13 BEST Things to do in Nadi, Fiji (that’ll make you fall in love with Nadi!)
If you want a taste of Fijian culture, then doing activities in and around Nadi (Fiji’s most vibrant city) is the perfect place! Here’s a guide to the absolute BEST 13 things to od in Nadi, Fiji that’ll ensure you have the best holiday possible!
If you’re planning on visiting Fiji, chances are that you’ll fly into the Nadi International Airport. Many tourists leave Nadi immediately and head off to a remote island for their holiday in Fiji. But if you choose to stay in Nadi, even for just a couple of days, you’ll be rewarded with interesting and fun things to do in Nadi, Fiji!
While the beaches in Nadi are subpar in comparison to the beaches on the surrounding islands, there is just so much to do and see in Nadi! And to be honest, the beaches aren’t too bad anyway!
I recently spent 5 nights in Nadi and I truly loved it! I would stay there again if I ever return to Fiji! Wailoaloa Beach was beautiful and I liked being close to the city where there is lots to see and do. Plus, going on day trips or excursions from Nadi is really easy as well!
So, if you’re wanting to do more than just sit on a beach while you’re in Fiji then you’re going to love Nadi – and let me tell you why!
During my time in Nadi, I did a lot! But out of everything I did and saw, I’ve come up with this list of the 13 best things to do in Nadi, Fiji. If you choose any of the following things to do on my list, you’re sure to have a great time!
13 BEST Things to do in Nadi, Fiji
1. Visit Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple
The Sri Siva Subramaniya temple in Nadi is just gorgeous! It is very colorful and the paintings on the roof on the inside are incredible. It’s definitely one of the most unique things to do in Nadi!
This temple is one of the many Hindu temples in Fiji. In fact, Hinduism is the second most popular religion in Fuji due to all of the Indian immigrants.
The temple costs $5 FJD for the entry fee and enforces a strict dress code. Women must have their knees covered, but don’t worry if you’re wearing shorts as they will provide a shawl you can tie around your waist. You’ll be asked to remove your shoes to visit the temple and to only take photos outside of the temple.
You can explore the entire temple in only 20 minutes or so, but it is beautiful and you’ll want to take some photos, so allow a little more time.
Many day tours of Nadi include a visit to this temple. But if you want, you can simply hire a taxi driver to take you directly from your hotel. It is only a 10-minute drive from Wailoaloa Beach or 15 minutes from Port Denarau.
2. Visit the Fiji Culture Village
There is simply no point in visiting a new country unless you try to learn about their culture. From Nadi, you can easily visit villages or go on a cultural tour.
I went on an evening cultural night tour to the Fiji Culture Village where I learned all about village life. I also watched traditional dancing (including fire dancers), tried Kava, ate a Lovo meal – and if you don’t know what these things are then you really should go for yourself!
There is so much to learn about the way people of Fiji once lived and the way they live today. It’s also great to watch traditional dances and listen to songs. But for me, the highlight of experiencing a new culture is trying new food!
I highly recommend the evening cultural tour at the Fiji Culture Village, it’s an entertaining and fun night out!
For more information, check out my blog all about my experience at the Fiji Culture Village!
3. Go Shopping!!!
The main street in Nadi has tons of shopping! Here you can load up on souvenirs or just do some shopping for new clothing. “Bula shirts” are Fijian-style “Hawaiian shirts” and they are a typical souvenir that tourists buy. Plus, they are nice shirts and cheap!
I picked up 2 gorgeous flower-print sarongs for $20 FJD!
The Nadi Handicraft Market is another great place to stock up on souvenirs. Although most of the huts sell similar items, it is a good place to find a deal and buy a few things to bring back with you.
If you’re heading out to another area in Fiji such as an island or the pacific coast, it is best to do all of your shopping in Nadi as it will be much cheaper!
4. Walk the Garden of the Sleeping Giant
The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is a beautiful orchid garden just on the outskirts of Nadi. This garden has tons of different orchids on display along with many other flowers and trees.
You walk along a path through all the flowers until you reach a lily pond. Here, you’ll be sure to be entertained by the dozens of frogs hopping about. If you continue further, you can wander the trails through the native trees and around the property a bit.
It’s a serene garden and a nice way to relax in Fiji that is different than the beach!
Entrance to the Sleeping Giant Garden is $17 FJD and it includes a fresh fruit juice at the end. You could explore the garden in 30 minutes if you wanted, or take hours – it is totally up to you! I spent about an hour there in total and to me, that was enough.
The reason this garden is called the “Sleeping Giant” is because of the mountain behind it. If you look at the mountain from the right angle, it looks like a giant laying down sleeping!
For those looking for a challenging hike, you can actually climb this mountain. It takes about 5 hours (return) to climb and offers incredible panoramic views.
Just like the temple, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is often included on tours of Nadi, but you can also just hire a taxi to take you. From Nadi Airport, the garden is only about a 20-minute drive.
Tip* If you are you going to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, only a two-minute drive down the road is the mud baths (more on them below!) If you hire a driver, ask them to take you here as well!
5. Try Some Fresh and Local Produce
In Nadi, there is a huge fruit and vegetable market! You can go here to have a look around and even buy some fruit to have as a snack in your hotel room!
The largest fruit and vegetable market in Nadi can be found on Google maps. It is in central Nadi and easy to visit if you’re staying in Nadi with a taxi.
If you don’t have time to go to the markets, don’t worry, there are people selling fresh produce on the sides of the roads everywhere around Nadi! Simply just ask your taxi driver to pull over and try fresh coconut water or buy some mangos to go (that’s what I did!)
6. Spend an Afternoon at Port Denarau/Denarau Island
Only a few minutes from Nadi is Denarau Island, an area with fancy hotels and where the ferries to the islands leave from. Right at the port here, there are lots of shops and restaurants to have a look at.
I recommend having lunch at Port Denarau as the view of the harbor is simply gorgeous. These restaurants are known to be pricey, but I found lots of lunch deals as well as midday deals on drinks that were very reasonable.
Choose a restaurant on the waterfront and enjoy your meal with a view!
7. Go on an Island Day Trip
While in Fiji, you need to visit at least one tiny island! Sure, the main island of Viti Levu where is located is technically an island, but I’m talking about a tiny island with no roads – just white sandy beaches and crystal clear water.
Many people choose to spend a few nights on one of these tiny islands in Fiji, however that is very pricey. So if you’re on a budget, the best alternative is to stay in Nadi and take a day trip out to an island!
I went on the Robinson Crusoe Island tour from Nadi and had a blast. It was great to get away and relax for the day on the beach!
Expect to pay between $100-$250 FJD for an island day trip from Nadi. The price range is so large due to the distance of the island, if lunch is included, if alcohol is included, and if other activities such as snorkeling are included.
8. Cruise and Snorkel Day Trip
If a day trip out to an island doesn’t sound too exciting, then maybe a full day of cruising would suit you better! Instead of simply visiting just one island, there are plenty of day trips from Nadi that take you out cruising from one island to the next with stops for snorkeling in between.
This day trip is better suited to those who want to snorkel and explore. However, it is less desirable for anyone who gets sea sick and doesn’t want to spent a full day on a boat.
Most cruise and snorkel day trips depart from Port Denarau (only a few minutes from Nadi), but some will even pick you up from your hotel in and around Nadi. A day trip from Nadi to the Mamanuca Islands is very popular, but so is visiting the Yasawa Islands.
Heading out to one (or multiple) islands and enjoying island life is definitely one of the best things to do from Nadi, especially since it’s super easy and accessible to book. Leaving Nadi is the only way to experience the most beautiful beaches Fiji has to offer.
9. Drink and Chill at Wailoaloa Beach
Wailoaloa Beach is one of the nicest beaches in Nadi. Here, there are many small hotels and restaurants stretched out along the beach. I actually stayed at the Smugglers Cove right on Wailoaloa Beach and loved it (a really nice affordable hotel) so I spent a lot of time in the area.
One thing I loved about this beach was how vibrant it was. Every night of the week one of the restaurants would be offering some sort of show or entertainment. There was also lots of meal and drink specials. It was a place to enjoy the sun during the day by a hotel pool or in the ocean, and a place to socialize and drink in the evening.
Personally, I think Wailoaloa Beach is the best place to stay in Nadi, and at the bottom of this blog, I’ve recommended a few great hotels located there.
10. Relax at the Sabeto Mud Pool and Hot Springs
If you’ve done any research about Fii at all you’ve probably come across the Sabeto Mud Pool and Hot Springs – it’s easily one of the most popular things to do in Nadi and likely in all of Fiji! Here, tourists cover themselves in natural mud before washing off and relaxing in the hot springs.
The mud actually does make your skin feel really soft! And then relaxing in the hot springs afterwards is perfect.
The mud pools are located right next to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. In fact, you can enjoy views of the Sleeping Giant mountain right from the pools! Lots of multi-day tours of Nadi visit both the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and Mud pools one after the other. Otherwise, you can just get a taxi there and pay the $15 FJD entrance fee if you don’t want to visit on a tour.
11. Attend a Kava Ceremony
ava is a muddy-looking drink that is very traditional to drink in Fiji. It is made from the root of the Kava plant and ground up and mixed with cold water. In villages it is still very common to drink, but for tourists, attending a Kava ceremony is a must-do activity in Fiji!
Do beware, Kava acts like alcohol in the sense that it is a depressant and will make anybody who drinks enough feeling very relaxed or even “high.” Traditionally in Fiji, Kava was drunk instead of alcohol at celebrations.
I drank Kava a few different times while I was in Fiji. Often, hotels offer traditional Kava ceremonies once or twice a week. The Fiji Culture Village also does a Kava ceremony. Although I had fair few sips each time, I did not really feel any effects of it. I do think you need to drink quite a lot to get that “high” feeling they talk about.
Kava quite literally tastes like muddy water. Although that doesn’t sound overly appealing, the actual traditional ceremony of it all is a lot of fun and very interesting. You must clap before and after drinking the Kava and receiving it from the chief. Trust me, it’s a worthwhile experience while you’re in Nadi!
12. Go Quad Riding
Quad riding is one of those activities that is often overlooked by travelers in Fiji. From Nadi, you can join a very highly-rated quad tour!
The best thing about quad tours from Nadi is that they are an adrenaline-filled activity, but also very scenic. You’ll ride through the gorgeous jungle and up into the hills where you’ll get stunning views of the ocean and surrounding islands.
Quad tours in Nadi aren’t cheap though and you can expect to pay upwards of $150 USD per person. With that said, lots of people say it is a highlight of their trip in Fiji!
13. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise
Like I was saying before, Nadi is very close to Port Denarau which makes it the perfect place for jumping on a boat tour for a couple of hours. To me, one of the best boat tours from Nadi is a sunset dinner cruise.
Not only are these cruises super affordable considering they include dinner, but they are a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours in the evening. Oftentimes in Fiji your days will be full of beaches and activities, and then you’ll have nothing to do at night. This sunset cruise is the perfect thing to do in Nadi as the sun starts to go down!
It is the best seat in the house to enjoy a beautiful sunset!
Where to Stay in Nadi, Fiji
If you truly want to experience all of the best things to do in Nadi then you’re going to need a couple of days. So, I recommend booking a hotel in Nadi for a least 2-3 nights and exploring all this vibrant city has to offer!
Here are some great optiont for where to stay in Nadi to suit all different budgets:
Bamboo Backpackers – Low Budget
This is one of the only backpacker hostels in Fiji, and as such, it is often very busy and full of people to meet. You can get a dorm for very cheao or even a budget private room. Don;t expect anything fancy though, or even air conditioning for that matter. But do expect a social atmospshere with cheap drinks. It is also right on Wailoaloa Beach which to me, it the perfect location!
Smugglers Cove – Mid-range Budget
Smugglers Cove is where I stayed and it was clean, comfortable, and had everything you’d expect from a value hotel. Some rooms are pricier than others offering ocean views, while you can also get a dorm bed for very cheap. They have a nice clean pool, a delicious restaurant, and beautiful cocktails. This is a great option if you’re budget-conscious but still want a comfortable stay.
Check prices and book on Booking.com.
Ramada – Luxury
I heard so many great things about the Ramada on Wailoaloa Beach, but couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. I did, however, visit the rooftop bar and enjoy the incredible views. They have gorgeous pools, restaurants, and some very luxurious (and expensive!) rooms to offer. It is the perfect place to stay in Nadi if you want a relaxing stay with all the bells and whistles.
For our favorite hotels in Fiji, check out our blog that is a complete guide to where to stay in Fiji! It has details about all of the different areas to stay as well as the best hotels!
Before you go…
There are so many things to do in Nadi, Fiji you’re guaranteed to have a good time! If I forgot anything that you recommend to do in Nadi, be sure to tell me in the comments!
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May 22, 2020