Vanuatu Travel Guide


Official name of the state

Republic of Vanuatu.


Port Vila (on Éfaté).


As a country located in Oceania listed on internetsailors, Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides) consists of an interrupted double chain of islands that extends over 900 km in a north-southeast direction. With the Banks and Torres Islands, the chain includes 80 islands and islets. The densely forested, mountainous islands are of volcanic origin and there are five active volcanoes. Narrow strips of land on the coast are used for agriculture.


Republic (in the Commonwealth) since 1980. Constitution of 1980. One-chamber parliament with 52 members, elected for four years. The Prime Minister is elected by Parliament and in turn appoints the Council of Ministers, which exercises executive power. The president is determined by an election committee. Independent since 1980 (former British-French condominium).

Head of state

Interim President: Philip Boedoro, since September 2014.

Head of government

Charlot Salwai, since February 2016.


220/230 V, 50 Hz. Plugs like in Australia and New Zealand. Adapters are readily available.

Time zone

Vanuatu Time: CET +12


Overview Vanuatu

advice from the Federal Foreign Office: Status: December 22nd, 2016
Unchanged valid since: December 15th, 2016

Country-specific safety information

Crime The crime rate in Vanuatu is generally low. Assaults, theft and sexual harassment have been reported occasionally. When moving around in the dark, on foot or using public transport, you should pay particular attention.



1 Vatu. Currency abbreviation: VT, VUV (ISO code). There are banknotes in denominations of 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 200 and 100 VT; Coins are in circulation to the value of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 VT. Australian dollars are accepted in many shops, restaurants and hotels in Vila and Luganville (Santo). However, Australian dollars cannot be used as a means of payment outside the city and on the other islands.

Credit cards

Visa and MasterCard in particular, but also, to a limited extent, Diners Club and American Express are accepted. In some banks, cash can be withdrawn from ATMs with credit cards. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

ATMs that use both credit cards and debit cards with the Maestro symbol are available in Port Vila, Efate, Tanna, Malekula, Lunganville and Santo. Signs show which cards are allowed on which machines.

Attention: Travelers who pay abroad with their bank customer card and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. / 4 p.m. Some banks are closed for lunch.

Foreign exchange regulations

No restrictions (import and export of local currency only recommended in reasonable amounts).

Currency Exchange

You can exchange money at the airport and in the commercial banks.



The official languages are Bislama, French and English. Bislama is a Melanesian mix of French and English. Over 100 Melanesian dialects are also spoken.




The following items can be imported into Vanuatu duty-free (people over 18 years of age):

250 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco;
2 liters of spirits and 2 liters of wine;
9 l of beer;
25 cl eau de toilette and 10 cl perfume;
Gifts and everyday items up to a value of 50,000 VT (approx. € 413).

Import regulations

Meat products, fish and plants can only be imported with a special permit.


Business etiquette

Business is usually carried out casually, but making an appointment is recommended. Usually no tie is mandatory. English is the language of business.

Business hours: Mo-Fr 7.30-11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.-4.30 p.m.


Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce (Chamber of Commerce)
PO Box 189, Port Vila
Tel: 2 75 43.

Vanuatu Government Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce
PMB 030, Port Vila
Tel: 2 27 70th

Business contacts

Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce (Chamber of Commerce)
PO Box 189, Port Vila
Tel: 2 75 43.

Vanuatu Government Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce
PMB 030, Port Vila
Tel: 2 27 70th



Dial-up remote service. Most of the islands have public telephone booths in the cities, in the countryside, at the airport and in the post offices. Phone cards for card phones are available from more than 200 TVL Telecards branches.


GSM 900. Network operator: Telecom Vanuatu Ltd (TVL) (Internet: The reception / transmission area covers all of Vanuatu.


Main provider: Vanuatu.Com (Internet: Internet access is possible via the mobile phone. Further information on this is available at e-mail:

Post Office

Airmail to Europe takes around seven days. Post offices are on the main street of Port Vila and Luganville (Santo). Post office opening times: Mon-Fri 7.30 a.m.-3.30 p.m.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.



Grass shirts, baskets, carvings, masks and necklaces. Duty-free shops have a good range of luxury items. Shop opening times: Mon-Fri 8 am-12pm and 2 pm-6pm, Sat 8 am-12pm. Chinese shops are open on Sundays from 8 a.m. until evening.



Port Vila has several night clubs with music and dancing, as well as two cinemas and a drive-in cinema. Nightly boat trips usually include wine, snacks, and folklore and music performances. Visitors are welcome at numerous traditional festivals. Some hotels offer evening entertainment with dancing.




Christianity (80%), as well as cargo cults and followers of natural religions (8%).

Social rules of conduct

Everyday clothing is usually appropriate. More elegant restaurants and bars expect more formal attire in the evenings. Life is rather leisurely. Tips are not expected and a 10% service tax will be added to restaurant bills.


Best travel time

Subtropical. Vanuatu’s seasons are opposite to those of the northern hemisphere. The trade wind blows from May to October, and from November to April it is warm, humid and humid. Cyclones can occur between December and April.


Area code +678 Area (square km) 12190 Population 272 264 Population density (per square km) 22 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 112

Vanuatu Travel Guide

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