Cultural Things to Do in Port Louis, Mauritius

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Enjoying our tropical vacation in Mauritius, we loved swimming and basking in the sun everyday, but of course we had to get out and do more than just sit on the beach. One of the first things we did is go to Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. Every capital is the place to go for good restaurant, shopping, and museums. As we expected, there are plenty of cultural things to do in Port Louis, and we were looking forward to a day of exploring the city.

Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis - One of the Major Sights

Port Louis Travel Guide

Port Louis is the bustling center and capital city of Mauritius. There’s plenty to see in this mostly walkable city. In the downtown area, you can see beautiful colonial architecture harkening back to the time when Mauritius was a part of the British Empire, as well as enjoy the coolness of the some of the green spaces that boast huge Banyan trees. You can also visit the always busy central market, eat a fantastic dinner, try your hand at gambling in the casino, or take in one of many small and informative museums.

A seal depicting two seahorses and a shield, Jardin de la Companie

Best Things to do in Port Louis

  • Caudan Waterfront
  • Blue Penny Museum
  • Port Louis Central Market
  • Place d’Armes
  • Le Jardin de La Companie
  • Aapravasi Ghat
  • Citadel – Fort Adelaide

Sitting along the water in Port Louis

Caudan Waterfront and Blue Penny Museum

The walking area around the waterfront is full of fantastic shops and cafés. The largest mall will provide you with shopping experiences for all budgets. It’s a great place to go in the late afternoon for some relaxing and a good coffee.

The Blue Penny Museum is one of the most important sites on the island. It houses permanent and temporary exhibits that highlight the history of Mauritius. It’s most famous for the Blue Penny stamp which it was named, but beware the stamp is only open at certain times, so if this is the main reason to go, call first.

Address: Caudan Waterfront Mall
Opening Hours: Monday thru Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00, closed Sundays
Cost: 225 RS per adult

Port Louis Sightseeing Map

Statue of Sir Boolell on the Place d'Armes Port Louis

Place d’Armes and Les Jardins de La Companie

The widest and grandes boulevard in Port Louis, the Place d’Armes is both busy and crowded most weekdays and yet a place to wander. There are statues of influential persons throughout Mauritian history throughout the center green space, like Sir Satcam Boolell, a former foreign minister.

Things to do in Port Louis should include relaxing in the Jardin de la Companie

Les Jardins de la Companie will provide you with some welcome shade from the many Banyan trees as well as a place to rest and watch the world go by.

Key Tourist Sight in Port Louis, everyone should visit the Aapravasi Ghat

Aapravasi Ghat

We first headed over to the Aapravasi Ghat where 70% of today’s Mauritians’ ancestors first stepped on the island as indentured servants. The ghat is a now a museum chock full of information, both static and interactive. It’s a must-see when visiting Port Louis. It’s a sobering place, but important. Of course every school child goes, and it was fun to see what the school groups were interested in while we were there.

Address: Quay Street
Opening Hours: Monday thru Friday 9:00-4:00, Saturdays 9:00-12:00, Closed Sundays
Cost: Free

One of the best things to do in Port Louis, the Central Market

Port Louis Central Market

Then we headed over to the Central Market, which is open daily and located across the street and a block down from Aapravasi Ghat, an easy walk even in the humid tropical heat. A two-story building, the top floor is basically for visitors looking for souvenirs. You can buy stuffed dodo birds, sarongs, beach towels, and plenty of other souvenirs. We weren’t immune; after some serious haggling (don’t pay the asking price here, no matter what) we bought a t-shirt and sarong. Even after getting the price down 75% from the starting price we still paid too much, but at least they are usable items.

Produce Vendor in Port Louis Central Market

On the bottom floor of the market is where the locals go. It has many food stalls from butchers to produce, and then at one end are the vendors selling street food. This was our main reason for going. We couldn’t wait to try two items, the dhal puri, a burrito-like fried bread wrap filled with curry and spices, and to chase it down a refreshing alouda, a flavored tapioca drink. We found them both and indulged. Our lunch cost about $7.00 for the two of us, and it was delicious!

Mauritian Souvenirs, mostly dodo birds, sold in the Port Louis Central Market

Address: 9 Corderie St
Opening Hours: Monday thru Saturday 5:00-5:30, Sundays 5:30 – 11:30

Entrance to the Mauritius Postal Museum

More Museums in Port Louis

  • Postal Museum – A small museum located in the post office building with lots of photos, stamps, and memorabilia from the island’s history.
    • Address:
      Opening Hours:
      Cost:
  • The Natural History Museum – Famous for its skeleton of one of the last dodo birds. They are said to have gone extinct in Mauritius.
    • Address: Mauritius Institute Building
      Opening Hours: Monday thru Friday 9:00 – 4:00, Saturdays 9:00 – 12:00, closed Sundays
      Cost: Free
  • The Bank of Mauritius Museum – If you love coins, check out this one out.
    • Address: Sir William Newton St.
      Opening Hours: Weekdays 9:30 – 6:00
      Cost: Free
  • Museum of Photography – This museum exhibits cameras and prints.
    • Address: Rue de Vieux Conseil et W.Churchill
      Opening Hours: Monday thru Friday 9:00 – 3:00, closed weekends
      Cost: 150 RS for adults

For more information on Port Louis museums, you can go to this website.

French Colonial Building where the Natural History Museum of Mauritius is housed.

Places to Eat in Port Louis

Local sit down cafés and restaurants are listed and recommended below. There are a number of budget opportunities, like the bottom floor of the central market and McDonald’s and Nando’s. 

  • Lambic Restaurant
  • Arabia Café
  • Namaste Restaurant
  • First Restaurant
  • Tandoori Express
  • Le Bonne Marmite

After a full day of stomping the pavement in the vibrant capital city, we headed back to our resort for our sundowner cocktail, complete with local rum, and a dip in the infinity pool as the sun dove headfirst into the Indian Ocean. The next day we were in for a cooking lesson on how to make Mauritian curry. How fun!

Are you ready to check in to your exclusive tropical resort in Mauritius? Check these out.

Pin A Visit to Port Louis

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26 thoughts on “Cultural Things to Do in Port Louis, Mauritius

  1. Rhonda Albom says:

    I will be sure to check out Port Lois when I go to Mauritius. Browsing island markets are one of my favorite things to do. Laying on the beach or around the pool is fine but I can’t stay still for too long.

  2. jill says:

    Sounds perfect – and looks beautiful! I also love my road trips but sometimes you just need a little down time and for me that includes a little beach time.But a beach with a little bit of history and interesting places to visit is perfect.

    • Corinne Vail says:

      Jill, That was exactly what we thought. We did swim everyday and still had plenty of time for exploring; it was a great mix.

    • Jim Vail says:

      Mauritius is beautiful. There is a strong Indian influence on the island so there were many similarities, including the delicious cuisine!

  3. travellingdany says:

    Your photos! WOW! I need to print the first one to go through the week! This place looks like paradise, and I didn’t even know it existed!

  4. Brianna says:

    This sounds like a place my parents might be interested in vacationing. What language do they speak on Mauritius?

  5. Juliette | Snorkels To Snow says:

    Fabulous trip! Would love to go to Mauritius. Really nice to get a taste of what it’s like outside of the beaches. The colonial architecture looks very beautiful and worth a photographic tour!

  6. The Roaming Renegades.com says:

    Mauritius sounds like the perfect place for relaxation and adventure! We love to go on as many adventures as possible but it can get tiring so you need a place to come back to and put your feet up! Hopefully one day we will visit Mauritius because by the sounds of it it’s amazing!

  7. Carolina Colborn says:

    Mauritius looks like it should be on my bucket list. Didn’t know about it til now!

  8. Sally's Tips 4 Trips says:

    Mauritis is a direct flight for us here in Perth as well. Yet whilst I do love a good tropical holiday I always want to do a bit of exploring as well. I naively thought Mauritis didn’t offer anything other than beaches – how wrong it appears I am. I would thoroughly enjoy exploring the old town, markets and even a museum.

  9. The Global Bazaar says:

    I’ve been to Mauritius once but was way too young to remember. Those pics are amazing. I definitely wouldn’t mind exploring the country as an adult.

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