Port Louis, the capital city and main port of Mauritius, lies just off the coast of Africa, yet it’s easily the most accessible island in the Indian Ocean. Bargain prices, a fair bit of historical architecture and as much tropical paradise as you will find anywhere else makes Port Louis a hotspot for intrepid island seekers.

The best place to get your bearings in this tiny port town is at the Caudan Waterfront, a working commercial center with most of the town’s modern distractions. The harbor itself is hemmed in by a semicircle of green mountains, adding to the maritime charm. Although Port Louis is next to Africa, its ambiance is more French and British than anything else, with a large Indian workforce adding to the cultural mix.

In most quarters of the city you can find charmingly derelict old colonial buildings, especially off the main square, Place d’Armes, where the French influence is dominant. Port Louis’ central market is worth exploring, as this is one of the best places to watch local life in action. Horseracing at the Hippodrome is a big draw in this town from May to October, but any time of year is a good time to check out Port Louis.


Champs de Mars: the city’s horseracing track is one of the highlights of this town. If you visit during the racing season, don’t miss out on this fun and highly charged sporting event.****

Fort Adelaide: this well-preserved citadel was built during the reign of William IV and provides some of the finest views of the harbor, town and racetrack.

Caudan Waterfront: the city’s hub of entertainment is the hotspot for wining, dining, shopping or gambling at the casino.****

Place d’Armes: Port Louis’ main square is a great spot to relax, people-watch and soak in the colonial architecture of the surrounding buildings such as the Government House and Municipal Theater.

Port Louis Market: this lively market located in the heart of downtown near the harbor is an excellent spot to pick up a souvenir or check out the residents of Mauritius do their daily shopping.