest to come by across Upolu. The list includes:

  • Faleolo Airport, Faleolo
  • Mulifanua Wharf, Mulifanua
  • Business Systems Ltd, Taufusi, Apia
  • Frankie Supermarket, Lotopa, Apia
  • Frankie Supermarket, Matautu, Apia
  • Frankie Supermarket, Tanumalala
  • Frankie Supermarket, Utualii
  • Frankie Supermarket, Vaitele, Apia
  • Maota o Samoa, Siusega, Apia
  • Princessa Supermarket, Tanugamanono, Apia
  • R & J Mackenzie, Lotopa, Apia
  • Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, Mulifanua
  • Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Sogi (Mulinuu Peninsula), Apia
  • Taumeasina Island Resort, Taumeasina, Apia.

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

More About Information, Shops and Services on Upolu

Now that you know about the Upolu 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.

Was this article useful?

Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter