The 10 Best Places To Visit In Tarawa

Imagine a place where the sun kisses the horizon with a golden glow, and the ocean whispers tales of a bygone era. Tarawa, the capital of the Republic of Kiribati, is a string of islets scattered over the Pacific Ocean, offering a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. As someone who’s been lucky enough to explore these hidden gems, I’m thrilled to share with you the 10 best places to visit in Tarawa, each with its own unique charm.

1. Ambo Island – A Cultural Heartbeat

Ambo Island is not just a place; it’s the cultural pulse of Tarawa. Here, you can immerse yourself in the local way of life. The island is home to the Kiribati National Library and Archives, where you can delve into the rich history and traditions of the I-Kiribati people. Stroll through The Villages, and you’ll likely catch a glimpse of traditional crafts being woven into life.

2. Betio – Relics of War

For history buffs, Betio is a must-visit. This western tip of Tarawa was the site of one of the fiercest battles in the Pacific during World War Ii. The remnants of war, including bunkers and guns, still stand as silent witnesses to the past. The Battle of Tarawa Memorial pays homage to those who lost their lives on these shores.

3. Bairiki – The Administrative Hub

Bairiki might be small, but it’s where the heart of Tarawa’s administration beats. Don’t let its official status fool you; there’s a laid-back charm here that’s infectious. The Parliament Building is a simple yet significant site, and if you’re lucky, you might witness the local government in action.

4. Bonriki – Gateway to Paradise

Bonriki houses the international airport, but it’s more than just a gateway. The Bonriki International Airport is your first taste of island life. As you step off the plane, the warm breeze and welcoming smiles signal the start of an unforgettable journey.

5. The Lagoon – A Marine Wonderland

The lagoon that cradles Tarawa is a marine wonderland. Its crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and diving, offering a peek into a vibrant underwater world. You’ll find colorful coral reefs teeming with life, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a playful dolphin or two.

6. Red Beach – A Historical Shore

Red Beach is not just another Sandy stretch; it’s a historical landmark. It was one of the primary landing sites for American forces during the Battle of Tarawa. Today, it’s a serene spot for reflection and relaxation, with the gentle waves telling tales of bravery and liberation.

7. The Parliament Building – A Glimpse of Governance

While in Bairiki, the Parliament Building is a symbol of the I-Kiribati spirit of democracy. It’s a modest structure, but it represents the governance and resilience of this island nation. Visitors can observe the parliamentary proceedings, gaining insight into the local political scene.

8. WWII Relics – Echoes of the Past

Scattered across Tarawa are relics from World War II, serving as poignant reminders of the island’s strategic importance during the conflict. Exploring these sites, you’ll feel a deep connection to the soldiers who once fought on this remote battleground.

9. The Outer Islands – Unspoiled Beauty

While not technically on Tarawa, the outer islands are accessible and worth the trip. These untouched atolls offer a glimpse of pristine island life, with traditional villages and unspoiled nature. It’s a day trip that will leave you with a sense of peace and a deeper appreciation for the simple things in life.

10. The Marketplace – A Feast for the Senses

No visit to Tarawa is complete without a trip to the local marketplace. It’s a bustling hub where the island’s bounty is on full display. Fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and handcrafted goods are just some of the treasures you’ll find here. It’s a feast for the senses and a chance to mingle with the friendly locals.


  • What’s the best time to visit Tarawa?

    The ideal time to visit Tarawa is during the dry season, from April to October, when the weather is more favorable for outdoor activities.

  • Do I need a visa to visit Tarawa?

    Visa requirements for Tarawa vary by country. It’s best to check with the Kiribati consulate or embassy for the latest information before planning your trip.

  • Is it safe to travel to Tarawa?

    Yes, Tarawa is generally safe for travelers. However, as with any destination, it’s wise to stay aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions.


In conclusion, Tarawa is a tapestry of history, culture, and natural splendor, woven together to create a destination that’s truly one of a kind. From the historical significance of Betio to the vibrant life in the lagoon, each site offers a unique window into the soul of this Pacific paradise. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of marine life, or simply in search of tranquility, Tarawa beckons with open arms and a promise of unforgettable experiences. So pack your bags, and let the spirit of adventure lead you to the heart of the Pacific – Tarawa awaits.

By exploring these top places in Tarawa, you’ll not only satisfy your wanderlust but also gain a profound understanding of the resilience and beauty of this island nation. It’s a journey that will leave an indelible mark on your heart, and I can’t wait for you to experience it for yourself. Safe travels!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.