Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame)
At 131 feet (40 meters) by 49 feet (15 meters) the church isn't grand, but its simplistically beautiful; highlights include stained glass windows that depict local landscapes and a multidimensional arched doorway. You can step inside for a look at the interior, which showcases artwork depicting the crucifixion; a life-sized wooden carving of the Madonna and child; circular chandeliers with candles; and an altar adorned with colorful flowers.
Most sightseeing tours of Papeete stop at the church, and give you the option of exploring on foot, or by bike, Segway, or electric scooter.
Things to Know Before You Go
Notre Dame Cathedral is one of Papeete’s most notable landmarks and is therefore a must-see for first time visitors.
Remember to dress respectfully and keep your voice down, as this is an active place of worship.
Visit the cathedral with a guide to learn more about its history and distinctive Polynesian architectural details.
How to Get There
The church sits just behind the market in central Papeete, within easy walking distance of most other attractions. You can also get there by le truck, the island’s hop-on hop-off public transportation.
When to Get There
The church is open daily throughout the year, with masses held on Saturday evenings. It’s a particularly pleasant (and cool) retreat on a hot, humid afternoon.
Things to See in Papeete
If you’re exploring Papeete on your own, you’ll find several notable attractions in the vicinity of the cathedral. Stroll through the Papeete Market to sample some fresh fruit; get some fresh air in Bougainville Park; admire the architecture at the Assemblee De La Polynesie Francaise; or enjoy some retail therapy at the Vaima Shopping Centre.
- Arahoho Blowhole (Trou de Souffleur de Arahoho)
- Vaima Shopping Centre
- Marché de Pape'ete (Pape'ete Market)
- Bougainville Park (Parc Bougainville)
- Robert Wan Pearl Museum (Musee de la Perle Robert Wan)
- Vai'ete Square (Place Vai'ete)
- To'ata Square (Tahua To'ata)
- Territorial Assembly (Place Tarahoi)
- Papeete Town Hall (Mairie de Papeete)