Capital and main port of Mauritius, Port Louis was founded by the French governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais, in 1735. The harbour lies sheltered in a semi-circle of mountains.
The town has plenty of character, and shows off its past elegance. Off the Place d’Armes main square, there are some particularly fine French colonial buildings, especially the Government House (eighteenth century) and the Municipal Theatre, built around the same time. There are two Cathedrals, Anglican and Catholic, a Mosque, a Chinese Casino, a fine Supreme Court, some 18th century Barracks, and a Natural History Museum.
The Central Market is one of Port Louis most memorable attractions. The restaurants in Port Louis and throughout Mauritius are quite diverse and the new Caudan Waterfront is considered by many to be the main tourist attraction in Port Louis. It has become the hub of the city with plenty of trendy shops, cinemas, restaurants and a casino.
The Chinese quarter has plenty of little restaurants and food stalls on the street corners. It’s probably the most colourful part of the city with its remedy shops and spice sellers. You’ll also find the island’s most beautiful mosque in this area. The Jummah Mosque was built in 1853 and has some fabulous teak doors and decorations, but it is only open to visitors at certain times.
Things to see and do
* Caudan Waterfront
* Place d’Armes – main square
* Chinese quarter
* Champs de Mars market
Cruise Season – Oct – April
Currency – Mauritius Rupee (Rs)
Language – English and French
Land Area – 2040 km²
Population – 147,000
Electricity – 2 round pins European style and 2 vertical square pins and one perpendicular below British style
Time – GMT plus four hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 230
Port Location – The port is centrally located in downtown Port Louis.
Transport Links – Mauritius airport is 48km (30 miles) southeast of Port Louis. Flights originate in France, but there are also flights from several African, Asian and European capitals as well as from the US (via Europe) and Australia.
Bus and taxi services are available in urban areas. Bicycles and boats are also available to hire.