How to Visit Suva on a Budget
The capital city of a country always seems to be a good place to start when travelling, but if you’re looking for the white sand beaches of Fiji and swaying coconut palms then you best stay clear of Suva. If you like exploring culture, historical sites and trying some cheap and divine cuisine, then Suva better be on your Fiji bucket list! The city sits on a harbour making it a popular stop for cruise ships but also giving the city pleasant waterfront views. That topped with the fact that there are mountain hikes and national heritage park backing the city makes Suva a fantastic option for getting some time “outdoors” too! So get ready for an action-packed stay of sightseeing, walks and city attractions with this guide to Suva on a budget.
6 Tips for Visiting Suva on a Budget
- Suva is a compact city so make your way around on foot
- If you do have to take a taxi though, don’s be disgruntled – taxi fares are cheap in Suva!
- Sightseeing is a great way to spend a day in Suva on the cheap
- Stop by the curry houses for some of the cheapest meals in the city
- Not much happens in Suva on a Sunday so plan yourself a walk
- While there are plenty of cheap hotels in Suva, consider staying in a homestay or “Airbnb” for more budget accommodation options.
For more ways to spend your time in Suva without spending a dime (or very little dimes), check out our 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Suva!
How to Get to Suva on a Budget
Suva is located on the southwest coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island, and close to 200km (124 miles) drive from Nadi International Airport where most travellers arrive in Fiji. Nevertheless, Suva is connected to the rest of Viti Levu via two main roads, the Queens Road and the Kings Road, making it extremely easy and cheap to get to. Suva also has a nearby airport, Nausori Airport, with a frequent domestic flight schedule.
Suva by Bus
Undoubtedly the cheapest way to get to Suva is via express bus. Express buses travel between Nadi and Suva via the Queens Road and the Kings Road (Queens Road is the fastest and most popular route). The trip between Nadi International Airport and Suva via the Queens Road take approximately five hours and costs FJ$10-$20 for an adult. Child fares are half.
Suva by Plane
One of the easiest transport methods for getting to Suva from Nadi is by taking a flight from Nadi International Airport to Nausori Airport. Flights take approximately 30 minutes and can cost anywhere between FJ$70 to FJ$300 for a return flight depending on date, time and when you book. From Nausori Airport, it is around a 30-minute drive into Suva where taxis and buses are abundant and affordable.
Getting Around Suva
Suva is a compact city so getting around on foot is relatively easy. Buses are a frequent and cheap way to travel – the best place to get one is from the port bus station. Otherwise, there’s never a lack of taxis, which are cheap for short trips, usually under FJ$10.
Suva is also one of the main ports for cruise ships in Fiji. Check out 10 Ways To Save Money on a Cruise to Fiji for budget tips. For more information on getting to Suva, check out 6 Ways to Get to Suva.
Free & Cheap City Attractions in Suva
The saviour of most budget travellers, sightseeing in Suva is a great way to spend time in Fiji’s capital city. Visit the museums, markets, shopping malls and see the historic architecture to discover the city’s history and culture.
One of the most popular and cheap attractions in Suva is the Fiji Museum. Located in the picturesque Thurston Gardens, the Fiji Museum captivates visitors with its array of South Pacific artefacts some dating 3,700 years! Musical instruments, cooking equipment, whale tooth necklaces, cannibal forks, weapons and the impressive Ratu Finau canoe are just some of the amazing relics to admire. The museum is worth a visit and will only set you back less than FJ$10.
Wandering the markets and mingling with the locals is a fun way to spend time in Suva no matter what your budget is. Suva Municipal Market on Harris Road is a bustling centre of fruit and vegetable stalls with locals selling some of the sweetest tropical fruit you’re ever likely to try. Nearby, the Suva Fish Market is another interesting sight held every Saturday morning. Finally, the Suva Flea Market on Howell Road is a great place to pick up a bargain, whether it’s a new sulu (sarong) or some Fijian crafts.
Suva Shopping Malls
It’s easy to get your retail therapy in Suva, but even if you don’t intend to buy much, window shopping can still be a lot of fun. The city is bursting at the seems with shops, as well as shopping centres. Spend a couple of hours in Tappoo City, MHCC, Prouds Shopping Complex or Damodar City and pick up some souvenirs.
A great thing about cities is that it’s always easy to stick to your budget with a bit of sightseeing. Highlights include the Parliament of Fiji buildings with its grand Fijian-style Parliament House (vale ne bose lawa), the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Suva Fiji Temple, the Mariamman Temple and much more! Finally, the Grand Pacific Hotel stood overlooking Albert Park and the waterfront is always worthy of a photo.
Walks in Suva
As any budget traveller will know, simply tying up your laces and going for a stroll is a great way to experience a destination without breaking the bank. Suva has a couple of amazing walks in tropical forest environments that will amaze any traveller. If you’re visiting Suva on a weekend, make sure you save your walk for Sunday when many shops and services are closed.
Colo-i-Suva Forest Park
Go for a swim, bird-watching, picnic or an easy stroll through Suva’s very own rainforest backyard. The Colo-i-Suva Forest Park (pronounce tholo-ee-soo-va) is a wilderness oasis made up of tropical forest, streams, birds and waterfalls. Make use of the 6.5km (4 miles) of walking trails to Waisila Falls or the swimming holes of the Upper Pool and Lower Pool. Find the park along the Princes Road which can be accessed via taxi or the Tacirua bus. Alternatively guided walks of Colo-i-Suva are also available with Kay Services Tour.
If you’re feeling adventurous, epic 360-degree views will be the reward of a climb up Suva’s highest peak, Mount Korobaba. Starting behind the cement works in Lami, a rough walking trail leads up through lush forest to a viewpoint overlooking the city and coast. The hike is three hours return and has some steep and slippery sections, so wear appropriate footwear!
Suva City Trail
Sticking to the city, a great way to see the highlights of Suva is by doing a city walking trail. Pick up “The Suva Walking Guide” from the Suva City Council and follow the points to the main attractions. The walk will take two to four hours to complete, but you can end the walk at any point. Check out Suva’s colonial buildings, shops, parks, cafes and markets along this walking tour.
Dining on a Budget in Suva
Finally, one of the biggest highlights of Suva is its restaurant scene. The eateries reflect the diverse population of Suva, making for an amazing blend of South Pacific cuisine with international flavours. For budget travellers, you’ll find a wealth of affordable restaurants and street food where you’ll be fed like a king for pittance!
Cheap Eats in Suva
Curry houses are the way to go for amazing flavours and super cheap food, often costing under FJ$10. Try Curry House (Waimanu Road & Raojibhai Patel Street), Singh’s Curry House (Gordon Street) and Ashiyana (Victoria Parade).
In the FJ$10-$20 price range, you can pick up something delightfully Fijian at The Old Mill Cottage (Carnarvon Street) or have breakfast at the characterful museum-style Governor’s (Knolly Street).
For more recommendations, check out our Top Cheap Eats in Suva.