Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean North West coast. As Mauritius’s biggest city and main port, the city is a vibrant commercial centre with many administrative units of Mauritius since it was established in 1735.
Historically, the Port was a major stop for merchant ships of early traders like Arabs and Portuguese on their route to the Cape of Good Hope further southwards -Present day Cape Town South Africa. The city cover approximately 6.3sq km with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The backdrop of the capital city is the Moka mountain range that surrounds it from all angles.
Tourist Attractions in Port Louis
The main airport in Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is located in Port Louis city centre. It is the very first Mauritius Holiday sight you’ll join. Air Mauritius is the national carrier and will handle all international flights to Mauritius as well as domestic flights to other small islets in Mauritius. There are many Mauritius Hotels located a few kilometres from the Airport and others on the outskirts of the port town.
The central market
the central market place popularly referred to as the Port Louis Bazaar is a popular destination for tourists in the Mauritius. Here you’ll find anything from the fresh fruits and vegetables, souvenirs, clothing, art pieces, hand made crafts and almost anything you need on your Mauritius Holiday. If you ever want to get a closer feel to the diverse cultures in Mauritius and its people then the central market is the right place for you to be. There are several things that you can get from the central market both historical and cultural and you will also be able to get some fresh food staffs and spices that are mainly used when preparing the larger part of the dishes on the Island but before you head out to the central market, it is better if you go with your tour guide who will help you with translation and bargaining
Caudan Waterfront is one of the tourist highlights in Port Louis. In the amusement centre you will find numerous shops, restaurants, a five-star-hotel and a casino. Thus Caudan Waterfront invites for shopping, dining or a promenade. At the dock the visitor can take a look at the splendid yachts or even go on a harbour cruise from here.
Port Louis Museums
Port Louis is home to about 4 museums. In the year 2001 the Blue Penny Museum also called was opened in Caudan Waterfront, Mauritius Stamp Museum showcasing a wide range of Mauritius relics like Old Post Office Stamps, postboxes, postmarks and franking machines.
The Museum of Natural History is to be found in a pretty yellow colonial villa next to the park Jardin de la Compagnie built in 1831. The main exhibition item is the dodo, the heraldic animal of Mauritius which was eradicated in the 17th century by the early Dutch settlers. His skeleton can be visited in the museum. This museum gives you an insight into the major birds, butterfly species and sea shells from all over the island.
Champs de Mars
Is a horse racing track in Mauritius, the oldest south of the hemisphere. The track holds annual Horse riding competitions in May and November. It is also home to the Mauritius Turf Club one of the oldest racing clubs in the world. Catch up with a few horse riding fanatics on practice on Saturdays
All around the street Rue Dr. Sun Yat Sen the visitor will find the centre of Chinese life in Mauritius. Small shops and boutiques which offer typical Chinese goods, e.g. traditional cures, await the visitor. Asian scriptures, pictures and restaurants diffuse a touch of Asia in Port Louis.
The Government House is the most important building in Mauritius built by Mahé de Labourdonnais in 1740. A statue of the British Queen Victoria reminds of the Mauritian history in the court and some huge flamboyant trees offer some lovely resting palces.
This cathedral one of the island’s oldest buildings in Port Louis built in1752 by the early French colonialists. Nearly all Port Louis tourists visit this catholic cathedral for prays and appreciate the work to renew this historic site in 1933.
The neoclassical building captivates with its architecture. The glorious times, when balls, concerts and performances took place here every night are over. Today you can visit a theatre performance if you like. Other sights you can not miss in Port Louis include the Port Louis temples, Canne Moosa building, the canal satellite, the Mauritius Central Bank building and so much more.
- The Marie Reine de la Paix
The Marie Reine de la Paix is a catholic church that needs to be visited and it is found next to the Signal Mountain overlooking the capital city Port Louis. The church was built many years ago during the colonial era and it is famously known for the eighty two steps that lead to the top of the church. After climbing up the many steps to check out the beauty of the church and learning about its history, you can relax in the surrounding gardens and enjoy a picnic as you get a clear view of the Port Louis.
- The blue penny Museum
The blue penny Museum was put up in remembrance of the extinct dodo which was used on the stamps. The original stamp is put on a display for tourists to have a close view and while inside you will also get to see the different historical items that are also put on display in the museum and it is a good place for you to learn more about the history of Mauritius and how it has evolved over time.
- The Museum of photography
This is the perfect place for all those that love photography to be at while in Port Louis. Here you will find a lot of photographs that have been collected from time immemorial and these are hanged on the walls where you can easily see them. A photographer who is known as Tristan Breville is the one who has collected all these photographs and the moment you get inside the museum it will be like getting to see the past mix with the present behind the lens.
- Walk through the Aapravasi Ghat
The Aapravasi Ghat was declared a UNESCO heritage and it was set up in remembrance of the Indian immigrants who settled on the island during the slave trade era. They came to the Island as laborers and the Aapravasi was the first place that they settled in and that is why you will find many photos of the first Indians who on the Island.
- Visit the Bank of Mauritius Museum
The Bank of Mauritius Museum is located at the William Newton Street in Port Louis and it tells the story of how Mauritius’s economy has evolved over time. When the Arabs came to the Island during the slave trade era in the 12th Century, trade started on the island and they used to use barter trade at first before they started minting out coins to ease trade. The Museum is normally open only on weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:00pm and while there you will be able to see the first coins that were used for trade on display and a tour guide will keep on explaining whatever you will get to see while in the Museum.
- The National history museum
The National history museum was constructed in the 17th century and it provides tourists with a good heritage about the colonialists who ruled over the Island of Mauritia that is the Dutch, the French and the British who came last before the country gained their independence. It is found in the former French house where you will also get a chance to see some of the best colonial architecture while on the Island.
- Explore the government house
Known to be one of the oldest buildings on the Mauritian Island, the government house which is found in Port Louis and was constructed in between the year of 1729 and 1735 and although it has been renovated of recent, you can still see some of the old architecture on it and it is now the home of the current parliament of Mauritia.
- Explore the Fort Adelaide
This was constructed during the slave trade era and it was used by the slave traders as a way of protecting themselves from invaders. It was constructed and opened between 1834 and 1840 and although it has since been renovated so to become a theatre from where you can watch different shows from, it still has a historical touch to it that you should not miss out while in the city.
Explore the Le Caudan waterfront casino
The Caudan waterfront is a place that all tourists should make a stop at while in Mauritius. The sea front is a place where you can do all the shopping that you can think of, go out and have fun at the casino located in the area and also get to taste some of the local Mauritian food that is prepared in the restaurants in Caudan waterfront. This is also a good place for all the tourists who love art and a touch of literature.
Explore China town
China Town got its name due to the fact that the town is filled with Chinese nationals who migrated to the country as employees of the British, French and Dutch colonialists. They came aboard the British ship from Guangzhou and took on small jobs that were offered to them and settled in china town ever since. Exploring China Town will be like visiting China itself as you get to experience their culture, their unique food, attend their cultural festival which is carried out every year and also do some shopping as there is a myth that everything in China Town is a bit cheap as compared to other parts of Port Louis.
Take a trip to the Champ de Mars
The Champ de Mars is a well-known place to all horse riders in Mauritius and the rest of the world as it is the oldest horse riding house in the southern part of the hemisphere and tourists are also welcome to take part in the horse rides that are normally carried out from the month of March to December. It is a lovely place to go with children because as you ride, they keep on cheering you on and on a professional level, you will also get to enjoy the horse races that are organized in the Champ de Mars.
Port Louis as a capital city to Mauritius can be visited all throughout the year and due to the improved transportation system that is found in the capital, it is very easy for the tourists to get around from one tourist attraction to the next with ease.