Nuku'alofa ("Abode of Love") was originally a fortress, and is the capital of Tonga, on the island of Tongatapu at 21°10'S, 175°46'W. Population: 34,000 (1990 est.)

Nuku'alofa is the seat of government, and a major seaport, as well as the site of the Royal Palace.

The town is pretty bustling during the day, with some streets temporarily one-way. There is a marketplace, where fresh vegetables and fruits can be had cheaply. While more stressful than other places on Tongatapu, Nukua'lofa is relatively laid back when compared to most places that Westerners are accustomed to.

In general, it is fairly safe, with perhaps some petty pickpockets about and the usual 'be aware' rules. At night or near dusk some places are not safe to walk alone, especially for women. Also beware of dogs, which run in near-wild packs in some areas. Neither are huge problems, but be aware. Also one should reconsider driving on Saturday nights, as drinking and driving, unfortunately, can be a problem.

If you need to go to a store to purchase something, remember this is the islands - things close early on Saturday, and many don't stay open late on weekday evenings. Also, as this is Tonga, so pretty much everything shuts down on Sunday (Except for bakeries!).

Most of the must-see sights on Tongatapu are not in the capital, however unless you are extremely hard-pressed for time, it is worth wandering around. Some of the parks, and older buildings, especially near the Pasilika - stop at Akiko's Restaurant (good, cheap food)- are very graceful.

The post office is located in town, as well as New Zealand and Australian High Commissions.