3-Day Foodie Itinerary for Tonga
If you’re lucky enough to be travelling to the South Pacific islands of Tonga but unlucky enough to only have three days to do it, then this Tonga foodie itinerary for 3 days is for you! Even in 3 days, you can get a good “taste” for what the Tonga food scene is all about by exploring in and around the capital, Nuku’alofa. In this itinerary, we’ll guide you through the places to stay, where to eat, where to go and what to do if you’re travelling with food in mind!
Not a fan of the below itinerary? Check out alternative trip ideas in How to Spend 3 Days on a Foodie Vacation in Tonga TI067.
How to Get Around Tonga in 3 Days
3 days doesn’t give you enough time to comfortably do some island-hopping in Tonga. You will, however, be travelling around Tongatapu and mostly around the main hub of the island, Nuku’alofa. Find out more about transport in and to the city in the 7 Ways to Get to Nuku’alofa (& Around Nuku’alofa).
Roads keep Tongatapu well-connected where car rentals, taxis, buses, airport transfers and guided tours are readily available. For car rentals, you will need a Visitor’s Driving License, which you can read up more about in Things to Know About Car Rental in Tonga.
Day 1 – Fua’amotu Airport to Nuku’alofa
Travel time: 30-minutes airport transfer
You’ve landed on the main island of Tonga, Tongatapu, where you’ll find the most diverse range of foodie experience in the Kingdom!
At Fua’amotu International Airport in Tongatapu, you can either get a taxi or get an accommodation transfer that you have arranged with your chosen guesthouse/hotel. We recommend for foodies stay in the capital, Nuku’alofa so that you’re near most of the food-related experiences and restaurants on the island.
For your first evening, start scouting out the best eateries of the city – check out our recommendations in the Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Nuku’alofa. Otherwise, if staying in self-catering accommodation, pick up some produce from one of the roadside stalls or the Talamahu Market to spruce up something Tongan style!
Accommodation in Nuku’alofa with Restaurants
- Tanoa International Dateline Hotel
- Little Italy Hotel
- Waterfront Lodge
- Emerald Hotel & Restaurant
- Seaview Lodge & Restaurant
Self-Catering Accommodation in Nuku’alofa
- Villa Apartments Westside
- Malau Lodge
- NOA Guesthouse
- Dayspring Lodge
- The Friendly Islander (Papiloa’s Place)
- Villa Apartments Eastside
- Captain Cook Apartments
Get more details on our top recommendations in the 10 Best Accommodation in Nuku’alofa for Foodies.
Day 2 – Nuku’alofa
Today, you have the whole day to have a gastronomical experience of Tonga. Spend some time in the city centre, browsing the impressive array of produce at the Talamahu Market or seeing the briny array of goods at the Tu’imatamoana Fish Market! You could even go catch dinner yourself on one of the fishing charters, but be sure to say that you want to catch and eat the fish, as some fish that are targeted are “catch and release” only.
Alternatively (or additionally, cos, what the hell!), head to the Tupu’Anga Cafe where you’ll be able to tour a coffee roastery where the coffee beans are grown, roasted and packaged in Tonga! You’ll also be able to see how the cafe makes a favourite Tongan snack, “Manioke Chips”. After the tour, indulge in Tongan treats, from pawpaw scones to lu (taro leaf and corned beef) pies at the cafe. For more foodie ideas, see the list below!
Foodie Activities in Tongatapu
- Learn how to prepare a traditional umu (underground oven) at Ancient Tonga (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Take a tour of a coffee roaster, the Tupu’Anga Cafe
- Browse the bustling Talamahu Market
- Experience a Tongan buffet and a cultural show on a Wednesday or Friday evening
- Drink and be merry at one of Nuku’alofa’s bars
- Browse the Tu’imatamoana Fish Market on the waterfront
- Try Tongan dishes at the city’s restaurants
- Taste kava at an organised kava circle at your guesthouse
Get more details, see the 8 Things to Do in Nuku’alofa for Foodies.
Day 3 – Nuku’alofa to Fua’amotu International Airport
Travel time: 30-minutes airport transfer
Yep, this is when you realise that you should have spent more time in Tonga There are much more islands with their own food staples to discover! Nevertheless, if your flight out of Tonga is in the evening, you’ll have time to do more items on the list of the 8 Things to Do in Nuku’alofa for Foodies.
If your flight is earlier in the day, head down to one of the city cafes, such as the Friends Cafe, Cafe Escape or Coffee Post, for breakfast. That way, you’ll be full enough to not be tempted by the disappointing airline and airport food! Take a taxi to Fua’amotu International Airport for your flight to your next destination…