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City Tour and Shopping in Port Louis

Duration: Half Day

city tour and shopping in port louis

Spend a day exploring Port Louis, the vibrant capital of Mauritius, and immerse yourself in its fascinating history and diverse cultures. This enriching cultural tour is an ideal way to discover the highlights of one of the island’s most important cities.

Founded by the French in 1735, and named after King Louis XV, Port Louis is Mauritius’ largest city and the main port on the island. You will notice a diverse blend of cultures here, which is evident through its many mosques, shrines, temples, pagodas and impressive colonial architecture. The population of Port Louis is largely made up of a large number of immigrants who arrived from India in the early 19th century to work in the sugar cane fields. In addition, the Chinese have traditionally held a strong community here, congregating in the area known as Chinatown, whilst the city also has a rich French, Dutch and British colonial past. The many different cultural influences make Port Louis a fascinating city to explore.

Surrounded by picturesque mountains belonging to the Port Louis Moka Range, the scenic city of Port Louis is dominated by the 19th century La Citadelle (Fort Adelaide), which was built in the foothills by the British to guard the harbour from attacks. From here visitors can gain spectacular panoramic views of the city, harbour and The Champ de Mars, the oldest racecourse in the southern hemisphere. Lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of the streets and boulevards as you explore some of the most fascinating parts of the city.

Port Louis boasts some impressive architecture, including French colonial buildings dating back to the 18th century and historical monuments such as the beautiful 19th century Jummah Mosque and 19th century Saint James Cathedral, one of only a few Protestant churches built on the island when Mauritius was a British colony. We arrive at Place D’Armes, the Historical Centre of the city, which links the port to the beautiful 19th century Government House through a grand esplanade lined by palm trees and statues. The statue of the French governor Mahe de Labourdonnais can be seen at the entrance. Many churches and museums can be found in this area, as well as the 19th century Municiple Theatre, the oldest theatre in the Indian Ocean region.

We continue onwards to the vibrant and colourful Central Market, which holds an important place within the Mauritian community. Soak up the sights, smells and bustling atmosphere as you browse the stalls, passing traders selling all kinds of different cultural wares. You will find fresh produce and spices here, as well as Indian snacks, herbal remedies, clothing, table cloths, bags and many other items that will make great gits or souvenirs. A visit to this market is a fantastic way to appreciate the true diversity of the Mauritian population.

At Le Miraj you will see exquisite tapestries and traditional arts and crafts made by local artisans, whilst the final part of the tour will lead you to the popular Caudan Waterfront, the hub of the city. This area offers a marina, duty-free shops, cinemas, restaurants, bars and casinos facing the Port Louis harbour. You will find a wide selection of high quality products and jewelleries here. Being duty-free, Mauritius is a shopper’s paradise so you can be sure of picking up a bargain!

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