Suva Travel Guide
Introduction to Suva
While most people visiting Fiji are unlikely to spend much time in Suva, you will nonetheless find yourself killing at least a few hours in this nation’s capital.
From museums which explain this archipelago’s history to markets where you can pick up an authentic souvenir to remind you of your time in Fiji, there are more than a few points of interest that can be found here.
Cultural Attractions in Suva
Make the Fiji Museum the first place you visit during your time in Suva. With these walls, you’ll be able to get up to speed on the history of this island nation.
It contains artifacts dating back 3,700 years to the days when indigenous tribes called Fiji home, massive double-hulled canoes islanders used to travel between islands centuries ago, and a rudder from the HMS Bounty, a ship which sank off the Pitcairn Islands after being hijacked by mutineers.
To enjoy the experience properly, walk the exhibits clockwise, as it is ordered chronically in this direction.
Before visiting the next attraction, you’ll need some local currency. So to ensure everything goes smoothly, buy Fijian dollars online prior to visiting Suva. That way, you’ll enjoy your visit to Suva Municipal Market. Here, you will find locals going about their daily routine, buying an assortment of tropical fruits, vegetables, meats, clothes, and other goods they need.
This is a great place to sample the agricultural bounty of Fiji – with an endless assortment of fruits which cost many times more per piece back home, take this opportunity to try dozens of different specimens.
One thing to note: the crowds in this place can get unmanageable when a cruise ship is docked in port, so if you see scores of tourists surging into the market suddenly, go view other attractions and come back to the Suva market at a later time.
If you have the chance to do so, pay a quick visit to the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva. Built in 1902 from sandstone imported from Australia, its design was inspired by cathedrals the architect had seen during their time in Rome.
While its interior is somewhat simple (stained glass windows excepted) compared to its ambitious exterior, attending a mass with locals will provide you with a cultural experience that will make up for the lack of elaborate touches within.
Other Attractions in Suva
Has the occasionally hectic nature of Suva have you feeling less than relaxed on your holiday? This situation can be fixed promptly by paying a visit to Colo-i-Suva Forest Park.
A 2.5 square kilometre park containing over six kilometres of trails, it possesses a jungle atmosphere, making it a great place to go if you spend virtually all of your time vacation time on the beach rather than exploring.
There is also a swimming hole available (complete with swinging ropes), so bring along your bathing suit if you want to cool off from the tropical heat following your hike.
Unfortunately, there have been robberies on the trails in the past, so be sure to go with a group, or hire the assistance of a ranger. In the latter case, they will be able to provide commentary on the surrounding jungle as well, making their accompaniment well worth their cost.
When Fiji was colonized by the British, they introduced the game of rugby and cricket to the locals in the process. Fast forward to the present, and this little island nation has held its own on the world stage in these sports. Want to take in a match? Head over to Albert Park and inquire when the next game in either sport is set to take place.
Forgot to buy a souvenir for a loved one? Before leaving Suva for home, swing by the Municipal Handicraft Centre. Here, you will find a wide variety of handicrafts which include bowls, purses, sarongs, reproductions of ceremonial implements, tribal masks, and more.
Be prepared to haggle, though: the merchants and artisans here are well-schooled in this procedure, so it will be hard to get a good deal if you don’t study up on a few negotiating techniques beforehand. Even if you pay a bit more than you could have, remember that you will be helping these folks put food on the table for their families, so don’t sweat it if you feel like you got the short end of a deal.