Port Louis


Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius, is a vibrant town. Located in the north-west of the country, Port-Louis will touch you for sure. Founded by French Governor Bertrand-François Mahé de Labourdonnais in 1735, the city is the economic hub of the island and is very lively during the day, teeming with life. Visit the colourful market, stroll through the streets, visit museums and other historical and cultural sites, taste the flavours of Mauritian street-food and meet the population … A tour in the capital is a must during your stay in Mauritius, let yourself be impregnated by the local life, the history and the culture of Mauritius. Port-Louis is a cultural melting pot, a city where traditions and the modern meet.

A visit to the Port-Louis market is a must. Embark on a journey for your senses, be amused by the very inspired glibness of vendors, follow the aromatic smells of fruit and vegetables, and taste those exotic flavours that are unknown to you. No doubt you will come out with a smile on your face. The craft and souvenir market next to the vegetable zone is also to be seen, though bargaining is recommended in this part of the bazaar.

To get a real feel of Port-Louis, you must take the time to walk along its streets. Heading north on the Royal Road, you will reach Chinatown, the old Chinese locality that conceals a lot of cultural and culinary treasures. You will find all kinds of shops, from traditional medicine to souvenir shops and grocery stores where you will find ingredients only available in the in the area. If you pay attention, you could even notice a small pagoda nestled between shops and restaurants… The Chinese community in Mauritius comes mainly from Guangzhou. At the end of the 18th century, during colonial times, the Chinese travelled to Mauritius to operate shops and craft workshops on the island. Since then, a community has settled here.

The Mauritian street food is also very famous and Port-Louis is the ideal place to taste all the flavours that make up the Mauritian culinary culture. The choice is yours: dholl puris and faratas – large pancakes made with flour and split peas served with various spicy sauces and currys, chilli cakes – small crispy chickpeas cakes with chilli, Chinese dumplings – tasty meat and vegetable balls, Chinese-style stir-fried noodles, and the famous bryani, a rice dish prepared with vegetables and meat with special spices, a delight!

At the foot of the hill sits the Champ de Mars dating back to the early 19th century, one of the oldest horse racing tracks in the southern hemisphere. The Champ de Mars is part of the Mauritian heritage. If you are in Mauritius between May and early December, you should attend a horse racing day and discover one of the many facets of Mauritian folklore.

If you want to gain some height, the Citadelle, also known as Fort Adelaide, is the place to go. An old stone fortress built on the hill by the British to defend the capital, the Citadellle now houses shops and serves as a venue for shows and other cultural events. You will have a stunning view of Port Louis and the harbour!



Port-Louis offers a wide range of shopping options. In the city centre, all you need to do is walk the streets to find the articles you are looking for. There are all kinds of stores there; in some streets, the shops are grouped by categories, such as the Corderie Street, intended for fabric stores and Royal Road for hardware stores. You will find everything, just take your time and venture into the shop mazes; do engage in conversation with the traders, they will be delighted to talk about Mauritian culture.

The Caudan Waterfront is also a great place for shopping and wandering around. Located on the harbour front, separated from the city centre by the motorway, Caudan Waterfront offers an all-in-one formula with its various brands, restaurants, cinemas and museum. You can simply take a stroll there and enjoy the view of the harbour and the mountains of Port Louis. The place is also very pleasant in the evening, offering a different atmosphere than during the day. The newly built polyvalent cultural centre, the Caudan Arts Centre, frequently hosts shows, exhibitions and other artistic events.

Why not hop on the Metro Express, the new tramway from Caudan and head towards the urban centre of the island? For now, the line stops at Rose-Hill, but it will soon connect the towns of Quatre-Bornes and Curepipe.