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23 Best Things to do in Port Louis Mauritius

by Steph

Looking for the best things to do in Port Louis Mauritius? This Port Louis travel guide will show you a list of 20 top attractions to visit in the capital city of Mauritius!

While postcard pictures of Mauritius Island might only show palm-fringed beaches and turquoise ocean, the northwest coast of Mauritius is home to Port Louis, Mauritius’ bustling capital city!

Unfortunately, most travelers to Mauritius tend to skip over it without knowing that there are actually a lot of things to see and do in Port Louis! 

Sampling local street food at the Central Market, wandering in between the colorful alleyways of Chinatown, admiring over 70 street art, and visiting historic landmarks and buildings are among the best things to do in Port Louis Mauritius.

So, if you’re wondering what to do in Port Louis, this is the guide for you!

Want to visit Port Louis with a guided tour? I recommend this private guided tour of the north which includes all the top Port Louis attractions, Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, Notre Dame Auxiliatrice Church, and more.

View of building and mountains from Citadel Fort in Port Louis Mauritius
Admiring the view from the Citadel Fort is one of the best things to do in Port Louis Mauritius

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Read more about Mauritius:

Things to see and do in Port Louis Mauritius

Central Market

One of the best things to do in Port Louis is to visit the Central Market. This is the largest covered market in Mauritius selling everything from fresh produce to food, herbal medicines, spices, and souvenirs.

On the ground floor, you’ll find vendors selling a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and on the first floor, is a souvenir/craft market.

There’s also another souvenir market located on the opposite side of the produce stalls. Prices are usually steep for tourists, so it’s recommended to bargain.

If you’re hungry, there’s a food court on the ground floor where you can sample some of the best Mauritian dishes and snacks. The seating area is found just above the food court.

Opening hours: 5.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m (Monday-Saturday); 5.30 a.m to 12 p.m (Sunday)

People walking in between vegetable stalls at the Port Louis central market
Port Louis Central Market

Indulge in Street Food

There’s no better place than Port Louis to sample some delicious Mauritian street food. From Dholl Puri to Faratha, Gateau Piments, and Briani, you’ll be spoilt for choice of food to eat! 

The food in Mauritius is a delicious blend of cuisines from different parts of the world, including China, India, Africa, and Europe. 

Some of the best places to eat street food in Port Louis include the Central Market, Chinatown, Les Jardins de la Compagnie Market, Sir William Newton, and Bourbon Streets.

One of the top things to do in Port Louis is to go on a street food tour with a local guide who will show you all the best food spots and at the same time tell you about the history some of the most important landmarks in the city. Find out more about the Port Louis street food tour here.

gateaux piments (deep fried balls made with yellow split peas)
Gateaux Piments

Related post: 30 delicious street food to try in Mauritius

Take a stroll around the Caudan Waterfront

The very first shopping mall in Mauritius, the Caudan Waterfront is the place to go for a lavish shopping spree or simply a stroll by the ocean.

It features several shops that cater to both high-end and mid-range budgets, a casino, a craft market, two movie theaters, a museum, and a food court with lots of local and international food options.

There are also two hotels located right at the water’s edge aimed at business travelers.

modern building lining down the ocean at caudan waterfront port louis mauritius
Caudan Waterfront

If you’re traveling to Mauritius on a budget, this might not be the ideal place for you to shop.

Instead, you can take a stroll around the waterfront area to enjoy the view and snap some photos along the colorful Umbrella Street.

Tip: This private Instagram tour of Mauritius takes you around the most photogenic locations in Mauritius, including Umbrella Street, Pamplemousses Botanical Garden and Chamarel Seven Colored Earth.

Water fountain in front of an alley with colorful umbrellas at the Caudan Waterfront
Umbrella Street at Caudan Waterfront

You can get to the Caudan Waterfront from Port Louis Center by taking one of the two underground pathways.

The first one is found near McDonald’s and the other is near the post office (opposite the Mauritius Postal Museum).

You can also get to Caudan from the suspended bridge at Victoria Urban Terminal.

a cobblestones square by the sea with tall palm trees at caudan mauritius
Port Louis Waterfront

Read more: Mauritius backpacking guide

Hunt for Street Art

In recent years, the street art scene in Port Louis has evolved quite a bit. What used to be old crumbling buildings and empty streets are now being revived with colorful murals illustrating the cultural melting pot of Mauritius. 

Most of the street art can be found in Chinatown but you can also spot a few others along Bourbon and Sir William Newton Streets.

So, if you’re looking for the best things to see in Port Louis, I highly recommend checking out the street art.

Colorful pop art of Dr Sun Yat Sen in Chinatown Port Louis
Street art on Dr Sun Yat Sen Street

Related post: 70+ Street art in Port Louis + Interactive Map


Another top attraction in Port Louis Mauritius is Chinatown.

Although smaller and not as vibrant as its Asian counterparts, the Mauritius Chinatown is slowly regaining popularity thanks to the work of the New Chinatown Foundation. 

people walking toward an archway marking the entrance to Chinatown

Every now and then, you’ll find new street art popping up and during the Chinese New Year, the streets will be adorned with colorful lanterns.

Whether you’re a street art enthusiast or simply want to sample some of the best Sino-Mauritian dishes, Chinatown is a must-visit.

Tip: Don’t miss out on the annual Chinatown Food & Cultural Festival! You can go to their Facebook page here to check the schedule for the next event.

a colorful dragon puppet with red lanterns in the background
Dragon dance at the Chinatown Food & Cultural Festival


Port Louis is considered the shopping capital of Mauritius. If you want to buy clothes or fabric, head to La Corderie Street.

You can also find cheap clothes at Le Workshop and the market on Dr Edouard Laurent Street. If you don’t mind splurging a bit, you can go shopping at the Caudan Waterfront.

For souvenirs, head to the Central Market, Craft Market in Caudan, or Chinatown.

Shop at the Craft Market

As mentioned above, one of the best places to buy souvenirs is at the Craft Market in Caudan Waterfront.

It features more than a dozen shops selling Mauritian-theme souvenirs and artworks such as rattan handbags, ceramic bowls, wooden sculptures, dreamcatchers, fridge magnets, and more.

You can also buy some jewelry, clothes, rum, and even traditional spices used in the Mauritian cuisine.

Opening hours: 9 a.m to 5 p.m (Monday-Saturday); closed on Sundays

a man standing behind a souvenir stall at the craft market caudan waterfront
Craft market

Victoria Urban Terminal

The Victoria Urban Terminal recently opened in 2022 to serve as Port Louis’ transportation hub for buses, taxis, and the Metro Express.

It has over 60 retail shops (including local and international brands), a supermarket, a food court as well as some temporary stalls selling handicrafts, jewelry, and plants spread across two levels, plus a suspended walkway that connects to the Caudan Waterfront.

There are several food kiosks, coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants, including one of my favorites, Ricardo’s which serves the best chicken wraps.

On the first floor is a local market where you can buy fresh produce, street food, and clothes.

If you’re a fan of street art, be sure to check out the colorful murals painted by the local artists. You’ll find them on the outside next to the bus terminal.

people walking around a food court at Victoria urban terminal port louis
Victoria Urban Terminal

Caudan Arts Center

If you fancy watching a local show or musical performance, then head out to the Caudan Arts Center. It’s located within the Caudan Waterfront just opposite the Victoria Urban Terminal.

You can see all the upcoming shows on their official website here.

a modern building housing the caudan arts centre next to an old brick building
Caudan Arts Center

Aapravasi Ghat

Constructed in 1849, the Aapravasi Ghat is a historical site that was used as an immigration depot to receive indentured laborers. These workers came to Mauritius after the abolition of slavery as part of the “Great Experiment” initiated by the British. 

They came mainly from India, but also from East Africa, Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and China either to work in the sugarcane fields and factories in Mauritius or to be transhipped to other countries.

Due to its historical significance, the Aapravasi Ghat was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006.

It’s one of the best places to visit in Port Louis if you love history. Admission is free of charge and if you want to take advantage of a free guided tour, you should book in advance by calling on +230 217 77 70.

Opening hours: 9 a.m to 4 p.m (Monday-Friday); 9 a.m to 12 p.m (Saturday); closed on Sundays and public holidays

Cost: Free

A replica of the boat that brought the Indentured laborers to Mauritius
A replica of the boat that brought the Indentured laborers to Mauritius

Related post: Top attractions to see in North Mauritius

Take in the view at Fort Adelaide (Citadel)

Fort Adelaide, also known as Citadel, was built by the British in the 19th century initially to protect the city from invaders although it was never actually used for this purpose.

The fort is perched on top of a hill and offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of Port Louis. From the top, you get a clear view of the Port Louis skyline, Champ de Mars race track, and the surrounding mountains.

If you’re coming by car, there’s a small parking lot near the entrance or you can walk from Chinatown in about 20 minutes (take the stone steps located on your left just before entering Sebastopol Street – click here for the exact location)

Tip: If you want to learn more about the history of Port Louis and explore the northern region, you can book this private guided tour which includes visits to Port Louis, Pamplemousses Garden, Notre Dame Auxiliatrice Church, and more.

View of building and mountains from Citadel Fort in Mauritius
View from Citadel Fort

Opening hours: 8 a.m to 4 p.m (Monday-Friday); closed on Saturdays and Sundays

Cost: Free

Related post: Mauritius travel guide: top things to do

St Louis Cathedral

Built in the form of a Latin cross, St Louis Cathedral is one of the most important Catholic Churches in Mauritius.

It was initially built as a small church between 1752 and 1756 but was subsequently damaged by two violent cyclones. The church was then rebuilt several times over the years to reinforce its structures.

The inside of the church is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows and features an intricate altar, statues of saints, and several paintings illustrating the Passion of Christ.

Cross-shaped catholic church in Port Louis
St Louis Cathedral

Madurai Mariamen Temple

Another must-see in Port Louis the colorful Madurai Mariamen Temple.

The temple stands out thanks to its vibrant colors, intricate carvings, mosaics, and statues of Hindu deities. You can easily get there by walking from the Caudan Waterfront. 

Opening hours: 6 a.m to 5 p.m (Monday-Thursday); 6 a.m to 7 p.m (Friday); 6 a.m to 4 p.m (Saturday) and 6 a.m to 1 p.m (Sundays)

Cost: Free

Hindu temple covered with statues of Hindu deities painted in rainbow colors
Madurai Mariamen Temple

Tien Tan Pagoda

Constructed in the 1960s, Tien Tan Pagoda is a three-tier Chinese pagoda situated at the foot of Signal Mountain.

Since it’s located slightly outside of the city center, It’s best to go there by bus or taxi.

The vibrant red staircase along with the lush mountain backdrop makes Tien Tan Pagoda a great photography location.

Tip: You can also visit Kwan Tee Pagoda which is located not too far from Caudan Waterfront.

red stairs leading to a three-tier Chinese pagoda in port Louis - Tien Tan Pagoda
Tien Tan Pagoda

Jummah Mosque

The Jummah Mosque is the second oldest Mosque in Mauritius. It was built in 1853 by a group of Muslim merchants from Gujarat India who later expanded the building to accommodate the growing Muslim population.

Located at the entrance of Chinatown, the mosque is noticeable by its imposing white facade, minarets, and intricate carvings. The mosque is free to visit outside of prayer time.

A white mosque with green accents
Jummah Mosque

Champ de Mars

The Champ de Mars was initially used as a military training ground but was later converted into a horse race track.

Horse races are now held every Saturday between March and December and occasionally on Sundays for the Maiden Cup. 

If you’re into horse betting or just want to see what a typical horse racing day looks like, Champs de Mars might be an interesting place to visit during your trip to Port Louis.

View of the Champ de Mars race track from Citadel Fort
View of Champ de Mars from Citadel Fort

Signal Mountain 

If you’re looking for an easy hike with some of the best views in Port Louis (especially during sunset), I highly recommend Signal Mountain.

The path leading to the top is well-paved and it takes only about 30 to 40 minutes to reach the summit.

View of buildings and houses from the summit of Signal Mountain
View from the summit of Signal Mountain

Related post: Top 30 hikes to do in Mauritius

La Place D’Armes

During your visit to Port Louis, you’ll likely walk across La Place D’Armes, Port Louis’ main thoroughfare that stretches from Caudan Waterfront to the Government House.

Along this road, you’ll find gigantic palm trees and statues of former Governors of Mauritius, including Mahé de Labourdonnais and Sir John Pope Hennessy.

cars driving alona a road surrounded by tall palm trees with skyscrapers in the background
Place D’Armes

Les Jardins de la Compagnie

Les Jardins de la Compagnie is located in the middle of Port Louis and features tall Banyan trees and several statues of important historical figures who contributed to the development of Port Louis.

In the past, the park wasn’t that well-maintained but it has been renovated recently so it’s a great place to visit if you want to escape from the sun.

Around noon, you’ll find Les Jardins de la Compagnie buzzing with tourists and locals eating lunch bought from the nearby food market that sells a wide variety of street food and local Mauritian dishes.

Tip: The “Roti Aka” stall is very popular and sells the best Faratha (flatbread) in the city. 

Statue and tall banyan trees at Les Jardins de la Compagnie
Les Jardins de la Compagnie

Read more: 29 amazing beaches in Mauritius

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is found inside the Mauritius Institute building, next to Les Jardins de la Compagnie.

It’s free to visit and houses several natural science exhibits and the skeleton of the extinct Dodo bird. It also has an extensive collection of seashells, butterflies, and other insects.

Opening hours: 9 a.m to 4 p.m (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday); 11 a.m to 4 p.m (Wednesday); 9 a.m to 12 p.m (Saturday); closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Cost: Free

yellow and white building housing the Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum

Blue Penny Museum

Located within the Caudan Waterfront, the Blue Penny Museum is dedicated to the art and history of Mauritius during its colonial era.

It features several exhibits, including the famous red and blue Mauritius Post Office stamps that were issued in 1847.

Note that photography isn’t allowed inside.

Opening hours: 10 a.m to 5 p.m, Monday to Saturday; closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Cost: Rs 245 for adults and Rs 120 for children (tourist price); Rs 50 for locals and residents

Blue Penny Museum building with blue lampposts
Blue Penny Museum

Postal Museum

The Postal Museum is located at the entrance of Caudan Waterfront, inside one of the oldest historic buildings in Port Louis. The museum allows you to learn more about the history of postal services in Mauritius.

Opening hours: 9.15 a.m to 4.45 p.m (Monday-Friday); 9.15 a.m to 12.30 p.m on Saturdays; closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Cost: Rs 150 for adults and Rs 90 for children between 8 and 17 years old and adults over 60 years old; free for children under 7 years old (tourist price)

Bank of Mauritius Museum

Located inside the Bank of Mauritius building, the museum houses an extensive collection of old coins and banknotes. unfortunately photography isn’t allowed inside.

Opening hours: 9.30 a.m to 4 p.m, Monday to Friday.

Cost: Free

How to get to Port Louis?

By Bus

If you’re on a budget, you can easily get to Port Louis by bus. There are two major bus terminals in Port Louis: Immigration Square and Victoria Urban Terminal.

If you’re coming from the north (Grand Baie, Pereybere, etc) or east (Belle Mare, Trou D’Eau Douce, etc), the bus will drop you off at Immigration Square.

For those coming from the west (Flic en Flac) or south (Le Morne), you’ll be dropped off at Victoria Urban Terminal.

Bus tickets cost about USD 1 or less per trip depending on the distance covered.

By Car

If you’re coming by car, it can be a bit of a struggle to find a decent parking spot in the center of Port Louis.

You’ll need to buy parking coupons that can be obtained at any gas station (they usually cost around Rs 20-30 per hour depending on the parking zone). 

An easier alternative is to park at the Caudan Waterfront. Parking costs Rs 50 for the first 4 hours and Rs 50 for each additional hour (free from 4 p.m on weekdays, from 12.30 p.m on Saturdays, and the whole day on Sundays and public holidays).

The covered parking in Caudan, on the other hand, costs slightly more.

Tip: If you’re planning to hire a car, I personally recommend booking through Discover Cars as they offer the best rates, starting at Rs 1,000 per day.

Related post: Ultimate guide to renting a car in Mauritius

By Tram

You can also get there by taking the tram or Metro Express. Tickets cost around Rs 30-55 per trip depending on the distance covered.

At the time of writing (June 2024), the Metro Express is only available between Port Louis and Curepipe and between Rose Hill and Reduit.

Metro at the Caudan Waterfront
Metro Express at the Caudan Waterfront station

Where to eat in Port Louis?

Below are some of my recommendations for the best places to eat in Port Louis:

  • Tinot Trading: For delicious Chinese pastries (On Jummah Mosque Street, opposite Wing Tai Chong store)
  • Port Louis Central Market: For an abundance of street food (9, Corderie Street)
  • Les Jardins de la Compagnie Market: More street food (Rue Reverend Lebrun)
  • Roti Aka: The best faratha ever! (Les Jardins de la Compagnie Market)
  • Chinatown: Sino-Mauritian dishes and snacks
  • Cafe de la Presse: For coffee and brunch
  • Ricardo’s: For delicious wraps and burgers.
Faratha - a Mauritian flatbread filled with curry
Faratha at “Roti Aka” – one of the most popular street food in Mauritius!

Where to stay in Port Louis?

Personally, I recommend staying somewhere near the beach and only taking a day trip to Port Louis. But if you absolutely need to stay in the city, you can choose between these two hotels located in the Waterfront area:

Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel

Labourdonnais Waterfront is a luxury hotel featuring spacious rooms with a private bathroom. The hotel also has two restaurants and a bar. A complimentary catamaran cruise is also included in the room rate. Check latest rates here

Le Suffren Hotel & Marina

Also located on the waterfront area, within walking distance of all the best things to do in Port Louis, Le Suffren Hotel & Marina offers air-conditioned suites, a fully-equipped gym, spa, and swimming pool. Check latest rates here

Is Port Louis safe?

Port Louis is relatively safe during the day. I’ve walked around the city alone as a woman and never had any issues.

Like in all major touristy destinations, pickpocketing can happen so always keep an eye on your belongings while walking in crowded areas. 

Is it worth visiting Port Louis?

If you’re a foodie and want to check out some of the best street art and historical buildings in Mauritius, then Port Louis is definitely worth a visit! It’s also a great place to go shopping whether you want to buy clothes or souvenirs.

Did you enjoy reading this Port Louis travel guide? If you have any questions or recommendations to share, just comment below.

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20 things to do in Port Louis Mauritius

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Kubra -

Thank you so much, excellent post so informative and complete.

Steph -

Thank you! :) I’m really glad you found it helpful.


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