Papeete is the largest city in and capital of French Polynesia on the island of Tahiti. Papeete is not a tropical paradise. It is a gritty government center and industrial port with small doses of French and Polynesian charm. It has shopping, eating, and drinking, but very little sightseeing for a capital city and even fewer top-class hotels. The residents speak French and Tahitian -though English is spoken by many in the tourist trade- and the people-watching is superb.