13 BEST Things to do in Suva – A Guide to Exploring Fiji’s Capital City
Suva is Fiji’s capital and although most people don’t come to Fiji to visit Suva, it’s still an important part of the history and culture of this small nation. So in this blog, we list some of the many amazing things to do in Suva as well as some other important tips for visiting in case you want to check it out for yourself!
Suva is the capital city in Fiji. Many tourists visit Fiji and don’t ever visit Suva due to its location (Suva is about 4 hours away from Nadi international airport by taxi!) But the truth is, there are a few really fun and interesting things to do in Suva!
Many people come to Fiji just to lay on the beach and enjoy the “island life.” However, if you do want to see more of Fiji including how most people in Fiji live today, then a trip to Suva is necessary!
But besides just checking out the hustle and bustle of Fiji’s largest city, there are also a few “touristy” things to do in Suva that could keep you busy for a day or two.
So, if you do want to check out Suva, then you are in the right place as this blog will tell you all of the BEST things to do in Suva, Fiji!
13 BEST Things to do in Suva, Fiji
1. Visit the Fiji Museum
In Suva, there is the National Museum of Fiji. The museum is located in a nice garden and only costs a $5 FJN entry fee.
The different exhibits in the museum include ancient artifact displays of weapons, tools, and pottery. There is a biodiversity display about some of the plants and animals found in Fiji as well as a room mostly dedicated to fabrics and weaving. You’ll also find large impressive boat and raft replicas in the maritime exhibit.
Throughout the museum, there is lots of written information that, if you read it all, would take you hours to get through! But, if you focus on the highlights then your visit might only take an hour.
The Fiji Museum isn’t “high-tech” by any means, but I was impressed with the detail and information available. It was a good way to gain some insight into Fiji’s history both culturally and politically, and overall was one of the best things to do in Suva.
You’ll find the Fiji Museum in the Thurston Gardens (more on them below) right in the center of Suva.
2. Visit the President’s House
The president lives in a huge beautiful house up on a hill in Suva. You cannot enter the house, or even get past the gates for that matter, but you can look at the house form the gates and even take a picture with the guard.
This guard stands at the front gates and does a march every 15 minutes. While he won’t acknowledge or talk to you, you can stand next to him and get a photo as a memory.
The President’s House is located right near the museum in the heart of Suva on Queen Elizabeth Drive.
3. Visit the Colo-I-Suva Nature Reserve
Just outside of Suva, Fiji is the Colo-I-Suva Nature Reserve. Here you will find luscious flora and fauna as well as a couple of amazing waterfalls and natural swimming holes.
This is an attraction many tourists miss because it is very off the beaten path. The nature reserve is not over touristy or built up and makes for an authentic rainforest experience.
To visit you’ll need to either hire a rental car and drive yourself, or join an organized guided tour. With a guide, you’ll be sure to see the best parts of the reserve as well as have some help spotting wildlife and birds.
4. Have a coffee at the Grand Pacific Hotel
The Grand Pacific Hotel is the nicest hotel in Suva. It is huge and has become somewhat of an icon in Fiji. The Queen stayed at this hotel when she visited Fiji as well as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Meghan and Harry) on their recent visit in 2018.
Staying at the Grand Pacific Hotel is well out of budget for most travelers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit. You can go inside and have a coffee at the café. From there, you get gorgeous ocean views and see the inside of the hotel. For a minute, you might even feel like royalty yourself!
5. Buy fresh produce at the Suva Municipal Market
There is a fresh produce market right in the heart of Suva. For cheap produce (and some of the best produce at that) this is the place to go!
In Fiji, you can have tropical fruit such as mangos and pineapples for very cheap. Also, be sure to try cassava or taro which are commonly eaten by the locals (root vegetables similar to potatoes but takes longer to cook.)
If you go to the markets after 6 pm everything is half price as the stalls are all closing up for the day. Just be warned though, that at this time of the day the selection can be limited.
The Suva Municipal Market is huge, with two stories and hundreds of stalls. Besides fruit and veggies, you will also find spices and seafood at the markets. Exploring the markets is interesting and a great way to see what the local people eat.
The main produce market in Suva is on Harris Road and open Monday to Saturday every week.
6. Go shopping
If you want to do some souvenir shopping then Suva is the best place to do it! Suva is significantly less “touristy” than the islands, Port Denarau, or Nadi and therefore prices for souvenirs are cheaper.
Besides souvenirs though, you will find plenty of clothing stores and grocery stores in Suva that are reasonably priced and cheaper than other places in Fiji. If you need to do some serious shopping while in Fiji, Suva is the place!
The central streets of Suva are great for shopping and wandering around. While Fiji is pretty safe in general, I do recommend keeping your wits about you and not carrying any valuables in your back pockets. Some petty crime such as pickpocketing can happen in Suva.
7. Try some traditional cuisine
While in Suva, you might as well get adventurous and try some Fijian dishes! The two most common are Kokoda (Fijian ceviche), which is fish cured in lime juice and served with coconut milk, or Ika Lolo which is a cooked fished dish served with veggies and cassava in coconut milk! Both are amazing and you will find them at pretty much any restaurant in Suva!
If seafood isn’t your thing, try some Indian food! There is a huge Indian influence in Fiji and they sure know how to cook good Indian food. One restaurant in Suva, in particular, that is renowned for amazing Indian food is called Maya Dhaba, it is located at 281 Victoria Parade.
8. Visit Albert Park
Alberta Park is a large, and beautiful, park in Suva. Sure, wandering around this park makes for a nice way to spend an hour or two, but Albert Park is about so much more than that.
Albert Park holds a lot of historical significance for Fiji and the people. First of all, in 1928 it was the landing site for Sir Charles Kingsford Smith when he was completing the first trans-Pacific flight from the USA to Australia.
Albert Park has also been used as the location to welcome various dignitaries including the Queen in 1954 and Pope John Paul II in 1986. It is also where the new Fiji flag was hoisted in 1970 and where plenty of important rugby games have been played.
Today, there are often festivals, sports, and other events still celebrated regularly at Alberta Park. If you’re lucky when you’re in Suva you might even catch a fun event to check out for yourself!
Albert Park is free to visit and it is located right next to the government building and Grand Pacific Hotel. so if you’re in the area, you might as well go for a stroll and check out this historical park in Suva!
9. Thurston Botanical Gardens
The Thurston Gardens are the botanical gardens of Fiji. Here, you can find tons of walking trails, beautiful flowers and plant displays, and several greenhouses. You’ll also find the Thurston Express which is a locomotive that was once used to transport cane sugar, however, now it is more of a display or place for children to play.
The gardens are free to visit and open all year round. The Fiji Museum is actually located within the gardens so if you’re already planning on going there (and you should!) then you might as well go for a little walk around the Thurston Gardens too!
Alternatively, this particular tour visits the gardens along with many of the best things to do in Suva! It is a half-day guided city tour that will teach you all about Suva.
10. Eat seafood with a sunset view at Tiko’s Floating Reataurant
Tiko’s Floating Restaurant is one of the top restaurants in Suva, Fiji! Here, you can choose from a variety of tasty seafood or steak dishes. They update their “blackboard menu” daily with their catch of the day and the freshest food. The food is super tasty, but don’t take my word for it, just look at their impeccable reviews on TripAdvisor!
But besides having a delicious meal, dining at Tiko’s is an experience on its own. The restaurant is situated on an anchored boat out in the ocean! This makes for a neat setting and also gives you the best seat in the house to enjoy one of Suva’s magical sunsets.
It isn’t the cheapest restaurant, but it is still good value considering the location! Expect to pay between 30-70 FJD for a main meal. Most people think it is more than worth the money. For that reason, it is often fully booked so I suggest phoning ahead and reserving a table if you can.
For me, eating at Tiko’s was one of the best things I did in Suva! I went about an hour before sunset and it was such a nice place to enjoy some local fish and a few (or many!) Fiji Gold beers!
11. Experience the real Fiji on a Village Tour
You can’t visit Fiji and not go on a village tour! Village tours give you insight into traditional ways of life in Fiji. Expect to try Kava (one of best things to do in all of Fiji), see weaving demonstrations, old huts, and traditional dancing and singing.
The village tour I did in Fiji was actually from Nadi at the Fiji Culture Village, but you can have a very similar experience from Suva too! This particular village tour from Suva visits an island village. It is a great option for those visiting Suva on a cruise ship too as the guide can meet you right at the port.
Visiting a village from Suva is a great way to learn about Fijian culture and history – it’s definitely a great activity in Suva!
12. Tour the Waimakare Forest Farm
This a super unique thing to do in Suva, but one that many travelers will love! Waimakare Forest Farm is located in Wailoku only a 15-minute drive from Suva. It’s a natural farm that uses a traditional agroforestry system of farming.
Visitors can explore the large grounds (12 acres in total) and learn all about the native flora and fauna that are native and unique to Fiji. You’ll learn about the plants’ medicinal and historic uses before also visiting the eco farmhouse to have some fresh fruit juice.
You can book a tour to Waimakare from Suva for as little as $65 USD. Tours are typically a half-day experience and include transport to the farm, a tour when you’re there, and refreshments!
13. Take a boat tour on Rewa River
I have to admit, I didn’t do this activity personally, but a friend of mine did and loved it! I did a bit of research and based on the reviews it seems like most people agree. It is one of the best rated day tours in Suva.
Discover Fiji Tours offers a full-day trip from Suva down the Rewa River on a longboat. On the boat you’ll see the beautiful jungle of Fiji and even pass by plenty of small local villages before stopping at one.
That’s right, this is a river ride and cultural village experience all in one!
You’ll try kava, learn about the tradsitional way of life, and enjoy a buffet lunch. You’ll also be out in the wilderness along the gorgeous Rewa River.
As I said, I didn’t personally do this specific tour, so if you do decide to do it, be sure to let me know in the comments below what you thought so I can pass your feedback onto my readers. Next time I’m in Suva I will definitely be joining this day tour to check it out for myself!
Where to Stay in Suva, Fiji
If you are planning to visit Suva for a couple of days then you’re going to need somewhere to stay. Below are some great options for the best places to stay in Fiji to suit every budget!
City Apartment – Low Budget
This budget hotel is located in center of Suva only 1 kilometer from the municipal market. All rooms have air conditioning and are very clean. Although not a luxurious hotel, it is a good option for those on a tight budget looking for a comfortable stay.
You can check availability and prices on Booking.com.
Novotel Suva – Mid-range Budget
To me, this is the best place to stay in Suva! It is only a 15-minute drive from the city center but located in a quiet location right on the water. The hotel is very resonably priced considering how nice it is with a pool and fitness center. There is also an onsire bar and restaurant.
The Novotel Suva often is fully booked, you can secure a room in advance on Booking.com.
Grand Pacific Hotel – Luxury
Visiting the Grand Pacific Hotel is one of the best things to do in Suva, however it is even better if you can afford to actually stay here! Although pricey, the Grand Pacific Hotel is pure luxury – it is where the Queens stayed when she came to Fiji! Expect beautiful finishes, a central location, delcious food, and beautiful ocean views.
You can check prices and book a room (with the lowest price guarantee) on Booking.com.
Before you go…
While Suva isn’t exactly the beautiful Fijian beach escape, a trip there even for just one day is a great way to immerse yourself in the Fijian culture and have a look at how people live in a Fijian city today.
I hope this blog about the things to do in Suva, Fiji will help you to better explore Fiji and thanks for reading!
Be sure to check out the rest of my blogs about Fiji, or some of my favorite articles below:
May 21, 2020