Suva travel guide

Suva tourism | Suva guide

You're Going to Love Suva

Suva, which can be found on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu, has the distinction of being the largest city in the South Pacific. It is rightly proud of its beautiful lush surroundings and lively cultural vibe, with downtown Suva presenting a pleasing mix of colonial architecture, quaint narrow streets, and modern shopping malls. Since it was designated the capital of Fiji in 1877, Suva has become the nation's political and commercial center as well as a popular tourist destination.

Suva came to prominence during the 19th-century reign of Chief Cakobau. Despite his military conquests, the chief was deep in debt by the late 1860s and in return for having his debts cleared, he leased Suva and the surrounding lands to Australia's Polynesia Company. The company cleared swampland in an unsuccessful attempt to grow cotton and sugar cane. Suva's real growth, however, came in the colonial period of the early 20th century when it received city status.

Suva has also played an important part in aviation history. In 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith was the first aviator to cross the Pacific in his Fokker trimotor. His epic journey started in California and ended in Australia, but the longest stretch was the 34-hour flight from Hawaii to Fiji. On arrival, the exhausted Kingsford Smith landed in Suva's Albert Park.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Suva

What to do in Suva

Top activities in Suva

When to Visit Suva

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With its low annual rainfall and a temperature range that rarely drops below 74.2°F or exceeds 90.6°F, Suva is a pleasant year-round destination. You should, however, be prepared for high humidity. The hottest months are January to March. Suva's main annual event, the Hibiscus Festival, takes place in August and is a week-long celebration of fun, food, and street entertainment. Fire-walking is a typically Fijian ritual and can be seen at the South Indian Fire-Walking Festival held at the Mariamma Temple in July. Suva also celebrates the New Year in style with a week-long party of live music and fireworks.

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When the weather is nice in Suva

How to Get to Suva

Airports near Suva

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Where to Stay in Suva

Many of Suva's hotels date from the colonial period, a fact that is reflected in their architecture. The Five Princes Hotel set in tropical gardens is a local landmark and was home to Suva's first swimming pool, while the Grand Pacific Hotel has recently been restored to its former glory. At the other end of the budget are the dorm rooms of the Colonial Lodge. For upmarket luxury, look for hotels in the Central Business District or near the Parliament Building, while the streets around the Fiji Museum and Thurston Gardens offer an oasis of tranquility especially in the evenings.

Where to stay in popular areas of Suva

How to Get Around Suva

The Cost of Living in Suva

Shopping

There are four main shopping malls in the city, with the Morris Hedstrom City Center (MHCC) and Tappoo City Mall being the most popular. The MHCC is open seven days a week and has everything you could need under one roof, including a food court. For something a little different that's perfect for souvenir shopping, seek out Suva's little India, which can be found close to Cumming Street.

Supermarkets and Food Stores

While MHCC has food shops and supermarkets, it is much more fun shopping for food at the Suva Municipal Market. As well as familiar fruit and vegetables, look out for jackfruit, dalo, yams, and cassava. To admire the gaudy colors of Pacific fish, visit the Saturday morning fish market. A loaf of bread in a Suva supermarket costs around F$1.40 while apples are priced at around F$2.20.

Where to Eat in Suva

Although relatively small in size, Suva offers a diverse and multicultural choice of eateries. Fijian and Indian dishes, along with a fusion of the two, are widely available as are recognizable Western fast-food names. For typical Fijian food, the Old Mill Cottage is a good choice, while for spicy Indian flavors visit the Curry House on Raojibhai Patel Street.

While in Suva be sure to try some traditional Lovo, where a variety of meat is wrapped in banana leaves along with coconut-marinated greens and root vegetables and then baked in an earth oven. Most local restaurants cost from F$10 to F$30 for mains although upmarket restaurants in hotels like the Grand Pacific or Tanoa Plaza will be pricier.