As the capital and largest city on the island of Mauritius, Port Louis should absolutely be on every visitor’s list of places to see. You will need more than one day to truly experience even just a chunk of what the city has to offer, so it is well worth scouting in advance to identify what places you want to make a priority before you arrive.
Below are just a handful of some of the excellent places to see in the bustling city of Port Louis…
Central Market and Bazaar
The picturesque central market and bazaar is where to go to find locally grown produce, exotic foods, spices and teas, as well as all sorts of arts and crafts which make fantastic gifts and souvenirs.
The bazaar is particularly well known for the inexpensive clothing that can be found, with many examples either locally made or imported from China and India. Expect to find yourself among the locals as you shop here as it is very popular with the people who live in and around Port Louis.
Port Louis Theatre
The Port Louis Municipal Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in the southern hemisphere, with the first stone laid in 1820 and the entire five-tier and stone pillar-fronted building completed two years later. The architecturally fascinating building was unfortunately allowed to become practically derelict for a significant time during the twentieth century, but the revitalised venue is now popular with the locals and visitors who go to enjoy live performances of drama as well as jazz and classical music.
Blue Penny Museum
This wonderful museum in Port Louis includes many antiques and ornaments from throughout the history of the island and its initial exploration and settlement by the Dutch, French and British during their colonial eras. The main treasure that the museum takes its name from are two of the world’s rarest postage stamps, which consist of a red ‘one-penny’ and a blue ‘two-pence’ stamp issued back in 1847. They are considered the most valuable objects on Mauritius and are even subject to special conditions where they are only lit up for ten minutes per hour to help preserve their colouration.
The museum also contains a selection of antique maps as well as engravings from throughout various moments in the history of the island. There are a lot of old photographs and works of art, including a lifelike statue created in 1884 by Mauritian sculptor Prosper d’Épinay featuring the characters from the classic eighteenth century French novel ‘Paul et Virginie’ (or ‘Paul and Virginia’ in English).
Lambic Beer Bar
If all that culture makes you thirsty for a nice cold beer, then get yourself along to the Lambic where you can taste dozens of locally produced and imported beers (though probably not a good idea to try them all on the same evening!). The bar and restaurant is set in a former colonial mansion in the heart of Port Louis, and the interior décor is quintessentially colonial Mauritius. The menu also contains plenty of interesting options such as wild boar and a plethora of meals designed to complement particular beers.
Champ de Mars Racecourse
For a special day out, you can visit the racecourse that was originally a military training ground until it became the home of the world’s second-oldest horse racing club in 1812. This track is also the site where Mauritian independence from the British was proclaimed in 1968 and has been visited by the highest ranking of British royals including Prince William, Princess Margaret and the Queen her very self. The venue is also home to a statue of King Edward VII and an obelisk called the Malartic Tomb.
Racing season runs from April to November with races usually taking place over the weekend. For the biggest racing event of the year, visit the Champ de Mars Racecourse in September for the Maiden Cup.
If you want to enjoy all of the exciting wonders of Port Louis, contact Mauritius Holiday Experts who can find you the top hotels and travel packages to ensure you make the most of what will be the most memorable holiday of your life.