Electricity

  • Electricity The Solomons uses 240V, 50Hz AC and Australian-style three-pin plugs.

Embassies & Consulates

Emergency & Important Numbers

Entry & Exit Formalities

Visas

Not required for most Western countries for stays of up to one month

Visas

Citizens from most Western countries don’t need a visa to enter the Solomon Islands, just a valid passport, an onward ticket, and sufficient funds for their stay. On arrival at the airport, you will be given an entry permit for up to six weeks.

Internet Access

  • You’ll find a few internet cafes in Honiara. Our Telekom (www.ourtelekom.com.sb) has public email facilities in Honiara, Gizo, Munda and Auki.
  • Wi-fi is available at the better hotels and at a few cafes in Honiara, Auki, Munda and Gizo but a fee usually applies. Our Telecom sells prepaid wi-fi access cards that can be used at hotspots around the country, including at some accommodation and a number of restaurants and cafes. These prepaid wi-fi cards are also available in some hotels.
  • Most remote islands don't have any internet at all.
  • Note that connections can be excruciatingly slow at times.

Media

  • Newspapers & Magazines The Solomons Star (www.solomonstarnews.com), the Island Sun and the web-only Solomon Times Online (www.solomontimes.com).

Money

A few ATMs in the major urban centres

Further Information

ATMs There are ATMs at the ANZ and Bank South Pacific (BSP) banks in Honiara, as well as in Auki, Munda and Gizo. Note that ATMs at BSP only issue cash advances against Visa (not MasterCard). ATMs at ANZ accept both Visa and MasterCard.

Credit cards The main tourist-oriented businesses, the Honiara branch of Solomon Airlines, a few dive shops and most upmarket hotels and resorts accept credit cards (usually with a 5% surcharge), but elsewhere it’s strictly cash. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa and MasterCard.

Currency The local currency is the Solomon Islands’ dollar (S$). A supply of coins and small-denomination notes will come in handy in rural areas, at markets, and for bus and boat rides.

Moneychangers The Bank South Pacific and ANZ will change money in most major currencies. There's also a bureau de change at the airport. Australian dollars are the best to carry, followed by US dollars. Euros are OK, but bank exchange rates are poor.

Taxes There’s a 10% government tax on hotel and restaurant prices, but more basic places often don’t charge it. All prices given are inclusive of tax.

Tipping and bargaining Tipping and bargaining are not traditionally part of Melanesian culture.

Exchange Rates

Australia A$1 S$7.41
Canada C$1 S$7.28
Euro €1 S$9.49
Japan ¥100 S$8.82
New Zealand NZ$1 S$5.83
UK UK£1 S$11.60
USA US$1 S$7.18

For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.

Opening Hours

Typical business hours are as follows:

Banks 8.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday

Government offices 8am to noon and 1pm to 4pm Monday to Friday

Restaurants 11am to 9pm

Stores 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday

Public Holidays

New Year’s Day 1 January

Easter March or April

Whit Monday May or June

Queen’s Birthday First Monday in June

Independence Day 7 July

Christmas 25 December

National Thanksgiving Day 26 December

Telephone

Solomon Islands' country code is 677; there are no area codes. All landline numbers have five digits.

Mobile Phones

Local SIM cards are available and can be used with unlocked GSM phones.

Providers & Roaming

  • Our Telekom (www.ourtelekom.com.sb) and Bmobile/Vodafone (www.bmobile.com.sb) offer GSM mobile phone service in most areas (but Marovo isn’t entirely covered yet).
  • Prepaid SIM cards are available for purchase. You can buy top-up cards in many outlets.
  • Note that most foreign phones set up for global roaming won't work in the Solomons because the local providers don't have roaming agreements with foreign operators. That said, both operators have international roaming agreements with Telstra and Optus (Australia).

Women Travellers

  • Exercise normal caution in Honiara – after dark, take a taxi and stay in busy areas.
  • Melanesians are very sensitive about the show of female thighs so shorts and skirts should be knee-length and swimwear should incorporate boardshorts rather than bikini bottoms.

Weights & Measures

  • Weights and Measures The metric system is used here.

Time

  • Time 11 hours ahead of GMT/UTC.