On the northwest coast of Mauritius nestles Port Louis, the capital of the island of Mauritius. Sheltered by a chain of vertiginous mountains and the calm bay of the Indian Ocean, this spot is an unavoidable stop of a stay in Mauritius. Its strategic location between the sandy beaches of Grand Baie and Trou aux Biches and the lively village of Flic en Flac – Port Louis remains an interesting city to discover, especially from a cultural point of view. Here is everything you need to know about Port-louis and what you should not miss visiting or seeing in the wonderful capital!
The capital of the country
A veritable witness to the history of the island, Port-Louis evolved in a joyful mix of tropical exoticism and modernism. It remains immersed in a universe being at the same time intense and calm. Although the city is full of activities of all kinds, there are soothing and authentic places that remains to be discovered. On the touristic plan, the city offers various and fascinating addresses. You never get bored! Take for example the Caudan waterfront, which offers a large shopping center and a casino. It is one of the best places in the city to make interesting encounters and shopping.
Visit interesting sites
Port Louis, the capital city, is endearing. You can visit many tourist sites. We have for example the Champ de Mars which is the oldest racecourse of the southern hemisphere. You can also visit the Natural History Museum where there are no less than 35,000 specimens. You will also see the Domaine des Pailles where you will be immersed in the atmosphere of the great sugar properties of yesteryear. You will learn about the production of sugar and rum, and especially you will see demonstrations of sega. You should also not miss the Garden of the company, the green lung of the capital, the Place d’Armes with its statue of the founder Mahé de Labourdonnais and the Blue Penny Museum. The list is really exhaustive! The best option is to go to the capital and go through it.
Home to historical places
The city is the guardian of the memory of Mauritius. There are places that have gone through the centuries. We have, first of all, the Government House which dates back to the 1920s and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The Saint Louis Cathedral is the veteran of the City, built since 1770 which besides being a holy place remains a historical monument. You have Fort Adelaide erected in 1835 on the heights of the city where shows take place. Also on the list of sites is the Port Louis Theater, built in the 19th century, which is one of the oldest scenes in the Indian Ocean. Some sites are even listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites – such as the Aapravasi Ghat!
Original Port Louis Market
The Central Market of Port Louis is one of the oldest sites on the island. The atmosphere is cosmopolitan and magical. There are crafts and natural products. You can buy souvenirs from Mauritius. Fresh fruits and vegetables are sold throughout the year. There is something for every taste. You will surely find something to taste – Do not miss the famous Dholl Puri and the Alouda! Walking enthusiasts will enjoy walking through its many alleys. It is protected from the sun and rain, as the market is partially covered.
Symbol of the cultural mixing of Mauritius
The population of the city is made up of descendants of Indian, Chinese, African and European immigrants. Muslim, Indian and even Chinese neighborhoods have been built there. Chinatown is a must visit in Port Louis! There are also mosques, Tamil temples and churches. The architecture of the city also testifies to the ethnic mix that prevails there. The buildings of the city are an incredible mixture of buildings and Creole houses.
Also known as Fort Adelaide, this citadel perched high on its hill at 100 meters above sea level, proudly dominates the capital of Mauritius. Dating back to the 19th century, it was once used to defend the city from potential attackers from the (western) sea. For those who have the courage to climb (about 30 minutes walk), you will discover from the ramparts a panoramic view over the whole city of Port Louis. We highly recommend it at sunset, it is beautiful.
Stroll to Caudan: the waterfront of Port Louis
Opened in 1996, the marina of Port Louis is today a true place of life where teenage Mauritian youth and travelers in search of bargain in the many boutiques of creators and stalls of local souvenirs. For authenticity, the craft market of Caudan offers products made in Mauritius and Rodrigues; Baskets, boat models, spices … There is something for everyone. And for the gourmands, many restaurants concoct luring dishes such as samoussas or brianis, to consume under the parasols of Caudan. The waterfront also has a casino, cinemas and a large shopping center.
Bet at the Racecourse of the Champs de Mars
Between horse passion and love of the game, horse racing is a real national sport in Mauritius! Every weekend, the racetrack of the Champs de Mars is overcrowded. In the tribunes one can quickly feel the excitement rise; The bettors crowd at the announcement of the jockeys, the riders climb on their saddles, ready to go, advance on the line and start and “bang”, the race is launched! The spectators observe, comment, shout, exclaim and laugh. A beautiful cocktail of emotions, to discover absolutely if you are in the vicinity of Port Louis a weekend and you want to share an intense moment, typically Mauritian. This remainsa a fun activity to do with your family!
Did you know?
Originally, Port-Louis bore the Dutch name of Noordwester Haven. The name Port Louis was given in homage to King Louis 15.
Alouda, a popular local drink you can taste in Port Louis Market, is made from Indian basil, milk and vanilla ice cream.
Have fun in Port Louis!