The Must-Dos in Suva
This tropical capital in the South Pacific is where history, modern life and a melting pot of cultures come to life. Suva is Fiji’s capital city located on the east side of the mainland, Viti Levu. Getting there is a breeze with daily flights from Nadi International Airport taking less than 30 minutes, or a scenic express bus trip giving you half a day of sights to see along the way. But what are the best things to do in Suva when you arrive?
Since 1882, Suva has been Fiji’s capital, so you’ll find lots of fascinating colonial architecture when wandering around. Mingling with the locals at the markets is another popular activity, as is learning more about Fiji at the Fiji Museum. As well as urban attractions, the city is only moments away from nature experiences with the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park and several off-shore islands on its doorstep. So start making your “must-do” list with these things to do in Suva!
1. Visit the Fiji Museum
Don’t miss an obligatory visit to Fiji’s national museum, the Fiji Museum. Situated in the heart of the tropical Thurston Gardens (see below), the Fiji Museum is teeming with relics of Fiji and the South Pacific, some dating back as far as 3,700 years! Sea-faring canoes, cannibal forks, Fijian weapons, cooking utensils and much more make up the interesting displays of this well-curated museum. What’s more, it certainly won’t burn a hole in your wallet with adult admissions less than FJ$10. See more affordable activities like this in our 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Suva.
Location: Thurston Gardens, Cakobau Road.
2. Try Some Great Eats
Classic Fijian cuisine, cheap curry houses, teppanyaki restaurants and even fine dining: it can all be found in the city of Suva. If you were only saving your tastebuds for one place in Fiji, make it Suva, as eating out is definitely one of the must-dos. While there are too many places to recommend right here, take a look at our Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Suva, as well as our The Foodie Guide to Suva where you’re sure to find something to excite your palette.
Location: See the above links for restaurant locations.
3. Shop and Mingle with the Locals at the Suva Markets
Markets are an integral part of the city lifestyle here in Fiji. Local farmers and craftsmen gather at Suva’s markets to sell their wares, which just happens to be a fascinating cultural experience for visitors! Browse an impressive array of tropical fruit and vegetables at the Suva Municipal Market, get the freshest catch at the Suva Fish Market, or buy some souvenirs at the Suva Flea Market. Stallholders are friendly and often keen to share knowledge on how to cook their produce. See more experiences like this in the 8 Things to Do in Suva for Foodies.
Location: Suva Municipal Market – Harris Road. Suva Fish Market – On the waterfront where Stinson Parade Road turns into Usher Street. Suva Flea Market – Rodwell Road.
4. Wander Around Thurston Gardens and My Suva Park
Suva is blessed with picturesque parks dotted around the city. But if you only have time to visit a couple, make it Thurston Gardens and My Suva Park. Thurston Gardens, located beside Albert Park and the Fiji Museum, is made up of manicured lawns and botanical gardens of tropical trees and flowers. The walking trails, bandstand and clocktower are some of the highlights. Additionally, on the shores of Laucala Bay, My Suva Park provides fun for all ages. Kids will love the playground, while adults will enjoy a walk along the waterfront, ponds and impressive thatched bure standing proudly in the middle of the park. Check out more family-friendly activities in the 10 Things to Do in Suva With Kids.
Location: Thurston Gardens – Cakobau Road and Queen Elizabeth Drive. My Suva Park – Queen Elizabeth Road, opposite the turn to Mauanikau Road.
5. Check Out the City Architecture
Suva is unlike anywhere else in Fiji, so take the time to wander and snap up some amazing architecture. The city is fairly compact, making it easy to get around on foot, so do a self-guided walking tour to sights such as the bure-style Parliament House, the Sacred Heart Church, the University of the South Pacific, the Grand Pacific Hotel and much more! Get more sightseeing tips in our Guide to Suva on a Budget or take a private sightseeing tour – more info in our Luxury Guide to Suva.
Location: Parliament House – Thurston Street. Sacred Heart Church – 18 Ellery Street. University of the South Pacific – Laucala Bay Road. Grand Pacific Hotel – Victoria Parade.
6. Get Some Retail Therapy
If you’re in the best place to do some shopping in Fiji, then do some shopping! The Municipal Handicraft Centre and Suva Flea Market are a must to grab some original souvenirs or a cheap sarong (sulu) which you’re going to need if out and about in more towns and villages in Fiji. Practice your haggling skills, then hit the shopping malls, such as the MHCC Shopping Mall where you could literally spend an entire day browsing the clothes, jewellery and trinkets.
Location: Municipal Handicraft Centre – Stinson Parade Road. Suva Flea Market – Rodwell Road. MHCC Shopping Mall – Cumming Street.
7. Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
What did you expect in a country renowned for rest and relaxation? Suva has its own selection of day spas to unwind with a massage. A popular option is the Pure Fiji Day Spa, home of the famous spa product brand, or how about the luxurious Bliss Spa at the Grand Pacific Hotel? There are even Thai and Indian spas, so Suva really offers a range of experiences when it comes to rejuvenation. See our 6 Best Day Spas in Suva for more recommendations.
Location: Pure Fiji Day Spa – 52 Karsanji Street. Bliss Spa, Grand Pacific Hotel – Victoria Parade.
8. Go for Walk in the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park
Dedicate at least one of your days in Suva to exploring the city’s backyard national park! The Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, located along Princess Road just 10 minutes out of the city, hosts a myriad of walking trails to various waterfalls and picnic spots. The cooler climate offers a refreshing break from the city, as do the swimming holes located along the trails. There are two main car parks well-signed along the road. The park is also easily accessible by taxi or by taking the Tacirua bus. If you feel like getting a local insight, guided walks of Colo-i-Suva are also available with Kay Services Tour (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). This is also an excellent tour to do if visiting off a cruise ship, along with the 5 Best Shore Excursions from Suva.
Location: Princess Road, approximately 11km (6.8 miles) from Suva city centre.
9. Check Out the Latest Festival
Suva really knows how to throw a party, whether it’s the Fire Walking Festival at the Mariamma Temple taking place every July/August or the Diwali Festival of Light celebrated with passion by the Indo-Fijians in late October/early November. There’s also the beauty pageant, the Hibiscus Festival in August and the New Year’s Eve celebrations are some of the biggest in the South Pacific! Learn more in our Where to Spend New Year’s Eve in Fiji, as well as the 10 Biggest Events in Fiji.
Location: See the above links for locations.
10. Play a Round at the Fiji Golf Club
Play golf with the locals at the Fiji Golf Club. The views are incredible from this 18-hole course as you play along the seafront for half the course, while the other half of the course faces urban areas. It’s an affordable golf course which is great for a social game, however, you will still need to respect the dress code of shorts or long pants of an appropriate length. Find out more about playing golf in Fiji with The Complete Guide to Golf in Fiji.
Location: Rifle Range Road.
11. Do a Guided Trek Through the “Real Fiji”
Discover the highlands, waterfalls and Fijian villages on a hiking tour through the heartland of Fiji. That’s right, hiking tours start right here in Suva with Talanoa Treks offering one to four-day treks. Choose one of their pre-made trips climbing the highest peak in Fiji or immersing in landscapes of waterfalls and caves. Alternatively, the hiking company offers tailored trips and private tours just for your group.
Location: Transfers available from Suva accommodations.
12. Hike Up Mt Korobaba
For a great vantage point overlooking the city, head to Mt Korobaba! Getting to the mountain is easy enough, just a 10-minute drive out of the city, where all you need to do is simply head toward the prominent mountain in the Suva skyline. The walk up the mountain takes you through beautiful forest for only about an hour (or 1h30mins with kids). Those who choose to tackle the steep climb will be rewarded with sensational views of Suva and the coast. Find out more about the walk and others nearby in the 5 Best Walks in Suva, as well as ideal activities for couples in the 5 Romantic Activities in Suva for Couples.
Location: Starts behind the cement works in Lami, approximately 6km (3.7 miles) from Suva city centre.
13. Enjoy a Scenic Flight
Take to the skies and see Fiji from an awesome perspective. Flights by helicopter can take you over lagoons, islands, as well as the heart of Viti Levu. Talk to the pilot about what you want to see and they can cater the experience to you. Learn more about scenic flights using the guide, Where to Hire a Plane or Seaplane in Fiji. Plus, check out more luxurious experiences in the 6 Luxury Activities in Suva.
Location: Nausori Airport, approximately 22km (13.7 miles) from Suva city centre.
14. Take a Traditional Fijian Canoe Trip
Make like the early Fijian explorers and jump aboard a traditional ocean-going canoe with Drua Experience. This is a unique way of getting out on the water in Suva, which will make you appreciate the bravery of the early explorers using these seemingly simple canoes to embark on travels between the islands. There are several ways you can join Drua Experience: short scenic tours, snorkelling trips, sunset cruises and half-day excursions. Remember to book in advance.
Location: Departure locations change depending on the trip. Get in touch with Drua Experience to plan your experience.
15. Visit Orchid Island
A fabulous attraction for all ages, Orchid Island is a cultural centre showcasing the best of the culture, flora and fauna of Fiji. See Fijian craft demonstrations, wildlife such as the crested iguana, a 50ft (15m) Bure Kalou Fijian temple, demonstrations of rituals and so much more!
More Must-Dos and Things to Do in Suva
That’s it for our complete list of the best things to do in Suva. Now plan the rest of your trip according to your travel style with these guides:
- The Complete Guide to Suva on a Budget
- The Travel Guide to Suva for Families
- The Luxury Travel Guide to Suva
- The Adults-Only Vacation Guide to Suva
- The Wedding & Honeymoon Guide to Suva