Papeete (which means "water from a basket" in the native language) is the capital of French Polynesia on the world-famous island of Tahiti, and is home to approximately 26,000 people. Papeete, like all of French Polynesia, is, as the name suggests, a French speaking area. If you want to make your adventures there go a bit more smoothly, we recommend that you learn some basic phrases before going.
Most visitors to Papeete arrive by air, though a few come by boat. Generally, the most cost-effective way to get visit is to use round-the-world tickets and choose Papeete as one of the stopovers. Once you're checked into your Papeete hostel, getting around in French Polynesia is easy, there are ferries and buses, and Air Tahiti operates between all the main islands, including Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. From Papeete, the reasonably priced buses go all around the island of Tahiti.
Hostels in Papeete are a bit on the expensive side. The cheapest options are often called "pensions", and you'll be looking at 20-30 dollars per night for a dorm bed, depending on area and quality.
There are countless things to do when you stay in a Papeete hostel. Contrary to popular belief, the beaches in Tahiti generally aren't that sandy or long because it is a volcanic island. However, there are some great beaches around. You should ask your Papeete hostel owner for recommendations on which are the closest to you, or easiest to access. Beyond relaxing, the main thing people like to do when they visit Papeete is surf which you can do year-round. Tahiti is also home to the world's most dangerous and lethal waves which are generated by the famous reef break: Teahupoo, so be careful.