The capital of Mauritius, Port Louis is located on the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by bays on one side and the Moca Mountains on the other, the scenery here is splendid from almost anywhere.
Mauritius is a former French colony, which left its mark on just about everything: on the architecture that has been preserved here since the 18th century, on the national composition of the population, culture, cuisine and much more. In the city, the white and green Jumma Mosque, St. James Cathedral, the Hindu-Tamil temple, the Museum of Photography, the ancient fortress of Fort Adelaide and the Field of Mars near its walls deserve special attention. One of the favorite pastimes among the local population is horse riding, so in any season there are great chances to catch some horse races or take a couple of lessons. Check jibin123 for customs regulations and visa requirements of Mauritius.
How to get to Port Louis
To the international airport about 1.5 hours drive, fare ~ 600 MUR.
Port Louis has two bus stations located in the city center. Buses heading north and east (for example, to Grand Baie or Pamplemousses) leave from Immigration Square, north of the central market. Buses west and south (to Maheburg or Curepipe) depart from Victoria Square, just south of the city centre. The first departure is at 6:00 am, the last one is usually at 18:00.
Entertainment and attractions of Port Louis
The Square of Arms is famous for a building built of embossed stone and wood. This is Government House surrounded by colonial houses. The city center is associated primarily with it. True, tourists are only allowed to stare from the outside. But the gardens around completely satisfy aesthetic curiosity with two exquisite marble sculptures. This is a statue of William Stevenson, who was the country’s governor from 1857 to 1863, and Queen Victoria.
On Intendence Street, right behind the Government House, the Parliament building rises. A piquant attraction is the Hindu-Tamil temple, called Maeswarat. The ancient citadel of the fort called Adelaide will also be of interest, surrounded by the Champ de Mars around the perimeter.
But in terms of the number of tourist visits per day, the huge, colorful city market wins, where you can find both sophisticated French scarves, and wonderful Arabic carpets, and hot spices.
On Church Street, in the majestic Cathedral of St. Louis, the ashes of the wife of the governor, La Bourdonnay, are buried, and on Royal Road, not far from Chinatown, stands the city’s celebrity – the Jummah Mosque, erected from lime, wood and stone, delivered specially from Bombay.
Everything, from the doors with copper scrolls to the luxurious interior decoration, plunges the guests of the mosque into admiring awe.
4 things to do in Port Louis
- Take a walk among the giant peepal trees, which are sacred to the Indians.
- Visit the old Mauritius Tuf Club during competitions for the Barbe Cup, Duchess of York Cup, etc.
- Sip a glass of rum produced a few kilometers south of Port Louis at the Pye Manor in an old local distillery.
- Buy dried octopus at the local market, the smell and appearance of which is a little scary, but the taste, believe me, is divine.
Quarters of Port Louis
By the way, a separate Muslim quarter has centered around Muammar El Khadafi Square, and in the area of Royal Street (Royal-St.) there is a Chinatown. Here it is worth noting the Chinese pagoda, and St. James Cathedral, erected in a prim English style, and the old Aapravasi Ghat complex, where only immigrants live. Traditional tourist attractions, namely casinos, restaurants, shops, a cinema, are located in the center of Le Grand Waterfront. Night entertainment for all tastes offers district de Caudan.
- Port Louis
The tomb of Laval (Pere Laval) is located in the northeastern part of the city center and it never ends with a stream of pilgrims eager to touch the statue, which is rumored to have healing powers.
The Postal Museum or the Blue Penny Museum, where the dream of every philatelist is exhibited for several hours a day – the most expensive Blue Penny stamp in the world. Address: Caudan Waterfront, tel.: 210-81-76, opening hours: 10:00-17:00, closed – Sun.
Museum of National History
Another abode of history, or rather flora, or more precisely, stuffed birds that have disappeared from the face of the earth, is the Museum of National History, which exhibits stuffed birds of dodos (dodo) and many others. There is also an art gallery, which presents the best masterpieces of fine art by local masters and foreigners. Lovers of high art can look into the theater, built in accordance with all the canons of French classical architecture.
It is worth driving a few kilometers south of Port Louis and you will find yourself in the quiet paradise of Moka, reigning among cozy Creole houses. One of them has been converted into a museum. It’s called “Eureka”. In its halls, you can learn a lot of facts about music, painting, old maps, Chinese and Indian domestic culture and everyday life. The local Mahatma Gandhi Institute houses the Museum of Indian Immigration, which houses more than two thousand volumes of Indian archives, and a collection of handicrafts, including jewelry from the first immigrants from India, traditional musical instruments, books and household trinkets.
Garden of Pamplemousses
11 kilometers northeast of Port Louis and you are in the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. It is almost always crowded here: the park is popular with tourists and Mauritians. A charming lake with water white, pink and blue lilies and lotuses, cool and fresh in a palm grove, and the colonial estate of Mont Plaisir is next to a park with deer and turtles.
Domaine Les Pailles
Domaine Les Pailles is a cultural center near Port Louis. Here you can easily ride a horse-drawn carriage, race part of the way in an old train, dine in one of the ethnic restaurants, listen to good music in a jazz club. You can get there in ten minutes by taxi from Port Louis or Moka, or by bus.