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The capital of Samoa is a small city known for its colorful marketplace, souvenir shopping and relaxed and hospitable locals.

Apia is a laidback island city where the locals are friendly, the food is fresh and the shopping is the best in Samoa. The capital is relatively small and most locals get around on foot. Many hotels and restaurants are located in downtown, with the markets, museums and central business district all within a short distance.

Apia is often the first stop on a trip to Samoa, as the airport is here and it’s easy to move on to other destinations on the island of Upolu. It’s worth spending a few days in Apia to get a feel for the culture – and shop. The food market in Apia sees families sell locally grown produce such as bananas, taro and coconut. Sample traditional dishes such as Lu’au, made from taro leaves and coconut cream. A flea market in the old market building on Beach Road has traditional hand-made Samoan products. Pick up sarongs, carvings, bowls and woven mats made in nearby villages.

The dining scene is a mix of traditional and international cuisine. Try fresh seafood and tropical fruit in small restaurants run by locals, or book a table at one of the many restaurants run by expats. There’s a strong presence of German, French, Japanese, Chinese and Italian influences from international visitors who came and never left.

Stroll around the Mulinu’u district, which is the old ceremonial capital. Many of the buildings here are old wooden colonial-style buildings, including the Old Courthouse, which now houses the Museum of Samoa.

At night, attend one of the Fia Fia shows. There are a number of venues around town, so take your pick. The Fia Fia’s are a showcase of traditional dancing, singing and drumming. There’s also the chance to enjoy a traditional banquet, often included in the price of a ticket.

Many come to Samoa for the beautiful beaches and warm waters, and the capital is no exception. Rent a snorkel and head out in the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, which has coral and fish.

When it’s time to move on, book a tour from one of the many operators in town, then catch a boat, plane or bus to another patch of Samoan paradise.

Top hotels in Apia

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Apia Central Hotel
Apia Central Hotel
3 out of 5
Savalalo Road, Apia
The price is NZ$125 per night

Situated in Apia, this hotel is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from National Parliament and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. Papaseea Sliding Rocks and Baha'i ...

3.9/5Good! (91 reviews)

"Staff was amazing , Very friendly and always willing to help. They became like family and without hesitation They promised to look after my mum when I returned back to NZ but they went above and beyond. Check in/out was smooth with no hassles. Right in the middle of Apia so very convenient to town. ..."…"

Reviewed on 3 May 2020

Apia Central Hotel
Taumeasina Island Resort
Taumeasina Island Resort
4.5 out of 5
Beach Road, Apia
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$391 per night

Nestled on the beach, this Apia hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of National Parliament, Papaseea Sliding Rocks and Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. Papapapaitai Falls ...

4.3/5Excellent! (249 reviews)

"We really enjoyed our stay at Taumesina the best holiday ever. Love the different entertainments and activities on offer during the day and especially at nights. Staff provides great service all day long they're friendly and very helpful, 5 star service."…"

Reviewed on 2 Mar. 2020

Taumeasina Island Resort
Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows
Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows
4.5 out of 5
Main Beach Road, Apia
The price is NZ$293 per night

Situated by the sea, this luxury hotel is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Papaseea Sliding Rocks and Baha'i House ...

4.1/5Very Good! (229 reviews)

"The staff as always were Super friendly. This is the 2nd stay me and my family have had here. And they never disappoint. It was unfortunate our original room wasn’t available due to renovations. We were then upgraded to a bungalow. Probably wise of them to inform us prior to checking in via phone ..."…"

Reviewed on 3 May 2020

Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows

Top activities in Apia

Forgotten Bay Scuba Tour
Image for Forgotten Bay Scuba Tour

Forgotten Bay Scuba Tour

Per adult

Reviews of Apia


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 29.518072289156628%
4 - Good
4 - Good 50%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 18.674698795180724%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0.6024096385542169%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 1.2048192771084338%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

3 May 2020

It’s ok but too dirty, too cramped and needs life.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

14 Mar. 2020

Though I wasn’t born here, Samoa will always be home to me. I was raised the strict Samoan way so it’s always a pleasure to be witnessing the life my parents were raised. Customer Service is really appalling from females at some places.

3/5 - Okay


2 Mar. 2020

Needs to improve overall look in town.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

27 Feb. 2020

Beating city

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

26 Feb. 2020

Apia is Apia n don’t compare Apia to NZ or Australia I love Samoa where I was born n I will keep on going back to my home land I live one kilometre from Lalomanu beach but always stay at Mellenia hotel before I go to my village

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

24 Feb. 2020

Apart from the terrible weather since we arrived that cause flooding in some areas of the city. Apia is a beautiful city that have a variety of shops, good hotels and some restaurants that have island food on their menu. Nice city for travelers 

Cities near Apia

Apia featuring a city and street scenes as well as an individual male

Downtown Apia