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Top 12 Things to do in Nadi, Fiji: The Ultimate 2020 Guide

November 19, 2020
Clear Water in an Ocean With an Island in the Distance

Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands in the South Pacific. With its beautiful landscapes, palm-lined beaches, and coral reefs with clear lagoons, Fiji is definitely a dream destination. Most people go there to relax on white sandy beaches or to dive among the beautiful coral reefs. Nadi is Fiji’s second-largest town and is actually quite an interesting place to visit if you want to have a glimpse into local life in Fiji. Read on to discover the best things to do in Nadi, Fiji along with helpful tips on where to stay, how much to budget, and more!

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Planning the Perfect Trip to Fiji – Nadi

A Coral Reef With Fish Swimming Around

12 Best Things to do in Nadi, Fiji

1. Visit the Local Food Market

The Nadi Market is a fantastic place to get cheap fruits and vegetables. You’ll find mostly local produce such as bananas, papayas, mangos, and tomatoes. You can get a banana bunch for as low as $2 FJD ($1 USD). The market is located right next to the main bus station and is open from Monday to Saturday until 12 pm. After 12 pm, some of the locals will continue selling their stuff outside the market stalls. You can also buy kava, the traditional Fijian drink, at this market!

Bananas and Produce in the Food Market in Nadi, Fiji

2. Explore the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple

The Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is a colorful Hindu temple located right in Nadi’s city center. It has beautiful paintings on its ceiling and lots of neat sculptures on its roof. The entry fee is $5 FJD ($2.30 USD) for foreigners, and you will be asked to cover your knees and shoulders and to take off your shoes. If you don’t have anything to cover yourself up with, don’t worry — the reception will lend you a sari. The temple is open every day from 6 am to 7 or 8 pm depending on the day. It was originally built by the bridge at the town’s entrance but was later demolished. It was then rebuilt on Queen’s Road 24 years ago.

Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple in Nadi, Fiji

3. Drink Kava with the Locals

Kava is Fiji’s traditional drink. It’s made with the root of the kava plant, mixed with water, and has an earthy flavor. If you stay at the Tropic Of Capricorn Hotel on Wailoaloa Beach, you’ll be able to enjoy drinking kava with awesome music in a chilled atmosphere. If you’re staying in a different hotel like Bamboo Backpackers, you can still join the fun at the Tropic Of Capricorn every evening from 7 pm onwards. Even if kava doesn’t taste great, it’s still a unique and memorable experience to enjoy it with the locals. Remember: no kava, no Fiji!

A Bowl of Kava Drink on a Table

4. Enjoy a Lazy Afternoon at Wailoaloa Beach

If you’re wondering about what to do in Nadi, Fiji to completely unwind and forget the world for a few hours, then head over to Wailoaloa Beach, Nadi’s main beach. It’s 1 km (0.62 mi) long and also where most hotels and resorts in Nadi are located. Enjoying a relaxing afternoon sunbathing at Wailoaloa Beach is definitely one of the best free things to do in Nadi, Fiji. Plus, you can also go horseback riding on this beach, and if you’re lucky, catch a traditional kava ceremony. The sunset is really pretty from Wailoaloa, so don’t forget to bring a camera and some snacks for a picnic!

Wailoaloa Beach Sunset in Nadi, Fiji

5. Experience the Fiji Culture Village

The Fiji Culture Village is one of the most special attractions in Nadi, Fiji: it is the place to go if you want to learn about all aspects of Fijian culture, especially what life in the villages is like. One of the highlights of this tour is experiencing lovo, the traditional Fijian way of cooking on hot stones in the ground. You’ll then be served the delicious lovo meal while performers entertain you with their traditional songs and dances! You’ll also get to enjoy a traditional kava ceremony and a spectacular fire dancing show. The Fiji Culture Village is a 10-min drive from Nadi and offers free hotel pickups and dropoffs from Nadi hotels.

🏝️ Top Tip: Entrance to the village is $10 USD but does not include the traditional lovo meal nor shows. To get the full cultural experience, I highly recommend booking an evening village tour with dinner. Alternatively, you can also book a daytime tour with lunch.

Local Fijians Performing a Traditional Dance in Costume
Indigenous Fijian people singing and dancing

6. Relax at the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool

Mud pools are really popular in Nadi, and the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day. Located 30 minutes from Nadi’s city center, the mud pools are truly a wonderful and unique experience. First, cover yourself in mud. Then, let it dry in the sun. Next, wash off the mud in the hot springs. You’ll love the therapeutic benefits of this amazing experience and will leave refreshed and rejuvenated! The Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool also offer massages. The entrance fee is $30 FJD ($14 USD) per person. This is definitely one of the top fun things to do in Nadi, Fiji!

Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool in Nadi, Fiji
Photo by Maksym Kozlenko

7. Explore the Garden of the Sleeping Giant

The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is definitely Nadi’s most famous park. With its beautiful native plants, spectacular orchids, and stunning lily ponds, this garden is a wonderful spot to spend a day wandering in nature. If you’re interested in discovering the fauna and flora of the Pacific, then I definitely recommend you visit this incredible place! It’s also a great spot for taking photos. The entry fee of the garden is $18 FJD ($8.50 USD) per person, and it’s located outside of Nadi’s center so you’ll have to take a taxi to get there.

🏝️ Top Tip: You can visit both the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant on a combined tour with a guide. Two amazing tours that cover both of these places are: Viti Levu: Mud Pool, Temple & Sleeping Giant Garden Tour and Sabeto Mudpool Hot Spring & Garden of Sleeping Giant Tour.

The Garden of the Sleeping Giant in in Nadi, Fiji

8. Visit the Fancy Denarau Island

Denarau Island is probably the most expensive suburb of Nadi as it is where all the high-end resorts are. It’s also home to Port Denarau, from where you can take a boat to go to the Yasawa Islands. The port also has a retail center where you can eat, drink, and get some lovely souvenirs. You will definitely see more tourists than locals in Denarau, and it’s not the best place to go if you’re looking for an authentic Fijian experience as it was clearly built for tourism. Regardless, soaking up the sun at one of the fancy resorts here is a great way to relax. The easiest way to get to Denarau is to take the bus from Nadi’s town center for only $1 FJD ($0.50 USD).

🏝️ Top Tip: Some of the best resorts to stay at in Denarau are: The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa (⭐ 8.3), The Terraces Apartments Denarau (⭐ 8.5), and Radisson Blu Resort Fiji (⭐ 8.9).

Palm Trees and Sunset in Denarau Island in Fiji

9. Go on a Sunset Dinner Cruise

There’s one more awesome thing you can do in Denarau: board a Sunset Dinner Cruise from Port Denarau to enjoy a night of delicious food and traditional Fijian entertainment. Upon boarding, you’ll be treated to a complimentary cocktail. You’ll then get an exquisite BBQ dinner, which you can upgrade to include freshly-caught lobster. Wine and dine to the spectacular view of the sun setting above the Pacific Ocean, and then enjoy an amazing traditional cultural show provided by local singers and musicians. Overall, this experience is truly one of the top things to do in Nadi, Fiji at night — especially if you’re feeling romantic!

Learn more about the Sunset Dinner Cruise

10. Take a Stroll at the Handicraft Market

The Nadi Handicraft Market is right in the city center and is one of the coolest places to visit in Nadi, Fiji if you want to buy some souvenirs and/or have a friendly chat with the locals. At the market, you’ll find all kinds of authentic, handmade Fijian crafts: sculptures, necklaces, pareos, and more. Everything that’s sold at the market is also relatively cheap, although it’s very common in Fiji to negotiate prices. Another highlight of visiting this market is that you can even watch the locals make their arts and crafts in front of you! 

Hats and Bags at the Handicraft Market in Nadi, Fiji

11. Taste the Delicious Local Food

You’ll find a lot of Indian food in Fiji. Fijian cuisine is mostly made of local tropical fruits and vegetables, and it’s easy to find vegetarian food (thanks to the Indian influences) in Nadi. If you go to Nadi’s town center you will be able to eat from authentic local restaurants. There, you’ll find a lot of Indian and Asian food at a very cheap price. Our favorite restaurant was Parisha’s Curry Lounge, which is located in front of the Nadi Market. They serve delicious Indian food and you can enjoy a meal there for as low as $4 FJD ($2 USD). One particular dish to try is the samosa — they’re really yummy and only $1 FJD ($0.50 USD) each!

You will find more touristy restaurants that offer continental food at Wailoaloa Beach, where you can eat and enjoy the sunset. The price of meals there is higher, usually starting at $15 FJD ($7 USD).

Local Fijian Food on a Plate

12. Get Around Town in an Old Bus

The best way to get around Nadi as a tourist is to take the bus. Fijian buses are usually old, loud, and slow — which honestly makes taking the bus in Fiji a worthwhile experience in itself! If you stay in one of the resorts near the beach, chances are you will end up taking the local bus to go to the town center of Nadi. The bus runs every 30 minutes and costs only $1.11 FJD ($0.50 USD).

🚌 Insider Tip: You can’t pay cash on the bus; you must have a Vodafone travel card of $5 or $10. You can buy one from the Vodafone booth at the main bus station, directly from the bus driver, or you can ask your hotel if they sell it. If you don’t fancy the bus, you can take a taxi which is obviously more expensive; they usually charge $1 FJD ($0.50 USD) per kilometer.


Where to Stay in Nadi, Fiji

Most hotels and resorts in Nadi, Fiji are located on Wailoaloa Beach. This is where you will find the best entertainment, a gorgeous beach, and fellow travelers like yourself! Moreover, the city center of Nadi is only a 15-minute drive from Wailoaloa Beach and can be easily reached by bus as well. Below, you’ll find our top 3 hotel recommendations for Nadi.

Tropic Of Capricorn

We stayed at the Tropic Of Capricorn, which we absolutely loved. This budget-friendly hotel is located right on Wailoaloa Beach, and you can choose to stay in a dorm, double, or triple room. We were amazed by the friendliness of the staff, the beautiful pool, and the amazing beach view. They also offer massages by the pool, which is quite nice. They have a restaurant that provides delicious Fijian food as well as continental options. Every evening, you’ll be entertained by a guitar player and singer, and you can also drink kava with the locals and other guests here!

Check availability for Tropic Of Capricorn

Palm Trees and Pool at a Resort in Fiji

Bamboo Backpackers

Bamboo Backpackers is next door to the Tropic Of Capricorn, and it’s the backpackers’ favorite choice. This affordable hostel offers live music every night and weekly fire dancing shows to keep you entertained. Enjoy playing beach volleyball, drinking at the bar, and let the tour desk book your day trips. Bamboo Backpackers is the best option for solo travelers and friends looking to have some fun in Nadi.

Check availability for Bamboo Backpackers

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort

The Smugglers Cove Beach Resort is located on Wailoaloa Beach and is one of the best places to stay in Nadi, Fiji for budget travelers and couples. With its nightly entertainment, which includes Polynesian and Fijian hula dances and knife & fire dancing shows, you won’t be bored at this hotel. The Smugglers Cove Beach Resort also has a dive shop on-site that offers scuba diving packages and diving trips for those who want to enjoy the beautiful coral reef.

Check availability for Smugglers Cove Resort

Booking.com

Discover more amazing hotels in Nadi


How to Get to Nadi

Both New Zealand and Australia have direct flights to Nadi from many cities. Flight prices vary depending on the season and on where you fly from. You can find the best flight deals on Expedia and CheapOair.

Flights to Nadi From New Zealand

You can fly direct to Nadi from Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch with Fiji Airways and Air New Zealand. There are daily direct flights to Nadi from Auckland, and the fares are usually relatively affordable. Air New Zealand also flies non-stop from Wellington to Fiji between June and October and from Christchurch to Fiji between May and October.

Flights to Nadi From Australia

It’s easier to get to Fiji from Australia than it is from New Zealand because many Australians go to Fiji for the holidays. There are many flights from big Australian cities going to Nadi all year round. Here’s a list of the cities and airlines that go to Nadi:

Sydney: Fiji Airways (daily), Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia
Adelaide: Fiji Airways (twice weekly)
Brisbane: Fiji Airways (5 flights a week), Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia 
Melbourne: Fiji Airways (daily), Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia

Search for flights to Nadi

A Island Surrounded by Clear Blue Water in Fiji

What is the Currency in Fiji?

The currency of Fiji is the Fijian dollar (FJD). Don’t try to get Fijian dollars before you arrive in Fiji — you would lose a lot of money by exchanging Australian dollars, New Zealand dollars, or US dollars for Fijian dollars in your home country. The best way to get Fijian dollars is to travel with a bank card that has no transaction fees and withdraw cash from the ATM once you get to the airport in Nadi.

What Language is Spoken in Fiji?

The main official language of Fiji is Fijian, but everybody speaks English too (it’s a national language), so you don’t have to worry about language barriers in Fiji. 

Is it Safe to Travel to Fiji?

Fiji in general is a very safe place for travelers, but like everywhere else in the world, it can be dangerous if you don’t use common sense. It’s not recommended for women to walk alone at night outside the resorts, even in a small group. It’s also better for both male and female travelers to take a taxi at night rather than walk. Overall, the risk of danger is low and Fijian people are in general very friendly and easygoing.

Houses in a Village in Fiji

Best Time to Visit Fiji

Fiji is quite hot all year long, with average temperatures of 25°C (77°F). However, the country has a storm season from November to April, which is not the best time to visit as you will get a lot of rain. May to October is generally a great time to visit Fiji as the weather is sunny and dry. However, watch out for the peak season, which is between July and September, when the beaches and resorts can get extra crowded.

Food in Fiji

As mentioned before, there’s a lot of Indian food in Fiji. Fijian cuisine mostly consists of local tropical fruits and vegetables, which makes it very easy to find vegetarian dishes in Nadi. If you go to the islands, it can get a bit trickier to find vegetarian options as the locals there mainly survive on fish. The resorts on the islands will always have vegetarian/vegan options though, but it’ll obviously be more costly.

A Mountain Surrounded By Greenery in Fiji

How Expensive is Fiji?

Well, not as expensive as you might think! Depending on what your activities are, traveling in Fiji can actually be quite cheap. We spent 3 weeks traveling Fiji and were on a daily budget of $35 USD each, making it quite comparable to a budget for Southeast Asia. In Nadi, you can eat for $5-6 USD per meal, sleep in a nice hotel for $20 USD, and relax at the beach for free. What more could you ask for?

If you visit the islands though, the prices will go up. The boats that get you to the Yasawa Islands and the Mamanucas are quite pricey. Moreover, once you’re on the islands, there won’t be many choices in terms of restaurants, so food will also be more expensive.

Palm Trees and a Hammock on a Beach in Fiji

More Top Things to do in Nadi, Fiji

Final Thoughts

If you’re traveling to Fiji, spend some time in Nadi before heading to the islands. You could easily spend 2 or 3 days there without getting bored. Don’t miss the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, the beautiful Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple, and the amazing food market. Nadi is a beautiful city totally worth visiting, and the friendliness of the locals will amaze you!

Big thanks to Camille, jewelry maker and blogger at Electroforming Artist for being here to share her Fiji tips! Dedicated to traveling sustainably, Camille has been roaming the world and living abroad for over 7 years. When she’s not traveling, you’ll find her hiking or reading a good book. See her gorgeous crafts on Instagram!

I hope this guide on the best things to do in Nadi, Fiji was helpful! For other unique destinations, discover the most beautiful places in Oman, the must-see spots in Azerbaijan, and more dream destinations around the world!

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1 Comment

  • MacKenzie November 26, 2020 at 4:42 am

    I knew next to nothing about Fiji before reading this post! I often don’t know much about a place until I do research to visit, and I haven’t been able to make it to Fiji – hopefully I will one day because Nadi looks gorgeous – the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and market especially. The cultural village would be a must, too.

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    Welcome to my travel blog!

    I'm Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian photographer and writer who has no idea where to call home. What I do know is I'm most in my element when I'm in a new country, immersed in a new culture. To me, it's one of the most humbling, educational, and valuable experiences one can have! I've lived in 5 continents, visited 60 countries, and plan to never stop. I hope my detailed guides and itineraries will be useful in helping you plan your next big trip! Make sure to subscribe if you don't want to miss my new articles. Happy travels! :)

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