Apia, Samoa, is situated on the island of Upolu, and it became the Samoan capital in 1959. No visitor is going to be stuck for things to do in Samoa, as there are plenty of incredible places to visit both in, and around, the city of Apia. Here you can find natural wonders, historical buildings, and leading Samoan cultural attractions.
Located in a natural harbor, which is one of the busiest in all of the Islands, Apia is a fascinating place of contrasts. Here old wooden colonial buildings stand side by side with new multi-story modern creations. One of the most popular Apia attractions is the Old Apia market, located on Beach Road. Here you can meander for hours between the multitudinous stalls of this extensive market which offers a wide and eclectic selection of interesting and wonderful things. It’s a great place to pick up an authentic Samoan souvenir, to taste some local delicacies and to soak up the rich local culture as the people are renowned for their friendliness, and are always happy to chat.
Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral
The recently renovated Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral, also on Beach Road is one of the most important historical Apia attractions. The meticulously restored interior is of extraordinary beauty, and even if you are not religious, this sanctuary will impress you with its wooden ceiling, exquisite artwork, stained glass, and its impressive dome. There are many other interesting things to do in Apia and if you are interested in the history of the island, don’t miss a visit to the burying place of the founding fathers and the Old and New Parliament Houses.
The Palolo Deep Marine Reserve
The Palolo Deep Marine Reserve is a short five-minute walk from the town, between the harbor and Vaiala Beach and is one of most spectacular things to do in Apia, Samoa. It is a magnificent stretch of the shallow reef with an incredible, deep coral-encrusted hole which is teeming with a wide variety of marine life. It is best to visit at high tide, as you need to swim out about 100-metres to reach the drop. Snorkels and flippers can be hired, and this is a wonderful spot to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Samoa.
Piula Cave Pools
Just 45-minutes from Apia, a visit to the Piula Cave Pools, on the north coast of the island, is one of the most popular things to do in Samoa. The pool and cave are formed in an extinct lava tube just meters from the sea, and the fresh water is crystal clear and very inviting. The valiant can dive down and swim through a dark 3-metre long passage into a second cave.
Aleipata & Lalomanu Beaches
Samoa is rightly famous for its breathtaking beaches, and Aleipata & Lalomanu Beaches, close to Apia, are among the Pacific’s best. The blue waters, tall palm trees, thatched huts, and impressive waterfalls make this an excursion you will never forget, and it could even be the start of a long-term love affair.
So it was for the famous Scottish author of Treasure Island and Kidnapped, who spent the last years of his life in Samoa. The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is located in what was his home, and this beautiful building has been restored to exactly how it was just before his death in 1894. Visitors can see some of his original works and observe family memorabilia. Louis took the native name of Tusitala – the teller of tales, and he was a highly respected and popular member of the local community, and the museum is now one of the principal Apia attractions for both locals and visitors.
About the Author
Anna McGahan is a Marketing Executive for Tanoa Hotel Group, which includes the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel in Apia. Anna has a passion for travel and has visited many different countries, including living and working in England, Japan, and Korea. Her favorite travel experience was spending 3 months traveling through South America. She has spent many years in the New Zealand tourism industry as a corporate travel consultant, product manager, and online marketing executive.