The Best Indoor and All-Weather Activities in Apia
Apia might be the capital of a tropical country near the Equator, but there’s no need to put up with its heavy and frequent downpours. When the heavens open, Samoa‘s capital luckily has you “covered” with plenty of markets, museums and even a cultural village that all provide a roof over your head. Alternatively, you could just get wet anyway with one of the water activities the surrounding natural attractions have to offer.
So, here are your indoor and all-weather attractions to rely on in this list of the best things to do in Apia on a rainy day!
1. Check Out Falemata’aga, The Museum of Samoa
A rainy day is a perfect time to visit one of Apia’s best indoor attractions, Falemata’aga, The Museum of Samoa. The donation-based museum has an impressive collection of historical artefacts from across Samoa and the South Pacific. If you don’t want to sift through it all yourself, free guided tours are available with passionate guides to show you the six different galleries boasting 3,000-year-old Lapita pottery, colonisation history and even a small art exhibition. There’s plenty here to keep you occupied for as long as it takes for the rain to clear.
Location: Vaitele Street (look out for the large mural on the building).
2. Take a Tour of the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
The impeccably maintained villa of the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895), who lived in Samoa for the remaining four years of his life, is 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. Learn more about the museum, as well as other indoor attractions ideal for a rainy day in Apia, in the 5 Best Museums in Samoa.
Location: Signposted along Cross Island Road in the village of Avele, just south of Apia.
3. Hit the Markets
The markets of Apia are certainly worth perusing, whether it’s for the cultural ambience or to stay out of the rain. The largest market in Samoa and a hotspot for all sorts of cultural goings-on, Fugalei Market is a sight not to be missed. The Flea Market is a more compact version and specialises more in crafts, while the Samoa Women’s Association of Growers (SWAG) Market is a cute Saturday gathering, and the Night Market on the last Friday of the month is a street food storm. There’s much to go through when it comes to experiencing the markets in Apia, so take a look at the 8 Best Markets in Samoa to discover the best ones to check out.
Location: All over Apia! See the link above for specific locations.
4. Spend the Day Shopping
Take your market perusing further with a whole day of shopping in Apia! Home to talented craftspeople who have passed down techniques from generation to generation, Samoa certainly entices with unique woodwork, gorgeous siapo paintings, hand-printed clothing and much more – just see the 10 Best Souvenirs from Samoa for an idea of the amazing handicrafts available. With this in mind, spending some time browsing the craft and body care shops of Apia is a very viable way to spend a rainy day. Check out the retail highlights in The Guide to Shopping in Samoa + The Best Places to Shop.
Location: All over Apia! Check out the links above for shopping recommendations and their locations.
5. Experience the Samoa Cultural Village
“Fa’a Samoa” means “The Samoan Way” and you’ll certainly get the full flavour of the Samoan culture at Samoa Cultural Village. Happening from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday, the experience includes a number of workshops and demonstrations all taking place under the cover of various fales closely huddled together. Weave your own plate for the umu, be formally welcomed with an ‘ava ceremony and see how a traditional umu feast is prepared. While your lunch is cooking, you’ll see how ‘ava bowls are carved and even witness a Samoan tatau (tattoo) being performed in the traditional manner. Finally, sit down with your freshly prepared umu lunch while watching a fiafia cultural performance. Discover other fa’a Samoan experiences in the 10 Best Cultural Activities in Apia & Upolu.
Location: Behind the Samoa Tourism Information Centre, Beach Road.
6. Get Wet Anyway at the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks
More water can only make Apia’s natural waterpark better, so don’t let the wet weather deter you from 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? Check out more awesome natural attractions like this in The Top 20 Natural Wonders in Samoa.
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.
7. Snorkel at Palolo Deep
Also with the idea that you’re going to get wet anyway, why not use a rainy day to check out one of Samoa’s best snorkelling spots? Around 100 m (109 yards) off the shores of Apia 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. Note that the water is way too shallow for enjoyable snorkelling when it’s not close to high tide, so plan your visit accordingly.
Location: Between the Marina and Vaiala Beach along Beach Road.
8. Have a Look Inside the 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, luckily for a rainy day, 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 places of interest around the city, check out our guide to Sightseeing in Apia: Top 10 Sights in Apia.
Location: Beach Road opposite the Samoa Tourism Information Centre.
9. Work on Your Wellness with a Yoga Class
Ensure you leave Apia rejuvenated by partaking in a yoga session. Either join a class, such as on weekday mornings at Taumeasina Island Resort or book Yoga Samoa to provide a one-on-one or group session at your chosen accommodation. Alternatively, look out for yoga retreats either in Apia or hosted at one of the resorts across Samoa. Learn more about yoga retreats in The Guide to Retreats in Samoa: Yoga, Wellness & More.
Location: See recommended locations in the 10 Best Places to Experience Yoga in Samoa.
10. Cosy Up in a Cafe, Dine at a Restaurant or Drink Away the Rainy Day Blues at a Bar
A rainy day could be the perfect day to relax with a locally roasted coffee, a smooth tropical juice or cocktail, and delight in Samoan and international cuisine. Apia certainly has your largest offering of cafes in Samoa, as listed in the 10 Best Cafes in Apia & Upolu. Should it be later in the afternoon or evening, treat yourself to a cocktail or a local Vailima or Taula at one of the 10 Best Bars in Apia? Finally, wrap up your day with some international cuisine at one of the 10 Best Restaurants in Apia.
Location: All over Apia! See the link above for restaurants and their locations.
11. Experience a Fiafia Night
If the rain continues into the evening, you better hope that there’s a fiafia night on! “Fiafia” means “happy” in Samoan, which follows an equation that can’t help but put a smile on the faces of locals and visitors alike. Many will start with an ‘ava (kava) welcoming ceremony before guests are treated to a buffet of Samoan staples and international favourites. Once your stomach is gleeful, the show can get underway with cultural Pacifika dancing and, usually the highlight of the show, siva afi which is Samoa’s very own knife fire-dancing in the homeland where Polynesian fire dancing originated! Check out all of our recommended shows in the 10 Best Cultural Shows (Fiafia) in Samoa.
Location: All over Apia! See the link above for specific locations.
12. Plan the Next Part of Your Trip!
Since you’re here, chances are it’s a rainy day in Apia right now and, again, since you’re here, why not use Samoa Pocket Guide to plan the next leg of your trip? Have you done all of the 25 Best Things to Do in Apia yet? Perhaps you’re ready to explore the greater island of Upolu on a one-day or two-day self-drive itinerary? What’s more, have you considered travelling around Savai’i? We highly recommend you do so, which is made easy with The Complete Travel Guide to Savai’i.
More About Rainy Days in Apia
That’s it for our guide on things to do in Apia on a rainy day but by no means the end of our Apia advice! Check out these other articles to help plan the perfect getaway:
- 20 Things to Do in Samoa on a Rainy Day
- Samoa Weather, Seasons & Climate + Samoa Weather by Month
- 50 Best Things to Do on Upolu