Robert Wan Pearl Museum (Musee de la Perle Robert Wan)
Established by local entrepreneur Robert Wan, Robert Wan Pearl Museum (Musee de la Perle Robert Wan) explores the role of the pearl in art, history, and literature. Exhibits reveal how pearls get from the sea to the display case and how ocean jewels were associated with religious rites and coveted as status symbols.
Collection highlights include a black pearl and the Robert Wan, the largest cultured Tahitian pearl in existence—it measures almost an inch in diameter. You can also see an impressive collection of pearl jewelry, complete with equally-impressive price tags. Some Papeete sightseeing tours, including tuk-tuk and electric bike tours, combine a stop at the museum with other highlights such as Municipal Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Assembly of Polynesia.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Robert Wan Pearl Museum (Musee de la Perle Robert Wan) is one of the only museums in Papeete, which makes it a must-visit for history buffs and first-time visitors.
Explanations of the museum displays are in English.
If you’re planning to purchase pearls, it’s a good idea to shop around first.
How to Get There
Robert Wan Pearl Museum (Musee de la Perle Robert Wan) is a stone’s throw from Papeete’s waterfront, close to the Marché de Papeete and the cathedral. There are numerous stores in the area where you can buy your own black pearls.
When to Get There
The museum is open from morning until early evening between Monday and Saturday. It makes a good option to escape the heat, humidity, or rain, especially during the wet season, which occurs between November and April.
Museums in Tahiti
The museums of Tahiti offer valuable insight into the history and culture of French Polynesia. Learn more about the local art scene at Manua Exquitie Tahitian Art, a small gallery and showroom with pieces from local Tahitian artists. The Museum of Tahiti in the village of Puna’auia, southwest of Papeete, showcases a collection of early art and artifacts detailing life in the archipelago. Another top pick is the James Norman Hall museum house, which is dedicated to the American author and poet who called Tahiti home for more than 30 years.
- Bougainville Park (Parc Bougainville)
- Vai'ete Square (Place Vai'ete)
- To'ata Square (Tahua To'ata)
- Marché de Pape'ete (Pape'ete Market)
- Vaima Shopping Centre
- Territorial Assembly (Place Tarahoi)
- Papeete Town Hall (Mairie de Papeete)
- Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame)
- Arahoho Blowhole (Trou de Souffleur de Arahoho)