Gift Shops, Markets and Where to Buy Gifts in Tonga
Stepping into a gift shop or a market in Tonga is more than just shopping, it’s like visiting an overstocked art gallery! The Tongan handicrafts are nothing short of exceptional, with each piece individually handcrafted for a unique and authentic souvenir. So if you want to do a spot of souvenir shopping or simply appreciate art, then we’ve listed some of the best places to buy souvenirs in Tonga.
For more shopping advice, check out What is The Best Way to Pay in Tonga?
Top Souvenirs in Tonga
Before we dive into the places to buy souvenirs in Tonga, let us inspire you with the types of gifts you can find in Tonga…
- Tapa paintings
- Woven bags
- Carved pendants
- Wooden carvings
- Tongan coffee
- Tongan beer
- Tongan vanilla
- Tongan coconut oil
For more ideas and information on each souvenir mentioned, see the 10 Amazing Souvenirs to Get in Tonga.
Handicraft Markets in Tonga
Tonga’s markets are a good go-to when looking for authentic and unique souvenirs. Everything that you see at a market is individually handmade. In fact, you see the crafters are work during the market! Markets are open every day except Sundays and public holidays.
The largest market in Tonga, the Talamahu Market is in Nuku’alofa. It’s a must-see even if you don’t like shopping, as the cultural experience itself worth the visit. Half of the market is packed with handicraft stalls, which you can find both upstairs and downstairs. Find it on Salote Road.
Your alternative market for handicrafts in Tonga is on ‘Utu’ Vava’u (the main island of Vava’u) in Neiafu. By the waterfront, you’ll see the market building with half dedicated to produce while the other half is for handicrafts. Find this market on Tu’i Road.
Gift Shops in Tongatapu and ‘Eua
Aside from markets, there are a number of gift shops around The Kingdom where you can pick up local handicrafts, Tongan gift foods and beauty products. Some of the ones you can find on the islands of Tongatapu and ‘Eua include…
Langafonua Handicrafts Centre
Located on Taufa’ahau Road in the centre of Nuku’alofa, the Langafonua Handicrafts Centre is a collection of beautifully woven goods, tapa paintings and other handicrafts that have been created by local women’s groups. There is a great selection of high-quality handicrafts.
Blue Banana Studio
A small gift shop and museum at the Blue Banana Beach House accommodation, the Blue Banana Studio at Kanokupolu Beach features a diverse range of gifts from local craftspeople and artists.
Not only does Ancient Tonga offer cultural tours where you can try your hand at handicrafts, but they have a small gift shop where you can buy gifts made by the pros. Find them in Fangaloto, Nuku’alofa and get more information on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Handmade soaps made from organic coconut oil and vanilla are the speciality of Koko Designs. Find them in Longolongo, Nuku’alofa.
Arts of ‘Eua and Handicrafts Shop
Located in the village of Ha’atu’a in ‘Eua, the Arts of ‘Eua and Handicrafts Shop is a family-run business featuring an array of carvings.
Gift Shops in Vava’u
Vava’u has its own array of gift shops, particularly in the town of Neiafu. Here are some of the gift shops we recommend checking out.
Vava’u Pearl Centre
Not only can you take tours here and watch the artists in action as they carve beautiful half-shell pearls, but the Vava’u Pearl Centre has a spectacular range of pearl gifts. Browse jewellery and artwork made from locally-grown mabe pearls. Find it at Halaevalu Wharf in Neiafu.
For something a little different, see a range of clothes, jewellery and other gifts at VA Concepts. Their stock includes modern gifts with a Tongan flair. Find them next to the Bellavista Restaurant on Fatafehi Road.
Browse beautiful wooden carvings and mabe pearl ornaments at Leonati Arts on Fatafehi Road.
‘Ene’io Botanic Garden
Aside from offering botanical garden tours and cultural performances, ‘Ene’io Botanical Gardens also has a small gift shop to purchase some of their natural health products, from noni juice to organic vanilla products. Find the gardens at ‘Ene’io Beach, Tu’anekivale.
Make Your Own Handicrafts
For a personal experience behind your souvenir, then how about making your own Tongan handicrafts? There are a few ways you can learn how to do handicrafts while staying in Tonga:
- Ancient Tonga – This tour company in Nuku’alofa offers weaving and tapa-making lessons (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Langi Langi Guesthouse – The host of this guesthouse in Ha’apai offers handicraft lessons for guests
- Tufavai Village – This village in ‘Eua is home to skilled craftspeople who offer lessons through the nearby resorts.
For more information, check out Where to Learn Tongan Handicrafts.