Fiji travel guide
A friendly Fijian welcome and broad smiles await you in this tropical paradise of beautiful beaches, glowing blue lagoons and swaying palm trees. Renowned for stunning sunsets, breathtaking waterfalls, awesome surf and pristine rainforests, Fiji unsurprisingly draws thousands of visitors to its shores each year.
Chief among the attractions has to be the cyan-blue sea. As you enter the Fijian airspace you will no doubt be greeted with a carpet of glistening turquoise reefs, fringing unspoilt confetti of sandy, lush islands. It may look tranquil and majestic, but beneath the surface it's teeming with life. Amid multicoloured reefs, the intrepid can explore over 1,000 fish species. You'll also find five of the seven species of sea turtle as well as sharks, dolphins and whales around Fiji. You can't come here without snorkelling or diving at least some of the time.
Beyond the marine life, you'll find ample opportunities to go hiking, with an abundance of forests and trails following scenic view points and waterfall pools. Nature lovers will revel on the island of Kadavu, which is practically roadless, with a smattering of local villages and plantations connected by untrodden pathways. Even more beauty can be found on the verdant island of Taveuni which boasts thick jungle vegetation and tropical flowers. Birdwatchers will love the Fijian islands for its plethora of winged species including the famous yellow and red-breasted musk parrots.
Perhaps above all, though, it's the people that make Fiji. Comprising more than 300 islands, the country is a vibrant melting pot where East Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, Chinese and European cultures converge to form a unique cultural medley. English is widely spoken, which means communication is a breeze. You can also expect locals to give you the warmest welcomes, and don't be surprised if they invite you into their homes and invite you to share a cup of Kava.
If, somehow, you tire of the beaches and wildlife of the islands, you'll find Suva to be an intriguing cultural hub, with a jumble of colonial and modern architecture. Laid out over lush hills by the sea, the capital is home to half of the country's population and is the biggest city in the South Pacific. If you like to party, Fiji isn't all laid-back, with Suva offering up a large dose of irreverent nightlife.
Brimming with colourful attractions, awe-inspiring scenery, friendly people and cultural and sporting activities aplenty, Fiji offers something for everyone. From the wanderlust-suffused traveller to the hedonistic sports junkie, this archipelago at the crossroads of the South Pacific is tourist heaven. And, best of all, there’s an array of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes and budgets.
18,275 sq km (7,056 sq miles).
905,502 (World bank estimate, 2017).
49.8 per sq km.
President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere since 2021.
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka since 2022.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.
Before you travel
No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:
- advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks
- information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers
If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.
This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Fiji set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Fiji High Commission in the UK.
There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Fiji.
Passport validity requirements
Your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive in Fiji.
You do not need a visa for visits of up to 4 months. If you plan to stay for longer than 4 months, apply for a visa from the Fiji High Commission in the UK.
At Fiji border control, you must also show:
- an onward or return ticket
- a valid visa for the next country you’re travelling to
If you’re visiting Fiji on business, you must apply for a business visitors permit, which is valid for 21 days.
Yachts can only enter Fiji through Suva, Lautoka, Savusavu and Levuka. For other ports, such as Nadi and Denarau, you must have prior agreement from the Fijian authorities.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s Fiji guide.
Depending on your circumstances, this may include a yellow fever certificate.
There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Fiji. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.
Fiji customs has strict quarantine regulations and they X-ray all luggage arriving at Nadi airport. Customs officers will confiscate most fresh foodstuffs, unless you’re arriving from a country with quarantine agreements with Fiji.
Taking money into Fiji
You must declare if you have more than 10,000 Fijian dollars in cash, or the same amount in other currencies.
Most tourist hotels and many restaurants accept credit cards. Not all ATMs accept the full range of credit cards. The Australian and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) and Westpac ATMs accept cards with the Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and Cirrus symbols.
Travelling with children
If you are entering Fiji on a work or residency permit, and are travelling as a lone parent, you may need to have evidence of your parental responsibility. For further information contact the Fiji High Commission in the UK.
There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.
UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.
Terrorism in Fiji
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Fiji, attacks cannot be ruled out.
There can be political instability and there is the potential for civil unrest. Avoid demonstrations, rallies or street gatherings. Avoid any areas of obvious military or police activity.
Protecting your belongings
The risk of serious crime is generally low, but petty theft is quite common. Be careful of your belongings in cities and other popular tourist destinations. You should:
- avoid carrying everything in one bag
- keep copies of important documents and passports in a safe place
- avoid leaving your belongings unattended
- be alert when withdrawing money from cash machines
There have been thefts from motor vehicles in Suva. Keep windows and doors locked when driving.
Take care when walking at night in cities, towns and isolated areas, particularly if you are a woman travelling alone. There have been serious sexual assaults against foreign nationals in Fiji, including British women.
There has been an increase in credit card fraud. This may include credit card skimming devices or other types of data theft. Take care when paying with credit cards or withdrawing money from ATMs.
Mobile phone coverage
Phone coverage in rural areas and outlying islands can be limited or non-existent. Many UK mobile phones do not work, as your provider may not have an international roaming agreement in Fiji.
You can buy a Fiji SIM card at Nadi International Airport and at convenience stores and supermarkets. You must register your SIM card if you buy it locally.
Laws and cultural differences
Illegal drugs and prison sentences
Avoid all recreational drugs. Possession of even small quantities can lead to imprisonment and a large fine. Possession of any amount of marijuana carries a 3-month prison sentence.
Kava drinking ceremonies
Kava is a traditional drink in Fiji used in kava ceremonies. If you’re invited to take part in a kava drinking ceremony, be aware of the potential risks of liver toxicity.
Topless bathing and nudity in public is illegal. Cover your shoulders and knees in rural villages and during kava ceremonies.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in February 2010, but there can be local sensitivities, particularly when visiting rural communities.
Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.
Outdoor activities and adventure tourism
There are dangerous rip tides along reefs and river estuaries. Always follow the warning signs, especially red flags, and only swim from approved beaches.
If you visit the reefs or take part in any water activities, make sure you use a reputable, fully licensed company with up-to-date equipment and necessary safety features.
There’s only one hyperbaric (decompression) chamber in Fiji, at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva. It is not always working. Check its status before scuba diving and change your dive depth accordingly. Make sure your insurance covers diving and medical evacuation costs.
Be aware of jellyfish and follow local advice.
If you are planning to drive in Fiji, see information on driving abroad.
You can use a UK driving licence to drive in Fiji.
Many roads in Fiji are in poor condition and can be dangerous. Roads can be particularly dangerous at night due to a lack of street lighting and the chance of pedestrians or stray animals on the road. Avoid road travel outside of urban areas at night. Vehicle safety regulations are rarely enforced and driving standards are poor.
Severe weather can lead to roads becoming damaged, blocked or washed away. Seek local advice before you set out.
Taxis and minibuses
Only use licensed taxis that have a yellow registration plate.
Not all minibuses are licensed. Only use those with yellow number plates. Unlicensed minibuses are probably not insured.
Check the boat operator’s credentials and safety equipment before boarding boats or vessels travelling between islands. Overloaded vessels are in danger of capsizing or sinking, particularly in poor weather conditions. They may not have enough life-saving equipment for everyone on board.
Extreme weather and natural disasters
Fiji is in an earthquake zone. There can be occasional tremors, which could trigger tsunami alerts. Make sure you understand the local safety procedures for earthquakes and tsunamis.
Tropical cyclone season normally runs from November to April, but cyclones can occur throughout the year. During this period there is a greater risk of strong winds, heavy rains, flooding, landslides and road closures.
Before you travel check that:
- your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
- you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation
This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.
Emergency medical number
Dial 911 and ask for an ambulance.
Contact your insurance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Vaccinations and health risks
At least 8 weeks before your trip check:
- the latest information on vaccination recommendations and health risks in TravelHealthPro’s Fiji guide
- where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page
Health risks include:
- Zika virus
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.
The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.
Healthcare facilities in Fiji
FCDO has a list of English-speaking doctors in Fiji.
There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in Fiji.
Healthcare facilities are limited in range and availability. In serious medical emergencies, people are often evacuated to another country for treatment. Hospitals usually ask for immediate cash payment for health services
Travel and mental health
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.
Emergency services in Fiji
Telephone: 911 (ambulance, fire, police)
Contact your travel provider and insurer
Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.
Refunds and changes to travel
For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.
Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:
- where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
- how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim
Support from FCDO
FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:
- finding English-speaking lawyers, funeral directors and translators and interpreters in Fiji
- dealing with a death in Fiji
- being arrested or imprisoned in Fiji
- getting help if you’re a victim of crime
- what to do if you’re in hospital
- if you’re affected by a crisis, such as a terrorist attack
Help abroad in an emergency
If you’re in Fiji and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British High Commission in Suva.
FCDO in London
You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.
Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)