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Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]
Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2024]


The Sights You Can’t Miss in Apia

Samoa‘s capital and cosmopolitan hub is certainly worthy of a day trip. With a fine balance of cultural sights, like the markets, museums and a “cultural village”, and natural wonders, such as snorkelling spots and waterfalls that couple as waterslides, there are sights in Apia to please all travellers. Discover some of the best in this guide to sightseeing in Apia!

1. Samoa Cultural Village

Not just a sight but an interactive cultural experience, Samoa Cultural Village is your opportunity to engage inΒ “Fa’a Samoa” a.k.a. “The Samoan Way”. Head to the fale behind the Samoa Tourism Information Centre at 10:30 am, Tuesday to Friday, and the cultural village starts with a hands-on experience of weaving your own plate for the umu. You’ll then be formally welcomed with an ‘ava ceremony before seeing how a traditional umu feast is prepared. While your lunch is cooking, discover how ‘ava bowls are carved and even witness a painstaking Samoan tatau (tattoo) being applied in the traditional way. Finally, sit down with your freshly prepared umu lunch while watching a fiafia cultural performance including fire dancing. Oh, and did we mention it’s free? Epic!

Location: Behind the Samoa Tourism Information Centre, Beach Road, Apia.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

2. Immaculate Conception Cathedral

This striking cathedral looming over the Apia Harbour is undoubtedly one of the most awe-inspiring in Samoa, from the outside and within. Inside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral boasts an ornate timber ceiling and vibrant stained-glass windows. The original church was constructed in 1884 with the most recent reconstruction estimated to have cost ST$13 million, so go have a visit for the love of funding! For other impressive churches to visit, check out the 10 Best Churches in Samoa to Experience as a Visitor.

Location: Beach Road opposite the Samoa Tourism Information Centre.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

3. Fugalei Market (Marketi Fou)

Samoa’s largest market is a must-do for all things Samoa! Wind your way through vibrant displays of tropical fruit and vegetables displayed in traditionally woven baskets and stumble upon vendors selling classic Samoan meals like palusami and fai’ai elegi (see 20 Foods to Try in Samoa). Get into the centre of this large undercover venue and you’ll find rows and rows of stalls selling all kinds of handicrafts, from coconut jewellery to handprinted lavalava (sarongs) to carved ‘ava (kava) bowls. Have a wander and mingle at the Fugalei Market, known to the locals are Marketi Fou; if not for the shopping, at least for the cultural experience.

Location: Accessible along Fugalei Street and Saleufi Street, Fugalei, Apia.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

4. Robert Louis Stevenson Museum and Tomb

Not just a historical site but a museum that’s well worth scouting out, the impeccably maintained grounds and villa of the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895), who lived in Samoa for the remaining four years of his life, are preserved for visitors to enjoy today. While “Villa Vailima” has had a few makeovers over the years, the home has been filled with replicas to represent what this classic colonial home would have looked like. That’s not to say there aren’t a few original trinkets, books and personal belongings to admire, as well as stories to immerse in while taking the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum tour with one of the museum’s incredibly knowledgeable guides.

While you’re visiting, walk the Robert Louis Stevenson Tomb Trail not only to the tomb of the famous author on Mt Vaea but to reveal both fairytale-like rainforest and outstanding views of Apia. More information can be found in theΒ 10 Best Walks & Hikes on Upolu.

Location: Signposted along Cross Island Road in the village of Avele, just south of Apia.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

5. Savalalo Flea Market

Another popular indoor market and sight in Apia, Savalalo Flea Market is your go-to for all those unique Samoan handicrafts. Browse intricately carved wooden ornaments, woven pandanus mats, beautifully printed lavalava, colourful shirts, both traditional and contemporary jewellery designs, kilikiti (Samoan cricket) bats and much more. It won’t take you as long as the Fugalei Market to wander through, but it’s worth a venture nonetheless. For more markets to discover throughout Apia and Samoa, take a look at theΒ 8 Best Markets in Samoa.

Location: Accessible from Mulinuu Road where it intersects with Fugalei Street or from the waterfront road opposite the Savalalo Bus Station and Fish Market, Apia.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

6. Apia Clock Tower

Standing in plain sight at Apia’s main roundabout on Beach Road, the Apia Clock Tower is not only an interesting photo opportunity but it commemorates the Samoan soldiers that died during World War One. Reading the plaque at the base of the clock tower, however, can be dangerous due to traffic, so check out the Falemata’aga, The Museum of Samoa (see the 5 Best Museums in Samoa) to see the full text including the 60 names of those that died during the war.

Location: Beach Road roundabout, near the Government Building, Apia.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

7. Papase’ea Sliding Rocks

Try out Apia’s very own natural waterpark at the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks! After walking down an anxiously high number of steps, knowing that you have to get back up them again, you’ll come across the first and biggest slide that locals call the “men’s slide”; a near verticle 5 m (16 ft) slide. Further down is the “kids’ slide”, a much less precarious slide with a little drop at the end of extra fun. Finally, at the bottom, you have the “women’s slide”. Lots of fun, lots of laughs; what’s not to love? Avoid the busiest times, which tend to be the weekends, to get optimal slide time. For more affordable attractions like this, check out the 15 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Apia.

Location: Se’ese’e, Faleata District on the outskirts of Apia. The access road turns off Maugafolau Road near the University of the South Pacific campus.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

8. Palolo Deep

At first glance, it might not look like much. But 100 m (109 yards) off the shores of ApiaΒ and under the lagoon’s surface hides an amazing array of marine life that will make you squeak in your snorkel. Hire snorkelling gear from the kiosk at Palolo Deep and swim out to the white buoy to see an underwater trench thriving with staghorn coral, hundreds of tropical fish, starfish, octopuses and, if you’re lucky, perhaps even some turtles. The latter is more likely to be seen near the tiny island – just so you know. Note that the water is way too shallow for enjoyable snorkelling when it’s not close to high tide, so plan your visit accordingly. For more sweet snorkelling spots, check out The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel.

Location: Between the Marina and Vaiala Beach along Beach Road, Apia.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

9. Matagialalua Friendship Park

A neat little area on the Apia waterfront, Friendship Park offers an attractive park for a stroll, to catch the latest community event and to let kids loose at the playground if you’re travelling as a family. Explore the Mangrove Tidal Garden with boardwalks and bridges to mosey over, watch locals battle it out at the sports courts, and head down to the amphitheatre to catch a free gig or event. For more family-friendly spaces in the city, check out the 10 Things to Do in Apia with Kids.

Location: On the waterfront behind the Government Building on Beach Road, Apia.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

10. The Mulinuu Peninsula’s Historical Memorials

On the Mulinuu Peninsula lining the Apia Harbour are a number of historical memorials to make for an interesting side trip from town. From the tombs of various heads of state to memorials to Samoa’s German affiliations to commemorating Samoa’s independence, many representations of Samoa’s political history can be found here. Learn more about the individual memorials in the 10 Best Historical Sites in Apia.

Location: Mulinuu Peninsula, Mulinuu Road, Apia.

Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia 😍 [2023]©

More About Sightseeing in Apia

That’s it for our list of the best sights in Apia, as well as our complete sightseeing guide, but we have much more advice for a perfect trip to Samoa’s capital! Check them out in the following guides:

Finally, for your complete bible to all things Apia, don’t miss The Complete Travel Guide to Apia.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Samoa. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Upolu and Savai’i’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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