Port Louis is not only the city where your plane lands upon your arrival on the island of Mauritius, but it is also the island’s capital with a long, interesting history and many things to see and do. This town is home to an abundance of historical buildings and museums, and it’s also a great place to feel the soul and the true culture of Mauritius. The city is one big melting pot of religions and cultures and a visit to this ancient town on the spice trading route of the colonial times is not to be missed. Spend a few days here right upon your arrival or perhaps at the end of your trip. You can book a Mauritius villa in the center of town or just outside and from there, you can explore what Port Louis is all about. Here are 5 things not to miss:
1. Local food tasting & souvenir shopping @ central market
The scents, the colors, the liveliness, the food, the handicrafts, the big bazaar of Port Louis is the place to be for mouthwatering Mauritian food and souvenir shopping. Go in the early morning to catch a glimpse of the authentic daily life of the local people as they shop for vegetables and meat. The craft market is located up on the first level of the building, and this is the place to sniff around finding gifts and souvenirs. Beautiful textiles, handwoven baskets, bottles of local rum infused with local spices and so many more things are found here. Feeling hungry? Continue to the food court for mouthwatering curries served with flatbread. Also, try the traditional milk-based drink ‘alouda’ to refresh.
2. Shopping and entertainment @ Le Caudan Waterfront
In contrary to the central market, Le Caudan Waterfront is a gorgeous ultra-modern beachfront shopping mall where you can get a good feel for the modern Mauritian life. It is one of the oldest malls in Mauritius, and it is a place where young and old meet for dinner, drinks, movies, shopping or whatever. Here, you can shop for international brands and high-quality spices, batik, hand-painted silk products and leather belts. Just wander around, soak up the ambience, dine to the view of the sea and later in the evening, hit the cinema or the casino for hours of fun.
3. Port Louis Walking Tour
The best way to explore the city is by walking around. Why not join a Walking tour to guide you through the city, allowing you to see things you would never find by yourself. The 3-hour Old Trades and Artisans Tour takes you to see local artisans and craftsmen who still continue making things with their hands like in the old days. Tinsmiths, tailors, shoemakers, barbers and so on. Another great walking tour is the culinary and historical tour, taking you past heritage sites and stopping at local food stalls that mirror the island’s ethnicities. Did you know that you can also download an app with a map to guide you towards the best street art of Port Louis? Totally free and super interesting.
4. Museums and more museums
Port Louis is also home to several museums so you can do some museum hopping during your stay. Learn about the island’s history at the Blue Penny Museum conveniently located inside LE Caudan Waterfront. Check out the Natural History Museum to find out more about the Mauritian Dodo as well as other extinct birds and fishes and visit the Photography museum to see ancient photography tools and old photos of Mauritius in 3D.
5. See the Champ de Mars Horse Racing Track
Horse racing is a big sport in Mauritius, and here in Port Louis, you can see the second-oldest racetrack in the whole wide world, dating back to 1812. The 1300 meter track is impressive to see, and when there is a horse racing going on, this place is bursting with liveliness as thousands of locals come here to try their luck betting. A must-visit!
Written by Stephanie of Villa-Finder.com